5 Ways To Save Money Even When You’re On A Tight Budget
Most of my conversations about budgets are with clients who are saving to buy a home or someone who is ready to take control of their finances. The thought of saving when money is already tight can be a little daunting. So, how can you save money even when you’re on a tight budget? It’s not as hard as it sounds! It just takes planning and identifying where you can save.
It’s like anything else if you stare at your numbers long enough they all just blend together. A second or third set of eyes can bring focus to different ideas on how to save money with an already tight budget.
Let’s be real though, it’s going to take some sacrifice and you’re probably not going to love them at first.
I get that. When I first got into real estate I had to get creative in order to make ends meet. Rome wasn’t built in a day and the bills have a way of showing up each month so you have to be creative when you want to save money on a tight budget.
Think about the end game. You sacrifice now to set yourself up for years to come. Look at the big picture when it’s time to trim the budget and get creative. Your future self will thank you.
Here Are 5 Ways to Save Money Even When You’re On A Tight Budget
Needs Vs. Wants
This is one of the first things I ask someone who wants to save money on a tight budget. First world problems is needing cable or unlimited Wi-Fi on your phone.
In reality, we really only need a few things in life if we want to get real basic about it. I’ll never go as far as your only needs being food, water, and shelter although that’s one way to look at it.
A needs vs. wants assessment to find some common ground and trim the fat from your budget. Look at what you’re spending money on every month. I mean right down to the last penny.
Then ask yourself is this really necessary.
Let’s go back to cable because it tends to be a big one for many of us. My husband and I dropped cable and went to online streaming (HULU for anyone that’s curious) and that simple change saved us over $70 a month. Yes, you’re going to lose a few channels, no you don’t need them!
Needs vs. wants don’t have to be an all or nothing scenario. If you can cut back on a service or product vs. depriving yourself all together that’s also a way to save money when you’re on a tight budget.
Heck, even bumping your thermostat up a few degrees in the summer and down a few in the winter will save you money.
If there’s one habit I see way too much of it’s eating out when you’re trying to save money on a tight budget. Stop, do not pass go, do not collect $200.
Eating out is really expensive and it’s also a luxury. Yes, it’s easier but, the cost of one meal when you eat out is the cost of 2 or more meals in groceries. If you add in drinks you’re really spending money that you could be saving.
When you’re looking to save money on a tight budget you can still eat out occasionally because again this isn’t about depriving yourself altogether. If you do that you’ll fall off the savings wagon before you see the fruits of your labor.
Cut the booze altogether if you’re going to eat out and honestly cut anything other than water. Drinks, even when they’re non-alcoholic cost a fortune when you’re eating out. Think about it, forgo that glass of wine save $8 or more. Forgo that soda or iced tea save $2.50 or more.
Most portions at restaurants are huge, you don’t need that appetizer or dessert on top of your meal. You may even have leftovers from your meal to take home for another meal.
You could also consider going for lunch instead of dinner. Pocket that savings and still feel satisfied that you treated yourself to eating out.
Treating yourself is the keyword. Eating out is not a need, this includes coffees, lunch, and dinner. If you feel the urge remind yourself that not doing it instantly helps you save money when you’re on a tight budget.
Track Your Spending
Sounds simple right? It is and yet so many people don’t do it! You can’t expect to know how to achieve your financial goals if you have no idea what your expenses are.
I literally pause and my eyes get wide when I talk to someone about their financial problems and they can’t tell me what their expenses are. Tracking your spending is a must, I don’t care if you’re trying to save on a tight budget or rolling in the dough you better know what’s coming in and what’s going out.
Finding where you can save money starts with knowing what you do and don’t have. There are so many free apps available to help with budgeting. Personal Capital is what I use and it’s completely free.
You can even use a spreadsheet if that’s what you’re into. What matters is you’re tracking your dinero!
Get money back for buying what you already need. Yes! Fetch, Drop and Ibotta are my favorite apps for earning money right now but, there are so many out there to choose from.
You can get cash back that can be withdrawn when you reach certain thresholds and all from products you already purchase.
Last month alone these apps help me put a little over $71 into savings. Not too shabby considering it was all for items I buy every month like toilet paper.
Do not change your spending habits because of these apps. This is for necessities you already buy.
Kinda like when you and by you, I mean me spend more just to meet a free shipping quota … that’s not saving!
Download Fetch here. Use my referral code, E3DPD, during signup and you’ll get 3,000 Fetch Points ($3.00 in points!) just for starting.
Download Drop here. Use my referral code, r5an4 to get $5!
Start A Side Hustle
Oh how I love a good side hustle! If you’ve cut the fat and are still looking for ways to save money on a tight budget you can always up your savings game by earning more.
There are only so many ways you can save and sometimes the answer is to earn more.
Side hustles can be game changers to your personal finance challenges. The best part is you can create your side hustle work around your existing schedule.
Yep, that might mean getting up earlier or staying up later. That’s why it’s called hustle!
A side hustle isn’t just for saving more on a tight budget. It could to be pay off debt, make money doing something you enjoy, or just a distraction from your 9-5. The options for a side hustle are endless, and there are a lot of ways to make money online.