2019: The Official Savings Challenge
Happy new year, everyone, and welcome to the 2019 YNAB savings challenge!
All are very welcome to join in, no matter the size of your goals or savings purpose. Claim your line on the spreadsheet and then post your goal to this thread, then check in every month to update your progress on the spreadsheet and the thread. If you have a journal, you can also link this on the spreadsheet.
A special thanks to @Budget_Ninja for creating the spreadsheet and to speaking_of_art who is taking a second year as steward of the spreadsheet.
The 2018 savings challenge total is not yet completed, and there will be people still posting their final updates in early January, but I can see that as a group YNABers from both forums saved in excess of $760,000 (US $). That is outstanding!
Let the 2019 saving begin.
Here is my January update. I had to wait for consulting money that might have come tomorrow but it came today!
Pool reno – 1,600
BC wedding – 2,000
Christmas – 150
Vacation – 140
Buffer – 753
TOTAL – 4,493!!!
On to next month, where I might have more consulting work so I should stay on track or get ahead!!
Re: The Zero Entry
Just a note for those participating in the challenge for the first time and/or for those who are ambitiously balancing entries in both the debt smackdown and saving challenges: It is entirely normal for other budget priorities to delay your savings plans for the month and for you to have no savings to report. When that happens, enter a 0 in the corresponding month column. This shows you are still active in the challenge. It also helps display the actual participation percentage.
I just realized that the best way to cut expenses and downsize for retirement is to increase savings - an inspiring rather than depressing goal. Found the 2019 Challenge and joined in today. What a great idea!
I'm already on my way toward my goal thanks to my 91-year-old mom who is still dishing out money from the nursing home. Her gift inspires me to save some every month. I paid that forward by giving a chunk to my kids.
Thanks to YNAB, I have eliminated my credit card debt and funded my business and personal budgets one month ahead. Time to save. Here are my Target Goals:
- Condo Assessments $5,000
- Income Replacement $30,000
- Retirement Savings $20,000
Thanks in advance for your support, everyone, and to HappyDance and Budget_Ninja for your leadership and hard work!
I saved over target in January. Good news since my laptop died and my car blew up - two big expenses I wasn’t ready for.
Thanks to YNAB I had some of the money already put aside, which reduced the pain somewhat.
Also thanks to YNAB I have been thinking very carefully about money and set up new investments for myself and my son, so funding them will increase savings.
February is another high spend month for me as I have to buy flights for the summer to get us back to see the family. Then spending calms down a bit till June/ July. Plus I do examination marking in the summer so from June there’s a little extra coming in.
Anyway, I’m getting ahead of myself. January was a good start. February may be tough, after that it gets easier. My true expense categories are filling up nicely now (4-5 months in) and that will help a lot. Onwards and upwards!
In my first post in this thread I said I would only track my apartment savings for this challenge as I'm going to be taking money out of my vacation fund throughout the year, but I changed my mind in the end. Managed to hit my monthly goals exactly in January - nothing more, nothing less.
Keep up the great work everyone, you're all doing great!
Time to go ahead and make my February update.
My father ended up in the hospital this month and my brother sadly took advantage of the situation to steal money from him, so I had to dip into my emergency fund to help my father with some bills. At least I got my federal refund, so the effect is nullified for now. I'm suspecting I may need to assist him with some medical bills in the future so we will see what happens to my E-Fund after that. Still waiting on my state refund which will go towards my investment accounts.
- Retirement: $1000.00 / $6000.00
- New Car: $1130.93/ $6000.00
- Investment Accounts $200.00 / $1300.00
- E-Fund: $2089.07/ $6000.00
- Total: $4420.00 / $19300.00
I set a goal to save $50,000 this year - My primary savings goal is to have enough for a house down payment (been saving for a few years, and hoping to be "fully funded" this Summer) , but I also have my eye on increasing my emergency fund (getting a head start since this will need to increase with a mortgage), continuing to make headway on a car replacement fund (I am hoping that I have 4-5 years to work on funding this), and funding a few smaller wish farm goals. I took a big bite out of that savings goal since I received my discretionary bonus for 2019 this month.
February Check In
My budgeted savings this month was $844.06 which I duly allocated at the beginning of the month. On 25th of the month my nephew committed suicide. Helping my sister has put a dent in the E-fund which I am also trying to repair. My savings total for the month however is $918.38.
- 313.38/3,046.32 Savings Buffer
- 50/500.04 for my son
- 190/2,252.76 for Christmas items
- 210/2,500.08 for Car Replacement
- 155/2,480.00 in salary sacrificed retirement contributions
So this month ended sucky. I found out I'm going to be getting 200 less a month. But thankfully all my big bills come out in March so I'm not screwed wrt paying things off. What is unfortunate was I had planned to start putting more to savings after I paid off one of my cc. Now I can't. It's a big hit and I'm concerned, but, I'll sort things out when I find out exactly how much I'm going to lose.
February check-in: I saved another $1029.64, which puts me over 10% to my annual goal. I'll be able to do much better in March, given that's when I should receive both my tax refund and bonus. And thanks to the medical tax deduction - and a very expensive year of infertility/IVF treatments - my tax refund is going to be the largest I've every received. That should be very helpful toward saving a big chunk of what I hope to save for a year's worth of daycare. Funny how I wasn't as excited about the expense last year, but this year when it's a tax deduction it's not as bad.
Feb checkin. Been saving more than paying debt because I owe almost as much in taxes this year as last year's refund. I've learned my lesson about running the W-4 calculator each year. I also need about $24K for a buy-in to TSP for military time. That will result in a personal loan as well. Just getting ready for it.
I got an extra $923.13 income in February that I will use to top up my savings rate in March.
- $266.89 Dental Insurance Reimbursement
- $109.18 HSA reimbursement
- $300.00 Loan payment from family member
- $26.25 cash stipend and gift card for participating in surveys
- $43.72 bank interest
- $75.00 VISA points redemption
- $22.09 Mastercard 2% cash back
- $80.00 Grocery Store Loyalty Points Redeemed
- $923.13 Total extra income in February
Every little bit helps.