Join the 2021 SMART Savings Challenge!

Hi Goodbudgeters!

Welcome to the 2021 SMART Savings Challenge. If you’re looking to save up for something specific or paydown debt in 2021, you’ve come to the right place. When your money goals are SMART — specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound — you give yourself the best chance of succeeding. And when you join a group of people all working towards similar things, you give yourself an even better chance of making your goals a reality. Why not give yourself the best chance of succeeding and join the challenge!

To join, just leave a comment below with your SMART money goal for 2021. If you don’t have an account for our forums, you’ll be asked to make one before leaving a comment.

Starting in January, each month we’ll check in with you to see how you’re doing, give you some questions to help you process your progress, and encourage you along the way. You’ll also have the chance to share your updates with the other Goodbudgeters on the challenge with you.

If you’re still working to define your SMART goal, here are some possible goals to get you thinking:

  • Pay off debt
    • Pay off $5,000 on car loan by Dec 31 by paying a total of $416 per month for 12 months
  • Save for vacation
    • Save up $1,500 for a vacation in the woods by July 1 by setting aside $250 per month for 6 months
  • Build an emergency fund
    • Set aside $100 per month for 12 months to build a fund of $1200 by Dec 31
  • See more goal ideas here

Once you have your goal, be sure to put it into Goodbudget:

  • Name your goal by adding a Goal Envelope or by creating (or updating) a Debt Account for your pay off plans
  • Set a target number
  • Decide how much you’ll contribute each month
  • Check that this fits with the rest of your budget

Leave a comment and let us know what your goal for the 2021 SMART Savings Challenge is!


I’m Jane, and I would like to save up $5,000 by June 1 for some needed dental work!


My goal is to pay for my husband’s dental bills without going into debt. Since he will be getting it done in stages throughout the year, I don’t know how to set a target date, but I’d estimate 2,000 per quarter.


To save $5000 by the end of the year


Would like to pay off my credit card debt this year 2021 but still save money for retirement occulting in 2022 - not sure best way to plan this


Save money to splurge by December 2021. Put away $100 monthly into my SPLURGE account.


Hi I would like to save for an emergency fund.

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Welcome, Jane!

That’s a great goal! Do you have an amount you’d like to save and a date you’d like to save by?

Love that! Having space for fun is super important.

Welcome abroad, Dawn! I think your idea of setting a quarterly goal makes sense, since the dental work will be done in stages.

Thanks for sharing! Those are both awesome goals. Ultimately, choosing which to tackle first will depend on what works best with your financial situation. Speaking with a financial advisor or a budget savvy friend might help you come up with a plan so you have a clear goal for 2021.

I would like to pay off a credit card debt $10000


Hello! I would like to lessen some debt which will increase my credit score so I can get a better interest rate on my first home.

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Great goal! Do you have a specific amount and due date that you’d like to hit that target by?

That’s the part I have to work more closely on. I gave myself a due date of April 1st. But, I really have to set a money goal of my wants and needs.


I don’t have a goal just yet, but dropping by to say this is a great idea and kudos to everybody with specific goals!

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I would like to have 6k of debt paid off by June 2021


I am saving for a bathroom remodel - my ultimate goal is $12,000, and I already have $8,000 set aside. My goal is to save $250/month for 16 months, which will set me up for a summer 2022 remodel project.