23 in 2023 Challenge: Save 23% of your income in 2023

I count it as both income and savings.


Yup both income and savings. Increases your gross but also increases your savings


Thanks! That was my initial impulse, but then I started overthinking it, lol.


In another thread there was a discussion of whether gift cards should be income. I have never counted them this way (I am a big believer in the YMOYL principle that there is no typical month anyway), but this month we received almost $800 in EBT/SNAP benefits (long story, actually meant for the XFP) so it looks in YNAB like we are only spending a few hundred dollars on groceries. That has me wondering whether it’s worth accounting for gift cards.

YNAB users: Does anyone have a strategy for counting gift cards as income? Should I make an Account category for it?

(I also don’t count cash. Cash is like Monopoly money to me. It doesn’t feel real somehow.)

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January check in:

Pre-tax income: $5964
Total savings: $1723.28
Savings percentage: %28.89

This was a very high income month for me. Normally I would have saved more than this, but it was also a high spend month due to things related to buying a house (inspection and appraisal).

February and March will likely be low income months (especially from my pet sitting job – mid Jan through March is the slow season), plus will have costs associated with moving even though it’s a local move, so I wouldn’t be surprised if I’m unable to keep to a 23% rate then. We’ll see!


My pre-tax income this year is $50,000 (unless something changes), so my goal is to save $11,500 total. 3% is automatically put towards retirement, so I only really need to save $10,000 more-- $834 a month. I’ll be spending more in the summer with moving and traveling (although I’ve already set aside some money for that in sinking funds), but I hope to save more in the spring and fall to compensate. Here goes!


January Update: Saved $1950 this month! While groceries were more expensive than I wanted them to be, and I splurged on cat toys, I didn’t spend as much as I thought I was going to. Lowered gas prices also helped a bunch. Hoping to keep up the momentum in February! I’m currently $1950 / $10000 to my goal, almost %20 already.


check in for January!

my goal was to get my RDSP account opened (I’m canadian on long term disability and have the disability tax credit which will mean that the govt matches my contributions up to $3500 each year). got that set up and made my first contributions! it will be a few weeks before I get the matching funds, but I’ve counted them in my total for the month. I’m also not 100% sure what my mortgage principal vs interest is, so I’ve based it on the average amount from last year. Mini goal for february will be not to have negative in the short term savings accounts!

short term savings: -20
emergency fund: 200
RRSP: 100
TFSA: 500
RDSP: 500
mortgage: 240
total: $1520


I only just did my Feb 1 check in (for January results, markets are up, yay).

January check-in

roth401(k): $704
rothIRA: $500
mortgage principal: $433
total: $1637

gross income: $7042
saved: 23.2%


I was on vacation so only just did the calculations for January. Very happy to see that my net worth went up this month even though we spent more than our take-home pay. Oops.

We had savings only from our paychecks, so the Boy’s 401(k) and HSA, my HSA and 457(b), and my pension if you count that. Let’s do the numbers with the pension.

Gross (all sources): $9353
Savings: $1988
Percent saved: $20.8%

AND I think that number is inflated- we got an extra $782 (long story) and saved all of it. So, we are not on track to meet this goal yet. And I’m not sure if it will wind up being realistic as our income is just not very high right now. (If you don’t follow me elsewhere, we have an infant and we trade off work days to care for her.) But we’ll see! We may get used to the reduced income and find our footing.


Hi, I’d like to join! Here are my numbers from January:

January was weird for loans because I changed the due date - ended up paying twice as much in February.

Right now I’m prioritizing the emergency fund.

Not sure about this: I get paid once on the last of the month. I made a big transfer on Jan 5th with “leftover December money.” Does this still count towards my '23 savings since it happened in the calendar year?


I personally would say yes, if it makes sense for YOU (this is for YOUR benefit after all), and as long as you also don’t include a Jan 05 2024 transfer in your totals for 2023 (if that makes sense)!


February check in:

Pre-tax income: $3752
Total savings: $662.85
Savings percentage: %17.66

YTD percentage is %24.56

I suspect March will be another low savings month, because it is the month we are actually moving and (hopefully) doing some work on the new house. But hopefully from there we will be able to focus a bit more on saving again.


February Update: Earned $3,003.13, saved $1684.17! So I’m currently $3634 / $10000, 36% of the way to my goal!

Like last month, did much better in savings than I need to in order to reach my goal, which is encouraging. Especially because the spring is about to get more expensive. My rent is down which is nice, but I’m anticipating replacing the rear brakes on my car, finally committing and buying plane ticket + hotel room for a friend’s wedding this summer, and a tattoo in April. I’m trying to save up for a deposit + first month’s rent on a new place starting in June. Not to mention another trip I’m planning for August…

Question-- do purchases made from sinking funds count against savings vs spending on a monthly basis? For example, when I get my tattoo (which I already have savings for in a sinking fund), do I subtract that amount from my income for that month to determine my savings?



Gross pay: $7886
Savings (all paycheck deductions): 1387

Percent saved: 17.6%

Gross income: 17421
Saved: 2910

Percent saved YTD: $16.7%

So, we are not on track for this and I don’t think we’re going to meet the goal unless something drastic changes. In fact, I just reduced our paycheck deductions because we aren’t covering our monthly expenses! BUT, I’m going to keep calculating this because I’ve never done this exercise before and I’m finding it super useful.

We’re in a new and different financial position this year and I’d like to figure out how sustainable it is. Are we just barely treading water and we’ll need to make a change ASAP (eg, when the cuckoo goes to full-day pre-K or kindergarten, or even earlier when she’s old enough that childcare is less expensive)? Or could we make this work long-term? And digging into these numbers if part of it!


February update! I’ve added two new savings funds. One for long term travel, one for a future house (?!).

My student loan due date changed, so after 0 charge in January it double-charged in the calendar month of February.


I forgot to post in Jan so this is Jan/Feb. It includes my large tax refund, so definitely not normal. My sales are starting strong this year, so fingers crossed it continues and good commission checks mean I can join the $20,230 challenge. I won’t really know that until late summer or so.

Total income $9944
Total saved $6320



March update: Earned $2,997 and saved $1479. I went back and forth on this a lot because I spent more on plane tickets and didn’t know whether to count that against my savings since technically the money came out of a sinking fund. I came to the realization that my instinct is to count it as monthly spending even though I specifically saved up for it-- a marker of my hesitation to actually spend the money I’m saving even when I’m saving it for that exact purpose. So to be kind to myself, and reinforce that the point of savings and sinking funds is for situations like these, I’m not counting the cost of the tickets against my monthly savings.

With this in mind, I’m already $5,113 / $10,000, 51% of the way to my goal. I’m way ahead of pace to reach my goal before the end of the year, but the $23,000 challenge is too high for me to reach…


As expected, this was another low savings month — multiple trips to Ikea and Lowe’s for house stuff, plane ticket for upcoming visit to family, had to replace pricey headphones (that make a huge difference in my quality of life), etc. Really hoping to knuckle down and focus on saving again this month!

March check in:

Pre-tax income: $4000
Total savings: $489.34
Savings percentage: %12.23

YTD percentage is %20.96


Are you including the principle you’re paying on your shiny new mortgage? Because that counts too!