Take the Saving for 2014 Challenge (The Prize Is $250!)

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2014 challengeWe’re all about saving. Saving time, saving effort—and most of all, saving money.

But just plain “saving” isn’t nearly as satisfying as socking away funds for a goal, whether it’s a comfortable emergency fund of three to nine months of net income, college tuition for your two-year-old or a few extra bucks for holiday gifts.

In fact, a recent survey by SaveUp found that most people are saving toward one of five goals: a new car, a gift for someone, a vacation, a new computer or a new phone.

Whether these are the goals on your horizon or you have something else in mind, LearnVest can help you plan for the things you want–in our free Money Center, you can set a savings goal and track every penny of your progress. Through our Action Program, offered through LearnVest Planning Services, we provide financial plans, where a Certified Financial Planner™ works to help you get the most out of your money.

So with the new year fast approaching, for this month’s challenge, we want to know: What will you be saving for in 2014? And what’s your plan to reach that goal?

Once you post your story in the comments below, you’ll be entered to win $250! And be sure to use your email address when you comment—it won’t be visible to other users—so we can notify you if you win.

  • Juanita Williams

    When my husband was diagnosed with cancer last year, we had no savings account whatsoever. So, my goal is to save my first $5000 for our emergency savings account. I plan to contribute $450 per month into an online savings account. I will do this by having $450 automatically deducted from my paycheck.

  • dr ph

    I am saving to send my parents on an aniversary trip, hopefully a mediterranean cruise at the end of the summer. My siblings are chipping in too, so I plan to put 2% of my salary in a dedicated savings account. I will continue with my financial priorities – mainly my second retirement account. The budgeting rules have been a great help this year. ;)

  • Katti

    In 2014 I will be saving to pay off credit card debt and student loans. I have taken reaching this goal to the extreme. After frantically trying to find a job in my field for a year after college, I finally got my foot in the door and recently accepted a full time job in Alaska. I will be gaining experience in my field and achieving financial goals by living on an isolated island with only my coworkers. I will be sacrificing my social life, and most likely my sanity, to completely demolish my expenses. While working, my only expense will be my debt. If I can survive 2014, and erase my debt, I plan to start budgeting in things for me-such as traveling to someplace tropical!

  • rebeckaw

    I’m saving:

    – for retirement (in February it’ll be a year since starting my current job! Happy Anniversary to me!),

    –for a trip to Japan (I love cute things, and sushi! my friend has a conference there so I might redeem my airline frequent flier miles and go with her), and

    –possibly for purchasing my own apartment down the road (still researching this– it’s a big commitment so I’m making it a research project first!).

    Every little way I’m saving money (pbj for lunch a few times a week, picking the fruit that’s on sale, drinking coffee from work instead of getting Starbucks) makes me happy (even if it feels a little sad at the time) since I know it’s contributing to these bigger goals. Plus the satisfaction in seeing the numbers go up on my savings account is addicting. :)

  • MCAR

    I have a few savings goals in mind. I am currently saving for my 6-9 month emergency fund and for a new (used) car.

    How I am saving:
    1.) 20+% of each paycheck is automatically put into my savings account.
    2.) I work a 2nd job part-time on weekends. 50% of my earnings are automatically put into my savings account. It’s not much, but it adds up quickly!
    3.) Living at home (w/ parents) paying a modest “rent”. Not glamorous, but it saves me several hundred dollars a month, so its worth it for the time being.
    4.) Monthly cash-only budget for “wants” (eating out, clothes, entertainment, etc)…when its gone…its gone. Makes you super aware of what you are buying and how badly you want it.
    5.) 50% of any overtime I earn at my full-time job goes to my savings account…with the other 50% going to my regular account, I still am making more than my “anticipated” salary so I don’t even miss it!!

  • Suzy

    I am saving for a car. I’ve made it my goal to never have a car loan in my life. This is going to be challenging as I am driving a 1999 Civic with 177K miles on it. I’m hoping it lives until I can save entire cost. I throw everything that I can into a separate savings account as soon as I get my paycheck. While all of it doesn’t always stay there, it makes me seriously think about withdrawing money from it for something else, especially something frivolous.

  • mary

    I am socking away money to tackle my student loans, and to finish paying offmedical bills from my husband’s two surgeries that we are still paying on from 2 years ago.

  • http://www.jodimade.com/ Jodi Wade

    I would like to keep adding to my emergency fund. I opened a savings account just recently (do not know why I did not do this forever ago…). I would also like to buy a better sewing machine. I’m going to cook more and eat out less and also try to reduce my impulse purchases.

  • Kdg85

    Having a baby!

  • Raki

    I’m saving towards down payment for the house we are planning to buy. To reach that goal, I take up odd jobs on the side whenever they come up as well as selling stuff at home that we no longer need.

  • Regina Bergunio

    I’m saving for my wedding and my emergency fund. Since I’m starting a new life with my soon-to-be husband, I want to make sure we don’t start out in debt! Building a secure financial future is key.

  • JJ

    Must pay off the credit card, before the baby arrives!

  • Hattie

    I’m saving for my maternity leave! My goal is to be able to top up my maternity pay to the level of my usual wage by saving now.

  • Tiffany Laschinger

    I have 10 more months until I am debt free, but beyond my payments to that, I am saving for retirement, saving for an emergency fund, and saving for a new camera.

  • Amy

    I’m saving for graduate school (I’m a 21-yr old college senior) but in 2014 I really want to focus on putting money into a Roth IRA, and REALLY sticking to my budget, minimizing costs, and spending based on my life values, not just impulses.

