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.
Wasn't going to do this because I thought we were focused on the Debt smackdown for this year, but it turns out we've been able to squirrel away a little savings too! Might as well track it and celebrate those victories!
Late start to spreadsheet (I'm #130):
Feb - saved $308
Mar - saved $100 (saved more but wiped it out on trip to Chicago)
Apr - saved $1359 mostly due to tax refund. Working on month 1 of Emergency Fund, have $700 set aside for Christmas & vacation funds.
Prior to YNAB I would deplete the $1000 emergency fund pretty routinely just to be sure the mortgage was paid so this is huge progress!
They say “Make plans, God laughs.” Unfortunately, my plans for participating in this challenge have likely been stymied. I was in a auto accident this past week... I’m fine, but it’s looking like a new car purchase is in my immediate future. Likely to hold off my focus on emergency savings to handle paying for the car.
This month I was able to save the following:
- $725 to kids' 529s
- $495.31 to health care fund
- $1558.57 to various sinking funds (we accepted payment in lieu of fixing the damage to our ancient car caused by a tradesman)
- $349.64 to my sanity fund (summer camps to keep the kids from killing each other)
- $125 to braces fund
- $312.15 to vacation fund (passports arrived in time, visit to northern family came in under budget so I will roll those funds over to getting us home next year)
- $177.26 to wish farm items (refurb phone for offspring achieved under budget, extra funds rolled over to new wish farm items- new driveway! new piece of shop machinery!)
for a total of $3742.93.
I started YNAB in Jan. Several annual/biannual things will be paid next month, freeing up money to other savings' funds each month after that.
Doing my April check in now, since I don't think I will have any more inflow of money before May rolls over. This month was a challenge since I ended up overspending quite a bit (Really "needed" a portable monitor for work). Still managed to contribute a bit more to some categories.
- Retirement: $2000.00 / $6000.00
- New Car: $2166.03/ $6000.00
- Investment Accounts $725.00 / $1300.00
- E-Fund: $3234.07/ $6000.00
- Total: $8125.10 / $19300.00
I can already see that next month is going to be a blood bath. Hopefully, my progress on my E-Fund isn't slaughtered. I am having to help my father with cleaning out his house for sale among other things and his money is dwindling fast. I already set aside some separate money as a buffer since I saw this coming, so fingers crossed I can work some budgeting magic for both our sakes. 🧙♀️
April has brought me close to my original yearly goal but I have a question. I got an extra job in March which has changed up my original goals and made it easier to make those goals. Do I adjust my overall goals for the year or just "exceed"? I will be over my yearly goal next month due to the unexpected higher influx of cash.
Pool savings 1765
Grad present 500 - DONE
Ballet, taxes 2018 and Paris 4000 DONE
New tablet and trip with daughter (new goals)-550
The month started well as I committed 30% more to savings than previous months however rolling with the punches for a legal settlement means I've ended the month with less. Not to worry, still above my minimum targets and still on track for the year.
I've committed less again to savings in May as I now have to budget for Legal expenses however again, I'm happy with my progress. I've intentionally saved nearly $4.8k this year and I'm really proud of myself! :D
I will reassess May at the months end to see if I can scrape anymore in to Savings categories.
April check-in: I was able to save $1024.49 this month toward rainy day categories and my emergency fund. Given we have been spending money every day thanks to a newborn, who makes us realize all of the things we really need right now. Also thankful for all of the free pick-up services where they bring your Target or HyVee orders out to your car for free - saves money and my sanity. One month at a time.
April check-in. Slight reversal in savings this month. That is a result initial payments to clear the drain line for a sewer overflow (cleaned up now), $2k in budgeted car maintenance, and $1400 tax bill. So it could have been far worse.
The month I replace the line from the house to the main sewer line won't be nearly this simple. 😬 I also need to put some money into a rental home to prepare it for sale this summer. So lots of ups and downs expected over the next 2-4 months.
