“A guide for how you can budget on a budget.” Saving money can be difficult at the best of times, but when you are on a low income, saving money becomes a whole lot harder.
When it comes to saving money, there are a few misconceptions that you should be aware of and the big one is that you need money to save money. That’s just not true! Think about it… if you had money, you wouldn’t need to be saving money. Another misconception is shopping. The sales are best. If you have a particular product that you need to purchase, it can have a psychological effect that triggers the FOMO – fear of missing out!
You might be thinking, “How can I save when I have little income?” The good news is that there are ways to save; however, you need to be willing to sacrifice a few things. These 9 tips will help you to start saving money:
1. Cancel Subscription And Memberships
It is super easy to build up the number of services and products that you buy on a monthly basis. Cutting back on these will enable you to save money. For example, if you are paying for a gym membership that you hardly use, cancel it. Nowadays, there are loads of apps and YouTube videos that you can use free of charge to work out in the comfort of your own home, or outside if you prefer either individually or with a loved one. Most subscriptions and memberships are those that you do not need; this is where you have to sacrifice to save.
2. Save Your Change
At the end of each day or week, put all your spare change into a container. You’ll be amazed at how quickly it will add up! You can save the money to go towards larger items that you need to simply to make the weekly shop cheaper.
3. Start Selling Any Unwanted Items
Selling any unwanted items around your home is a great way to make some money which you can add to your savings. As an extra bonus, it will help you to declutter your home at the same time.
4. Automate Your Savings
Saving money relies on you to remember to transfer the money between your current and savings accounts each week or month. However, there is some useful technology available that you can count on to enable you to complete this process.
Automating a small amount each week or month can be a really helpful way to ensure that you set aside some savings. This involves setting up an automatic transfer on the day that you get paid to go straight into your savings account. You need to make sure that the amount you save is manageable, so that you do have to dip into it later on in the month. This is a great way to save because it leaves little room for excuses as the money is saved as soon as you are paid. You shouldn’t even notice the amount; it is almost as if it never existed!
5. Round Up Your Pennies To The Nearest Pound
This tool can help to boost your savings quickly. This will round your debit card purchases to the nearest pound. The difference can then be placed in your savings account. Some banks will offer his service automatically free of charge.
For example, if your shopping comes to £37.05, you could put 95p into your savings. This is super easy to do and not only does it build up, but it’s small amounts and does not make a huge difference to your overall bank balance.
6. Swapping Supermarkets
Making small changes, like where you shop for food, can make a huge difference to the amount of money that you could save. You can also pick up food or other items that you need at discounted prices e.g. they may be about to go out of date, or the container may be damaged. Another way to save is to make a list before you go, so that you only buy what is on your list. Not only will this prevent food waste, but will also stop you from spending money unnecessarily.
7. Set A Weekly Budget
Sitting down and setting yourself a weekly budget that is manageable and realistic for you to stick to is vital to help you manage your money and save as much as possible. When you set your budget, it gives you the opportunity to view your finances as a whole and you can allocate your money which will help you to feel organised and less overwhelmed.
8. Cut Out Takeaways
Takeaways are great when you cannot be bothered to cook or as a little treat; however, too many can become a real expense that you can’t afford. Making dinners is not only cheaper, but they will also be healthier for you. You could treat yourself to a takeaway once a month if you don’t want to sacrifice them completely.
9. Cut Down On Luxuries
People have different ideas of what luxury means to them. Luxuries could be: buying coffees or meals out, purchasing expensive toiletries or new clothes and shoes on a regular basis. This is where you can make the biggest savings if you are prepared to sacrifice these altogether or switching to supermarket own brands for example.
These suggestions, when used together, are guaranteed to allow you to save money. If you feel that using all of these is too difficult, you can try out the ones that you feel you could do, or those that would work best for your family.