9 Tips To Help You Save Money When You Are On A Low Income

On top of a dark coloured surface which has a small glass cup. Inside the glass cup is coins and it has a plant growing out of the cup.

Photo by Micheile Henderson on Unsplash

“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 And Coupons

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. Using coupons can be a great way to help you save money, you should check out eBay coupons to see how it can help you.

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 this 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.

You can even use this money-saving trick when paying via credit card. Furthermore, if you are looking to improve your credit score, then credit cards are a great way to do this. If you would like to learn more about how credit cards can improve your credit score, you can look at this now.

A person holding cash and counting it. The person is wearing a blue t-shirt, a ring and bracelets with a mug next to them.Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

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.

What do you do to save money? I’d love to hear your ideas and suggestions in the comments.

53 thoughts on “9 Tips To Help You Save Money When You Are On A Low Income

  1. Great tips! I keep a fashion wishlist and buy from it only when the items are discounted. Turns out that you don’t need everything immediately. Shopping in your own closet is also a great saver. -Jenni

  2. For anyone on a low income/budget I’d recommend a Monzo card! It’s a bank account/savings account and when you shop you can round your change to the nearest pound automatically into a savings pot. They also have an initiative where you can save a penny a day, which gradually increases each day! It’s such a cool and innovative way to save!

  3. For clothes, shopping on Depop is best. Not only is it cheaper, but it’s good for the environment too! I often use a pro/con list before buying something and I always need to justify it which is good for not spending too much money but can sometimes get annoying. I always like to check the discounted section! x Great tips 🙂

  4. Brilliant tips. I do the rounding up, or should I say my bank do and it is such a great way to save because I don’t notice it but it can add up fairly quickly.

    I also use my banks cashback offers. I have had £60 over the last 2 years. Not huge but I didn’t have to do anything for it.

    Cancelling subscriptions is a great suggestion because you can quite often get some really good deals by cancelling. OK so not saving as such but you get to keep a much loved service while saving a fair bit of money.

    Great post Lauren x

  5. These are all great tips! I really need to start having automated savings as soon as I get paid to help and cutting down on takeaways has been such a huge saver! Thank you for sharing x

  6. Some great tips! I have a Monzo card in which you can round pennies up on your purchases and this allows you to save them all up for a rainy day!

  7. These are definitely some of the things we do. I’m on a cell phone plan with family members and we share our subscription service with others to save costs. We grocery shop based on coupons or sales at the less expensive stores and we don’t eat take-out food very frequently. We also set aside an evening to talk through our budget, put money in savings, etc. every time my husband and I get paid. It helps us stay organized and not freak out over the $$ in our accounts!

  8. I did a blog post in January on how i saved money but these are such good tips! My bank account shows me when ive spent a certain about and tells me i have like £2.24 to round up to a full amount which gives me the option to add it to my savings, something i need to start doing more often!

  9. I do the majority of my shopping at Dollarama for everyday items/consumables. I avoid places like Safeway and shop at places like Walmart and the Great Canadian Superstore for groceries. I try to avoid malls as much as possible, but I can’t always avoid them since there’s not a lot of things to do in Canada, especially during the winter. As long as I am not purchasing things at the checkout, I’m good with window shopping. We don’t have Netflix and I don’t order subscription boxes.

  10. Great post! I’m so fortunate to be in a good financial position at the minute but when I was a student I had to live on such a tight budget and I definitely did a lot of these things! It’s such a great practice to get into and I still set a weekly budget! My dad is a debt coach so he’s very helpful to have around for any money woes I’m facing!

  11. These are all really great ideas Lauren! My favourite book for financial management is an easy read with so many great suggestions – The Wealthy Barber by David Chilton. I really recommend it. Thanks for sharing!

  12. Thanks for these helpful tips. When you realize that you’re not saving as much as you would like each month or you look at your bank account and then you think to yourself, “Where is all my money going?”, it’s a sign to start saving. I’m glad you point out places where you might be overspending rather than just advising us to spend less.

