It is possible to start saving on single income and live well. Some changes in your spending behaviour and earning side income is the key to survive. These ideas will need some determination and bit of change in your lifestyle. Even if you are tight on money now but you know your situation would be much better tomorrow, it will teaches you to stay on track with money.
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1. Track your spending and make a budget
Track your spending if you really want to make it through with single income. You should know where your money is going. Only then you will be able to budget it properly. Tracking your spending let you see the loopholes in your sending.
Budgeting comes after the spending. When you know your spending habits, it becomes easy to create a budget and create some barricades in the path of your money moves. Sometimes you just feel like your money moves without you knowing where it is going. Tracking your spending solves the problem.
2. Meal plan and cut your grocery spending
Meal planning is necessary because this will save you from buying those ingredients which will just lye in your pantry or fridge and get deteriorated. It is really difficult to think everyday what to cook. Being a vegetarian, I have less choices and o top of that, my husband don’t like to try new dishes. I am open to try new dishes though. Meal planning saves me a lot of hassle. And the meals are not very expensive too.
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3. Buy some food items in bulk
For me, it is rice , wheat flour and onions and ginger. I use lot of onions. garlic and ginger so it really saves a lot of money if I buy them in bulk. I freeze my ginger after peeling and cutting it to the size I use daily. Normally it is one inch piece. Onions and garlic don’t get deteriorated easily. If you use lot of pastas and other dry ingredients, buy them in bulk. But figure out how much of these bulk you will need in a month. It will really save you lot of money.
4. Create an emergency fund
If you feel like you have to live on single income, you need a money cushion to keep yourself secure for emergencies. If you already have an emergency fund, you are on track. But if you don’t have, this is the time to start building your emergency fund. After cutting some expenses from your grocery bill and budget, you will be left with few dollars. Immediately transfer that money into your emergency fund.
The key is in taking action immediately. Otherwise you will see that saved money ‘as available’ for your expenses.
5. Spend time instead of money
We are living on one income at present. To make this possible, I have reduced my trips to shopping centre. Earlier it was every Friday. But now, I go to shopping centre at alternate weekends. I always spend that time with my daughter and one of my friend in park. We both have same age daughters so our kids are also friends. We walk and chat while our kids play in the park.
It is really nice to spend time like this. Otherwise my whole day would go in preparing to go to shopping centre, three hours in shopping centre and then I feel tired . But after spending time with my friends, I feel happy.
6. Earn something instead of spending
Most of the time , social media and internet is criticised for wasting time. But use it to your advantage. Whenever you have some time and you feel like you have nothing to do, do something to earn money. If you don’t have any idea, just start taking surveys. You will be surprised to know that you can actually start saving money and can actually make instant money.
Here are 11 survey sites which you can use to earn some money. I am building my emergency fund from the money I get from survey sites. It is really great idea because I don’t count that income into our total monthly income.
Here are few survey sites you can sign up to start doing surveys and earn money
7. Sell your old stuff
If you have lot of stuff lying around your house, then start selling it. We came here in Australia just 6 years ago and bought our home 3 years ago. We don’t have that kind of stuff to sell but I always have toys to sell. If I cannot sell, I just give it to my friends who are expecting or have little babies. With Gumtree and Facebook, it is so easy to sell local.
8. Break your spending habit and learn saving
Pay attention to your spending habit. If you feel like you are in habit of spending, try to break it. One most important part of breaking your spending habit is to stay away from shopping centres and shopping sites. Make your shopping as difficult as possible.
- Reduce your trips to shopping centres
- Delete shopping apps
9. Always get cashback on shopping
The first thing is shop less. The next best thing is to get cashback on your shopping.
Sign up with Ebates and get your bonus of $10 : If you love shopping and want to earn cashback then Ebates is for you. Sign up now and get your bonus.
If you are in Australia then you can also sign up with Cashrewards and get a $5 bonus for just signing up.
