2021: The Official YNAB Savings Challenge

Welcome to the official YNAB Savings Challenge of 2021!

It's that time of year where we reflect back and focus forward on what's to come in 2021! I know 2020 hit a lot of us in tough ways, but it was shocking to see how much we still managed to save in 12 months. Updates are still rolling in, but we managed to save over $1 million as a community in the 2020 savings challenge!

Everyone is welcome to join in on this challenge, regardless of the size of your goal or the date you join in.

To get started:

1. Claim your line on the 2021 Savings Challenge sheet.

Fill out all sections until Column F with your name (or forum username), what you're saving for, currency you'll be recording in, and the total amount you'd like to target in 2021.

2. Share a summary of your savings goals in this thread.

3. Check in and add your savings total to the sheet for each month throughout the year! Update this thread and celebrate with others!

Pro-tip: You can use ctrl+F (or command+F on a Mac) to search the spreadsheet for your name when the sheet gets filled up.

Let's set ourselves up for success in 2021! Happy saving, everyone 🤩

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  • I’m not sure if I should be here with this challenge but I feel this is something that I need to do. All my life I’ve been on this revolving debt. I would pay off some of my debt and before I know it what I paid off is right back and it brought friends with this time. I still have debt and nothing to show for all the money that I tossed at it. Last year I found YNAB. This was a game changer for me. I was able to pay off some of my debt last year and ended the year with a little over 1K saved for my emergency fund.

    This year I decided that I would continue to work on paying down more of my debt, but it’s ok to save some money also. Not every dollar needs to go towards my debt. I’m hoping to have 5k saved by the end of the year, and to have 4 more bills completely gone.

    Like 6
      • ISuckatMaths
      • Where Budget and Math collide
      • ISuckatMaths
      • 7 days ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Corruptress hey I truly believe it's good you are in this challenge as well as (if you are) on the Smackdown for debt reduction. By being in this challenge I was forced to think about savings, and that led me to actually save anything I could. I was probably the one with the lowest savings amount, as I was only investing 10-40$ a month, because I had 10s of thousands in debt to smack.
      What I did was create these long long long term saving goals. I benchmarked them in phases so that I would feel victorious when I hit each phase of my 5 phase goal. I decided I wanted to have, ideally, 20k set aside fo 6 months emergency. Phase one was to achieve $1650. soo small, but for someone who didn't have money, was focused completely on debt reduction that was large - It took me 2 years to do it, but man I felt soo victorious. As I became more confident, I did the 52 week challenge (google it) and I started saving even more money, which I didn't think I could. The point is that you bring savings into your world, and start small and as you save the money it grows. So the fact you have said no every dollar needs to go towards debt is awesome, because honestly it never does anyways.
      Good luck, if you have more deep dive questions into how I did it, please feel free to DM me 😀

      Like 1
  • I'm starting my second year of YNAB, and I've decided to join in! In my first year of YNAB, I managed to save about €14k (including sinking funds), which I never thought I'd be able to do. This year, I'm setting the goal a little higher, at €17.5k. This does include both sinking funds for 2021 and more long term goals. The main goals are: 

    • Emergency Fund/Income Replacement: €2.500/year
    • Vacation: €1500/year
    • Investments: €2000/year
    • Home Maintenance: €1500/year
    • Car Replacement (2022): €3000/year
    • Next Home Purchase (2023?): €2500/year
    • Sinking Funds (incl. Health, Tech Replacements, Self-Care, Gifts&Christmas): €3000/year

    These are the minimum amounts that I would like to save for each individual goal and adds up to €16k. The additional €1.5k that I want to save will either go to the house/car fund or the income replacement fund, but that really depends on how things develop throughout the year.

    Good luck everyone! 

    Like 1
  • My dream was to become a librarian however life took me a different way. So I have decided after been an accountant for 11 years I am going back to school for a Masters's in Library Science. I was able to find a school in-state that was affordable for veterans. I have applied to scholarships and VA programs to cover my tuition. I am setting this fund aside to cover classes I can't get outside funding for and for when I may have to take a pay cut for my dream job. My ending goal amount is $50,000. I am starting with $4000 for 2021

    Like 4
  • I am claiming line 49. 

     

    This year I am buying a car, so I will probably be spending more than I'm saving this year, so I'm just going to count everything besides the money I take out for the car (because that is a planned expense). So besides my car in March, I am saving for moving expenses for 2022, some dental work that I want done, and an emergency fund. Total, I am hoping to save $13,000 which is a crazy amount for me and might be lowered depending on the amount of a raise of I am expecting to get. But for now, goal is $13,000. Good luck everyone!

