19 Tips On How to Save Money Fast On a Low Income

how-to-save-money-fast-on-a-low-income-fi

You’ve probably tried everything you could to get some money together while on a tight budget. No matter what you do, nothing seems to work, and trying to save is becoming more frustrating than exciting. 

Unfortunately, it’s now more important than ever to have some money saved up or to have an emergency fund, especially during a pandemic. Don’t lose hope yet though.

We’ve come up with even more ways for you to save money in case you’ve already tried a few that didn’t quite work out. In this blog post, we share another 19 tips on how to save money fast on a low income.

 

1. Work With a budget that Suits You 

Budgeting might sound like hard work, but it’s definitely worth it and will help you save quickly. This is one of the most important things you can do and will open your eyes to where your hard-earned money is going. 

Unless your money has a purpose, it can be too easy to spend — carefully budgeting your money will help you meet your savings goals. 

 

2. Change the Way You Use Electricity 

Check if your electric company offers free tools for assessing how much energy your home uses. You may also ask about ways on how you can lower your bill or consumption. 

For instance, if you’re not on a time-of-use plan and it is an available option in your area, you may benefit from switching to one.

If you do, one way to lower your bill is changing when you use energy-intensive appliances such as dishwashers, dryers, and washers. 

 

3. Get Rid of Your Debt 

Having debt can keep you from reaching your financial goals — having a constant strain on your budget can leave you without savings every month. Be sure to make it a priority to get rid of your debt. 

While it may take a lot of hard work and sacrifice to lower your debt, it can lead to an easier way of saving. Once you’ve paid off your debt, you will be able to place the extra money you have towards a savings account. 

 

4. Count How Much You Spend on Food 

Spending too much on food could spell disaster for your budget. But with the constant temptation to eat at fast-food chains and restaurants, this can be even harder to do.

  • Ensure that you create a meal plan that you can follow through every day
  • Ensure that you aren’t spending too much on groceries
  • Check your pantry for all the meals that you will be able to make. 

5. Check if You’re Eligible for Utility Programs

The federal Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program was designed to help people keep cool during summer and warm during winter.

 

While the levels of assistance and qualifications may vary by state, it may still be able to help you with cooling and heating bills. 

 

Some programs can also help you weatherize your home or replace a broken furnace to lower energy consumption. 

 

6. Switch to a Prepaid Phone Plan 

When we think about phone providers, we will usually think about T-Mobile, Verizon, and AT&T. However, their monthly plans are expensive, and you’re probably not even using all the speed, data, and technology that they offer. 

If this is the case, then consider going on a prepaid plan to help cut your monthly bill in half. You can also consider moving to a smaller provider if you need a postpaid plan but are looking to save a bit of money. 

 

7. Participate in a No-Spend Challenge 

Think about it — if you can survive a week drinking water with lunch and dinner instead of Coke, then you might be able to kick your habit of one can a day for good. If not, then you might at least be able to cut it by 50%, so you won’t need to spend as much as you used to. 

When you try this for a week or a month, a no-spend challenge might just boost your account balance without you even knowing it. If nothing else, it will encourage you to reevaluate your purchases every month, at the very least.

 

8. Get Help When You Need it 

There are so many things that we can take advantage of in the United States — we should make use of them when needed. These range from:

  • Free farmers’ markets
  • Food banks
  • Community gardens
  • Healthcare clinics
  • Pet pantries
  • Hospital charity programs
While some resources are more abundant in some areas compared to others, we should still get our hands on what we can have access to. Once you have a better situation in life, you can always pay back what you took by donating your time or money. 

 

9. Don’t Forget About Insurance 

It might be tempting to decrease your coverage in order to lower the premiums on your insurance. But you need to remember why you have insurance in the first place — should you face any kind of emergency, having good insurance coverage will mean that you can get back up and running quickly. 

Having insurance means your finances can stay intact. Moreover, if you have a fur baby, be sure to set aside $20 to $50 a month for pet insurance to help protect them — and you’ll thank yourself for it later. 

 

10. Find Affordable or Free Entertainment 

This is one area of your budget that is within your full control since you have the power where you want to spend when it comes to entertainment.

If you’re looking to save on entertainment but don’t want to feel deprived, here are just a few options that won’t punch a hole through your wallet: 

  • Hosting dinner parties instead of restaurants 
  • Watching matinee movies 
  • Going for a hike
  • Explore free museums 
  • Family fun nights 

You can also do a bit of research around your area to find the best places for entertainment for less. 

 

11. Provide Yourself an Allowance 

Saving can get impossible to do if you’re putting every penny of your earnings away with nothing to spend on yourself.

To help keep you on track, be sure to make a conscious decision at the beginning of the week, month, or payday about how much money you can have for fun. 

