How realistic does the idea of saving money seem to you right now? What’s on your plate when it comes to your financial responsibilities? How much wiggle room do you have in your budget? Depending on the answers to these questions, the idea of saving money might seem like a far-fetched idea. Between rent/mortgage payments, grocery bills, utility bills, car expenses, and everything else, your budget might already be at capacity.
As overwhelming as things may feel, the truth is that unless you’ve already made an extremely concerted effort to cut back on your spending and implement as many money saving tips as possible, there’s a good chance that there may be some adjustments you can make to help you save your money!
Today, we’re going to take a look at some simple but effective money saving techniques and some creative budgeting ideas to help you get a better understanding of how to save up money.
How to Save Money on a Low Income
Saving money might feel like a pipe dream when you’re living off a minimum wage salary, but if you have the right money saving tips in hand, you may be able to squirrel away enough money here and there to start contributing to your savings and, most importantly, build an emergency fund. This is a savings fund specifically designed to help you handle emergency expenses.
We’re not saying it’ll be easy, but if you stay disciplined and commit yourself, saving money can be within your reach! These money savings tips will hopefully help you get started.
1. Start Budgeting
If you’re already working within the confines of a well-optimized budget that’s totally geared towards your financial situation, then you’re already ahead of the game! The importance of budgeting can’t be understated, as it gives you insights into how much money you have coming in, what you’re spending your money on, and a whole host of other important details pertaining to your financial standing.
If you’re looking to save your money, this is the place to start. But if you’re not working with a specific budget, don’t panic! It’s never too late to get started. If you want an easy way to introduce yourself to the world of budgeting, you can do some research on free personal finance apps that’ll do a lot of the heavy lifting when it comes to putting together a budget. Otherwise, scour the internet for different budgeting techniques to find something that appeals to you. There’s more than one way to manage your finances, so you’ll need to find something that works for your situation. To help start you off on the right foot, take a look at some of the budgeting guides that we have on our blog:
While this may sound a little backwards, the more effectively you budget and manage your money, the more financial freedom you’re likely to end up with. Ultimately, that’s what these money saving tips are about!
2. Don’t Burn Through Large Amounts of Money in One Go
Whether you’ve just gotten your tax return, or you’ve been given a hefty cash gift from a family member, getting a windfall of cash is a great feeling. But as tempting as it might be to go out and treat yourself, the smartest thing you can do is to find a more productive use for this money.
Your specific financial situation is going to play some part in determining what the best use of this money is, but you might want to consider doing things like:
- Contributing to your retirement fund
- Starting an emergency fund
- Paying off debt
- Investing it wisely
Again, the financial position you’re in will play a role in dictating what you do with this money, but windfalls are a great opportunity to make a big jump forward on your savings goals, so don’t waste them!
3. Save Your Change
Don’t think your extra change can pay dividends? Think again. While this may not seem like the most lucrative way to save your money, stowing away every bit of change you come into over the course of a year can pay off more than you think.
When you buy something using cash, put aside whatever change you get back. When the week is coming to a close, take all the change you’ve saved and put it into a jar. By the end of the year, you may end up with more change set aside than you would have thought, and you can put all of this to good use.
If you’re thinking that this may not be a particularly effective way to save your money just based on the fact that you don’t use cash very often, you may want to change that. While using credit cards wisely can be an effective way to accumulate rewards, some people just have an easier time regulating their spending if they have cash in hand. If this sounds like you, you may want to start using cash more often.
4. Eat Out Less
While this one might sound easy enough, it can be a little tougher to follow through with in practice. Going through sales flyers, putting together a grocery list, meal planning for the week, and actually putting meals together can take more discipline than you might expect, and the temptation to reach for your phone to order takeout can be tough to resist. When you have a lot on the go, you might not feel like you have the time to spend going through the process of making most of your meals at home. But if you can manage to fight through the temptation of going for the easy option, it can help you save your money in the long run.
Try to designate some time on the weekend to plan your meals out in advance. See what’s on sale at the grocery store, plan out a few meals you can make in bulk, and spend some time meal prepping before your weekly responsibilities really start to ramp up. It’ll also help to put together some healthy snacks to help you stave off hunger when the urge for fast food strikes.
Having said all that, going through this process with no immediate reward in sight can make it a little more difficult to follow through, so there’s no shame in treating yourself from time to time. Just do your best to make sure that most of what you eat is what you’ve prepared at home.
5. Use Credit Wisely
Like we mentioned earlier, if you have a problem regulating your spending, credit cards can be a little dangerous to have at your disposal. All it takes is a few extra swipes of your card to stack up debt that you can’t afford to pay off.
Having said that, if you don’t have any impulse control issues with your credit card and you always make sure you can afford to pay it off, taking advantage of the rewards that often come with them is a great way to save your money.
Cashback rewards and travel points are two of the more common benefits that credit card issuers offer. You can use cashback dollars on any of your normal expenses and take the money you had earmarked for that expense to put towards your savings. If you had been saving up for a trip, you may be able to use your travel points to take care of some the cost of your vacation. In either case, make sure that when you use your credit card, you have the means to pay back what you owe right away. You don’t want to accidentally slip into a cycle of debt.
6. Pick up a Side Hustle
If you feel like you’ve done what you can to cut back on your spending and save your money, but you’re still looking for a little financial boost, look for ways to increase your income in addition to cutting back on what you’re spending.
If you have some extra room in your schedule, you can look at picking up some side jobs. This could be things like dog walking, babysitting, doing yard work, or any sort of odd jobs. If you’re looking for something flexible, you can become a driver for a ride-sharing service. If you’ve got a particular skillset like writing, photography, or graphic design, you can start to freelance. You may also want to look into ways to make passive income.
Use These Money Saving Tips to Save Your Money
Finding room in your budget to save your money can be a tall order, especially when you’re living on a tight budget and just making ends meet. At times, it might feel like a bit of grind and the rewards aren’t always immediately in view. While there’s usually some short-term sacrifice involved with figuring out how to save up money, the long-term gain is worth it. Knowing you have an emergency fund at the ready to help you handle emergency expenses can be a huge load off your shoulders, and financial freedom is something worth striving for.
So, we hope these money saving tips have helped and we wish you the best of luck on your journey to financial stability!
Posted in: Budgeting