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.
Okay. I think I've finally finished futzing with my March budget. I am checking in with $2,300 to savings categories in my March budget. That extra 923.13 enabled me to top up my savings in a most satisfying fashion. Most of those extra dollars were reimbursements really, so I added them to various true categories -- medical, dental, family emergency -- and it was sure good to see those categories get topped back up with a few cupfuls instead of the usual steady drip drip drip.
That brings my total so far to $15,365 and 54.88% of my 2019 stretch goal.
Oh what the heck, I'll join. I claimed line 125 and I'm also on the debt smack down.
Main goals for the year are to pay down my only non-mortgage debt (on the smackdown), save for a vacation, put $1,000 in our HSA (opening this month), and save $4,500 in my animal fund. Which is enough money to pay for all my animal related expenses for one year.
So far last month I have only put $500 in my animal fund. So I've got a long way to go yet! But I am hopeful I will be able to complete all these goals.
Although I haven't added to savings or to the newly created "buffer" category, I've set aside:
$90 for medical stuff that comes up
$70 towards contact lenses ($800/yr)
$100 for Xmas (goal: $1k by Dec)
$70 for spending $ on vaca (goal: $400 by June)
and some other future spending categories. I hope with my next paycheck to actually set $ aside to slowly work on having a buffer. A one-month buffer with the extremely high cost of living could take me a long time!
So yesterday in a fit of insouciance, I did a thing.
I now have what I consider a minimally-adequate income replacement fund.
I now have no money saved for most of my foreseeable unplanned expenses. I didn't touch my car maintenance savings or change the amount going toward retirement contributions.
I know it doesn't actually change my financial position, but I just wanted to be able to check off the IR fund and move forward. I'll do my best to make small progress for the next 2.5 years while I pay off my car, then will be able to beef it up again.
I'm in. Row 129, ID 126. I started YNAB at the end of January at the suggestion of our financial advisor. We do not have any debt other than a car loan and mortgage. I used a lot of our money market account, which we used to use for emergencies, big home repair, or other big expenses to start a lot of sinking funds in February so I have no idea what exactly I saved that month from income. We had a few unusual income sources in January and February that won't repeat that boosted savings. The 403b (education and non profits' version of a 401k) is off budget since that comes out before we ever see the paycheck, at 8% of pay, whatever that is, plus the employer match. I won't count that towards my savings goal.
I want to save $20,000USD or more in various funds: our kids' 529 college accounts, vacation funds, camp fund for the summer (aka my sanity fund), #2 kid's expander/braces, health care fund, and various sinking funds. Also some wish farm things. My stretch goal is $25,000.
My estimation of Jan. savings, given that we started YNAB at the end of the month:
-$662 to kids' 529s
-$325 to health care fund
$34.73 to camp
$80 to sinking funds
for a total of $1101.73 for January.
Due to using our money market/emergency funds to start a lot of sinking funds in Feb, my saving from actual income from February is estimated to be:
-$716 to kids' 529s
-$349.97 to health care fund
-$321 to various sinking funds
-$380 to my sanity fund
$370 to braces fund
$624 to vacation fund
$225.42 to wish farm items
for a total of $2986.39.
Hello! HappyDance told me about this thread since we just paid off our debt in March. I'm excited to be here! We are starting our savings for our 3-6 months emergency fund before we start saving for our down payment on a house. (No real concrete plans to buy yet because my husband is in a transient part of his career and we won't be anywhere long enough to buy for a while, BUT we know we'll need the down payment when we are ready.)
The 2019 savings goal is $30,000 for the efund (This number was actually calculated based on last year's spending, if I'm being honest 6 months is closer to $23k now but my husband and I like the round number.) Then I project we'll be able to save another $9,000 for the house down payment before Christmas. TOTAL 2019 GOAL: $39,000
We don't spend anything we earn in March until April, but I just got my year-end bonus at work for $18,000 that we'll put into the off-budget savings account on the first. So I won't get to enter anything in the spreadsheet until next week but I just claimed line 127 in the spreadsheet. We don't have anything besides the bonus to put into savings because we cheated a little bit and paid the debt off as soon as the checks cleared. In May we'll be back on our $3000 set aside, not for debt now but SAVINGS! Wow that feels so good to say! :D
Great month as some of the things we are saving for are fully funded. Yay! We have the following savings:
Celtic Arts week 2500 - Fully Funded
Bike - 486 - Fully funded and purchased!
