21 in 2021 Challenge: Save 21% of your income in 2021

2021 is finally here. We can only hope it is better than 2020, right?

We are growing the 20 in 2020 challenge for 2021…slightly… by 5%

It’s simple but not easy: save 21% of your income in 2021.

If saving 21% of your income is easy for you (or if your income is over 100K) - please use the alternative 21 in 2021 Challenge: Save $21,000. Both get the same sticker, but the threads will have people at similar income/challenge levels.

Here’s all the 21 in 2021 Challenges:

Basic rules:

  • The goal is to save 21% of your pre-tax income in 2021. If you make $40,000 per year, that’s $8,400 or $700 per month.
  • You can combine any type of savings: emergency fund, 401K, Super, IRA, taxable investments, buffer, house down payment fund, student loan payments - to reach your goal.
  • You can choose household or individual salary, whichever you prefer.

What Counts

  • Debt repayment counts towards your savings rate!
  • Mortgage principal (but not interest or escrow) counts.
  • Only savings that occurs between 1/1/2021 and 12/31/2021 count.
  • You can use tax refund or any other windfall money towards your savings percentage, but you then must count that windfall towards your overall income.
  • You can choose to count your income and savings jointly with a partner or separately - up to you!

What do you get:

  • Support on this thread as you go along - post monthly or quarterly check-ins as appropriate
  • A forum badge when you are halfway - at your 11.5% goal - for the year
  • A forum badge when you complete your 21% goal for the year
  • A sticker mailed to you for the 21% goal for the year
  • A shoutout on the podcast for reaching your goal

Please Tag @moderators when you hit any goals so we can get you your badge!

5 Likes

I’m in! Mine will be a combo of student loan repayment, repaying a loan to my parents, and emergency fund building, with a teensy bit of credit card debt payoff (that should be taken care of by end of January, woooooot).

4 Likes

21% of zero is still zero, right? :sweat_smile:

I’ll likely do some odd jobs, I can set aside 21%.

7 Likes

I will try! It will come from mortgage payments, student loan payments, pension contributions, IRA contributions and emergency savings.

6 Likes

I am here this year, currently on mat leave and will be returning part time in June so will count super, mortgage principal and any after tax savings I can scrape together.

4 Likes

I’m in! Will be a combo of personal loan repayment and saving in various buckets!

2 Likes

That’s my approach!! I couldn’t do this in a year I expected to earn money, but I’m going to try now. It looks like about $2.10 a week!

6 Likes

I’m in for this year! I will make somewhere between $20,000 - $40,000 USD this year (yup no idea). My goal is 50% savings rate while I am working full time, which very well may pan out to 21% for the whole year since I might be going to $0 income in august. We’ll find out!

This is a combo of cash savings, IRA and workplace simple IRA.

4 Likes

I’m in again! :slight_smile: I’ll have to do some calculations later, but my 401K is set to 15%, so I just need to make up the rest in cash/e-fund/IRA.

4 Likes

I am in again this year. I have way less debt to pay off this year, so I’m going to have to make a much more concerted effort to save to meet the goal.

4 Likes

I’m in again! It’s just going to be my IRA and long term savings since the house got paid off this year. I would love to be in the save $21,000 group, but with working on commission I never have any idea what my income will be. It probably varies between 38-55k, so a pretty big variance and nothing I can know until the end of the year. I would rather just be surprised and excited if I can hit that one.

2 Likes

I’m in too! In 2020, I saved 35%. In 2021, it will be a stretch to get to 21%.

For income, I’ll have salary and retirement match (for now), plus any windfalls. For savings, reserve savings and retirement savings–403b and maaaaaaybe IRA as a place to put windfalls.

I also have a savings account for Larva, but I’m not sure whether I should count contributions as a savings item or just an expense item. In my spreadsheet, I’m excluding it from net worth calculations, so it seems consistent to do the same here.

I like Excel, so I have 2021’s baseline income and savings mapped out and I won’t get to 21% with those numbers–I’ll be about $2,000 short. Which means I’ll need about that much in money from the sky. So fingers crossed for good tax refunds (or possibly more COVID money, but I won’t hold me breath on that).

5 Likes

I am in for this again. Like last year I will probably diligently track and then fall off somewhere around August…I am looking to save about 30-35%, which is what I did in 2020. Hoping I can keep better track so I don’t have to do a pile of calculations at the end of the year!

7 Likes

I’m in! I’m continuing my Race to the Max spreadsheet for 2021, which will be closer to 50% if everything goes to plan.

1 Like

I just became eligible for my Workplace 401K, as my 1 year anniversary at the company is tomorrow.

First time in my life I’ve had an employer contribution (only 2nd time I’ve even had an employer sponsored account) - it’s 3% of my salary (not a match) which works out to $129.51 per month.

I am also putting in 10% which is $431.67 per month, for a total of $561.18 per month.

I’d go higher with the contribution but I am hoping to also max out my Traditional IRA for $6000 AND I am prioritizing saving cash right now in case I go to grad school in September. If I don’t, I’ll yank up up the contribution a bit.

8 Likes