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Did you just graduate from college? Are you moving to a new place or just switching jobs? Did you just start your own business? Do you just want some ideas to help you to grow your savings?
If you are likely many of us who are experiencing change and growth in your life, you might need some tips about how to save money on a low income.
Did you know that there are many ways to use your creativity to make some extra money while you are getting back on your feet or growing your business?
In this article, we will outline some of the best ways to earn additional income that you might not have been aware of and we will also provide some tips about how to save money with the income that you have right now.
Track your spending:
This sounds like a very simple idea when you first contemplate it. Many people scoff at the idea of tracking their spending meticulously, citing waste of time, knowledge of what they spend already and that they look at their bank account daily.
The reality, however, is that most people don’t truly realize how much they are spending on things like coffee, eating out, alcohol and other items that seem not to cost much at the time.
Make a Budget:
In this wonderful era of apps and trackers, it is very easy to make a budget that you can carry around with you on your smartphone.
The important thing to remember with this tip is that you need to be honest with yourself about what you will actually be spending. You will want to account for every single thing you plan to spend money on in a month for the budget to work for you.
The best budgets will set aside money for bills and also for savings and for items like car insurance that might not need to be paid monthly but will need to be paid upfront every six months.
You can also prevent missed payments by setting up auto payments on the major expenses you have to take care of each month, like your mortgage. There are many ways to a budget that can prevent financial mishaps and help you to build savings.
Cut out Things You Don’t Need:
While it might seem hard at the time, cutting out things that you really don’t need to be spending money on can greatly assist you in saving money for necessary items like food or rent.
Contemplate how much you truly need an expensive coffee every morning. Do some simple math to find out how much your regular small purchases like coffee or snacks truly add up to.
Bring healthy snacks to work to save yourself from buying a candy bar at your break. Avoid buying expensive lunch items during your workday by bringing your own lunch to work.
You might be surprised to find out how much you are spending on things that you don’t really need.
Dedicate a Specific Amount of Your Income to Savings Each Month:
Even if you are only putting ten dollars into a savings account every month, that money will add up over time. Having some cash on hand can keep you from having to turn to loans or credit cards in the case of an emergency.
Try to make sure that you are not putting so much money into savings that you are making it impossible for you to pay your bills, but try to put aside even the little bit that you can each month. It will pay dividends when you need some cash.
Everyone should be trying to put at least a small portion of each paycheck into savings for an emergency.
Don’t Eat Out:
While it might seem like a meal out isn’t that expensive, it is easy to forget that you are not just buying the food that you ordered.
You also need to pay a tip to the person who served you and you will likely also be paying additional money for the drinks that you are served during the meal. Alcohol is much more expensive at a restaurant as well.
If you don’t want to spend money on a night out with friends, invite them over and ask everyone to bring their favorite dish with them.
A potluck can be very fun and it will definitely save everyone money.
Consider Moving to More Affordable Housing:
Housing costs are often the biggest expense that people have to contend with on a monthly basis.
While it might not sound ideal and it might be hard to downsize to a smaller or more affordable home, often this change is key if you are contending with a low-income situation and trying to make sure that you have money saved up for expenses or to grow a business, etc.
Frugal housing doesn’t have to be unpleasant housing.
You might find that there are apartments or smaller homes in areas of your city that you had never seen before that offer benefits that your more expensive housing situation did not.
Often people are unaware that they can save money by shopping more carefully at retailers. Even the grocery store wants you to buy name brand items that will cost sometimes 2-3 times as much as a generic brand item might cost.
Buy generic items at all stores that offer you a choice. Look for clothing and furniture at places like Goodwill before you go shop at a retailer. Garage sales and second-hand stores can be another place to buy goods that will save you money.
Always do some research before buying an item to see if you can get it for a better price elsewhere.
Use Coupons: Coupons for daily use items or big-ticket expenses can be very helpful with regards to saving money. Even fast food coupons can make it possible to grab a meal for a very small cost.
Try to shop at grocery stores that offer coupons for their customers.
Major chain entities will often have seasonal savings in addition to offering side benefits like fuel discounts on top of the regular coupons they offer all the time.
Most coupons are now available in apps and you can download a generic coupon application that will save you time by showing your coupons for many different companies all at a glance.
Set Aside Funds for Events:
If you know that someone has a birthday coming up, or Christmas is getting closer, set aside money every month to help with the associated costs of this holiday or event.
Also remember that no one will be angry at you for purchasing the type of gifts that you can actually afford to give.
