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. 

2019 Savings Challenge 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.

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  • Thanks for putting this up so fast! So I reviewed my goals from last year, and I was able to go over my $10,000 goal and got to over $11,000! With that in mind and more income this year, I'm setting an overall goal of: $14,000

    This will be split into a few goals:

    - 529 Plan Deposits
    - Non 529 Grad School Saving
    - Rainy Day Fund (up from 4 months to 6 months)
    - Summer fund (for the two months I don't draw income as a teacher)
    - Pet Fund
    - New Car Down Payment

    Like last year, I will NOT include retirement pulled from paycheck, or vacation savings. Let's do this! Let us get this bread!

    Reply Like
  • Our savings goals for 2019:

    Emergency Fund- $2000

    Auto Insurance Deductible SF- $500

    Auto Maintenance SF- $1250

    Home Maintenance SF- $1250

    2019 Christmas Fund- $1200

    Total: $6200

    Hoping to knock out both car loans this year and then focus on saving.

    Reply Like
  • I'm in. 

    I have various ongoing savings and I put a percentage of income into my pension each month. 

    What I want to add this year is an additional £1,000 into pension.  So my goal for the challenge is £83.33 a month,

    Reply Like 1
  • Post-divorce money is extremely tight but I want to save $600 USD toward my emergency fund. My big push this year is paying down debt but I need to start somewhere on the savings.

    Reply Like 2
    • AntJozee Way to go! It's nice to see someone in a similar boat here. I also have modest savings goals, especially in relation to some of the other goals I see on here.  My goal and my stretch goal both feel lofty, but honestly I'm happy if I even get halfway. Good for you for knowing you need some emergency funds stashed away!!

      Reply Like 4
      • HappyDance
      • YNABing consistently since 2014
      • HappyDance
      • 10 mths ago
      • 5
      • Reported - view

      AntJozee  and  Slate Blue Zebra 

      😄  One of the reasons I include the monthly amount set aside for true expenses in my savings total is to bolster my total number for dramatic purposes.  I am always impressed at how much I can really save (and not immediately spend) from my median income every year.  It keeps me really enthusiastic about saving and optimistic for my retirement.

      Reply Like 5
  • New to YNAB and the challenge here. Here goes... In 2019 I will save $44,000 toward my retirement.

    Reply Like 6
  • I am closing on a house this month (first-time homeowner)! So I will need to have a decent sized home maintenance fund. I have 2k of my "moving money" set aside for maintance already (possibly more depending on how some other expenses work out--those might get targeted to some specific projects) and I want to save up at least 4k more this year. The goal is to end the year at 6k, even if I have to use some funds this year. My budget will be changing a lot as I make this transition, so I'm hoping this challenge, as well as being more active on the support forum, will help keep me on track!

    Reply Like 3
    • adriana01 Congrats on purchasing your 1st home! Good luck on your savings goal!

      Reply Like
      • adriana01
      • adriana01
      • 10 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Spring Green Rain thanks!

      Reply Like 1
  • In  December  we made the last car payment so I need to keep the momentum going and saving everything I otherwise would have paid. Total goal for 2019 is $18,000 which is about what we paid off in debt. Stretch goal is getting  to an even $20k. 

    Reply Like 5
    • LyaNox Congrats on paying off your car and best of luck in now paying yourself by saving what otherwise would have gone to payments!

      Reply Like 1
  • Well I’ve put my budget numbers into YNAB and totted up the saving. Off we go!

    Reply Like 1
  • I'm currently paying off debt, but also want to make sure I have some good emergency savings rebuilt. I'm so thankful I had an EF this year for when some life emergencies came this December, because I didn't take on any debt!. Now it's time to rebuild and add. So this year, it's modest, achievable savings for me while I knock out my debt! 

    Modest goal: $6,000
    Stretch goal that would delight me, come 12/31/2019: $8,000

    Reply Like 1
      • adriana01
      • adriana01
      • 10 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Slate Blue Zebra I like the idea of a stretch goal! Good luck!

