Saving money on a low income, spending less than we make is often cited as the most important personal finance goal.
Saving money on a low income isn’t easy. I know that. I have been through the struggle too. It can be even more challenging to save money if you’re living on a low income.
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Don’t worry. I’m going to show you how to save money fast while living on a low inincome
How to Save Money Fast On A Low Income
A few years back, I found myself drowning in debt.
At the time, I was enlisted in the Newly Admitted people of Niger Delta University, and I was working a part-time job while going to school. It was early in my Digital Marketing career, so I wasn’t making a lot of money.
It was overwhelming; the financial situation I had gotten myself into was terrifying. When it started getting hard to keep up with my bills each month, I knew I had to make a change.
I knew that I had to start saving money and paying off debt. It was time to get serious about my finances.
Over the following two and a half years I put a lot of effort into saving money and paying down that debt, I practice frugal living and guess what happened???
I did it!! 🤓🤓
I paid off my website and other debt. It was a fantastic feeling to be able to get out of debt. I am living proof that even on a low income, it is possible to save money and paying off debt.
Now it’s time to show you how I did it plus other best ways on how to save money on a low income.
32 Best Ways To Save Money Fast On A Low Income
Below are the 32 best ways to save money on a low income.
- Learn to live on expenses
- Reduce your food expenses
- Save money on transportation
- Coupons can save money on a low income
- Cut back unnecessary expenses
- Automate your savings
- Reduce your utility bills
- Sell unwanted property’s
- Start a side hustle
- Spend more time hanging out at home
- Practice frugal living
- Save money when you work out
- Spend wisely when you go out to drink
- Embrace the 80/20 rule
- Negotiate your bills down
- Get at least 3 quotes before you buy
- Share membership, subscription’s, products and tools
- Buy in bulk
- Pack a lunch
- Cut the landline
- Invest your time and money to big wins
- Work out of a library or co-working space
- Take on a protege and buy back more of your time
- Start loving sales
- Tap into your community
- Get a real financial plan ongoing
- Leverage creative partnerships to reduce costs
- Look into low-cost marketing
- Used gear and equipments is just good
- Priotize your education to save money on a low income
- Get creative with providing value
- Bring the right people on board
1. Learn To Live On A Budget
Before I got serious about fixing my financial situation, I didn’t have a budget. To this day, when I think about me not living with a budget, it makes me laugh. If only I would have known better back then.
If you’re struggling to save money every month, you need to create a budget! There is no excuse for you not to live on a budget, and they’re so easy to set up!
This is, without a doubt, the most important tool I had that helped me save money on a low income. Not to mention, it’s super easy to build a budget.
When I was living on a low income, the budget helped me control what my money was being spent on. It gave me an apparent picture of where every naira and dollars earned online went.
No matter your income level, you need to have a budget!Johnmiracle Ejikeme
2. Reduce Your Food Expenses
If you’re anything like me, one of your significant expenses every month is probably food. Oh yea i am a Foodie 😜. It can be downright expensive!
If you’re looking to save money on a low income when money is already tight, try looking at how much you’re spending on food each month. I bet you can find ways to save money on a tight budget.
One of the things that I did to save money on a low income is I stopped going out to eat. I don’t mean cut back on how much I went out to eat, I mean I stopped going out to eat.
It gets costly when you go out to restaurants. I found that cooking my meals is a great way to save money on a low income.
3. Save Money On Transportation
You might not think about it, but driving to work every day costs you a lot of money. Many of us write it off as a necessary expense because, well, you know, you need to get to that job if you want to have any money to save.
I know that you need your job, but have you ever considered finding alternative methods to get there? What if you rode your bike or carpooled with a coworker? That could save you money!!
4. Coupons Can Save You Money
Growing up, I never really knew what coupons were all about. I didn’t realize just how awesome they are. I can tell you now, and I love them!
Don’t get me wrong, you’ll never catch me on an episode of Extreme Couponing, but I do like to use them when I come across good ones.
Coupons are great for helping you save money on groceries, diapers, formula, clothes, and just about anything else you can think of. Do a quick search online, and you’ll likely find a coupon for whatever it is you need to buy.
I always try to look for coupons for whatever digital software or plugins I want to buy to push on my blog mitrobe to cut on expenses.
5. Cut Back Unnecessary Expenses
I got them, those unnecessary expenses. When times were getting tough for me financially, the first thing I did was cancel any unnecessary subscriptions.
The first thing I canceled was my Direct TV. I cut the cable cord and haven’t looked back. Aside from the financial gain, not watching TV has been AMAZING for me!
