Did I Save $20,000 This Year? The Final Tally!

January 2, 2015

My goal in 2014 was to save $20,000. How did I do?


$20,000 in 2014.  That was the goal.  This time last year, I was trying to save up for an emergency fund, pay for a wedding and try to funnel whatever spare change I could to make that happen.  Through the course of the year, I learned a LOT about frugality and I channeled my energy into both cutting needless spending but also into making more money.  If I could sell it, work it, or leverage it, I did. I hustled.  Hard.

There are lots of ways to save money, but really, if you’re not making a ton to begin with, you’ll find that even the best frugal tactics can leave you feeling deflated and frustrated.  Saving $100 a month by canceling a gym membership and cable can feel good at first, but then you may find your debt or your savings goals still feel so big and far away- the next component is to try and earn more.  It’s not always easy to sit at home to save money instead of going out, but if you can weave in a side hustle (like graphic design work, babysitting, selling your stuff on ebay) it makes the sacrifices a bit sweeter- you’re killing two birds with one stone: earning & saving simultaneously.

While I originally intended to update y’all every month with my progress, I started to realize that the updates weren’t that exciting.  With each paycheck, I would automatically (or automagically as some of us call it) squirrel away a pre-determined amount into a separate bank account that I couldn’t easily withdraw money from. I used CapitalOne360 Savings for those automatic savings and their app was really helpful to track my progress when I needed a morale boost and the shoe aisle at TJMaxx was calling my name…

Then, there was that other update…we called the wedding off.  Ya, if you didn’t hear about that, well, the wedding isn’t happening, but the savings are still there, so it’s still a win in my book.

So how’d I do on my quest to hit $20k?

….I saved a total of $19,127 in 2014!


So close right?!  Well, back in November, I technically did hit the $20,000 mark but due to some life changes, I had an unplanned IKEA run, a new mattress to buy and a hefty deposit on my apartment which knocked me down about $3k when all was said and done, so I’m trying to get back up.

I have around $15,000 in my “non” wedding fund and $4,000 in an emergency fund and even if I’m about $880 behind at the current time I am so proud of my hustle this year.  I took on a lot of extra writing gigs, avoided shopping for long periods of time when my paychecks were stretched thin to hit my goals, worked hard at work to earn a promotion and sold off as much stuff as I could.  I can honestly say I hustled as hard as I could and I’m proud of the tremendous progress I made this year.


So, how’d you do on your goals this year?

What did you learn in 2014?



34 comments so far.

34 responses to “Did I Save $20,000 This Year? The Final Tally!”

  1. That is so amazing! I have a little savings built up now but my major goal for 2015 is to put 1k a month on my student loans so they’ll be about 60% paid off by the end of the year.

  2. Becky says:

    Go you! That’s so awesome! It’s my goal to make more money this year, and I’m looking around for as many side hustles as I can. I just have a hard time finding freelance writing gigs (and it’s hard to get started freelance writing, IMO), but I’m looking for more work, and hopefully will be able to put my savings in full swing this year.

    • Shannyn says:

      Thank you! It can be tough to get into freelance writing. Make as many connections as you can within the blogging community, as many gigs are found through recommendations and word of mouth. You can also check the Problogger job boards for opportunities. The key is not being afraid to send pitches to blogs you’d like to write for, and to get your name out there with guest posts.

  3. Congratulations!! This is a HUGE amount, and even if you’re a little behind where you wanted to be, you should absolutely be SO proud.

  4. Mish says:

    Damn woman! You did an awesome job! I do believe you might have inspired me. Being a newly single Momma I am struggling to keep my head above water. I need to change this. It’s too stressful and exhausting. This Momma is going to kick some major financial savings butt this year! Thank you for your inspiration! Happy New Year!!

    • Shannyn says:

      Thank you – so glad to hear I inspired you! Happy New Year!

      • Gloria says:

        I am very proud of you lady!! I am trying to save at least 20k so I can go back to school full time and work less hours and be done a bit faster. I will sadly say good bye to my Amazon prime membership in order to help me stay away from shopping until I reach my goal. Thanks for your wonderful ideas!!