      Reply Like
      • MartyH
      • MartyH
      • 10 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Slate Blue Zebra You are the perfect example of why I tell people to get an emergency fund before focusing on debt payoff.  It will help avoid more debt in the long run.

      Reply Like
  • I know this is going to sound ridiculous but my OCD is coming out.  Can someone help with the formatting of my line.  #67 (#62 on ID column).  I want dark red #2 background and white lettering.  The whole row is formatting correctly except for my user name column.  I've tried it on 2 different computers.  I'm about to pull my hair out.

     

    Our savings goal is to finish up our EF by the way.  $6,196.61.

    Reply Like 4
      • QC
      • HaplessFinanceProfessional
      • Queenofcoin
      • 10 mths ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      cebingham3 Done. :)

      Reply Like 3
      • cebingham3
      • cebingham3
      • 10 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      QC Thank you!  I like to think i'm fairly good with spreadsheets but I could not figure that one out!

      Reply Like 1
  • I have claimed a line on the spreadsheet.  My big goals are:

    • to fully fund my 3 month buffer $5,222.98/$10,000
    • increase my retirement contributions to 15%,
    • begin saving $1000 for my son's graduation
    • and to fully fund Christmas $2,100

    I'm being granular about Christmas this year as last years fund (saved in 6 months) came up short because it was stretched between gifts, decor and food.  This years total goal is more than double last years at $2,100.

    This is my first time in the savings challenge and I'm excited to be on board!

    Reply Like 5
    • QC I hear ya on the Xmas fund. After 4 years of having to add more to my Xmas fund at the last minute, 2018 was the first year I finally saved enough. I love that YNAB lets me be flexible to adjust, but more so that it gives me the tools I need to be informed about how much more to save regularly (even if it takes me 4 yrs to figure it out!). Best of luck on your 2019 goals!

      Reply Like 2
      • QC
      • HaplessFinanceProfessional
      • Queenofcoin
      • 10 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Spring Green Rain This being my first year on YNAB, I was happy to forgo some spending and/or bump up where I could thanks to a generous work bonus. But the bonus may not always be there and I know it won’t be as appealing to forgo spending for another year so I’m getting prepared early. I appreciate YNAB giving me that longer range view opposed to simply ‘what does this paycheck have to do?’ 

      Reply Like 2
  • I am in and declaring $18,000 ! Line 73: I am wanting to save towards my Home Deposit and a few sinking funds. 

    Reply Like 3
  • I'm in and have claimed line 74. This is my first year doing the saving challenge. Last year I did the Debt Smackdown challenge for the first time and really appreciated the checkins and community. I am still working on paying off debt, but noticed last year that it would have helped me to have savings on hand instead of increasing the amount owed on credit cards :/ My goal for 2019 is to save $3,000 for emergency fund (is there a better name for this? for some reason having an "emergency" fund stresses me out even though it's a good thing) and $750 for the holiday season - Nov - Jan, for a grand total of $3,750.  Reaching this goal will rely heavily on tax refund and work bonus this Feb/Mar. No matter how the spring shakes out, I will do my best to reach my savings goal.

    Reply Like 2
      • Jennifer P.
      • magenta_hippo
      • 10 mths ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      Hot Pink Admiral I like Back Up fund instead of Emergency - the word stresses me out to!

      Reply Like 3
      • HappyDance
      • YNABing consistently since 2014
      • HappyDance
      • 10 mths ago
      • 6
      • Reported - view

      Hot Pink Admiral 

      I use a master category named Life Happens rather than Emergency Fund, and I also break out subcategories under that master for all the expenses I can reasonably expect but for which the timing is not known. I do this because one big combined total makes me think there is too much money in the category and I make the mistake of thinking I can invest it for retirement.  Breaking it out specifically ensures I don't touch it and comforts me because I can see that I am covered for a whole pile of simultaneous happenings.

