You may think that saving money when you’re already on a tight budget isn’t an option. This line of thinking, however, is wrong. It’s possible to see some real results each month if you buckle down and stick to some simple money saving methods.
No matter how much money you earn, it is important to try and put a little away every month to help reduce stress and anxiety. Financial freedom is so worth the effort it takes to start saving, and the process is incredibly rewarding when you can see the money slowly build up in your bank account. If you’re ready to start saving but don’t know where to begin, we’ve listed 9 simple yet effective ways you can start squirrelling away the cash when you’re already working hard to live on a low income.
By saving up and having an emergency fund of your own, you’ll be less likely to take out emergency loans. If you’re an NHS employee, you can use our fair and affordable loan scheme at Salad Money, but before you do that, let’s see how you can save some pennies!
1.Spare Change Pots
Keeping spare change pots around the house is a great way to save ‘little and often’ and you’ll be surprised by how quickly it can add up! These saving pots allow you to put money aside for a number of different reasons - days out, meals out and so on, and is also a great way of capitalising on your loose change.
2. Apps To Round Up Purchases
When you are unable to put away a lump sum each month, money saving apps are a great way to help you save while you spend. There are a number of apps that round up the extra pennies each time you buy and offer a user-friendly interface that make it easy to keep track of your savings so you can stay motivated. Several apps also make it easy to split bills with friends and record all your financial activity so if you do overspend, you can assess where you’ve gone wrong.
3.Set Aside A Weekly Budget
Setting aside a weekly budget is important if you’re trying to save when money is tight. Knowing what you can spend every week on both food and leisure is crucial if you wish to avoid blowing your monthly income on frivolous purchases. Outlining what you can spend each week encourages you to weigh up the difference between what you ‘want’ and what you ‘need.’ Having a plan to stick to also makes it less likely for you to deviate from your money-saving goals.
4.Cut Out Unnecessary Expenses
When saving money on a tight budget it’s wise for you to take a break from shopping for non-essentials. We’re not saying that you can never treat yourself to that new handbag or new pair of shoes, but if you’re looking to put away money each month you will need to consider budgeting for items like those, rather than falling victim to impulsive spending. You’ll be surprised how much money you save when you start only buying what you need.
5.Get A Side Hustle
Have you ever thought about increasing your income by starting a side hustle? There are loads of home-made project ideas to sink your teeth into in order to start your own business. Try selling some homemade candles or face creams using only natural ingredients. If you’re feeling really creative you could start selling your own prints, art commissions or even consider writing a blog.
Another great way of earning extra cash involves having a de-clutter of your home and reselling items in your wardrobe that you no longer wear. You’d be pleasantly surprised by how much money you can make from selling items that are just lying around your home.
6. Plan Cheap Or Free Days Out
Saving money when you’re already on a tight budget does not mean you have to sacrifice your social life. There are many budget-friendly ways of enjoying time with your friends and family that don’t involve going out to expensive places.
Grab a coffee to take away and go for a walk, or arrange to play a game of tennis or kick a football around in the park. On a rainy day, plan fun at home and invite your friends or family round for dinner as an alternative to eating out. You could also rent a movie instead of going to the cinema and make some homemade popcorn for your guests!
7. Set A Presents Budget
It is easy to go overboard with your spending and can be a cause of stress and anxiety when you simply don’t have the budget. The festive period tends to put a lot of pressure on your finances and it’s good to set a present budget in place so that you don’t go crazy. Another alternative is suggesting to your friends and family that you all take part in a Secret Santa exchange. This means that a budget is set and you only have to buy a present for the name(s) you draw which can really help take the pressure off.
Planning meals is an easy way to avoid falling into the trap of either eating out or ordering in, which can be really expensive. Break open your cookbooks and plan your meals for the week using your weekly food budget. Cooking meals in bulk like a family sized bolognaise or vegetable curry is an easy way to make your weekly grocery shop go that little bit further, as you can box up extra portions to keep in the freezer for another time.
Planning what you will eat each week also means you’re less likely to throw away any unused groceries and ensures nothing goes to waste.
9.Don’t Be Too Generous
We all know how nice it feels to treat your friends and family and the art of giving is part of our nature. Though when your budget is tight it’s important to think of your own needs too. Don’t be over-generous when digging deep into your pockets for others may do more harm than good to your own bank balance.
As you can see, there are so many different ways to save money when you’re on a tight budget. Even if you choose to stick to one or two of the methods outlined above, it’s a great way to start if you’re wondering how to save money right now.
If you’ve suddenly been landed with an unexpected bill or payment and don’t have the time to save up, try Salad Money. We offer fair loans with no hidden small print for NHS employees, so you can borrow money in an affordable way..