If you’re not sure where to start with saving money on a low income, start by looking at what you’re spending your money on. Try writing down all your bills and then ask yourself which ones you need and what you can get rid of.
I say take a chance and cut the cable cord. You’ll thank me later!
6. Automate Your Savings
When it comes to saving money on a low income, my favorite way to do that is to pay myself first. If I set aside the money right away, I don’t have a chance to spend it.
The best way I have found to make this happen is to automate my savings. I have automatic transfers from my account to a Piggyvest savings account set up. As soon as my paycheck hits the account, money is automatically moved to my savings.
I take the “out of sight, out of mind” approach with my savings. The money moves automatically, so it’s like I never had it. Then, when I check out a savings account after a while, I find that it’s grown quite a bit.
Automating your savings is a great way to help your bank account grow.Johnmiracle Ejikeme
7. Reduce Your Utility Bills
I know what you’re thinking, how can I save money on a low income via utilities? I know it might not sound like a great way to save money, but focusing on your utilities is more important than you might think.
If you’re trying to save money on a low income, simple things like adjusting your thermostat or turning off the lights if you’re not in the room can have a big effect.
Simple changes to your lifestyle and being conscious of your utility bill can help you save big money throughout the year.
8. Sell Unwanted Items
This whole post is about easy best ways to save money on a low income. One of my favorite ways to build up some cash quickly is to sell stuff around the house.
If you need some fast cash, take a look around your house, and I bet there is stuff you can sell for some money. Or, better yet, have a garage sale if you have enough stuff to sell.
9. Start A Side Hustle
If you’re trying to save money on a low income and the first eight tips you’ve read so far aren’t helping you get it done, there’s one other thing you can try. Start A Side Hustle!
Increasing your income is a great way to save more money and get out off debt. That is, of course, as long as you don’t start spending more!
I have tried a ton of different side hustles. I’m pretty sure my family thinks I am crazy for all the various side hustles I have tried over the years. But you know what, who cares! Each of these sides hustles helped me make a little extra money that ended up helping me grow my savings account.
It’s time to bring out your entrepreneurial spirit and start your side hustle. There are tons of options out there, and you just have to find the one that works for you! Check out this 28 highly profitable side hustle to startup
10. Spend More Time Hanging Out At Home
You don’t have to go out to fancy bars or restaurants to have a good time. You can save a lot of money if you make a habit of spending more time at home instead of paying for everything out of the house.
The next time your friends ask you to come out to a bar, invite them over to your place for a few drinks instead.
Try to eat at home as often as possible. Make a goal of ordering takeout just once or twice a week if you can. If your friend proposes a dinner date, invite her over for a delicious meal or ask if she wants to cook together instead.
11. Practice Frugal Living
You can still look great while budgeting your money the next time you go shopping. Stop shopping at the most expensive stores and watch the money in your bank account rise.
Find an affordable store where you can still find great outfits or perhaps stick with old ones. I Don’t think you’ll only look good if you shop at the fanciest stores, and I’m not saying you should put on rags lolz.
Wait for items to go on sale. You don’t have to buy that fantastic dress the second you see it — come back to the store in a few weeks, and buy it when it’s 50% off.
Some major department stores will give you back the difference on an item you purchased that went on sale, so keep all of your receipts.
Learn to love the thrift store. You can find some funky and exciting clothes at your local thrift store instead of at the local mall.
12. Save Money When You Work Out
You can save a lot of money if you don’t spend a hundred naira or dollar a month to belong to your local gym or shell out twenty dollars every time you take a yoga class. Here’s how you can save money when you work out:
- Run outside. If the weather allows for it, running is the one of the best workouts you can do and it’s absolutely free.
- If you’re taking yoga or dance classes, buy a monthly pass to save money, go to donation-based classes where you can pay only what you can afford, or use a Library book and create your own yoga routine.
- Buy online videos or DVDs that will give you a great workout from the comfort of your own home.
- Work out at home. You don’t need a home gym to do push-ups, sit-ups, and abdominal severe exercises. Invest in some weights and do a full-body workout right at home.
13. Spend Wisely When You Go Out For Food Or Drinks
You don’t have to spend all of your social time at home to save money on a low income. There will be times when you do go out to have some fun with friends, and you can still be smart and save money no matter what.
- If you’re going out to eat, eat a little something at home first, so you aren’t so hungry that you order everything on the menu.
- If you’re eating dinner with a bigger group, see if you can get a separate check. This will be a small pain, but it will save you the hassle of figuring how much you owe to a big group and inevitably overpaying.