  5. We love using the Capital One 360 account. We have been funneling money there every paycheck as a back up fund. We did have quite a bit saved then we paid in all cash for a kitchen reno. Time to start building back up.

    To help with that I’m pondering selling off most of my large fabric stash, supplies, etc. I just don’t have time to right now to devote to that “business.”

    Reading this post reminded to put that plan together and hustle a bit more to see our goals in the savings account.

    Good luck on your new start.

    • Shannyn says:

      Awesome! Glad to hear that. It’s not great to sell things off when you want to hold onto them for future use, but it’s important to prioritize. If you’d rather have the savings, go for it.

  6. Good for you! Believe me, I know how hard it is! I just finished grad school and looking at that mound of debt is overwhelming. And life changes are just as overwhelming (I’ve been through my share fair ), but it’s a new year! I wish the best of luck and many successes in 2015!

    • Shannyn says:

      Good luck to you this year as well! Take the student loan debt one chunk at a time. It’s a little less overwhelming that way!

  7. moneystepper says:

    SO close!! However, I’m guessing that was a stretch goal, so well done for getting so darn close to it!

    And, look on the bright side, hey? You now have $15k to start investing…! :S

  8. Damn girl, I totally respect your hustle. Can you link some of the articles to how you did that in a little more detail. I would LOVE to hear more!

  9. Congratulations! $20,000 is a lot of money and I’m sure you worked your butt off for it! I hope that you plan to do something fun with a little bit of that money. 🙂

    I did well on my 2014 goals and I can’t wait to see what I can do in 2015!

  10. Kristin says:

    That is so amazing! I did the 52 week saving plan so saved the $1378 from that (I’m doing it again this year too). But, gosh, $20000 seems so huge! I want to make my goals bigger for sure if you can do that!

    • Shannyn says:

      Any amount saved is still great! That shows you can commit to a challenge, too. Just bump up the amount this year and you’ll save more, I’m sure!

  11. That is amazing! I’m trying to save $15k by September and it’s definitely hard to save such a large amount, but watching it grow is amazing. Your goal is inspiring!

  12. Baaba says:

    I was inspired by you savings goal you started in the beginning for 2014. As hard as it was living in NYC ( with all the temptation to spend), I was able to meet 80% of my goal. Thanks for being a true inspiration.

    • Shannyn says:

      That is so amazing to hear, thank you! NYC makes things a bit more difficult, so congratulations on getting 80% of the way there!

  13. Wow, that’s an awesome achievement! I have a similar financial goal for this year, but it would definitely mean doing more side-hustling this year. We’ll just have to see how it goes 🙂

  14. Marcia M says:

    I’ve been a longtime reader, but non-poster, but this deserves huge KUDOS. Over the past year you’ve inspired me not only to be healthier, but to run more (hard in the winter in AK, but for Disney? H–L yes!), and to reach bigger financial goals. Keep up the tips, and thanks!

  15. Sally says:

    You are freaking RICH!! Seriously, that’s awesome. 2014 was good, but I didn’t set a single financial goal, this year it’s to at least max out my 401K and save a total of 35% of my income. It’s big but doable!

  16. Alyssa says:

    Awesome job! That was a huge goal and you kicked it’s butt!

    My goal this year was to save about $10000 for my wedding. I kind of lost track late in the year when we got a joint checking account and started paying for wedding stuff. But I know I saved at least $8000 and the wedding is paid off.

    My goal this coming year is to figure out a new budget and start saving for a house down payment!

    • Shannyn says:

      Thanks! $8,000 is still awesome, and having your wedding paid off is the important thing. Good luck on budgeting and saving for the down payment!

  17. Lisa says:

    $20,000 in a year! That’s awesome! I love Capital One 360, they make saving super easy!

  18. Nicole Brians says:

    Great job! Your stories are just amazing.

  19. Stephanie Greene says:

    You are really the Queen at this, congratulations!


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