There are some simple and effective ways to save money on a tight budget. These are super simple but need your attention and determination. According to money gurus, you should save 10 to 15% of your income. But what if you don’t have that much money. I am in the same boat. When we look at our earnings and expenses, we could not think of saving money.
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But a shift in the thought process that we need to pay attention to the ‘money leaks’ helped us in saving money. There are so many places where you maybe just paying more than you should. Have look at those places and save money. You can read more about how to save money. These tips are helping me a lot in saving money on one income.
Here are some tips to save money on a tight budget
1. Track your spending
Tracking your spending is necessary when you want to save money on a tight budget. If you pay how and where you spend money, you will be able to save a few dollars from your spending. Spending small amounts of money on things we don’t need will always add up at the end of the year and may take you closer to your financial goals.
2. Create money goals
Money goals will make you focus on how much you want to save. And when you have a goal, you work hard to achieve it. Same as with any other goal, when you focus on a savings goal, you will be able to identify the ideas to save.
3. Write down the list where you can make improvement
Keep your spending tracker in front of you and have a look at the areas where you can make improvements. It is always possible to save a few dollars here and there. Don’t let those dollars slip and immediately add them to your savings account.
4. Create an actionable strict budget
This is everywhere and everybody is emphasising on creating a budget. There is some weight in this point. When you stick to the budget, it helps you to avoid the money leaking through your wallet. There are so many ways to make a budget, the only thing is to do it and do it consistently.
5. Use different bank accounts for different goals
Oh yes my friend, keeping different bank accounts for different purposes helps you in looking at numbers easy. You don’t have to think much about the money you keep in different bank accounts.
6. Automate where possible
Automate your savings, set direct debits for payments wherever possible. If you automate your savings, even if it is a few dollars, it will help you in gradually growing your savings. You can use a high-interest rate bank account for this.
7. Shop with cash
Always shop with cash in your hand. Having cash in hand helps in figuring out how much you can spend on your shopping. It can curb your impulse to spend on non-essential items.
8. Identify your spending triggers and a strategy to combat them
Sometimes you are so tempted to spend money on the items you don’t need but want, that it blows your budget. Keep your triggers under control. There is a term ‘Retail Therapy’, which means shopping gives you a sense of happiness. Stay away from this way to combat your stress, instead, find other means to relieve stress.
And identify what triggers you to spend money on non-essential things. This will let you save a good amount.
9. Make your payments on time
Making your payments on time will help you save the late fees. We have a utility provider who gives us a discount of payment on time. A few months ago, I forgot to pay the bill on the due date, and I lost the pay on time discount.
10. Use coupons and deals
Coupons and deals are great for saving money. There are many places to find coupons for shopping. Also always have a look at the brochures in your letterbox and go for shopping when the items are listed on special price. We shop a lot from Coles and Aldi and always look for specials especially on groceries. It saves a lot of money.
I compare the prices which I would have paid on full price and save the money which I save money from shopping into a savings account.
11. Shop with a list
This one is always emphasised. Shopping with a strict list restrict you from impulse buying. When you have a list with you, your mind remains strictly on the items of your list. You feel less tempted to buy items other than on your list. Always make a meal plan and then shop for groceries.
12. Buy used items
Buying new items always give you excitement and happiness. But new items are always expensive and you have to pay more. Wherever possible, buy used items. Sometimes you can find things in really a good quality. Go to garage sales, or have a look at Facebook for ads about used items. You can find used items around your locality.
It will save you time as well as money.
13. Discuss your arrangements with utility providers
Call your gas/energy provider and try to get less price. If you are with them for a bit longer, you can ask for discounts or you can switch to the providers which are less expensive. We just changed our provider a few months back and already saving a lot on bills.
14. Enjoy free outing
Almost every locality have beautiful parks. Take advantage of these beautiful places. If you have kids, take them to park and let them play. You can make arrangements with your friends and go together to the park. You can sit there or play there. Kids always enjoy the outdoors.
Your kids and your friend’s kids can enjoy sports together. It is a beautiful feeling going outdoors.
15. Cancel subscriptions you don’t use
If you have any gym membership or magazine subscriptions which you don’t use them, cancel them. If you are not going to the gym, keeping that subscription will not help you in staying fit. I know these kinds of memberships keep you feeling good but they cost money.
16. Plan ahead and save on travel
If you are planning to travel, plan everything and start saving before the travelling date. It will help you in not only saving money but also having a great time planning and enjoying the process.
17. Rent on Airbnb
Airbnb is a great place to book for your stays during travel. You have to pay less than the conventional hotels and motels.
18. Plan a no spend week/month
Planning a no spend month or no spend week sounds a bit difficult but it is not. I always go grocery shopping alternate weekends except for milk. And believe me, I save money which otherwise I will spend. A trip to the market always results in sending at least $50 to a minimum.
19. Do your research before making a big purchase
Doing research on prices and sales before making any purchase is a good idea for saving money. Check online, check-in stores and compare the prices. Settle for the lowest price for a good quality product.
20. Switch to LED bulbs
LED bulbs are costly and have more upfront cost but they recover the money spent on them with the money saved on bills. Also, they last longer than traditional bulbs.
21. Get energy-efficient appliances
When you go to buy an energy-efficient appliance, it is a bit costly than others. But don’t settle for that. Even if energy-efficient appliance feels expenses now, it will reduce your expenditure on utilities in the long run. If your present appliances are working well but you want to change them, wait for sales. You can get good deals on special days.
And for the ones that have a good energy rating.
22. Keep your home maintained
Home maintenance is necessary because it will help you in saving money in the long run. Checking for the places that need some maintenance before it goes wrong is easy. Fixing something before it totally fails is less expensive.
23. Buy generic medicine
Buy generic if possible. Generic medicines have similar compounds and salts but are always far less expensive than branded medicines. If pharmacy people suggest you then go for it. You will save a lot of money.
24. Stop smoking and alcohol
Cigarettes and alcohol are very expensive. I personally have never used anything but have heard from friends that it costs a lot. If you are into having it daily, make your mind to reduce the intake. I know it is difficult to change a habit altogether but gradually breaking the old one and building a new habit is easy.
You will definitely save a lot of money. One of my friends did that. She stopped smoking when she fell pregnant and never smoked again. She said that she always save that exact amount of money into her saving every week which she used to spend on smoking ( A big win for her).
25. Exercise regularly and stay fit
If you exercise daily and stay fit, you will be able to save yourself from many lifestyle ailments. Your working days will be more, you don’t have to spend money on medications. If you cannot exercise and go to the gym, go out for a walk. You will get to see the changes in your health. A little change every day will make you healthier.
Go out (if the weather allows ) and see the beauty of sunrise or sunset. Take deep breaths in the fresh air. And enjoy nature or your surroundings.
26. Save for your holidays early
Start saving early so that you will not blow your wallet during the holidays. If you find yourself in a very tight budget, start earning some extra money instantly. I love to earn some extra money by doing surveys. Here are my favourite survey sites
27. Check coupon sites before purchases
Always save money with coupons. It is really possible to save a huge amount of money if you pay attention to coupons and sales.
28. Eliminate a midweek trip to supermarkets
If you haven’t planned everything beforehand, you will have to rush to supermarkets midweek. A trip to the supermarket always cost you money. If you really want to cut down on this trip, go shopping with a list and meal plan for the whole week.
29. Check online clearance for clothing and dresses
Always buy clothes on sale and online clearances are a better place to find good clothes at better prices. I always shop for my daughter clothes from Carter’s when they are on sale. Here in Australia, clothes from Carter’s are really expensive but they have reasonable prices on sale.
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