Updated WIlls and POA - 900 - Fully Funded
Christmas, Pool Reno, Ballet classes, 2019 taxes, buffer and March break fun - 2529
Total for March 6415, Made higher than aniticpated due to extra consulting work which will continue until the end of May!!!
On to April!
I just looked at my post and I can tell you that all we are able to do, I owe to YNAB. YNAB changed the way we look at our money and I never thought we would be in the position we are after failed first marriages and 7 children between us (grandchildren now too). I am grateful everyday for YNAB and the things it has brought to our life. It astonishes me. Really.
March check-in: Well, I got my tax returns from state & federal, and I also just got my bonus. I've now successfully fully funded 2 of my 2019 goals:
- $16,500 for 1 full year of daycare (starting in summer 2019, so this would give me a buffer into 2020) - FULLY FUNDED
- $1,505.36 for maternity and baby photos for first year - FULLY FUNDED
Whoo hoo!! Feels so good to have this all saved for! I've also saved my usual monthly totals for my emergency fund, rainy day funds, and various baby stuff and the like, which is good given I'm due to deliver this baby anytime now within the next couple of weeks. I've updated the spreadsheet. And now for the rest of the year I should be able to just focus on my usual savings amounts for emergency and rainy day funds, which feels very manageable. Whew!
March Savings $5,182.29
The majority of this is a holding category "Annual incentive holding" while I take time to figure out what goes where and what I will do with this. Some will be spent (clothes, hobbies, home stuff), some will be debt paydown (pay down 1st cc!) and some will be savings (safe and secure fund, car maint, gym monthly payments, xmas holiday season savings). And yay for taking my time! This is a new habit post YNAB :)
Yay April is finally here! Our age of money isn't 30 days, but we live completely a month behind our income, so everything we earned in March goes to April. This month all we were able to put into savings was my bonus, which is frustrating for our first month out of debt. We had been putting $4k towards debt each month so I was expecting to a put at least half that into our 3-6 month efund but we have two major trips we needed to buy flights and hotel and everything that we're taking in May. I'm trying not to get too frustrated about that because we are just being honest about our priorities. So total for April efund savings is $18,947.17.
Well I had a really bad two months and fell right off the YNAB wagon.... I impulse spent a couple of HUNDRED pounds on a holiday experience and felt so sick I completely stopped budgeting from Feb 22 to this week.
But, (YNAB win) I pulled myself together and input all my transactions since into both my budgets and reconciled them. Then I fixed 5he budgeting.
Its also been ‘pay for flights month’ so the upshot is I have no spare cash till I get paid, I had to borrow a little (not too much) from some budgeting pots , and so my budgeted cash is zero. That still leaves my actual physical saving transfers of about 2000 in March and the same ish in Feb. Numbers need to be checked but it’s there.
pre-YNAB this spending mistake would have sent me on a spending splurge like a kind of sickness, so, good to be back and thanks for this community!
I am checking in with $1,500 committed to savings categories in my April budget. No extras or found money earned last month that I can use to increase my savings this month, but I expect some health insurance reimbursements this month in addition to a tax refund.
This month's savings brings my total so far to $16,865 and 60.23% of my 2019 stretch goal.
I've been frustrated since starting this challenge because I haven't actually added to my savings account. But, after (almost) 2 months using YNAB, I just realized that I HAVE BEEN saving, I just didn't realize it. I've been bummed I don't have more $ to put into savings (read: any), but actually, I've funded some things in the past two months that I'd NEVER have done prior to YNAB, including:
Annual fees for Amazon Prime/YNAB: $204 (fully funded)
Unexpected medical expenses: $150 (goal: $900)
Clothing: $175 (goal: more, since it's for me and the kids)
School supplies for when the kids go back to school in August: $135 (goal: $300)
Gifts: $250 (goal: MORE. Many birthdays coming up)
DMV bill due in July: $90 (goal: $300)
Viacord (umbilical blood cord storage, $125 due twice a year: $50 (goal: $125 by mid-June_
Xmas: $150 (goal: $1000 by Dec)
So yeah, hey! I HAVE saved money, more than $1600 in two months! Pre-YNAB I'd be charging that much per MONTH on my crazy shopping addictions!
...just paid my $3k tax bill. So painful to see 25% of my savings wiped out in one transaction. But I'm reminding myself that I knew this was coming, and budgeted for it in a separate savings account! Not only did I keep my hands out of my main savings account but it's still up $1500 from the start of the year. Onwards & upwards!