I come from a low-income family. I was taught from childhood, the tricks and trades of sustaining life on a low-income. Previously I posted on how to save for retirement with a low-income and how to create an emergency fund with a low-income. This one is the most basic of ’em all. If you learn to save on a tight income you will learn the other tricks.
When your income is low, saving is necessary for a better future. How can you afford to save if you are not currently saving any money? If you are saving, how can you afford to put aside a little more? The answer lies in how people from poor countries spend happy lives with a low income.
Tips For Saving When Money Is Tight
Cut excessive spending
Even the most innocuous expenditures eventually add up to a lot of money. To avoid hemorrhaging money over time, you need to keep a record of all your monthly expenses. You might be surprised by the amount of money you spend on things you can do without.
When it comes to necessary expenditures, such as transport and food, you should start doing comparison shopping – this will help you to find the lowest prices in the market. Moreover, you should make a list of things that you need and stick to it to avoid impulse buying.
Save for emergencies
To avoid taking out loans for unforeseen emergencies, you should build an emergency fund. Your emergency savings should be kept in a separate account to avoid temptation. Remember to maintain a high enough balance in the account so that you do not have to pay monthly fees.
Because emergency expenditures can range from living expenses to unexpected hospital bills, you should have enough money in your emergency savings account to cover any emergency. Whenever you have loose change, put it in your emergency savings account.
You can have a lot of fun and save money by doing some projects around the house for yourself. Are your walls in need of a fresh coat of paint? Instead of hiring a painter, you can always turn the painting project into a fun family activity. You can also save on grocery bills by growing your own vegetables.
If you have an outdoor space, use it to grow your own food. On the other hand, if you live in a tiny house without any gardening space, you can fit several pots of vegetables in a sunny window. Growing your own food will not only lower your expenditures but also provide you with an assortment of fresh vegetables.
Restructure your bills
Another way of lowering your expenses while on a tight budget is by restructuring your bills. Car insurance, cable, and phone expenses are necessary, but you may be overpaying. To avoid doing so, you need to make sure that you use the most cost-effective option that meets your needs.
If you are rarely home, you need to consider canceling your cable services. Are you a light internet user? You can use free WiFi at your local coffee shop instead of pay hefty internet bills.
Make a new budget
Make a list of your current expenses then make another list of things that you can do to save money: canceling unnecessary bills, DIY projects, and saving money on grocery shopping. Write a new budget that allows you to save the freed money.
Get out of any debts that you may have. The more you pay off your debt, the more free money you will have to invest or save in future. Start by dealing with your high-interest-rate debts first to avoid accumulation of interest. Once you pay off all your debts, you should start putting aside money for future emergencies.
Readers, share your stories and give us more tips to cope up with the low-income while keeping some money aside.