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 🤩
Hello! Wasn't planning to join this year, but met my goal quite early for the 2021 Debt Smackdown! Claiming line 100. While I still have some loans to pay off, funneling my former credit card payments into savings for the rest of the year feels like the right move to start off 2022 ready to rock. I originally paid off all my non-mortgage debt in 2015 and frittered away my newfound surplus; that plus a series of life changes (and not having YNAB until this year!) brought me back into even more debt, so I'm grateful to have this accountability to avoid past mistakes.
To keep it simple, all my large sinking fund categories (deductibles, home/auto maintenance, vet funds) are funneled into one line item here, to be refilled if I need to spend from them. My total goal for 2021 savings is $8,750, which feels lofty at this point in the year, but my debt payoff success has shown me that I have a lot more "disposable" income than originally assumed.
Current Progress (partly through prior month savings, though a triple paycheck this month really helped)
1. Roth IRA (2021, to fill by April): $300/$3,000
2. Sinking Funds: $1,922/$5,250
3. Car Replacement: $100/$500
YTD total: $2,322/$8,750
26.54% to goal
July check in: I had a bit more in my July paycheck for some extra work and used it to add to my "get a month ahead" goal. Currently 2/3 of the way to breaking the paycheck to paycheck cycle. Still working on tweaking my budget to help me reach my "month ahead" goal sooner. Battle in my brain is whether to fund this goal or keep adding to my sinking funds (but it's a good problem to have). I also slightly upped my monthly retirement contributions, so that feels good. Otherwise, everything else stayed the same and I met my monthly goal.
If you've got the category set up as a "spending target by date" then the progress bars in YNAB will show you when planned spending has been completed, so you don't need to refill the category and can easily track your total savings there and in this forum.
I haven't, because I have no way to predict when it's needed by. But that makes sense. And should work because when you set that type to repeat it remains fill of you don't spend it by the date.
Agreed that pre-paying will help reduce those costs, both by being able to negotiate an up-front payment discount and also the fact that you can make less emotional decisions
That, and places around here apparently have pre-pay discounts without me having to negotiate.
This month and September are a little bit rough due to unexpected travel and financial assistance related to my parents' health. We still managed to save a total of $340 in August, but the remaining amount we'd have otherwise been able to save was needed to keep our debt smackdown on track. Likely my September update will come with a reduced Saving Goal amount due to ongoing family expenses, but we haven't had time to really sit down and do the math yet.
Saved in August: $340
Saved in 2021: $18,210.35
Goal Remaining: $11,789.65
My savings have been plummeting lately, but in the long run, this shouldn't matter. I'm confident this is a temporary setback, even if September's been my first negative month. Not sure if I'll meet my yearly goal at this rate with only three months left.
Soooo, it's been 9 months since I joined this challenge and haven't been updating my progress. Funny how motivated I was on the debt smackdown sheet, but for some reason I'm not as eager on this one. However, the good news is that I have been saving, so I just lumped everything into November - a total of $21,200 (in round numbers). I'll have to re-think my goals for next year and see if I can light the fire of motivation to exceed them!
Wrapping up 2021. My goal back in January was:
"Save a neat $75,000 for retirement and long term goals this year (gulp!)".
I amended that in June, after buying a house:
"For this year, include home-buying and home-improvement costs in spending, and offset by counting the increase in my home equity toward savings. Subtracting estimated loss if I resold my house today (10% of home value), to keep my numbers reasonable. Next year, resume normal tracking (excluding home equity and home purchase costs)."
Total goal: $75,000 🎉 (I'm going to call this a win.)
Spent YTD: $122,815 😬($74,604 in living expenses & $48,211 in home-buying, repairs, improvement expenses)
Saved YTD: $111,185 (including conservative estimate for home equity gains) or $37,880 (excluding it)
Pre-tax: $23,797 (401k) + $6,826 (HSA)
Post-tax: $6,640 (Roth 401k) + $73,305 (home equity gains, minus cost to resell)
Also: Added $617 to emergency fund (See brokerage account below)
Investment gains YTD: $55,309 (surpassed my savings!!)
401k & Roth 401k: $48,051
Roth IRA: $2,067
Most concerning savings categories that I wanted to replenish:
Self-preservation / Job Loss fund: $10,617 (Refilled this and grew, Individual Brokerage account)
For When The Car Dies: $0 (My car is approaching 11 years old. Yikes. I spent all $2k from this category.)
Keep The Car Running: $314 (Only added a few dollars this year.)
Home Maintenance: $949 (That's not going to maintain much, but headed in the right direction.)
Christmas: $1,056 (I filled this mostly in Oct & Nov, but it was better than last year.)
Medical & Dental: $71 (I'd like to avoid using my HSA, so need to continue to build this up. But I did pay for braces out of pocket this year, and all other expenses to date, including hundreds in therapy from Oct - Dec.)
I no longer feel over-extended. :) I haven't quite saved more than I've spent this year, but considering that I bought a house and had to do major repairs, I think I've done well.
I spent $16,000+ on travel, and learned some good lessons that should bring the costs down by $4,000 next year. (Managed to get 3 international trips, plus 3 domestic trips in, this year! That was one too many, for us to fully appreciate each adventure. Scaling back to 5 next year, pandemic-permitting.)
I'm also working on a job change, which should bring a raise and signing bonus. Goal is to hold spending steady, and invest all additional income for the future. I'm guessing I'll have a week or so less vacation time in the new gig, too, so that should help me be more mindful about travel plans.
My 2021 saving challenge re-cap:
- met and slightly exceeded my goal
- 103% of goal funded
Thanks for another great year. I definitely save more than I think I can thanks to this challenge, ynab app, and the ynab community.
Looking forward to next year's challenge.
Until then, wishing everyone a happy and healthy holiday season.