You may think that saving money is too hard to do- I mean, after all- you barely make enough money to make ends meet, right? Well, the truth is, it is possible to save money, even when you’re living on a really tight budget.
Following are eleven ways to save money on a tight budget. Simply implement these tips into your daily life and you will find that you are able to squirrel some of that hard-earned money away for a rainy day.
Some Great Ways to Save Money on a Tight Budget:
There are always ways to watch your money and save a little more than you’re doing now. Here are a few easy things you can start doing now.
Painlessly Cut Your Spending:
1) In order to find those small savings that will add up to big ones, you should keep a record of all of your expenses for one month. Yes, even those morning coffees need to be put down as an expense. When you think about it- that five dollar coffee you have every day on your way to work adds up to twenty five dollars per week – which, adds up to one hundred dollars (or more) per month. Take that one hundred dollars a month and multiply it by twelve months- that’s a savings of $1,200 per year – just by skipping that daily latte!
2) For those purchases that you simply can’t avoid such as gas, insurance, transportation, and groceries, shop around to find the lowest prices. When it comes to grocery shopping, make a list to take with you – which makes it easier to avoid those unnecessary purchases – if it’s not on the list, it doesn’t go in the basket. Sit down with the local sale ads and see what is on sale and where it is on sale. Most stores will price match, as long as you can show them the ad. Join coupon sites and download coupon apps on your smartphone. There are lots of ways to save money when it comes to groceries.
3) When it comes to shopping for holidays and birthdays, put a limit on how much you’re going to spend – and stick to it! Take the time to choose gifts – a few gifts that are well chosen are much more likely to be appreciated than a pile of gifts that are thoughtlessly grabbed at the last minute.
Save Money for Emergencies:
4) In order to avoid having to take out loans to cover unexpected purchases or expenses, build up an emergency fund. Typically, it is best to keep emergency savings in a share or savings account, even though they usually only pay a low interest rate. You must remember to keep your balance high enough in order to avoid paying monthly account fees.
5) Get a jar or jug and drop all of your loose change into it. When you fill it up, take it in to the bank and deposit that money into your savings account. You’d be surprised how quickly all those pennies add up.
6) Set up with your bank to automatically transfer funds from your checking to your savings account. Even just a small amount – $10 to $15 each month will be helpful. That adds up to $120 to $180 per year- and though that doesn’t sound like a lot, it will help your nest egg to grow – and you can always add more as you see where you can afford it- for example, that latte money that you’ve been saving.
Reduce Your High-Cost Debt:
7) When possible, avoid using payday loans and high interest credit cards. Typically, payday loans will charge you interest rates of around five hundred percent and those high interest credit cards can run twenty five percent or more. You can save a minimum of hundreds of dollars, if not thousands, by paying off these debts, or not using them at all.
Take Advantage of Opportunities that are Available to You:
8) Do you receive regular payments from a settlement or pension you worked for? If you need more of the money sooner there are plenty of good service providers who can facilitate the lump sum funding process for you.
9) Moderate to low income workers qualify for an Earned Income Tax Credit that can be at least over $1,000 and in many cases, over $2,000. You can refer to the IRS Publication number 596 to learn more about how to apply for it or contact your local tax center to get help in-person. Use that EIC to pay down some of your debt, saving at least half of the money that you get from using this credit.
10) Find an Investment Development Account program in your area and attend it. In return for attending sessions on financial education and agreeing to save up for education, home, or business, you will receive $2 for every $1 you save through the program. This means that when you save $25 every month, you could end up with more than $900 at the end of the year.
11) Finally, take advantage of any retirement savings programs offered by your employer. Contributing to your retirement is one of the best ways to save money on a tight budget because it helps avoid taxes. Plus in most cases your employer will match a portion of your contributions. Don’t turn down free money!
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