  13. Excellent tips! Just last week I canceled a few subscriptions to help me cut down on spending. Those subscriptions really add up, and but the time you realize it, you woild have lost a lot of money.

    Thankfully hubby does most of the cooking (he’s an amazing chef lol) and helps to limit when we eat out. It woild be every once in a while.

    Thanks so much for sharing.

  14. These are excellent tips. We cut back on a lot of our subscriptions over the last year and are down to two, which are the ones we use regularly so it makes sense to keep them. Getting rid of takeout is a good idea too. We get takeout maybe once every two months so honestly, I doubt we would miss it if we completely cut it out. I also love the idea of selling off unwanted items because like you said you not only make some money back but it helps to clutter your space. One thing we do to cut down on expenses is to rarely buy new clothes, at least for my husband and I as we have no problem wearing the same shirts for years on end, but our son is still growing so we need to buy clothes for him but we try to buy mostly get them from thrift stores.

  15. Automated Savings can do alot for people who feel like it’s so hard to keep and save money. It’s the first step you can take to try to live in a lesser percentage of your income.

  16. Great post, I know this is going to help so many people. I want to invest some time into selling my old clothes to make some ectra cash!


  17. That’s an amazing post! I personally keep track of everything on a notebook, at the start of every month I write down all the things I already know are going to be taken off the account and o update it after every purchase. Then I know how much I have for the month and how much I can save !

  18. I started putting my pence into my savings account every day. Somedays it’s only 4p but you are right it builds up over time.

  19. I’ve always struggled with this, it’s so challenging! I wish there was an easy way to sell unwanted items but shipping alone deters me from it. I love your tip about rounding up!

  20. I have not eaten out in over a year and the difference it makes on a bank statement is immense! I do miss eating out, but am not willing to risk contact with the virus due to a lax kitchen. I am also enjoying cooking my favorite takeout meals at home!

    Making a shopping list beforehand and sticking to it is also a great way to stay on track with a weekly budget, but I love your suggestion on canceling memberships the most! Those monthly charges just keep coming in whether or not we are getting our money’s worth or not.
    Thanks so much for sharing!

  21. Great post. I am worst at saving. Sometimes I wonder what is the need for savings? I know a lot of people say rainy day but rainy day seem like everyday. Maybe I need to distinguish my want from need so I can save more. This post really opened my eyes to ways to save, so thank you very much.

    1. Me personally I am saving for when I retire because state pension will either be very little or completely gone when I reach retirement. But I know it can be different for everyone.

    2. My husband and I own our own house, so something we had to recently use our savings on was fixing a fence that was damaged so our dogs didn’t get out. Other things we’ve used savings on is medical bills (we live in the US) and other household emergencies like when our water heater went out.
      Like Bournemouth Girl said, it’s different for each person. I know owning a house we’ve had more “rainy days” and with my health we usually have at least one big expense a year.

  22. This is a wonderful post – I did a big cut to all unused memberships in Feb and saw a big difference in my bank statement last month which is awesome. We’ve also cut down on our take out food which has also been helpful at saving a few dollars – every little bit counts! Thanks for sharing this.

  23. Yes to all of these tips! I have a weekly budget of what I can spend on so I’m in line with my savings goals and it has helped me become a lot stricter with my money x

  24. I use to be really bad about overdrafts. Having different bank accounts actually helped me from over spending. It’s hard to save when you’re hit with overdraft fees you didn’t plan for!
    I have several different bank accounts. I have one for automatic bill payments, one for expenses I swipe my card for (like groceries), then I have long term and short term savings accounts. I also have a cash jar for collecting change that we empty for “fun money.”
    Money isn’t as tight as it used to be, but we still use these tips from when we were low income.

  25. Some great tips! I’m goal-orientated, so I HAVE to set a goal with what I’m working towards. Whether that’s paying off debt, getting my savings to a certain level, or something else. If I have that goal, I can check off certain milestones and it gives me motivation to keep going!

  26. I love the idea of setting a weekly budget and automate your saving! I’m working hard on my saving so your tips here is really helpful 😀 Thank you for sharing x

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