I received $1,204.76 in extra income in April: $677.92 in tax refunds, $408 in health insurance claims, a $50 referral bonus from my bank -- thanks, Tangerine! -- and $72.80 in miscellaneous small windfalls, found money, bank interest, and cash-back credit card rewards. The cash-back on my cc was only $5.73, but every little bit adds up as savings if you don't spend it right away. 🙂
That extra income enabled me to allocate a whopping $2,435 to savings categories in my May budget, bringing my 2019 savings total to $19,300 or 68.93% of my stretch goal.
Who else is glad to see April in the rearview? C-ya later Tax Month! I'm excited to moving forward with my Savings. Hit my 10k savings goal on my Ally account. First time I've ever had 10k in savings in my life!! Now I'm moving forward to funding an Aug/Sept cross-country move with a Savings goal of 5k to my Chase Savings account. First $250 went in today and have two decent side hustle projects lined up over the next 6 weeks which will get me to 50% of my goal. I've been saving way more aggressively than I've been paying down debt, but the year-end plan is to transfer a large amount of my savings to debt once I've moved/settled into a new budget/job/city. Feeling good!
May June Update:
I had saved $447.90 in Dental category, but found the costs were fully covered, so I had to figure where this money should go. I had considered to put it to savings, but in the end decided to put to future expenses like my Car Registry, CC annual fee and Car Repair pots. By having these categories filled up, I think later in the year I'll be able to put more into savings. It really is unfortunate that Savings gets put into last priority.
As predicted last month, my E-Fund got hit. $300 dollar hit, but it thankfully didn't set me back in terms of goal progress since I was already ahead. Hopefully, my father's house sells fast so I don't have to take another hit in a few months. 🤞
- Retirement: $2,500.00 / $6,000.00
- New Car: $2,685.26/ $6,000.00
- Investment Accounts $825.00 / $1,300.00
- E-Fund: $3,493.29/ $6,000.00
- Total: $9,503.55 / $19,300.00
May final numbers
-$725 to kids' 529s
-$552.12 to health care category (Any extra at end of year will rollover but upcoming expenses make having much left unlikely)
-$1376 to various sinking funds
$125 to braces fund
$700 to vacation fund (visiting with family in June)
$75 to wish farm items
for a total of $3553.12. Year to date savings is 74% of goal.
I totally forgot that while May is a 3 paycheck month, I need to use a good chunk of the third paycheck to help cover the extra mortgage payment that will be coming in July. I have covered June expenses with May money but I may not be fully buffered in June for July because of this. I wanted to add to various sinking funds and was looking forward to capping at least one fund. Sudden attack of reality today! Onwards anyway. November is the next 3 paycheck month...
May total: $1706.06
Wants for home: 50
Needs for auto: 200
Savings for home repairs: 640
Savings for secure future: 608.06
I updated the spreadsheet with some more reasonable numbers to better understand what I've accomplished this year, aside from making a mess of my budget! 😋
First, a recap: I treat all inflows (including reimbursements) as income, and I do count everything budgeted to a savings, e-fund, or true expenses category as "savings". I do not subtract for expenditures that came out of those categories since I don't see this as backsliding. I see it as money I previously saved just doing its job. Because of how I define it for myself, and because I was approved by insurance for an expensive dental procedure, I will likely record between $4K to $5K of dental insurance reimbursements as new savings this year. I decided to adjust my 2019 goal up by an additional $4K to $32,000 to ensure I don't start coasting on my savings momentum when I hit my original goal too early.
I recorded $3,379.65 extra income in May: $3,284.01 from insurance claims (all those expenditures paid for with pre-funded categories - thanks, YNAB) $39.20 from bank account interest, $54.44 from various loyalty and cash-back rewards, and a big lottery win of $2. 😄
A fantastic $4,725 saved in June for a total year-to-date of $24,025 or 75% of my newly revised stretch goal of $32,000.