Of course, you’ll need to ensure that the amount you spend for fun is in line with your savings goals and is an amount that you can spend guilt-free. If you’re planning to spend on something bigger, then you can always roll your allowance over to the next month. 

 

12. Increase Your Income 

When the time comes when you can no longer squeeze anything more from your budget, you will need to find a way to increase your income. It may not be as simple as it sounds, but increasing your income is possible. 

This can be done through a side job, which can provide you with another stream of income and you won’t have to lose your day job.

 

Whether you want to build a blog or walk the neighbors’ dogs, there are various side hustles that can help you get more money into your pocket. 

 

 

13. Automate Your Savings 

Making the conscious decision to save money can be hard, and having to do it every month can become increasingly difficult.

 

Unless you move your money automatically, you might end up spending it all rather than saving it. 

 

When you get your paycheck, be sure to set up an automatic transfer to your bank account.

You’ll be surprised at how fast your savings can add up this way, and you’ll be able to breathe easy knowing that you have some money tucked away. 

 

14. Look for a Bank With No Fees 

It can get pretty easy to get stuck with unnecessary fees. In fact, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has calculated that $34 is the average overdraft fee at banks.  

This, along with other fees can add up to a big dent in your financial situation.

If you see that your bank always has some kind of fee to charge you with, then it might be time to switch over to one that will help you avoid unnecessary banking fees. 

 

15. Take Care of Yourself 

Healthcare can take a lot of our money, and there aren’t many ways to cut down on these costs. There are, however, things that you can do to prevent trips to the hospital in the future, such as: 

  • Eating right
  • Exercising every day 
  • Quitting smoking
  • Sleeping enough 

Furthermore, if you have healthcare insurance, then be sure to take advantage of what the plan has to offer. If annual doctor visits are included, then be sure to use that check-up to ensure you’re in top shape. 

 

16. Try Using Coupons 

Using coupons could be your ticket to buying everything you need for discounted prices. Getting started with coupons isn’t hard, you just have to find the right places to get them from. 

Various places where you can save money using coupons include BeFrugal, Rakuten, and Ibotta. These apps can help you find coupons for purchases, earn cashback from all kinds of stores, and find deals in your area. 

 

17. Check Your Car Costs 

Owning a car means thousands of dollars to keep it well-maintained and even more money for paying the loan you have on it. These can stack up quickly and you may soon find that owning a car is quite expensive, but there are ways in which you can lower these costs. 

Be sure to compare car insurance to see which option is the most affordable and be sure to pay off your car as early as possible so you don’t have to worry about further payments.

It will also help if you cut down on fuel costs if you take public transportation to work, while small DIY car repairs can save you some money and teach you a new skill. 

 

18. It’s OK to Have One Subscription 

It seems like every kind of business has a subscription service these days, but some have become such a necessity, we can no longer live without them. This is why you should at least indulge in one so you don’t feel so deprived while you’re saving up.

Try to think of one that you need the most and get rid of everything else — this might be painful but you will be able to find a free alternative for other ones you need. If you have month-to-month subscriptions, you can also switch things up: for example, you might get Netflix this month, Spotify the next month, and then Hulu after that. 

 

19. Look Up YouTube Before Calling a Professional

Obviously, there are some tasks that are too dangerous to DIY, and sometimes, you might make something worse instead of fixing the problem. However, some tasks that we would normally ask for help from a professional are relatively easy and might be something that you can handle by yourself.

Some examples include replacing your oven’s heating element and changing your car’s air filter. So the next time that you have a problem, instead of paying a professional to get to work, do quick research on YouTube. 

 

Save Money Your Way 

With all the tips listed above, there’s no excuse for not being able to save and reach your financial goals. While some expenses are impossible to avoid, there are plenty of ways in which you can reduce them. 

Saving money is a long-term decision, so don’t lose sight of your real goal by making short-sighted decisions. Getting rid of your healthcare insurance altogether may cost you more in the long run, so it’s better to lose some money now, rather than to shell out much more later. 

121 Financial Credit Union is the financial advisor that everyone trusts. Serving members all over Jacksonville, FL, and the surrounding areas, they offer various financial services for all. 

From online banking, personal loans, investments, and more, 121 FCU is your one-stop-shop for everything financial.

Get started on your savings today with 121 FCU and call them today at 904-723-6300. 

Back to Blog

Related Articles

Credit Union Home Loans: Refinancing Your New House

You have many options available to you when seeking to refinance your new house. The financial...

8 Tips to Build and Save for an Emergency Fund

No matter what your job is, it’s best to save for an emergency fund that can cover three to six...

Debt Free Living: 5 Ways To Get Out of Debt Fast

Debt-free living is a way of life that can make you happier, healthier, and more successful. It's...