Saving Money on a Tight Budget: 5 Simple Steps
When money is tight, and you’re struggling to find enough cash to handle all the bills you get each month, it can be difficult to save for the future too. However, just because you’re limited with your cash doesn’t mean that you can afford to ignore any financial preparation. Remember, your emergency savings are what you have to protect you if something goes wrong with your current job or income.
Prioritizing saving – even if that just means putting a few extra dollars away each month, can make your life a lot easier, and take some serious stress off your shoulders. Many people find that they can sleep more easily when they have a saving strategy in place.
Fortunately, if you’ve been struggling with saving up until now, we’ve got some tips that might be able to help.
1. Change your Entertainment Strategy
We’re not talking about just making sure that you don’t try to go to the movies every week. You know that you’re limited in that kind of entertainment, but don’t forget that you can save money on your day-to-day entertainment too. Cable bills can be seriously expensive. It’s often amazing how much people pay to watch TV – and then most of the time they simply complain that there’s “nothing on.”
If you’re sick of flicking through channels every night and you’re looking for a less expensive alternative, try switching to streaming services like Netflix or Hulu instead.
2. Try a Budget Friendly Diet
Another great way you can find a little more money in your budget is by updating the way you eat. Usually, making just a few changes – like making sure that you don’t spend extra on candy and cookies when you go to the store, can make a huge difference to your budget. At the same time, changing your diet can also give you a chance to benefit your waistline too!
Although a cheaper eating strategy might mean that you spend more time preparing meals and less time ordering from takeaways, you’ll end up healthier, and wealthier as a result.
3. Spend More Time Online
The internet is one of the most valuable tools you have when it comes to saving money. These days, you can find extensions and plugins for virtually everything. For instance, you can install a plugin into your Chrome or Windows browser that tells you when you have the option to save money on a purchase. There are also apps that automatically add voucher codes to your cart for you.
Another way you can save money by spending more time online is to compare the prices of everything you buy – including your loans. Comparing personal loans before you get them can save you a fortune in interest rates and fees.
4. Switch to Cash for Daily Expenses
In today’s digital-first world, it’s unlikely that you’re going to be able to pay your utility bills or rent in cash. However, switching to cash for your entertainment expenses when you’re out and about, or your grocery bills could help you to cut back on your spending. Taking cash with you when you go places instead of a credit and debit card places a hard limit of your spending because you can’t use more money than you have with you.
At first, using cash only can feel restrictive, as it will mean that you have to avoid buying certain items, and you may even need to put products back on the shelves. However, eventually, you’ll end up with a new appreciation for money, and a new attitude towards the way that you spend.
5. Cut Each Budgeting Category a Little
Finally, when money is tight, and you’re trying to find extra space for savings, it can feel as though you’ve already done everything you can think of to reduce your spending. You’ve gotten rid of your gym memberships and cable entertainment, and you do very little in your free time that costs money. However, there still may be ways to cut costs each month.
Look for opportunities in each category of spending where you can cut down just a little bit. This includes mandatory expenses. For instance, you might be able to save money on your car insurance by switching to a new provider – the same applies to your electricity bills. You could also cut expenses by using less air conditioning or walking more often than you drive so you don’t have to buy as much fuel.
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