- If you’re hitting up the bars with a group of friends and you’re not the one driving, have a drink or two at home first so you don’t end up spending so much money at the bar.
- If a friend asks you out for drinks, pick a place with a happy hour so you can save some money.
14. Embrace The 80/20 Rule
The mindset you need to get into immediately with your finances, and as an entrepreneur in general, is the 80/20 rule.
In case you’re unaware of the 80/20 rule, otherwise known as the Pareto Principle, states that:
80% of your results come form 20% of your efforts. Once you’re aware of this you’re going to see it popping up over and over again in your life.Pareto Principle
On an even grander scale, you’ll probably find that 80% of your budget goes to the same things over and over again.
Whereas 20% of what you spend goes towards those one-off purchases, those little things like lattes and avocado smash.
So what’s the point I’m trying to make here? That the key to save money on a low income isn’t by focusing on the 20% but 80%.
Take a look at the things that take up 80% of your budget, those same expenses you visit over and over again. Are there any costs that can be cut from there first? Can you get anything cheaper? Why do you keep revisiting those same items?
Force yourself to look at the bigger picture here.
15. Negotiate Your Bills Down
No other skill in the world will save you as much money or be as valuable to you later in life, as the power of negotiation.
On a larger scale, the art of negotiation can save you millions of dollars and net you prize deals to grow your business further. On an everyday level, learning how to negotiate can save immediately save you thousands of dollars in the long run.
Right now you can easily pick up the phone and call your service providers, doesn’t matter if it’s for your cell phone or your car insurance, and simply ask them if they can give you a better deal.
A 5-10 minute conversation can be all you need to immediately save money and see a reduction in your next month’s bill.
You can immediately start your education on negotiation with bestselling book The Yes Book by Clive Rich, and find out how you can practice the art of negotiation—as a way to save money—no matter where you are.
16. Get At Least Three Quotes Before You Buy
A great tactic for negotiating that everyone should start practicing right now, is to gather at least three quotes from three different suppliers before making a final decision on any major purchase—that even goes for things like your internet bill if you’re taking the right work from home jobs or full-time remote jobs.
This practically guarantees that you save money on major purchases.
Remember that everyone wants your business, but you have to give them a reason to give you a better price, thus often ending with a meaningful way to save money on individual purchases.
The easiest way to do that is to let sales reps know that you’re acquiring quotes from other suppliers and that you’ll be going with the best one available (because you’re trying to save money here, remember?).
This simple strategy to save money will drive most suppliers to offer you a competitive price so they can have your business—all for the cost of asking a single question.
17. Share Memberships, Subscriptions, Products, and Tools
If there’s a particular online business course or business tool that you have your eye on, but can’t justify the additional expense to purchase it, save money by finding a friend who’s already using the product or by asking another friend to share the cost with you.
Whether it’s the Adobe Creative Suite or another tool that could stand to make a meaningful difference in the success of your business, this is a great tactic to save money. Just share your login credentials with each other, and you’ll both get access to the same materials for half the cost.
18. Buy In Bulk
This one’s pretty easy, if you have any items that you use frequently, then look into seeing if you can purchase them in bulk and get a discount from a local supplier.
Oftentimes you’ll find that you’ll get a much better per-unit price, and you’ll rarely have to worry about running out of that item again, making this a fairly easy way to potentially save money on essentials every month.
19. Pack A Lunch
You’ve probably heard this over and over again, but the reason why this tip to save money is so popular, is because it really works.
Taking a little time to pack a lunch before you head off to work, or just choosing to not eat out, is a great way to save money. You can even take it a step further and plan out your meals at the start of every week so that you know exactly what it is you need to buy while grocery shopping.
You can easily save yourself thousands of dollars annually by following this one tip to save money on a low income.
20. Cut The Landline
While we may all have fond memories of yelling at our siblings to stop using the phone because you’re using the internet.
Thankfully in the past few years technology has grown by leaps and bounds, to the point where we’re truly living in a wireless world. That being said, it’s time to cut the landline.
Unless you happen to be one of the handful of people in the world who still use their landline, home phones almost feel like a relic of the past these days.
On average, the cost for a landline is around $20 per household. Meaning that, on average, you can immediately save money—up to $240 a year just by removing your house phone.
21. Invest Your Time (and Money) into Big Wins
More than money an entrepreneur’s greatest resource is time.
