As I talked about in my last post, 2018 is going to be a year dedicated to really taking care of and bettering myself. A big part of that self-care is being smart about how I save and spend my money.
Looking at my bank account is often a very nerve-wracking task, but it can be especially painful immediately after the holidays. I know I can't be the only one out here, right?
One of the things that has really bothered me in the time between graduating college and starting my first job is the depletion of the savings account that I had be saving essentially since birth. The big reason for that was not having a solid job before my student loans repayments kicked in. But having been in my new position for about a year and moving into my new place and developing and understanding of my budget month-to-month, I feel more comfortable putting away money from each paycheck into a savings account to build that back up.
I also want to improve my budgeting to ensure that moving that bit of money over to my savings is not as painful as it would have been when I initially started out. I rely on apps like Mint to let me know when I am spending too much in a certain area, like entertainment or eating out (which I need to cut back substantially on!) I'm also looking at certain products I can spend less on.
Pro tip: TJ Maxx has a great selection of products like shampoo/conditioner in large salon pump bottles that will take you a bit further than the products in the drug stores. Plus, it's just so much fun to browse through the unique brands and products that they carry each time I walk into the store.
I have doubled down on making my coffee at home each morning before I leave for work. I use a French press, so it's an actual process to make it, but the end product is just so much better than anything I get at Starbs.
As I mentioned before, eating lunch out is a huge weakness of mine. It's hard to find soup or a salad appetizing after sitting through a two hour long meeting that ends right in the neighborhood of lunchtime. But the sandwiches from the conveniently located Mediterranean restaurant downstairs are no more (or at least they will be significantly reduced!) I've started making large pots of soup to take for lunch during the week. And if I do say so myself, I've produced some very yummy dishes!
I've also started using more budget-friendly products, like Harry's razors, which can be found at Target. They are less price-y than many women's razors (that pink tax, amirite?) and tbh provides a better shave. For the first time in a long time, buying razor refills doesn't stress me out because the refill pack I usually get is less than $10!
Cutting down on spending doesn't mean you are cutting out the enjoyable, luxurious things. You can find luxury without dropping a good portion of your paycheck in one shopping trip. Look around and find those things that work wonders for you. You might be surprised at how much it DOESN'T cost you.
How will you make a point of saving in 2018?