    Like 3
      • Emma Catherine
      • Civil engineer getting back on track
      • emmacatherine
      • 2 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Emma Catherine Okay haven't updated since I started. 

      January: Saved $1424.01

      February: Saved $2208.94

      March: Saved $1049.27

      Like 2
  • Claimed line 47.

    My goal is to get two months ahead. I've already saved up some toward this $3,700 goal, but will update at the end of each month.

    See you on the 31st!

    Like 3
      • Krys
      • I like bacon and sarcasm
      • Krys
      • 4 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      January Update

      Saved $264.39 in January. $3,435.61 to go! The next few months will be much leaner on savings, as I'll be focusing on debt for a few months, and then will come back to savings.

      Like 1
      • Krys
      • I like bacon and sarcasm
      • Krys
      • 3 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      February Update

      Had to roll with the punches a bit in February, as a refund I anticipated took longer to arrive. I will make up the difference in March, though I don't expect to make new progress until summer.

      Like
  • Claimed line 98 (same line as debt smackdown)

    My goal is to save $20,000 by 1/1/2025, when I hope to buy a house. This means I need to save $5,000 per year for this goal.

    I have a few other (much smaller) savings goals in my YNAB budget right now, but this is the goal that I seem to always move money from to cover other things. Hopefully by tracking in here, I'll be more likely to stick to my goal.

    Like 2
  • Line 55 (person 50) over here.  We're supposed to buy my parents' house this spring (if they EVER find a place) and then we need to renovate it.  We also have cars to pay off and other assorted stuff so I'm joining the debt payoff thread as well.  We're starting with 10000 saved already, but I'm counting that as 2020 money (cursed likely) so we're starting at zero for the year.

    Like 1
  • Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy!!!  I'm so excited to be in this challenge!  Over the past couple years we paid off everything but our mortgage so now it's time to beef up the emergency fund, save for a future car purchase (hopefully in cash and not for another 6 years) and the addition of a small bathroom in our basement.  Best of luck to everyone!

    Like 2
  • Line 53 Checking in!

    Last year I finished saving up my 3 month emergency fund! It's the first time in my life I can say that and it's so calming. Especially after 2020. PHEW!

    That means this year my efforts are switching. 
    $2,500 for the year
    $400 for Christmas
    $800 for a trip when we can finally travel again
    $1,300 more into the emergency fund. 

    Like 2
  • I'm most excited to save towards our dream of renovating our terrible kitchen/bathroom and tearing down/fixing up an outdoor shed that we can use as a home office!

    I've nabbed #54 on the sheet, and our journal is here if anyone would like to follow along: Diary of an Impulse Spender.

    So I've got set in my budget goals:

    • $10,000 for kitchen, bathroom, and home office
    • $500 for 2021 Christmas 
    • $5000 for new work computers (this is due Jan 2025, so it's just $1224.60 this year)
    • $500 for a home gym

    Now, I have to go unpack that $1300 Dyson vacuum I impulse-spent this week, leaving our property taxes budget somewhat depleted..... let the new year begin. 

    Like 1
  • Savings goal for the year is $3,600.00.  Some to retirement account and the rest to EF. 

    Like 1
  • Hello!

    Back again, hopefully this year I will actually stick with the spreadsheet!
    Last year I managed to save enough to move out of my In-Laws house and furnish my apartment in cash!

    This year's goals are as follows,
     

    1. Move out! - $5000
      • But didn't you just move? Why yes, yes we did. Into a cockroach infested, no working heat, crappy plumbing, apartment. Although we loved the apartment, we can not stand the rest of the issues. So we are hoping to move out in July. 
    2. Computer Parts - $2,000
      • My boyfriend really wants to update his computer. I'm hoping to give him this as a Christmas gift.

    In order to meet these goals, I would need $585/month. This is EXTREAMELY unreasonable with our current income. As of right now, we can put around $200/month.  

    Total Yearly Goal: $2400

    • No breakdown, all money will be going into moving out until we find a place and pay off any debts that come with it. Once that is done, I will start putting money aside for the computer parts.
    Like
      • Ica Paige
      • Pink_Cornet
      • 4 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Ica Paige 

      I ended up updating my goals for this year, still not sure what priority I am going to give them, besides taxes, that will be first.
       