  • lauren

    I am building up an emergency fund, and trying to save for a down payment on my first home. A few steps I recently took/am planning to take are:
    (1) Opening a separate checking account for “Spending money.” I tried the cash only thing for awhile but decided it wasn’t the best option for me, so I opened up a second account for my spending money. This is the only bank account I have a debit card linked to, and I put in a set amount each paycheck. Just like w/ a cash budget, when its gone its gone.
    (2) Automatic savings – I am planning to resume automatic savings, with a set amount put into savings each week. ?
    (3) Working 2 jobs, living on 1 job — In addition to my full time job, I have a regular part time job and also pick up a bit of odd work. As a rule, I base my budget off of my full-time job only.
    (4) Extra-income=extra savings — While my budget doesn’t leave a ton of room for saving from my primary income (I am aiming to get this to about 5-10% of my take home), I put 50% of any other earnings into savings

  • M.Andrea

    I’m saving so that I can take time off from my demanding job to raise my toddler, and hopefully baby #2, some time next year! I’ve started a monthly automatic transfer into my brokerage accounts, and my husband and I hav ebegun monthly “forensic” spending meetings to evaluate what we’ve spent money on in the past month and identify costs that we can cut in the future.

  • Rachel

    My first goal is to finish saving the rest of the money that I need to take a trip to London and Belgium. My second goal is to save $10,000 by the end of the year. Each paycheck, I put $100 into each of my savings accounts.

  • Ronald Bulinda

    We will be saving for a summer vacation and a new house.

  • Summer616

    I just got married in September 2013 and moved in with my in-laws to save for a house. If we still had an apartment, that would be about $1600/month in rent & utilities – so I think we should at LEAST be able to save that. That means we should each save $200/week, which is roughly $19-20,000/year. My goal is to save a significant amount to put a down payment on a house in the Winter of 2015!
    *We also save small bills and change in huge empty water jug, I cut out manicures and pedicures, we don’t eat out or drink as much as we used to – and the in-laws help a LOT, so this should EASY!!

  • Danielle

    I’m saving to pay off my school loan – hopefully in 24 months or less!

  • Cristina

    I’m saving to visit my best friend, who lives in Seattle. I miss him so much!

  • Amy

    I’ll have two new savings goals in 2014: a vacation fund and a Christmas fund. I spent a lot more for Christmas this year than I expected, so along with my 401k money, I’ll have $50 each month for Christmas and $150 each month for vacation taken out of my paycheck before it’s deposited in my checking account. I won’t be tempted to spend money I can’t see in my checking account.

  • Alysha

    I’m working on paying off my department store credit cards. Once those are paid off, I want to use that money to save for an emergency fund.

  • GF

    as always, saving for retirement!

  • Fran H

    Emergency fund has been depleted, so that comes first. Then a home renovation fund

  • Robin

    My goal for 2014 is to get 3-6 months of living expenses saved so I can quit my crappy job and be self-employed once and for all!
    So far I have part of my paycheck direct deposited into a savings account, I have 25 cents of every debit card purchase put into my savings, and I’ve set up a custom CD account that I can deposit regularly into and set for a term of my choice… having it unaccessible for a period of time helps the money stay put!

  • Melanie

    I’ll be saving to start my retirement account by the time I turn 21. With freedom comes responsibility!

  • MBJ

    My husband and I are planning on buying a house this year. I am trying to budget so that we can get some new furniture while still putting adequate amounts into savings.

  • Alex

    My fiance and I are saving for our wedding! Our goal is $11,000. We’ve already saved $4300, and our wedding is in August! We’re going to reach this goal by:
    1.) Each contributing $300/month to our wedding savings account
    2.) My parents contribute between $100-$200/month
    3.) Going out to eat less and stretching our grocery budget farther by meal planning ($240/month)
    4.) My fiance carpools the 20+ miles to work, which saves him approx. $100 a month
    In the meantime, I’m also paying for grad school ($100/month), paying down my student loans ($155/month), and saving 6% toward retirement ($177/month) – On a $35,400 income.
    We have had to cut back on a lot of frills, but learning to budget early in our relationship is setting a firm foundation for our financial future together.

  • Whitney

    i’m saving up to pay off my debt and for a big move. My boyfriend and I will finally be able to live in the same city after 5 years of long distance. I want to make sure everything, especially my finances, is in tip top shape before the big change!

  • bisque

    I’m saving for a trip to seoul, korea and building my emergency fund. Smartypig is my savings account of choice.

  • Alma Vazquez

    This year I am saving to create a 6 month emergency fund. I opened a separate savings account for it and I am making automatic deposits. I determined the amount I could put aside bi weekly by creating a very detailed monthly budget.

  • Kristin Thomas

    I’ll be paying down debt while saving for retirement and college for my kids.

  • ksgirl73

    I’m saving up for a move to a less expensive apartment closer to work. I’m hoping to get some new furniture too. In addition to the couple hundred I add to my savings every month and my separate Christmas savings account, I also save all my coins. It doesn’t add up to a lot, but every Sunday I clean out the change in my wallet and add it to the jar. I’m also starting the 52 week challenge this year and putting that money away for new furniture.

  • Parker in Houston

    My husband and I are newly married and luckily on the same page as far as our financial goal to be totally free of debt as quickly as possible. To accomplish this goal by the end of 2014, we have committed to living in our camper trailer – 220 sq.ft. of cozy comfort! This allows us to live close to work, friends and activities while paying practically nothing for rent. We are also following a mostly vegan diet so as to cut down on groceries (meat and dairy cost the most money at the store) and we buy our produce from a local organic co-op. We feel healthier already and have the added benefit of really learning how to live with each other!

  • sandy weinstein

    thank goodness i did a lot of saving when i was working …i am retired now and have lots of expenses. so i may have to get a part time job. i am trying to save as much as i can b/c i am single and have no one to care for me as i cared for my mother for over 12 yrs, which is the reason i had to take early retirement and move back home. i am using coupons and trying to max out my savings.