10 Ways to save on a low income
While it can be hard to save on a low income, sometimes it might even feel impossible, it can be done. There are still steps you can take to build up your savings, after all no matter how small of an amount you can save, it’s better than nothing. These 10 ways to save on a low income will help boost your savings in no time at all.
Get rid of all debt
If you are making on or near minimum wage, you definitely can not afford to be paying interest to your bank, finance company or credit card provider every month. Getting rid of any debt (with the exception of a mortgage, but aim to pay that off too) is going to free up extra money to make sure bills are paid on time, food is on the table, and hopefully leave a little extra for savings too. Once your debt is gone, save up an emergency fund to make sure you never need to touch debt again. If you can’t afford to pay cash for something, you don’t need it!
Save any cash windfalls
This can be a little difficult, but next time you receive a cash windfall, whether it be a gift, tax refund or inheritance, resist the urge to blow it all immediately on something you will probably regret, and take some time to think about how it could make a difference in your financial life. If you have debt, this cash could be the perfect opportunity to pay of some if not all of your debt. If you don’t have debt, it’s going to be a nice boost for your savings. If you really want to treat yourself, spend half guilt free and save the rest.
Save your dollars
A great way to force yourself to spend is to save any coins in a bottle or jar. Get into the habit of putting aside any coins in your wallet at the end of each day, and by the end of the year you could have hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars saved up.
Avoid processed food
Processed food can be extremely expensive when compared to the cost of making something from scratch. The Budget Recipes section of our website is filled with cheap and easy meal ideas, with a few sweet treats thrown in too.
Cut car costs
Where you live and your lifestyle is going to have a huge impact on your car costs, and a car may not be something you can go without (I sure couldn’t), but there are other ways to cut costs. Public transport is always an option if it’s handy to your home and work. If you have two cars, have a think about whether you could sell a car, which is going to save on that second lot of rego, insurance etc. Search for new deals on your car insurance each year when you receive your renewal, I saved $200 last year by switching insurance companies.
Whether or not your family use childcare is a personal decision, but it doesn’t always make financial sense for both parents to be working and using childcare. Often, childcare eats up one persons entire way or more, especially when you have two or more kids. Once you factor in the expenses involved in actually getting to work, it might be worth one parent staying home with the children, at least in the short term.
Sell anything you can
Selling anything you don’t need or use is a great way to find extra cash, and the bonus is you get to have a declutter too.
Take on a student or a roommate
If you are struggling with housing costs and you have the space, taking on a paying student or a roommate is a great way to cover part of your monthly rent or mortgage payments, as well as some of your utilities.
Move somewhere cheaper
Whether it be within your city or elsewhere, finding a cheaper place to live could free up cash in your budget. So many of us live in houses that are too big for our needs, so if this is you it could be worth looking in to. Of course you would also need to factor in moving costs and proximity to jobs.
Make more money
If you have tried everything and are still struggling to get by on a low income, the last resort is to earn more money. While getting a pay increase in your job might be difficult, luckily it is easier than ever before to making extra income on the side. Airtasker (sign up here) is a great way to quickly earn money by completing tasks for other people either locally or online. There are a huge range of tasks being posted all of the time, so you are sure to find something that suits your strengths. You could also start a blog like mine, check out my tutorial on how to start a blog here. Still stuck for ideas? Check out my list of 14+ work from home ideas.