      Life Happens

      • Car care and repair
      • Health Expenses (Medical, Dental, Optical)
      • Get Out of Dodge! (a moving fund)
      • Taxes (need I say more?)
      • When I had a cat, there was a veterinary or Cat Care category.
      • Professional Services (legal/accounting, a rare expense in my life, but I like to have a bit ready to go in case I need it)
      • Zombie Apocalypse (for my income replacement fund)
      • Circle of Life  🦁  - I came up with this category name for sad family events like family emergencies, funerals, and the costs associated with those circumstances like travel costs.  I don't mind seeing Circle of Life as a category name. I hated seeing Family Emergencies.
      Reply Like 6
      • Pikayo
      • Pikayo
      • 10 mths ago
      • 4
      • Reported - view

      Hot Pink Admiral  I have a "Safe and Secure Fund".  

      Reply Like 4
    • @magenta_hippo  @HappyDance  @Pikayo  Thank you!! All of these suggestions feel better and don't give me that pit of the stomach anxious feeling like Emergency Fund does. I'll try them out and see which one feels best!

      Reply Like 2
      • lindsay_g
      • Beige_Banjo.3
      • 10 mths ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      HappyDance I was thinking about Circle of Life costs today. If I had to fly two of us to a funeral at short notice it would cost a lot. I already renamed the EF as the Buffer Zone. I may have to add Circle of Life in there.

      Reply Like 3
      • AntJozee
      • antjozee
      • 10 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      HappyDance I really like a Life Happens category as well as your Circle of Life and Zombie Apocalypse! Very creative and a lot more fun than the standard.

      Reply Like
      • HappyDance
      • YNABing consistently since 2014
      • HappyDance
      • 10 mths ago
      • 5
      • Reported - view

      AntJozee 

      As we all know, when we are broke, every unplanned expense is an effin' emergency.  As soon as I had a big pile of money saved for all those pesky issues -- car maintenance, dental procedures, etc --  I noticed that all those formerly emergency-type events simply became inconveniences and nuisances. It was the lack of money that defined those events as emergencies.   Renaming my emergency fund category to Life Happens seemed a more apt description.  I think it also keeps me mindful that these subcategories are likely to happen eventually, rather than see them as events I might avoid if I'm a lucky person.

      Reply Like 5
      • MartyH
      • MartyH
      • 10 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Hot Pink Admiral I call mine an Emergency Fund.  It reminds me that it's not to be touched for things that aren't true emergencies. 

       

      I've paid close attention to what's needed for true expenses and those cover most of the likely things.  But they aren't all fully funded yet, so the Emergency Fund is for the truly unforeseen and unavoidable expenses that exceed what's otherwise available.  The whole purpose is to prevent new debt.  It's not to be my buffer in any sense.

      Reply Like 1
  • I just came back to YNAB on 1/1 and am trying to get a handle on our finances.  I have some modest goals: $1,000 Auto Maintenance Fund, $1,000 Home Maintenance Fund, $1,000 Back Up Fund and $1,000 Christmas 2019 Fund.  I am line 75 and I am looking forward to this challenge and the accountability!!

    Reply Like 2
  • Hi everyone!

    On last year's challenge I enjoyed having 3 specific targets. My specific goals for this year's savings:

    $1275 to top off my Emergency Fund

    $2000 for an anniversary vacation with my husband in 2020 (for my portion)

    $500 for miscellaneous moving costs when we inevitably need to move at some point in the near future

    Total of $3775 for these 3 goals.

    best wishes to everyone joining the challenge.

     

    **I should add: the first month of the year I will be contributing less to these goals, as I still want to finish off 2 of the goals from last year**

    Reply Like 3
  • Small goals this year (pay off remaining short term debt).  $2700 for Holidays away....AFTER funding fixed items and after taking any holiday this year.