10. Look for side hustles to increase income
Sometimes it is really difficult to live on one income. At this point, even if you are not working full time traditional job, you can still make money. Start some side hustle to support your family. To find more ideas, you can read this post where there are many ways to make some extra money.
11. Stay away from bad debt
Credit card debt, personal loans and any other high interest rate debt is considered bad debt. If you are living on or planning to live on single income, you should stay away from bad debt. Keep your credit card use to minimum or don’t use at all. You will really start feeling happy about your choices you make today.
12. Cut utility bills
You cannot believe how much utilities can save you. Write down how much you spend on utilities each month. Then make some changes the way you use water , gas and energy. Try to limit the use.
- Reduce the frequency of laundry
- Take less time to shower ( If you take 10 minutes for shower, reduce it to 7 minutes ) Always use a timer. You will be surprised to know how much you saved.
- Always use dishwasher when it is full. If you have few dishes, wash them with your hands
- Make sure no tap is leaking
- If your house is gas heated, keep thermostat lower
- Bulk cook the items you can freeze
- Switch off whenever not using
- Keeping your thermostat under control
13. Plan No spend week/month
Planning a No spend week can save you lot of money. During No spend week, cook from whatever is left in your fridge and pantry. This way, you can use all the veges and perishables lying in the fridge. Believe me, your fridge will look more clean.
14. Love to live within your means
It is really important to live within your means. You should know how much and what can you afford. If you will be bit conservative with your money, it will easy for you to save money. Always take a note of your basic needs and keep your expenditure on things you simply WANT, to the minimum or not at all.
15. Plan free or low cost outings
This one is my favourite. It is very expensive if you have to go somewhere to buy tickets. If you are planning to have paid outings, first save money for those outings. If you have kids who can understand the money things, include them in your planning.
As of now, go for free outings. And it is very easy to plan summer outings for almost free or very low cost. I remember how last Summer, Me and one of my friend went to beach and spent only $25 altogether. She went with both of her kids. Our only cost was our train ticket which is always less on weekends. We took home cooked food and a juice bottle as well as water from home. It was the best day of my summer.
16. Pay gratitude for whatever you have
Even if you feel like you don’t have enough but your basic needs are met, be thankful for that. And pay gratitude for whatever you have. Paying gratitude will help you in minimising the effects of scarcity thoughts. Gradually you will start building the thoughts of abundance and you will learn that you don’t want huge amount of money to be happy.
17. Start saving
I know you would be thinking, how can I save money when I am already on very tight budget. It is possible and you should definitely do it. If you loved the idea of saving change during childhood ( everybody loves to do so during childhood), I bet you would love it now too. If you want to give it a try, start saving with Acorns App. When you link your bank account with Acorns, it will save and invest for you by rounding off the your purchase.
18. Start couponing
If you haven’t used coupons, this is the time to start using coupons for saving money. Couponing is a great way to save on shopping. It is important to save with coupons as well as make use of sales. Don’t buy things on whim. Wait for sales. Use coupons along with sales and you would have saved really a lot.
19. Cut your junk
Everything which doesn’t add value in your life is junk. Whether it is food or clutter lying around your house. If you love fast food and love to eat out, consider breaking that habit. If you cannot eliminate this habit, try to limit the use of junk food. It will help you maintaining good physical as well financial health.
If you find some stuff lying around your house which you think is not adding any value to your life but could benefit somebody else, sell it. Or donate it somewhere. Most of the time we have our wardrobe full of clothes which we never use. Donate anything you don’t use at your home.
20. Don’t give up
This one is very important. Making efforts consistently and with determination is the key to success. Your saving efforts and living a healthy life on single income will need you to be consistent with your efforts. All the best wishes for your savings journey on single income.
If you want to earn more to save more, you can start side hustles. Side income can help you grow your savings. Here are few ideas that can help you in finding some ideas for your side hustle.
♠ If you want instant money : Sign up with Ebates and get your bonus of $10 which you can access after making some purchase. There are many stores from which you can earn cashback on shopping.
♦ If you are interested in finding out more about earning money online or side hustles, you will love these posts
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