How to Save Money On A Budget

Written by: David Scott

It can be difficult to meet all your needs when you earn a small income and even more daunting to save. When you think of all the bills to pay, as well as unforeseen circumstances that keep coming up, it can be quite overwhelming to take responsibility over your financial wellbeing.

However, all hope is not lost. It’s actually quite possible to budget and save from the income you earn, and it is even more possible to live within your means on a tight budget and save the extra cash. By learning these skills and lessons now, you set your future self up for financial success.

Here are practical hacks you can use to save money on a tight budget!

Create A Budget And Set Financial Goals For Yourself

Without a budget of your weekly and daily expenses, it will be difficult to save. Any extra cash or gifts given to you will likely be spent, rather than carefully accounted for. A budget helps you organize your expenses and keeps you in check. It gives you a guide on what to spend on and how much to spend on those items, as well as helps you set boundaries on what to not buy.

Write your weekly and daily budget in a book. Gas bills, food, transportation fare etc. should be carefully listed with the amount at the side. If possible, write down your daily budget on a piece of paper and carry it with you, fold it and put it in your purse. It will help you downsize your spending and ensure you only spend on your needs.

It is important to note that if you do not have financial goals for yourself, it will be difficult to save. Why are you saving that money? Is it to set up your own business, get a degree or buy a house? How much will it cost? How many years do you plan to save for it? These financial goals will give a purpose to your savings and will keep you invested in achieving it.

In that same book, write down your financial goals, what you want to use it for, and how much you need to save from your current income to get it. It will give you an idea of what you are looking at and the investment you need to attain it.

Save Your Cash Gifts

All those times you were not expecting money and people gave you cash unexpectedly, you likely would have been okay without the extra cash gifts, your needs accounted for, and the cash gifts used for extra spending. Take an honest trip back and think of all you did with the extra cash you got. You probably loosened the grip you had on your budget and included the cash, right? This means you could have been fine without spending the cash gift, and rather putting it in savings. 

Save all cash gifts that are given to you. It may be difficult initially because everything you didn’t see before you got the cash will draw you in to purchase it. But as you consistently do this, it will become a habit (a good one at that!), you’ll become accustomed to the self-constraint, and it will save you money over time. 

Sell Items You No Longer Use And Save The Income

Looking around the house, can you see items you no longer use or clothes you no longer wear but are still in good condition? These items can be sold and bring in extra cash. Season after season, people keep buying clothes and most of the time, they pile up and are barely worn. People buy furniture, gadgets and all sorts of items for the house and end up keeping them in storage, and these things are typically still good as new. 

Clean out your closet, or go through your storage. Check for items you are not using but are still in good shape and organize a clearance sale. It won’t cost a dime. All you need is to spread the word on social media, tell family, friends and colleagues. People who need those items will reach out to you, and you’ll be able to easily sell them. The great thing about it is that it will help you remove unnecessary items and clutter from your home.

Write down the items in a book, tick them as you sell them and write the amount you sold them at. After you are done with the sales, save every dime. No spending, no splurging, no nothing. Save it. It will increase your savings and teach you how to be frugal even when you have extra cash.

Get A Side Gig

A side gig where you can get extra income will go a long way for you. There are many ways to earn extra cash nowadays especially with the opportunities technology has given us. One side gig that won’t affect your daily job is getting a remote job.

A remote job is great for you as you don’t need to be physically present to do the job and you’ll still get paid. Some of these jobs include managing a social media page or creating content for a small business, building websites, or offering graphic design services etc. You can advertise on your social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter and open a page specifically for your services on these platforms, or use freelance websites like Fiverr and Upwork to render these services. Before you know it, you will start earning extra income.

When you start earning from your side gig, do not loosen the grip on your budget. Save the money you earn on your side gig and continue to live on the income you earn on your day job. That way, your budget will stay the same but your savings will increase. 

Automate Your Savings

It is difficult for most people to save when there’s money in their account. When you automate your savings, your money will automatically be moved at a specific date, helping build consistency and turn savings into a habit. 

Use safe and approved apps to automate your savings or go to the bank to sort it out. Automate it according to how you receive your income i.e. if you earn weekly, automate it to remove a certain amount from your income weekly, and if you earn monthly, do the same. It will help you save no matter what and make sure you do not spend the extra cash lying around when you stick to your budget.

Budgeting and saving on a tight budget and small income is possible. All you need to do is to follow the steps listed above, be consistent with it and believe you can achieve it. You will definitely save even, even with a tight budget.

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