Putting yourself into debt just to impress someone with the type of gift that you can get for them is not a good policy and most people in your life would be very upset and worried if they knew that you had made the choice to go into debt just to buy them a gift.
Companies offering to loan you money are doing so because it benefits them. Credit cards, loans and other means of obtaining emergency funds are usually a ticket to debt that you will struggle to get free from.
If you can’t afford to buy something in cash, it is usually a good policy to simply choose not to buy it. Be especially wary of payday advance loans and other predatory loans with extremely high-interest rates.
Interest on a loan can amount to a lot of money.
Plan Your Meals:
Meal planning isn’t just for those trying to lose weight or get in shape for a fitness competition. Meal planning can help you save a lot of money each month simply by preventing you from purchasing food items that you will not use and that will end up going bad.
Plan out meals that use many of the same ingredients and buy staple items that won’t go bad quickly. It’s easy to save money on a low income if you plan ahead!
Sell Items You Aren’t Using:
Do you have an x-box that is collecting dust in the living room?
Maybe you bought a bike and have hardly used it. Maybe you have a closet full of designer purses that you don’t use very often. Selling these unused items will generate some additional income but will also declutter your life and leave you more open to making further frugal decisions.
Saving money and removing clutter both feel really great.
Always Wash Your Clothes in Cold Water:
Hot water costs money. It’s that simple.
Use as little hot water as possible, including when you wash your clothes, and you will save yourself money on your utility bills each month.
Keep Your House at a Steady Temperature:
It might seem like heating and cooling your house is not costing you very much. It actually is.
Most people are stunned at how much money they have saved when they invest in a good thermostat and keep their home at a consistent temperature for a month.
Stay Away From Credit Cards:
Credit cards are deceptively simple to use.
They promise you reasonable rates and sometimes even cashback.
The reality is that the interest rates on credit cards make it almost impossible to pay them off once you have a balance on them that is of any size.
Walk Instead of Driving:
While it may not be possible to use your feet to get everywhere during your day, the amount of money that you can save by not driving to every place you need to go in a day can be a staggering amount.
The added benefit of using your feet to take you places is that you will also be helping the environment while you help yourself.
Get Involved with Marketing Products:
There are many options out there in the market today for helping to sell products for companies that are looking to grow their brand.
If you are good at talking to people, like to generate written content and are tech-savvy, there are almost unlimited options for you to explore with this type of part-time work.
The best part of this type of job is that it can easily turn into a full-time moneymaker for you.
If you love promoting products, then maybe a Shopify Store is the best option for you.
Start a Monetized Blog:
Everybody has their own unique perspective on the world that no one else shares.
If you find yourself having deep thoughts about things while you are riding the train to work or if you enjoy philosophical discussion, you might find that blog writing not only generates income for you, but that it also provides a creative outlet for you to share your thoughts with others.
There are many blogging sites that will help you to make template-based blog posts about life, travel, pets, products or anything else that you want to share with an audience. Writing in a niche about very specific topics can be just as relevant for your audience as mainstream topics.
Blogging can also be a platform to lead to other types of media presence for those who are seeking to start a business, to work in the journalism space or those who want to be published authors.
Check out our great article about starting a WordPress blog for more information.
Many companies need people to generate written content for new websites, presentations, product surveys and so much more.
There are lots of ways to get connected to various online platforms that will help you find work writing for those you are not as good at it as you are. If you are creative and want to make money, the sky is the limit for you.
Finally, sometimes the best way to save money on a low income is to find ways to supplement your current job.
The writing jobs mentioned above are not the only way to earn some extra cash. There are many options out there for those willing to do product reviews, paid surveys and proofreading and editing.
If you enjoy looking for mistakes in written work, you will likely excel at proofreading and editing. Paid surveys often provide the necessary information that companies need to improve their products, provide better services to their customers and sometimes even are used to help out veterans and other at-risk members of society.
Blogging and other kinds of content writing can not only serve as a creative outlet, they can also generate a lot of income for those who are willing to do the work. An additional possibility that you might explore with your writing skills can be found on our webhosting page.
Ultimately, most of these ideas work best when used in tandem.
Taking on some writing on the side, exploring some marketing opportunities and cutting costs with these smart tips can all add up to a big leg up on saving money and growing your income.
Being willing to work hard is one part of the equation but working smarter is a big help as well.
If you liked this article, please check out more of our content below:
- How To Make Money Without a Job in the Wonderful Age of the Internet
- 10 Entrepreneurship Books to Help You Start and Grow an Epic Business
- How To Make 20 Dollars Right Now When You’re Desperate or Bored