If you want to save money and build your wealth as fast as possible then you accept the fact the majority of what you’re doing is just a waste of your precious time. Time that could be spent landing more sales and clients, furthering your ways to make money online, or learning new business skills.
Most people try to save money by cutting back on their expenses, whether that’s denying themselves the odd latte or attempting to do a job themselves. While admirable, the problem with this logic is that all you’ve succeed in doing is devaluing your own time.
The few hours you spent learning how to unclog that kitchen sink yourself might have saved you a couple hundred dollars. However, how much more money could you have earned if you had spent that time working on your business instead?
As an entrepreneur you should be focused not on how much money you can save with your time, but how much money you can earn. Don’t lose sight of the bigger picture by trying to get a bigger slice of the pie, when you can be making yourself a bigger pie in the long run.
22. Work Out of a Library or Co-Working Space
If you’re just looking for a place to work then instead of shelling out thousands of dollars to rent some office space just head down to your local library.
These days most modern libraries will freely provide you with everything you need to get to work, from free internet, quiet rooms, and other amenities for you to use. Plus, lest we forget, you’ll quite literally be surrounded by thousands of books covering virtually every topic known to man that you can use for free to your own delight.
However, depending on your own business’s needs, then you can use a tool like Coworker to find yourself a co-working space near you. For a membership fee you can get access to conference rooms, high-speed internet, and the chance to meet like-minded people by joining a community of local entrepreneurs.
23. Take On A Protege and Buy Back More of Your Time
If your business has grown to the point where you can start taking on regular employees, you should definitely consider the idea of bringing an intern on board.
In exchange for one-on-one coaching and work experience, you can gain a motivated and passionate individual on your team for a fraction of the cost of an employee.
Finding the right intern for you can be as easy as asking your friends and family if they know anyone that’s looking for experience in your industry. Otherwise you can always go to your local college for any potential hires.
Most colleges will already have an internship program that your business can be a part of, although each one will have their own individual expectations and requirements. You can also use services like InternQueen and WayUp to find potential interns both online and in your area.
Just remember that your intern will likely be someone who is either in the midst of completing their studies, or has only recently graduated. Which means that you’ll need to put aside some time train your intern to the necessary skill and experience level, otherwise you’ll just end up shooting yourself in the foot.
Just like with any new potential hire, be realistic about your expectations about your intern in order to get the most value out of them. At the very least the processing of finding and hiring an intern will be a great opportunity for you to do a stress test on whether or not you and your business are ready to bring on employees.
24. Start Loving Sales (and Sell More)
When I say that you should start loving sales that doesn’t mean that you should be jumping on top of every sale that comes your way. The best way to take advantage of sales is to create a list of things that you actually want to buy.
From the simple things like grocery items, and as that you have your eye on, to gifts for family and friends when the holiday season rolls around. That way you make sure that you’re actually taking advantage of sales, instead of having them take advantage of you.
25. Tap Into Your Community
If expanding your professional network isn’t a priority for you, then you’re going to need to accept the fact that you’re not going to get as far as your contemporaries who do.
Being able to tap into a network of like-minded people anytime you want is a valuable resource that can only promise to keep on giving over time.
By joining a community, or simply building one around you, what you’re doing is giving yourself access to fresh new ideas, expertise, and contacts. Instead of paying a professional consultant, or a business coach for their time and knowledge.
If you happen to have a friend that the knowledge you want, then all you have to do is ask them and you get that information for free. Not only that, but a network can introduce you to new clients and potential investors, and give yourself a chance to find a mentor that can help guide you through your journey.
If you’re not sure where to start with networking, you can easily find a local community of entrepreneurs by checking event sites like Meetup and Eventbrite.
On the unlikely chance that you can’t find a community in your area then take advantage of online communities.
Also, be sure to check out the New York Times bestselling book The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J. Stanley for a variety of tactics and strategies on building relationships to strengthen your business.
26. Get A Real Financial Plan Going
One of the biggest reasons why it’s so difficult for the average person to save money on a low income is simply because they don’t have a solid financial plan.
Without a financial plan all your budgeting at the start of the month just because an exercise in futility since there is no real understanding of where your money is going. The only way to solve this is to sit down and spend a couple of hours to set up a proper budget that you can follow.
Yes, I know this sounds like a lot of work, but spending a couple of hours right now is going to save you thousands of hours in the future and, most importantly, save you money.
You’ll find any number of budgeting and financial plans for you to follow online. Still, I personally prefer using the envelope system. Here’s a great video by Rachel Cruze, where she runs through the basics of how the envelope system works.