    Reply Like 2
      • rushiec
      • I choose forwards!
      • rushiec
      • 10 mths ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      And debt is planned to be paid off by July, so first small saving in June and then ramping up from there :)

      Reply Like 3
  • My goal is to save $2400 this year for Christmas and some of our sinking funds. Lots of extra money going towards debt and want to start here first!

    Reply Like 2
  • Still working on clearing my debt and only going to consider savings for money that goes into long term savings and not any additional categories. Goal is to save $1000 this year, double my goal of last year. Woot Woot, good luck everyone!

    Reply Like 3
  • I shall save 15k. 

    Reply Like 3
  • Have the access permissions changed?  I can't view the spreadsheet! 😥

    Reply Like
      • Laimelde
      • Navy_Blue_Wizard
      • 10 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      QC I can access okay right now. If the issue persists, hopefully the admins of this challenge can help you out!

      Reply Like
      • HappyDance
      • YNABing consistently since 2014
      • HappyDance
      • 10 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Laimelde and QC

      The access seems back to normal again.  I had the same problem yesterday, but this morning it's been fixed.  🙂

      Reply Like 1
      • QC
      • HaplessFinanceProfessional
      • Queenofcoin
      • 10 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      HappyDance Laimelde Access restored!! 😁

      Reply Like
  • I've updated the spreadsheet with my final number for 2019, $10,779.20

    • 3,046.32 Savings Buffer
    • 500.04 for my son
    • 2,252.76 for Christmas items
    • 2,500.08 for Car Replacement
    • 2,480.00 in salary sacrificed retirement contributions
    Reply Like 1
  • I’ve claimed line 100. I’d like to save $3000. I know that’s not much but since I’m trying to pay off a big segment of my debt (which is almost $100,000). And I’d really like to travel once or twice this year.

    Reply Like
  • $2,287.60

    That's the total amount of the car payments that I will no longer be making after my car is paid off in February. Hopefully I'll be coming back to edit this post with additional savings due to more income before too long, but for now, I'm committing to putting $228.76/mo toward my true expenses/sinking funds, not debt or routine spending.

    Reply Like 3
  • Hi all! I'd like to join but I can't seem to claim a line. The spreadsheet opens in Google Docs but I can't do anything. I am on my phone...does that matter? Please help.

    Reply Like
      • HappyDance
      • YNABing consistently since 2014
      • HappyDance
      • 10 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Sea Green Yearling 

      You'd have to download the app to use it on a tablet or phone. I haven't tried doing this on my phone, but I can tell you that I find it tedious and annoying to edit my entry on my iPad tablet.  Maybe wait until you can access a desktop?

      Reply Like 1
      • Sherielf
      • Sea_Green_Yearling.7
      • 10 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      HappyDance perfect. I'll do it when I get home!

      Reply Like 1
  • No love for a Jamaican? 😔
    My currency isn't listed...

    Reply Like
      • HappyDance
      • YNABing consistently since 2014
      • HappyDance
      • 10 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      duwie 

      Not by design.  No one has added it yet.  There's a note under the currency column header:

      Missing a currency?
      Add it to the Currency List tab to make it available in the drop down.

      The currency tab is the fifth tab of the spreadsheet.

       

      Added.

      Reply Like 2
      • duwie
      • duwie
      • 10 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      HappyDance Thank you!!! 🕺

      Reply Like
      • HappyDance
      • YNABing consistently since 2014
      • HappyDance
      • 10 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      duwie 

      No worries.  Just showing some love. 🙂

      Reply Like
    • duwie Do you use the Jamaican Dollar? I see JMD listed, but if it's something else than that spreadsheet is the best way to go! :)

      Reply Like
      • HappyDance
      • YNABing consistently since 2014
      • HappyDance
      • 10 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Faness 

      Yeah. That was me. I added the international code for Jamaican Dollar, JMD, to the currency tab in the spreadsheet today and entered it on the line duwie staked out, so all the entry needs is completion/update by duwie.

      Reply Like 1
    • HappyDance You're wonderful - just in case I haven't mentioned that before. ;)

      Reply Like 1
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