In the majority of people’s lifetimes, there comes a season when income is low. Whether the season lasts just a few years or for decades, staying afloat when not a lot of money is coming in takes intention.
Living on a low income, or relatively low income, is nothing new. Managing the balance of income and expenses to ensure more money is coming in than going out is a practice many of us do on a daily basis.
But even if your income isn’t quite at what you’d like it to be, you can still have fun and enjoy the wonderful things in life. The number of ways you can save money everyday are limitless, and all it takes is just a little bit of planning and a willingness to get started.
Saving money on a low income can incorporate both big saving opportunities and small moments that can accumulate to make a big difference. Some ways are easier than others, others may require just a little more sacrifice and discipline in your spending habits. Yet overall, the amount your can save and continue to enjoy life despite a lower income can be significant.
Ways to Save Money with a Low Income
To help you get started on making your budget what you want it to be, here we start with just a few simple and easy ways you can get on your way to saving big on a low income.
1) Cook at Home
Going out for dinner or a quick lunch at work may not seem like much. Yet when you go out to eat several times a week for more than one meal, those checks can add up. Even your $7 sandwich or salad you quickly grab for lunch can grow to take up a large percentage of your monthly budget.
Rather than relying on fast food or grabbing dinner out rather than stay in, consider becoming your own chef. Getting groceries – particularly in line with sales and discounts – and doing the food prep work yourself can save you significantly over the long run.
Cooking at home doesn’t need to be anything fancy. A simple pasta dish with canned chicken and frozen vegetables can be a quick and easy dish to whip up in no time, not to mention the low ingredient cost. Find what recipes you and your family love and see how you can create them yourself at home.
2) Pay off Your Debt
That interest you’re paying every month on balances you carry aren’t going to help you save money in the long run. If you have any outstanding debts in credit cards or other payments – aside from large, long-term purchases like a house, do your best to get those paid off as soon as possible. Doing so will set you up for much greater success later on, especially when you’re looking to amp up your savings plan.
3) Prioritize Savings
When you have just enough to cover all your monthly expenses, it can be difficult to prioritize saving up for the future. But keeping an emergency fund and savings account in mind can help you a great deal in the long run.
Make a conscious decision in your budget to set aside extra funds to dedicate to a savings fund with the potential to accumulate earnings over time. While it’s often tempting to reward yourself with money leftover, consider how those extra funds can benefit you even more later with savings. You can also automate your savings process to make it part of your regular routine.
4) Be Wise About Entertainment
When looking at areas to trim down your budget, perhaps one of the easiest is the entertainment and going out category. But being intentional about saving money doesn’t mean you need to completely eliminate spending money on having fun. What it does often mean is setting limits in place to regulate how much you spend on this flexible category. Consider going out to a movie in the afternoon when prices tend to be cheaper than in the evening. Look through coupons and deals, sign up for a subscription for discounts and be on the lookout for ways to have fun and enjoy life without spending money. Entertainment, after all, doesn’t need to mean expensive.
Save Money, Whatever Your Income
You don’t have to be bringing home an astonishing income in order to thrive in your finances. With simple and helpful steps like these, you can get on your way toward saving money with a low income. If you’re looking to save more money and grow in wisdom with your finances, take your next step today and see what ways you can boost your financial status.