Saving money always seems to be an afterthought, especially when there’s not a whole lot of it to begin with. When you have a low income, saving money can be viewed by many as almost impossible. But, that’s simply not true! With careful planning, it is possible and 100% do-able.
Creating and following a budget is always a great first step! What else can you do, though, if you’re looking to build up your savings account, but your paychecks don’t seem to agree? There’s definitely some solid options! If you’re wondering how to save money on a low income, you’re in the right place. Let’s dive right in so you can learn some top tips and tricks that can help you save money, no matter your income level!
How To Save Money On A Low Income
1. Stop Acting Like A Victim
This is about mindset. You are not powerless over your situation. Take a second job if you have to. Prepare yourself to move to a more affordable apartment. Downsize the car. These may seem extreme, but they are actions you can take.
Once you’ve shed the victim mentality, make a list of ways to save money. Do this before you read the rest of this article. The exercise will remind you that this is your plan, not ours. We’re simply offering some suggestions. Action is your responsibility.
2. Restructure Your Credit Card Debt
This is one of the most powerful ways to save money. Interest rates on credit cards are outrageously high, close to 35% in some cases. Eliminating those interest payments by taking out a consolidation loan to pay off credit card accounts will enhance your ability to save money.
If you’re in serious trouble with credit card debt and are unable to make even small minimum monthly payments, look into debt settlement services. This will give you some relief in the present and set you up to be a more responsible saver in the future.
3. Take A Personal Finance Course
Trying to save money involves more than just opening a savings account or checking account. Sure, you can also increase your income, but to be truly successful at this you should seek out some free education on the topic of personal finance.
Of course, you don’t have to limit your training to free classes. Individuals with a low income generally qualify for government assistance to further their education. Take advantage of that. Go to school for something that will help you get a higher paying job.
4. Switch From Cable To Streaming Services
The fees for a steaming service will cost you far less than a cable bill. While you’re at it, take a look at what you’re paying for internet service. These are easy cost-cutting moves when you’re trying to save money on a low budget. Shop around for better deals, there are plenty of cable alternatives out there.
If you have good internet service, find a way to make that pay for itself. We’ll get into some ways to do that below. As for cable and streaming, do you really need it? They could just be a drain on your bank account that may be making you less productive in other areas.
5. Make Extra Money Online
There are dozens of ways to increase your income online. Look for affiliate links on websites you visit frequently and reach out to those companies to find out how you can make money with those. Register with a freelance or remote work site, like FlexJobs. Do online surveys with sites like Survey Junkie or Zap Surveys.
Open your mind to working virtually. If you’re looking for a new way to save money, find a new way to make it. How much time are you wasting on Facebook and Instagram? Do you burn hours playing video games? You could be earning money during that time.
6. Automate Your Savings Deposits
Contact the payroll administrator at the company you work for and get set up for direct deposit. Have a portion of your paycheck every pay period automatically deposited into your savings account, with the remainder going into your checking account.
Did you know you can do that? Many people don’t. Workers on low income tend to take paper checks because they can cash them and actually see the money in hand. That’s why you can’t save. Have your money allocated automatically on payday. Do the same thing with your bills.
7. Open A Spare Change Account
One of the easiest ways to save money on a low income is to set up a spare change account. This can be as simple as dropping your silver into an empty water jug or as sophisticated as setting up an online account with Acorns or Chime.
Spare change apps are better because you don’t handle the money. They work best if you use a debit card for purchases. Credit cards are acceptable, but they cause you to go deeper in debt. Using the app with a debit card takes spare change directly from your checking account.
8. Find A Side Hustle
If money is tight, set up a side hustle to increase your net worth. Take a look at all the things that interest you in life. Is there an opportunity to make extra money with any of them? Increase your income and you can make sure your savings account grows.
Take some of the knowledge you acquired by doing that personal finance course and set some financial goals for yourself. If you truly want to save money, this is the way to do it. Best of all, if your side hustle is something you love, it won’t even feel like work.
9. Stop Ordering Take Out
It costs a whole lot less to make a sandwich than to order one delivered. If you’re looking for an easy way to save money, eliminate take out. Go grocery shopping once a week and brown bag it to work. No one will fault you for it. It’s a sensible strategy.
This one becomes even easier with most of us working from home. If you go back through this list again, you’ll find that much of it is easy to accomplish if you’re a home-based worker. If not, there’s still lots you can do. Stop acting like a victim and start saving money.