      1. Move out! - $5,000
      2. Computer Parts - $2,000
      3. Taxes - $5,000
        • We know we will owe at least 2000 because my boyfriend accidentally received a payment in error and we had issues with returning it.
      4. Emergency fund - $1,000
        • We had to remove $800 last month so I am hoping to replenish it this year.
      5. Get a month ahead - $3,400
      6. Tuition - $2000
        • Approx. $500/course. No longer eligible for OSAP because I am not taking enough courses at a time.
      Like
      • Ica Paige
      • Pink_Cornet
      • 4 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Ica Paige 
      January Update! I upped my goal to $5000

      1. Move out! - 100 / $5,000 (+100)
      2. Computer Parts - 0 / $2,000
      3. Taxes - 600 / $5,000 (+600)
      4. Emergency fund - 315.49 / $1,000 (+100)
      5. Get a month ahead -  612.40 / $3,400 (+612.40)
      6. Tuition - 193.92 / $2000 (+76.52)

        Grand Total: 1,488.92
         
      Like 1
      • Ica Paige
      • Pink_Cornet
      • 3 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Ica Paige 

      February Update!

      Had a lot of overspending this month, coupled with the lower paychecks my boyfriend got, plus I called in sick twice. :(

      So far after doing my taxes, we owe $375. Going to wait a few more weeks to make sure no other documents come in.

      1. Move out! - 200 / $5,000 (+100)
      2. Computer Parts - 0 / $2,000
      3. Taxes - 700 / $5,000 (+100)
      4. Emergency fund - 315.49 / $1,000
      5. Get a month ahead -  212.73 / $3,400 (-399.67)
      6. Tuition - 270.44 / $2000 (+76.52)

        Total for Feb: -123.15
        Grand Total: 1,365.77
      Like
  • Jumping in a bit late, but wanted to join the party!  Line 62 - looking to save $6,000 toward a new car by the end of the year, in addition to paying off some debt over in the Debt Challenge!  Looks like we won't be able to contribute much until the second half of the year, but we're gonna push for it!

    Like 2
    • Lauren January Update:

       

      We did the 34 day reset and saved $1000!  However, we decided to put that straight over to our debt payment, so savings is pushed back for a little bit.  Looking like we can start actually saving in May/June!

      Like 1
  • Excited to see what 2021 holds! My goal is to save a neat $75,000 for retirement and long term goals this year (gulp!).

    Details for future reference:

    Total goal: $75,000 🎉 

    • House Fund: $36,900 (Move to individual brokerage if I decide not to buy)
    • 401k: $25,000 
    • HSA: $7,100 (Do not spend from account unless there’s a catastrophic expense.)
    • Backdoor Roth: $6,000

    Stuff I’m not including in the total but want to track:

    • Self-Preservation (Job Loss): Sustain balance of $10,000
    • For When The Car Dies: Save another $10,000 (Starting balance: $2,000)
    • Keep The Car Running: Reach and sustain balance of $1,500 (Starting balance: $278) 
    • Christmas: Budget and spend $2,000 ($2,500 if I don’t get the usual seasonal influx of gift cards from work)
    • Moving expenses:  Spend balance of $5,000 and move any unused funds to other categories
    Like 2
      • Gold Pilot
      • Gold_Pilot.4
      • 4 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      January check-in

      Total goal: $75,000 🎉 

      Saved in January: $4484 (YTD: $4484)

      Spent in January: $6356 (YTD: $6356)

      • House Fund: $2185 of $36,900 (Move to individual brokerage if I decide not to buy)
      • 401k: $1745 of $25,000 
      • HSA: $554 of $7,100 (Do not spend from account unless there’s a catastrophic expense.)
      • Backdoor Roth: $0 of $6,000

      Stuff I’m not including in the total but want to track:

      • Self-Preservation (Job Loss): Sustain balance of $10,000. [no change in January]
      • For When The Car Dies: Save another $10,000 (Starting balance: $2,000). [no change in January]
      • Keep The Car Running: Reach and sustain balance of $1,500 (Starting balance: $278)  [Jan balance: $398]
      • Christmas: Budget and spend $2,000 ($2,500 if I don’t get the usual seasonal influx of gift cards from work) [no change in January]
      • Moving expenses:  Spend balance of $5,000 and move any unused funds to other categories [no change in January]
      Like 1
      • Gold Pilot
      • Gold_Pilot.4
      • 3 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      February check-in

      Total goal: $75,000 🎉 including downpayment on the house

      Spent YTD: $11,036 (excluding house fund)

      Saved YTD: $5477

      • Pre-tax: $5477
      • Post-tax: TBD after house transaction is complete

      I give up on trying to track per-category, it's too complicated.

