When I speak to people trying to extract a little more money from their already tight budgets, there are generally a few things they ignore. It’s like when you look at something for a long time, it stops making sense. Having a new set of eyes and new ideas on ways to save money may be just what you need.
While it’s good news, it may mean making some sacrifices that don’t initially excite you. My wife and I were teachers … you heard how little teachers they are … and we had to be creative with how we save money to pay off the student loan.
This led to living with my wife’s parents and starting this blog, but we also cut as much money out of our budget as possible, in order to live an incredible life in the future.
I’d make that sacrifice any day.
When you are on a tight budget and looking for more ways to save money and think about how it can be impossible or restrictive, think about why you should. The goal is not to be forever, but what you have learned are ways to save money that will help you for years to come, even if you reduce your debt and see your income grow.
Here are 7 easy ways to save money on a tight budget:
Easy Ways To Save Money On A Tight Budget
1. Rethink What’s Necessary
You have all heard the debate about wants versus needs, and we all know that there are only a few essential elements that humans need to survive. The fact is, we live in a time when our needs go beyond the simplest definition of food, water, and shelter.
Still, there are many “needs” that are not as necessary as we are led to believe.
I’m not going to tell you that one of the ways to save money on a tight budget is to change the forest. I couldn’t do that, so I’m not going to tell you what you should be.
What I’m going to say is analyze what you spend money on each month and think about how it is needed. Or are there other ways to get that service or product at a lower cost?
Here are some needs to rethink if you are looking for ways to save money:
- Instead of cable, try an online streaming service.
- Do you have a huge data packet on your phone? Choose a smaller data packet and use free Wi-Fi when you have access, such as at work or at home.
- Instead of buying new clothes or household items, try a used goods store.
- Get down to one car.
- Remember that your home does not have to be as hot in winter or as cool in summer.
2. Negotiate Your Current Bills
This is one of the ways to save money that will make you feel like a boss. There is nothing more satisfying and enriching than calling for a lower rate for something you are already paying for.
I think we sometimes forget that we can generally pay less for the services we are already paying for, but the reality is that you can easily save money by calling to negotiate a lower rate on your checking accounts.
Every few months, I call our internet provider to see if there are new promotions that we could take advantage of, and generally, there are.
The point is, these promotions only last for a few months. If this is one of the ways to save money, try to keep track of when the promotion ends so you don’t end up paying the full price.
Another is auto insurance. It’s an essential expense if you own a car, but that doesn’t mean you have to pay as much as you currently pay. Calling your insurance provider and asking about discounts is an easy way to save money, for sure.
Most of these industries are very competitive and want to keep you as a customer. When you call to negotiate lower rates, you may even try and threaten to leave them with a different company. Be willing to hear them say “no, you are paying the lowest possible rate.” Then you will have to be prepared with an answer.
3. Change How You Go Out To Eat
Eating out is really expensive, so you should reconsider if you are looking for ways to save.
In fact, there are a few small changes you can make to your restaurant habits, so you can eat out from time to time, saving money at the same time.
One of the biggest costs when it comes to dining out is drinking. This is especially true for alcoholic beverages: You can buy a cheap but decent bottle of wine for the price of glass at some restaurants, plus have the full bottle! Even soft drinks can cost a fortune when you are eating out.
Restaurant portions are usually very large, too, so things like ordering snacks and desserts can be excessive for your diet and budget.
Or, instead of going out to dinner, going out to lunch. There is a restaurant that we often offer that offers the exact same meals for lunch, but they cost $ 8 less. That kind of thing makes me a little mad, but whatever it is … I’ll stop for lunch and keep that difference.
I will go ahead and announce it too: dining out is a luxury. I know sometimes it seems easier, but you don’t have to spend $ 50 on a meal. There are several days of groceries for many people.
4. Get Rid Of Your Car Payment
I talk about it a lot in M $ M because getting rid of your car payment is not only one of the easiest ways to save a few hundred dollars a month, but it is also one of the smartest things you can do.
Thinking that we need a new car has become a standard expectation for adults, but it’s ridiculous.
New cars are incredibly expensive. But when you consider that they start to lose value the moment you kick them out, a new car payment becomes one of the stupidest things you can get if you’re looking for ways to save.
5. Do A No-spend Challenge
One of the hardest things about saving money on a tight budget is that it really isn’t that much fun. I am not going to sweeten this. As I said in the beginning, finding ways to save money is making sacrifices.
To get the most out of it, why not turn your savings trip into a game?
What I mean by that is challenging yourself to eliminate all the extra expenses you make during a specific period of time. It can be like a week or a month without spending.
This is not an addition of any kind for that time period.
If that sounds too difficult, challenge yourself to cut only the things that are really eating from your budget. If you like to drink coffee, challenge yourself to go a month without it.
Usually, the things we can’t live with are just the things we make habits. Get out of the habit and you will save money.
6. Track Your Money
This should no longer surprise me, but every time I hear someone talk about how impossible their financial goals are and then they mention in the same sentence that they have no idea of their spending, I literally have to step back.
If your finances seem so tight that you consider something as extreme as getting rid of the phone for a year to earn some money, you better know what is going on with your money.
Tracking your expenses and budget is essential for any family or individual. You can use whatever you want to help, but you just have to.
Finding ways to save money starts with knowing what goes in and what goes out. It will also tell you where to start saving.
Currently, there are numerous low-cost and free budget apps on the market, and they spend a lot of work on the budget.
My favorite is personal capital. One, it’s free. But it provides a clear picture of your financial image. There are basic things like budgeting and transaction extraction for you, but they also have investment tracking, a retirement planner, and a capital tool.
7. Start A Side Hustle
If you have removed all the extras but are still looking for ways to save, it may be time to start earning more. Sometimes there are many ways to save money before you need to do more.
I wrote a lot of M $ M articles on side hustling because that’s how I went from being a high school band teacher with $ 40,000 student loan debt to the guy on the internet who talks about ways to save money.