Basically, following this system, you ensure that you’re never spending more than you earn. At the start of every month, you allocate home much money you’re going to allow yourself to spend, after subtracting all upcoming expenses for that month, and whatever’s left is up money that you can use guilt-free.
27. Leverage Creative Partnerships To Reduce Costs
Together with my business mentor, we built this blog business (mitrobe) that generated over $100 in revenue in our first month alone. I couldn’t have possibly done that by myself. Unless you’re someone that’s determined to be a solopreneur, I am then forming a partnership with someone that you trust can be incredibly beneficial for both of you.
A partnership means that you share the responsibilities, bring on different board skills, and keep you accountable when you need it. Even if not for the role of a co-founder, you are bound to find potential partners in specific areas that can help you achieve your goals.
Don’t immediately assume that the relationship ends as soon as the check has cleared, actively look for ways to continue improving that relationship and see where it takes you.
28. Look Into Low-Cost Marketing
As essential as marketing is for any business, there’s no denying that it can often become an expensive exercise when left unchecked.
From buying Facebook ads to spending thousands to improve your SEO, there is no shortage of ways you can throw money at the marketing problem. However, if you look hard enough, there are also just as many different ways you can enhance your marketing without breaking the budget.
The best way to build a community around your brand is to delve into content marketing. I’ve personally seen great success by starting my own blog, launching my own YouTube channel.
Releasing multiple blogging courses, and using them as avenues to both make money blogging & attract attention to my own business. Despite what others might tell you, social media is still a valuable platform to gain organic traffic.
As long as you have a focus on providing real value to your audience, then you have a viable marketing strategy.
29. Used Gear and Equipment is Just as Good
While some of you were reading this might balk at the idea of purchasing used equipment, you might be pleasantly surprised to know that most Fortune 500 companies have no such qualms.
Buying used equipment is the way to go because not only do you get a piece of equipment that works just as well as if you bought it brand-new, you’ll also be able to get it for a fraction of what it would normally cost you brand-new.
A neat little trick to finding used equipment in great working condition is to pay attention to any corporate auctions in your area. Especially if any local businesses have recently gone bankrupt, many will hold auctions as a way to offload their assets as quickly as possible.
The only caveat, as you most likely already know, is to make sure you inspect the equipment yourself before you make a purchase.
30. Prioritize Your Education
The best CEOs and entrepreneurs in the world are always the ones who never stop learning. Just take a look at the likes of Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and Richard Branson; they all have an unwavering sense of curiosity and are constantly looking for ways to educate themselves.
By setting aside a bit of time every day to improve your mind, you’re going to be far more equipped to tackle new challenges, come up with new ideas, and make the right decision for yourself and your business. Not only will this tip help you save money, but it also helps you build your wealth at lightning-fast speeds.
Now learning doesn’t have to be a laborious process where you have to sit down with a pen and paper and spend hours taking notes from lectures. At the risk of sounding like a scholastic mascot, learning can actually be fun as long as you tailor it to how you like to learn.
You are listening to a podcast while driving, reading blog post ideas like these, or asking advice from a mentor. There are literally thousands of ways out there you can educate yourself every single day.
31. Get Creative with Providing Value
Keep in mind that money is just the most common and universally accepted way to provide someone with value. There are so many more ways to provide value to someone if you’re willing to think outside the box a little bit.
Do a little research on your potential partner before you approach them and see if they have any needs that you can potentially help out with. Ask yourself questions like:
- Do I have any knowledge or experience that I would find valuable?
- Do they want any resources I can provide freely?
- What is it that they need the most right now beyond money?
Not only will this save you money but it’ll also help you further expand your network and help you develop your personal branding. Adding money into the mix will make any transaction feel impersonal.
But being able to offer something else can make the whole experience more personal and helps both parties see each other as equals and partners, rather than a simple customer.
32. Bring the Right People on Board
Ask any successful business-person on the planet about what the most crucial element of any fast-growing business is, and many of them will talk about the importance of bringing the right people on board.
Yes, you’re probably going to have to spend money and time finding the right people, but in the long run, you’re going to save yourself millions of dollars and grow your business at lightning speed by having a team you can trust and depend upon.
Taking the time to fill your team with “A-players” means that you’ll have people who believe in your vision, whose passion will fuel their work, and you can trust to do what needs to be done.
There you have it, and those are my best ways to save money on a low income. When I was in debt, I used every single tip on this list to help pay off and get out off debt. I wouldn’t recommend these if I didn’t know from experience that they work.
I still use them to this day. I found a method to save money on a low income that worked for me and I stick with it.