Living on a tight budget may make it seem like saving money isn't possible. But saving when money is tight may not be as hard as you think. Even small adjustments to your lifestyle can help. So, if you're looking for ways to save money on a tight budget, rest assured that it's much easier than you think it is! You just have to put a little effort into it.
You may be surprised at just how much money you can save with these tips!
18 Simple ways to save money on a tight budget
If you are living on a tight budget, you can still save money. Check out these top tips for ways to save when money is tight!
1. Creatively cut your grocery shopping costs
When you go grocery shopping, the key to success is to make sure you go with a full stomach and a list! This way, you'll be less likely to deviate from your shopping plans and can avoid blowing your budget.
You should also review everything you plan to buy on your list in advance and consider buying generic or store brands for certain items. For many items, there really isn't much difference between the brand name and the generic item.
In addition, don't buy to stock up. Instead, just buy what you need for the week. This way, you'll reduce waste and avoid ending up with food you don't eat.
2. Negotiate your car insurance to a lower rate
If you have a good driving record, have never had an accident, or have gotten points on your license, it might be worthwhile to contact your car insurance provider to see if you can get a better rate.
In general, it's a good idea to compare car insurance rates with other companies as well to make sure you're getting the best deal out there. You should rate shop for all of your insurance premiums if possible!
3. Reduce your cell phone plan
There's always a cell phone deal going on! Whether it's for more minutes, more data, or for an overall better phone service package. Give your cell phone service provider a call and ask. Worst case scenario, you can ask to cancel.
There's so much competition out there; they might just have a special retention offer available so they can keep your business.
4. Avoid monthly bank fees
If you are paying monthly checking or savings account fees to your bank, you need to switch banks immediately. Check out bankrate.com to find out about which banks offer free checking and savings accounts. Credit unions are a great place to bank when it comes to free accounts and more personalized customer service.
5. Declutter and sell things you don't use
If you are tight on money, then sell your stuff to earn quick cash to save! Decluttering is such a good feeling. And if you can make money while you're at it, why not? Some great places to start decluttering are your closet and your kitchen.
6. Take a break from shopping for non-essentials
Separate your wants from your needs and put your wants on the back burner. Hit pause on that handbag or shoe purchase for now. You'll be surprised how much money you save by only purchasing the things you really need.
This exercise will also give you an opportunity to become more aware of your spending and help you prioritize your finances.
7. Eat-in more often
One of the top ways to save money on a tight budget is to meal plan and eat in. If you find yourself eating out several times a week, make a conscious effort to cut it down to only once or twice a week. Eating out adds up fast!
So as an alternative, why not break out one of your cookbooks that's been sitting neglected on your kitchen shelf? Don't own a cookbook? Pinterest, Instagram, and Youtube have amazing visuals and recipes you can try out.
8. Do your own hair and nails
Instead of going to your hairdresser or to the nail salon every week, you can save money by going every two weeks or once a month. Do your own hair and nails on your own during that time in between. Put those products you've stocked up on from the beauty supply store to work for you. It's a great way to save when you are tight on money.
9. Stop using your credit cards
Tight budgeting and saving money means living below your means. So that means you need to stop spending on your credit cards. Take them out of your wallet, put them in the freezer, delete them from your online accounts, and instead, focus on paying down debt and saving money. Plus, it saves you a ton of money in interest too!
10. Cancel subscriptions you don't use
One of the sneakiest expenses that can add up is subscriptions. In fact, Americans are averaging $273 a month in subscriptions! So, go through your statements and see which ones you can cut. For instance, slash cable and find a cable alternative instead. Be ruthless because every dollar adds up when you are tight on money.
Also, if you have a gym membership, it may be time to consider working out at home. There are loads of really great at-home fitness programs that you can purchase at a fraction of the cost of a gym membership. YouTube is also a great resource to find online personal trainers that offer free workouts.
11. Pay yourself first
Paying yourself first is the key to saving when money is tight. No matter how little you might earn or how much extra you manage to save up, always pay yourself first. You should try to set aside at least 10% of your monthly income into your savings.
Do this at the beginning of the month so that way you are not tempted to spend that money on anything else.
12. Compare before you buy
If you’re about to make a big purchase, say for a new computer or dining room table, shop around before you buy. You might find a better deal somewhere else or you might realize that the cheaper model actually has more of the features you want than the more expensive one. Comparing prices and getting deals is essential when you are living on a tight budget.
13. Review your budget often
Hopefully, by now you already have a budget set up. But that doesn’t mean you should just set it aside and not think about it. Take the time to review your budget at least once or twice a month.
Make sure you are on track to meet your savings and spending goals. Did you overspend in a category? Think of ways you can eliminate that extra spending. Regularly reviewing your budget is important when you are tight on money.
14. Track your spending
If you’re having a hard time creating a budget and saving money, start by tracking all of your spending. Try keeping a spending journal to track your spending and the emotional triggers you are having when you do spend money.
Once you know where your money is going, it’s easier to find out where you cut your spending. Tracking your spending is one of the simplest ways to save money on a tight budget!
15. Create goals
One of the best ways to motivate yourself is to create goals. Try to make a goal of saving a specific amount each month and setting aside some money every time you do something you’re trying to eliminate from your budget, like eating out.
Or cancel that newspaper subscription and put the money in your savings account instead. You’ll meet your savings goal in no time, even if you are living on a tight budget!
16. Take a savings challenge
There is no better way to kickstart your savings than by taking on a challenge. These challenges not only cover the steps I mention but also detail more about how to make a budget work for you and tips to save even more. The key is to pick a money savings challenge that you will stick to.
You can make it fun by having your friends join you and keep each other accountable! Don’t make saving money become another New Year’s resolution you don’t keep.
17. Automate your finances
Automating your finances is one of the easiest ways to save when you are living on a tight budget. First, set up a dedicated amount to automatically be transferred to your savings account. For instance, $50 a week or 10% of your paycheck. Next set up your bills to be paid automatically.
Automating your bills is the key to success for tight budgeting. It prevents you from paying your bills late which saves you money on late fees! So you see, it's a win-win.
18. Make tight budgeting and saving easier with a budget app
Again it's important to review your budget regularly, but you also need to make tight budgeting easier so you will actually stick with your budget. A budgeting app will help you stay on top of your finances and find more ways to save when money is tight!
Try these top ways to save money on a tight budget!
There are so many ways to save money on a tight budget. You don’t have to starve yourself in order to grow your savings account. Chances are there are one or two subscriptions or spending habits you can eliminate from your budget right away.
Even if you just pick a couple of the above 18 tips, they're a great start if you're wondering how to save money right now! Make saving money fun by enrolling in our completely free "Savings challenge" bundle! This bundle features money-savings challenges such as the $5 bill challenge, meal planning challenge, the 26-week savings challenge, and more!