$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 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.