Every year I would make a resolution to save more—but every year, something would come up that instantly squashed that resolution from becoming a reality. In 2017, though, my excuses ran thin—I had just gotten married, so none of my savings could go to wedding décor. There was nothing on the horizon requiring large amounts of money. So, instead of finding more reasons to spend, I finally settled into my resolution and made 2017 my year to save.
By the end of the year, my savings account was higher than ever before and I was well on my way to having a legitimate savings I could be proud of. Here's how I did it.
I CREATED A MINDSET
It's actually quite funny because the year I decided to really focus on savings is also the year I quit my full-time Editor job, moved back to my hometown, and decided to make freelance writing my full-time job. Call me crazy (I was!), but it worked. I spent the year finding writing jobs that fit my expertise and with this new method of income, I was able to create a new method of savings, too. Instead of using the money that was leftover after bills were paid to shop, I put that money directly into my savings. Seeing my account grow with each check only inspired me to continue putting more and more into the savings account, rather than the checking account.
I WAS EASY ON MYSELF
While I did save a lot, I didn't magically cure my addiction to shopping or stop eating out. I still let myself enjoy all the things that make me happy, just now, I did them in moderation. If I saved a lot one month, I would let myself go on a little shopping adventure the next month to balance it out. I was never too hard on myself when one month was slow and the savings didn't increase, which made it easier and more rewarding when I was able to save more the following month.
I SET A GOAL
My husband and I sat down and made a goal for our immediate future. We want to own a house, start our family, and feel financially comfortable. Having these tangible things spoken out loud made them feel very real—and made me feel a bit guiltier about buying another pair of jeans that I didn't need. It also felt like every dollar I put into my savings was going towards our future family, which only increased the amount I put in.
I MADE SMALL CHANGES
I'm definitely guilty of buying clothes online and never returning the ones I don't wear (anyone else?), so in 2017, I made a conscious effort to return things I didn't like or need. I also tried to use coupons as much as possible and took a different approach to grocery shopping, buying fruits and veggies that were on sale and forgoing items I didn't necessarily need that weren't on sale. These small changes ended up making a big difference, and as we go into 2018, I'm ready to see my savings grow even more.
Style Me Pretty Contributor - Jessica Tzikas is a freelance writer, editor, and content manager from South Florida, who recently moved back to the sunshine state after living in Philadelphia for the past few years. When she isn't writing, you can find her reading by the beach, spoiling her black lab, and exploring nearby towns with her new husband.