      Like 2
  • Claimed line 71.

    I'm saving $3,000 for vacation and $3,500 for my medical OOP in addition to my HSA contributions.

    So total of $6,500 goal for this year. I will most definitely save more than that for other things but these are the two things I have solid numbers on. 

    Like
  • I'm saving a minimum of $10,000 this year for my emergency fund and also a home downpayment in 2022!

    Like 1
  • January Update:

    I've saved $416.67 towards my goal.

    I also saved $199.89 doing the 34 Day Reset, in addition to being able to budget a month ahead. So I actually saved much more than that. It's amazing how much money I spend on just take out and Amazon 🤦‍♀️ 

    Like 2
  • January Update: 

     By emptying and redirecting my original emergency fund, I was able to get one month ahead on my budget this month. January and February will see a few of the categories not get funded, but they will begin in March. Here is the progress on my savings goals so far:

    1) TFSA Investment Savings:   300/$10,600
    2) Retirement Trip:   0/$1000
    3) Italy Trip Sept 2023:  0/$3000
    4) Emergency Fund:   0/$5000
    5) Budgeted ahead:   1 /3 months
     

    Like 1
  • Yay I hopefully it not late to join this challenge. Thank you for having me. There I am line 76! I'm excited for the year 2021. I am just saving my loose change and save for future study 

    Like 3
    • Cornflower Blue Moose Welcome! Never too late to join. I find this community very inspiring and find I save more than I think possible. Loose change adds up!

      Like
  • Just hopped on Line 77.  Saving goal is specifically on 3 months of an Emergency Fund. What it doesn't include is also getting fully 1 month ahead (as a separate thing). This will get me at least 4 months of "Emergency Fund" on top of my normal sinking funds.

    Like 2
  • I have been saving for retirement for a few years already, and even though I have been tracking these savings pretty closely, I have never before looked at the bigger picture. I really had no clue how much I saved monthly or yearly. So, my monthly savings don't mainly come out of my budget, only a rather small fraction of them do. Already 17% done this month(!). An excellent start to 2021! 😄

    In USD, my yearly goal would be about $35,000 and this month $6,000.

    Next month I may change my employer-paid retirement fund into a hopefully more profitable fund if only I jump through some hoops. And I should look into consolidating my two investment accounts, as the second account mainly leads to more busywork for little real benefit.

    Like 2
      • Moohouse
      • Software developer
      • Moohouse
      • 4 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      I started the process of transferring my active employer-paid pension. The process could take up to 30 days, so I'm not holding my breath. In the end, this move will hopefully increase my pension by some percentage.

      I adjusted my value for January as I forgot to include the mentioned employer-paid pension, adding another ~200 USD.

      Like
      • Moohouse
      • Software developer
      • Moohouse
      • 3 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      I chose to use the provider's default retirement portfolio for my employer-paid pension. This new provider supports making a custom portfolio, unlike the previous provider. The transfer is still in progress.


      February's contribution was about $750, a fraction of January's result.

      Like 1
  • End of Month Check In (January):

    Met my monthly goal. Yay! "Found" an additional $150 through the 34 day reset, but decided to use that money on a yoga livestream series since I had met my savings goal. Separate from the savings challenges, but still related, I moved a month of rent from my vacation savings to my Feb budget. I am hoping to build in a full month ahead buffer, then replace my vacation savings. Hopefully I will have replaced my vacation savings by the time it is safe to travel, but the peace of mind of being a paycheck ahead plus savings is worth more than a vacation to me right now. 

    Hope everyone else had a good January. 

    Like
  • I'm so excited about this!!! 

    Like 1
  • February Update: 

     Realizing I too can update for this month as I am now one month ahead on my budget (seriously, this has been life changing for me. I actually was surprised by a payday last week - I had forgotten about it! That has not happened once in the 30 odd years I've been working:) )

    Here is the progress on my savings goals so far- this month was just my TFSA, March will see the other accounts kicking in:

    1) TFSA Investment Savings:   600/$10,600 (+300)
    2) Retirement Trip:   0/$1000 (n/a)
    3) Italy Trip Sept 2023:  0/$3000 (n/a)
    4) Emergency Fund:   0/$5000 (n/a)
    5) Budgeted ahead:   1 /3 months (n/a)

    Like 2
  • Hello - I am claiming this year to be the year we (my husband and I) get our act together when it comes to money.  My 2021 Savings Goal is to save an emergency fund of $1000.  Ideally I would like to also get a head by a month but we'll take it one step at a time.

    Like 2
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