For all of my young entry-level workers, recent grads or those who’ve taken a recent pay cut, this post is for you!
If you’ve been struggling to create a financial plan that works, or you just don’t know how to save money on a low income, then keep on reading.
I’ve been able to save for long term travel, pay off debt and do so much more while earning a modest income, so I decided to put together a post outlining some major advice that has allowed me to save money on a low income!
Keep in mind that just like with any goal, you’ll have to make sacrifices and maintain your dedication to get there.
I’ve had to go over a year without buying new clothes, take public transportation to work and make my own homemade lunch multiple times a week so that I could save money, so don’t think that it’ll be easy but I promise that it will be worth it!
Let’s get into it!
1. Create A Budget
Know exactly what is coming in and going out. Without a proper budget, there’s no way that you’ll be able to keep track of your spending and savings.
Even when you don’t make a lot of money, you should always create a detailed budget so that you know where your funds are going. Overall, this will make it easier to cut back in places that are necessary so that you can start saving more.
Don’t worry! A budget doesn’t have to be boring, try to make it fun by creating your own spreadsheet, using a mobile app or even buying one from a local business!
I got tired of not having a budget tracker of my own, so I created a financial planner on Etsy for all of my readers who need a little extra support with their journey to financial freedom!
You can purchase one here.
2. Review Your Budget Often
The only way you can figure out what’s working and what is not is by reviewing your budget and finances often.
Although it might seem like a tedious task, it’s important to always know where you stand with your money to avoid anxiety and stress around finances. The less worrisome you are about your money the easier it gets to manage it.
Especially when you already don’t earn a lot, you have to be cautious of where you might be losing money, I suggest monitoring your bank account frequently so that you’re always mindful of your spending.
Don’t be obsessive though, checking your bank account once a day and reviewing your finances weekly is more than enough to stay on track.
PROTIP: Make sure you track any changes in your lifestyle e.g raise, emergency, child… Always adjust your budget accordingly if anything significant changes in your life.
3. Get Someone To Budget With You
For some people, they need a little extra support when it comes to taking on a new goal and honestly, that’s one of the best ways to get something done!
Don’t be afraid to reach out to some of your friends and family who might be interested in joining you on a personal finance challenge.
It could be a fun way to bond over creating a better future for yourselves!
Once you’ve tried something fun to get the ball rolling keep checking in on each other and monitoring your financial goals together!
5. Have No Spend Days
This tip has saved me hundreds of dollars over the past few years!
It’s a super simple concept, choose 1-3 days a week or more if you’d like and use those as days where you spend no money.
You’d be surprised at how much money is wasted on small purchases each day.
Spending $5 a day adds up to $150 a month and $1800 a year, I’m sure your emergency fund could use that extra money!
That morning coffee, skip it, your afternoon lunch that too and your snack on the way home say goodbye to it!
6. Budget In Cash
There are a few cool ways you can save and budget in cash, I choose the jar and envelope method.
If you’re an over spender then I recommend the piggy bank method or wine bottle, so that you can’t access your money unless you break the bottle!
Create a weekly budget for yourself with the money you have leftover after paying your bills, take it out in cash and once you’ve spent it you have nothing left until the next week.
This has stopped me from spending tons of money!
In terms of saving, take out your weekly or monthly contribution in cash and toss it in a jar or envelop that you keep out of sight and out of mind!
Watch it fill up as you add more and more, I’d even suggest tossing in spare change that you don’t need.
6. Be Honest
Honesty is key when it comes to developing any new habit or lifestyle. Let your friends know if there’s an event you can’t afford or have to miss a hang out to focus on your priorities, real friends will understand.
The more honest you are the better you’ll feel when it comes to living in your truth.
There’s nothing to be ashamed about when you’re trying to achieve financial freedom, so be proud that you’re stepping up to make the change that not a lot of people ever do!
7. Free Events
There’s nothing better than free events and free stuff! When your funds are limited it doesn’t mean you can’t have fun it just means you gotta get more creative.
Look up free things to do in your city and I’m sure tons of things will pop up sometimes they’ll even have free food and beverages so don’t sleep on those free events near you!
Trust me once you start enjoying free entertainment there’s no going back!
8. Cut The Subscriptions
This is a common budgeting tip that most finance bloggers will tell you, but honestly, it’s one of the best pieces of advice out there!
Online subscriptions probably make up a lot of your expenses and if that’s the case then it’s time to start cutting them back.
Anything that you could get for free online needs to go, and if you have multiple streaming sites then cut it down to 1.
If you’re comfortable with being extreme get rid of your cable, landline telephone and even your car if you can take public transportation to work.
All of these monthly expenses are taking up money that you could be putting into your savings so do yourself a favour and let them go!
If you’re interested in the minimalist movement then I suggest checking out my post “5 Ways A Minimalist Lifestyle Can Save You Money”.
Increase Your Income
9. Pick Up A Second Job Or Side Hustle
Sometimes one income just won’t be enough when you have major financial goals so why not start a side hustle in your free time!
Earning a modest income from your day job just means that you’ll need to be creative with the ways that you earn extra money.
I personally started by selling old stuff online, teaching English and I even tried doing freelance writing at one point. Since then I’ve developed my passion for my travel blog and now I’m monetizing it in a few different ways!
I started my blog on an extremely low budget so don’t worry about the initial financial investment, either way, it’ll be worth it in the long run!
Other than that I suggest doing a quick google search of the most in-demand products and skills right now and choose something you want to develop on and start learning!
Although it’s not easy to save money on a low income, it can be done with a little bit of brainstorming and adopting some new habits.
I hope that this post helped you think of some realistic ways that you can save money on a low income.
Everyone’s lifestyle is different, so you might be able to use all of these tips or maybe just some, either way, pick and choose a few of the tips that work best for you and get started on your path to financial freedom!
Let me know in the comments below your best advice for how to save money on a low income and if you’ll be trying out any of these tips.
You can also start tracking your finances with a FREE Budget Tracker by signing up for the Fearless Nomad newsletter!
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