Most individuals who are living on a low income believe that they are at a disadvantage and are not able to start saving money. Let me start by telling you, it’s a lie!
Depending on what state and/ or area you live in, you may be considered low income, but that doesn’t disqualify you from building a better future. Continue reading to learn the 17 ways to save money fast on a Low income.
How to Survive When Your Broke
Living on a low income can be done by living below your means. The concept suggests that you don’t spend more than you earn.
If you are short on money and need to survive until the next payday, I would suggest selling something legal that could help you get out of a financial rut.
18 Ways to Save Money Fast on Low Income
Most people living on a low income only take a look at their finances when they are behind or when an emergency happens and they are in desperate need of money. The very first step to saving money is taking a look at your finances, and reviewing the areas where you may be overspending or have poor money management habits.
Be realistic and set a budget you are comfortable committing to.
One of the biggest misconceptions is that if you are making a lot of money you aren’t able to save any money. The first thing you should start saving towards is an emergency fund of $1,000.
Start with a small investment of 25.00 monthly in a high-yield savings account; so not only will you be saving money but your money will also earn interest over time.
Save First, Then Spend
I can not stress this enough! Save your money as soon as you get paid. Whether the funds are automatically taken from your check or whether you have to physically transfer funds, always save first before you pay bills or spend any money.
The biggest expense we have today is the cost of housing within our basic needs. The increased cost of living over the last few years has made a huge impact on day-to-day living for individuals and families.
- Consider Downsizing– Downsizing to a smaller space or even temporarily bunking with another person will help you increase your savings and minimize your biggest expense.
- Consider Moving To Another Location– The housing cost is heavily dependent on where you live. For example, you may only be able to afford a studio apartment in NY but in Texas, you may be able to afford a 2 bedroom apartment with a patio. Search for areas where the median income is closer to your gross income.
Pay off Your Credit Cards
High-interest rate credit cards that carry a high balance will continue to grow if you don’t pay them on time or pay them off. Be sure to pay above the minimum limit each month to reduce debt and start saving.
Create a Weekly Meal Plan
According to AG WEB, “The Consumer Price Index (CPI) for all food increased 1% from February 2022 to March 2022, and food prices were 8.8% higher than in March 2021. The food-away-from-home (restaurant purchases) CPI was 6.9% higher than March 2021 while food at home (grocery store) prices were 10% higher than one year ago in March”
- Save Money by Meal Planning: Once a week sit down and plan out your meals. Write a list of items you can make meals out of, using what you already have in your pantry. Pinterest is a great source for coming up with easy low budget meals. If you need additional items to complete your meals, search the grocery store ads for items that are on sale. Create a list and buy only the items that are discounted for the week. Going to the store with a list will help decrease spending money on foods we don’t need and stop purchasing foods we want to try but later won’t eat.
- Pack Your Lunch– Packing a lunch every day can make a great impact on your savings each month. The average American spends 50-100 dollars a week on fast food/ restaurant lunches.
- Prepare Freezer Meals– Leftover food can be secured in a ziplock freezer bag and stored in the freezer for a later time. Frozen foods can last between 3 and 5 months.
I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “ your habits shape your life”. This simply means the things we do on a day to day basis are the things that determine our quality of life.
If you are short on cash try cutting out certain habits that don’t align with your financial goals. Habits like smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol, and daily trips to starbucks can be very costly and ultimately keep you from saving money.
Monthly Subscriptions are very big income drainers. We have all been victimized by subscriptions that we forgot to cancel that unexpectedly came out of our account when we needed it the most.
Review your monthly bank statement and highlight any subscriptions you either didn’t know were coming out or can do without.
Extracurricular activities are great for staying social but can also deplete your account if you don’t have sufficient income to participate in these groups.
Thousands of Americans are over spending on car insurance each month. Shop online for the best coverage at an affordable rate.
Use The Envelope System
The envelope system is great for budgeting and saving money. The concept is to budget your money using only cash instead of the digital banking system.
It has been proven that using cash instead of debit or banks cards lessens over-spending because you can physically see how much money is leaving your hand.
The envelopes are named based on what you’re saving towards( I.e rent, electric, groceries etc), and cash is placed into the envelopes based on a percentage of your income you wish to save toward that goal each month.
Start couponing Now! Couponing doesn’t only apply to food, it can also be used to cut down the cost of household items and clothing. The weekly sales ads are filled with coupons for things like paper towels, toilet paper, dish soap etc.
But did you know you can also use coupon codes to save money on others items too. Ask the sales clerk at the stores you like to shop at if they have any perks for signing up for their email list.
Here is a short list of stores that sends coupons when you sign up for their reward program:
- H & M
- Childrens Place
- Hobby Lobby
- Bed Bath and Beyond
- Target ( Target Circle)
Cash Back Apps
Cash Back Sites are a great way to put more money in your emergency fund.
Sites like Rakuten and Ibotta are third party websites that give you cash back when you shop through their app or site. You can earn cash back online and in stores doing what you already do.
Declutter your home and get rid of things you no longer need. Start with clothes and move on to furniture pieces that can be sold to help you reach your savings goals.
For the past few years, more and more people are ditching cable. Although cable companies have gotten smart to create packages including cable, internet, and the telephone its still very costly.
I recommend signing up for only the internet services, and using your cell phone as your main telephone.
Cell Phone Plan
Unless you’re using your cell phone for business purposes, I would highly suggest taking a look at how much data and talk minutes you use every month.
Try lowering your plan or shopping other cellphone companies with more affordable prices.
Many people don’t know this but they may have the wrong type of Life Insurance; and having the wrong type of insurance can cost 3 to 4 times more. I suggest making the switch to Term Insurance and speaking with a financial advisor to start saving for investments separately from your protection plan.
Earn More Income
Once youve adjusted your lifestyle and scaled back on your expenses, if you feel there is no place else you can cut back, its time to find ways to earn more income.
Find a profitable side hustle that can generate passive income while you sleep.
Side Hustle Ideas:
- Start a Youtube Channel
- Start a Blog
- Find Freelancing Work
The best time to start saving is now. You’re not a disadvantage, you are actually in the best position to start saving. Start Today and start small. Although, you are low on funds, time is the most important factor when saving money. The little you save today, the more you’ll have tomorrow.