When money is tight, it may seem so hard to stretch out your money. Believe it or not: there are easy ways to save money on a tight budget.
It's always important to save money even a small amount no matter how much money you make. Small amounts can make a big difference tomorrow.
The truth is being frugal simply means having a thorough understanding of your finances and knowing how to best spend your money.
Here's the reality:
There are ways to save money fast without you having to exert a lot of effort. If you are ready: Read on!
Believe it or not: Many people are making more than $100K per year but are not able to save a lot.
How To Save Money With A Low Income
Here are some ideas to put money back in your savings bank account with minor tweaks on how you spend now. Manyy people have overlooked these or are not doing that's costing them money:
Utilities almost always take a huge portion of anyone's budget. After all, utilities are basic necessities. From internet to electric services, there are ways to save extra now.
1. Negotiate new rates
If you live in a deregulated state, there may be extra options for you to negotiate or seek a new service provider. That's because you'll find more competitors for the same service that offers better prices.
Make a phone call and ask your provider what it can do for you to slash some dollars on your bill.Believe it or not: Your service provider will likely find you some savings.
If you're not the negotiator type, you could use services like Trim to help you out. It'll look at your bills, analyzes where your spending patterns, and take action to save you money. See my Trim review here.
Trim can negotiate bills like internet, cable, medical bills, phone, etc. It doesn't help though with credit cards.
2. Seal off drafts
Drafts can mean high electric bills especially during winter time when your heater is on a blast.
Always check for gaps around windows and/or doors. Seal them with foam to keep the heat in your home.
3. Unplug electronics
Always unplug unused electronics. Regardless if those plugs are used or not, they will consume energy while they are plugged in.
You can also invest in an energy-saving power strip to help you save time when unplugging things like TV, computer and other equipment.
We all need to eat. That said, grocery bills can be high at times. Here are some ways to help you cut back grocery expenses.
4. Buy in bulk
When it makes sense, try to buy in bulk as it could save you more money. This is because bulk items almost always come with a discount.
That said, don't buy perishables items in bulk when you can't use them before they spoil. If you do, you'd be losing money in the process and not saving one.
5. Don't forget the price match
Several stores will entertain price matching especially when it comes to big items. For those who are busy and don't have time for coupons, price matching can be a good way to cut back on your grocery bill.
All you need to do is bring the competitor ads and show them to the cashier for price matching during your checkout.
6. Find alternatives to save money per month
I'm referring to generic, store brands. Believe it or not, store brands are also of quality and can compete with those branded ones.
Whether it is food that you're buying or toiletries, you can always find cheap, quality substitutes for your branded items at a steep discount.
Bonus: Use the right credit cards
There are specific credit cards for specific things. If your credit card provides you cash back, then, use that instead of using a credit card that doesn't provide one.
Just make sure you pay your debt in full every month and on time to avoid interest rate charges.
Activities and Entertainment
Who says that fun activities and entertainment need to cost money? There are thousands of ways to get the activities and entertainment you want without costing you a fortune.
Here are some of them:
7. Subscribe to streaming platforms
You can easily save money on a tight budget per month just by cutting your cable subscription. When you do, you can get a monthly subscription on Hulu, Netflix, among others for dirt cheap price.
Not to mention that you can find thousands of movies and shows with just a click of a button on these streaming platforms.
8. Find group deals
Yes, you don't have to spend money to get the entertainment you want. Whether you go to Living Social or Groupon, you'll find endless deals at steep discounts.
Believe it or not:You may even find deals that offer up to 99% in discount. I've bought and availed several of those in the past and they were all worth it.
That said, make sure to read the fine print to determine the deals' expiration dates, exclusions, and other rules.
9. Go for city activities
If you live in a big city that's considered tourist spots, you'll find that there are so many free concerts, entertainment, parks, etc.
In short, you don't need to spend money to get great entertainment.
For example, I live to close to D.C. That means I get to go to monuments, parks, etc. around that area and not pay a single dime.
Other Ways To Save Money On A Tight Budget
10. Establish a budget
Your first step should always be to establish a budget either for emergency fund, for day to day bills, among others.
You can do this by writing down all your monthly income and expenses in a spreadsheet, so you can get a holistic view of your finances. Decide which expenses are necessities and which aren’t, and plan to stick within your necessary expenses each month.There are also some budgeting apps that can help you get started if the idea of working with a spreadsheet is intimidating.
11. Make money from what you buy
My wife and I have made more than $5,000 in two years just by running these apps in our smartphone's background (for the most part, that is).
Here's a rundown on where you can use the following apps:
- Swagbucks – anything you do online (e.g., shopping, watching videos, playing games, etc.)
- Ibotta – for grocery shopping
- Survey Junkie – for taking paid online surveys
- Rakuten – anything you buy online
12. Save with a purpose
You’ve likely heard of the importance of saving money or having to set aside each month, but that can be hard to do when you don’t have a goal in mind.Decide what you want to put your money towards— whether it’s funding emergency savings or putting away for a major purchase, having a clear goal in mind can make saving much easier.
If you need help reaching your savings goal, a better option is to use Qapital. It can help you automatically save money by doing things you already do like riding a bike, cleaning your house, etc. It's a simple idea that has a great impact.
First, you set a goal. For me, it was to save enough to take a Las Vegas trip. I set “rules,” which, when triggered, transfer money into my Qapital account.
For example, if I meet my daily-step goal, $4 is transferred in. Or if I make a purchase of $5.85, the leftover 15 cents is transferred over.
To put things in dollar terms, we saved $6,000 last year towards our goals because of Qapital. We went from having budget headaches to perfecting our budget and saving money.
13. Save automatically
After you’ve given yourself a savings goal, your next step is to start funding your savings account. That's a great way to do it.
If you find it hard to set aside money each month, one of the best things you can do for yourself is to automate your savings.
This ensures that your money continues to grow without you having to worry about putting money away. Doing this, your savings should add up faster than you think.
Automating your savings helps you to take control of your savings goals without actually even trying it.
That's the whole premise with Rize. I decide how much I want to save for each goal, set a deadline, and let Rize do everything from there. It helps me save without me taking a single step and lifting a finger.
Click here now to get started with Rize and make savings as easy as it can be (even easier that putting money into your checking account).
14. Take advantage of employer match
If your employer offers a match on your 401(k), try to max out your contributions to take advantage of their match.
If you don’t, you’ll essentially be giving up free money at your employer’s expense. If you do, make sure you aren't paying too much fees on the ETFs and mutual funds within your 401(k) account.
According to Morningstar Research, the average expense charged by ETFs and mutual funds is 0.61%.
An app called Blooom will spot hidden fees, tell you if your portfolio is too aggressive or not, and find out how much you could be missing out on by DIY-ing your 401k.To put things in perspective, if you have $100,000 invested, you would be paying $690. If that $690/year is invested instead at 15% compounded annually for 20 years, the result would be $73,681.15. Imagine if you have $150K, $200K or some more. Yikes.
Click here to gain access to Blooom for FREE. Let your 401(k) work for you and not against you. Blooom can help you with that.
15. Save spare change
Don’t overlook the power of your spare change.
Tossing your coins into a jar can quickly add up to an emergency or rainy day fund without hurting your wallet.
If you don’t use cash enough to get a lot of spare change, you may be able to take advantage of apps that round up your purchases and put the difference into savings for you.
Aside from Qapital and Stash, Acorns will roundup your purchases to the nearest dollar and lets you invest for as low as a cent into the stock market. Yes, with just $0.01, you can invest to 7,000 stocks while minimizing your invest risk.
Acorns will also give you cash back offers far higher than those from the biggest cash back sites out there. Plus, you get $5 bonus if you sign up using my link. These are just remarkable.
16. Create priorities
After you pay your bills and fund your retirement and savings accounts, you should consider your other priorities.
It may not be exciting to fund a homeowners or life insurance policy, but if the unexpected comes up, you’ll be grateful you have the backing of your policy.
Your local insurance agents can work with you to tailor a plan that makes sense for your lifestyle.
Final Thoughts: Ways To Save Money On Tight Budget
These tips can help you get started on the path towards financial security. When you put these to use, you should end up with healthier finances and more money in your pocket.
What's making it difficult for you to save money? What strategies are you using to save extra money? Do you know of any other ways to save money on tight budget? Are you ready to save money on your savings account?