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Everyone loves tips on saving money. Even more so, if you are living on a tight budget which can make you feel deprived in a way. But I’m here to tell you that if you put in a bit of effort and follow these easy steps to save money when you’re on a tight budget then you won’t feel like you’re missing out on stuff.
Some of these suggestions are quick and easy while some others need you to follow the right habits regularly to start saving money.
But don’t worry, they’re all simple. Pick the ones that apply to you and follow them religiously. You’ll be surprised how tiny and consistent savings can add up over time.
Master the art of saving money and you’ll be saving more money than you did before.
#1 Set A Budget/Allowance
Give yourself an allowance every month. Set aside a bit of it for indulgences/splurges. This will curb your overspending. And DON’T cross the budget unless ABSOLUTELY necessary! Because once you do it for a trivial reason, it will gradually turn into a thoughtless habit.
#2 Make A List and Stick To It
Make a list of items at the beginning of the month that you would like to purchase and stick to it. Do the same for grocery items, make a list before you visit the store. Unplanned visits to the grocery shop or the mall lead to unnecessary purchases which cost more money than you intended on spending.
#3 Follow the 50-30-20 Rule
Split your earnings according to the 50:30:20 rule. It is a great budgeting technique wherein you split your income into three categories.
The 1st is necessities/essentials which includes utilities, groceries and things you cannot do without. The 2nd category is savings and the last one is expenses which include entertainment, shopping and other indulgences.
Sometimes, the last two are switched around but I like to keep it this way to ensure I save more than I spend and to achieve my financial goals.
#4 Set Up Automatic Transfers To Savings
A good rule of thumb is to deduct the money that you want to save first and then utilize the remaining for your expenses. Most of the time, we tend to do the opposite.
And expenditures are usually the ones that have automatic deductions from our account set up. Set aside an amount monthly to put into savings and set up an automatic transfer with your bank to directly move the money into the respective accounts before the expenses get deducted.
This way you don’t have to adjust your savings at the end of the month with the leftover money.
#5 Set Financial Goals
I cannot stress the importance of this. I have made this a habit and constantly strive to achieve them within the time or before it.
Setting financial goals will set you on the right path to save/earn for it. It will keep you disciplined and focused on achieving your targets. Devise a detailed plan to achieve your goal and try not to deviate from it.
- Budget planner
#6 Cut back on big expenses
Buying that expensive dress when you don’t have anywhere to go or picking up that ridiculously overpriced smartphone when your current one is working very well or even eating out when you can cook yourself a nice meal at home are unnecessary expenditures that you need to cut from your life.
Divert that money into your savings fund and you’ll thank your younger self later on in life when that money comes handy.
Check out this post on- how to make money as a virtual assistant
#7 Pay Cash, Stay Away From Cards
Using cash enforces a limit on how much you can spend thereby making you aware and prudent in your spending. Stay away from credit cards.
These encourage people to impulse buy leaving the worry of paying for it to the future without considering the affordability of it. You are essentially spending money you don’t have which then accrues interest and eventually eats a chunk of your savings.
#8 Pay Off Your Debt
If you do own a credit card make sure to pay off your credit card bills in full on time every month.
The high-interest charges add up and can eat through your monthly income. Invest the money you save and earn interest on it. This additional money will add up over time.
#9 Reduce take-out food deliveries
It’s much cheaper to cook yourself a meal than to order in or go out to eat. Given our current circumstances, it’s also a healthy habit to develop, in general as well.
There’s a whole bunch of recipes that help you cook with minimal ingredients used and minimal time spent. Spend money on groceries than on a fancy meal and watch your savings increase.
P.S. It also helps if you’re vegetarian/vegan because meats tend to cost more
- Budget Recipe cookbook
#10 Carry Lunch To Your Workplace
This is an extension of the previous point. Eating lunch out daily is heavy on your wallet.
If you spend on an average of anywhere between € 8- € 12 a meal every day, imagine the savings at the end of just one month. Bringing lunch from home will definitely cost you less than that.
#11 Cut Unnecessary Expenditure
You can cut all unnecessary expenditure by cutting down expenses across categories.
Don’t give in to your cravings and buying that € 5 latte daily, it adds up in the long run.
Walk it or cycle to your workplace if it is close by. This will help you get your daily exercise too.
#12 Cancel some of your Subscriptions and/or your Cable
Add up all the subscription fees that you’ve paid till now and you’ll realize that they cost a bomb over time, especially if you’ve subscribed to all the OTA platforms out there.
And it doesn’t help that these platforms have the auto-renew feature turned on by default which means you don’t even realize when the money’s gone from your account until you start keeping a track of it.
My suggestion, pick a maximum of 1 or 2 and unsubscribe from the rest. Another tip, there is no need to spend on cable with all the streaming options out there so cut that expense out.
#13 Sale! Sale! Sale!
It might seem frivolous to chase after sales but trust me you can save some additional money by waiting to purchase an item when it’s on sale. Use coupons to increase your savings.
Sign up for newsletters that inform you of the best deals and to loyalty programs of your favourite restaurants to get great deals and save more.
#14 Shop Online
In most cases, you will find that a store item is cheaper online or at the very least, you might find a cheaper alternative to it.
Don’t forget to compare prices across e-commerce sites to get a better deal. E.g., One site might offer free shipping, while another might give you a discount on purchasing two items together (make sure to buy both only if you NEED both).
#15 Curb Impulse Buying / The 30 Day Rule
Don’t buy something just because it looks pretty/cute or you think that it might come handy at a later point.
Keep a buffer of a couple of days (a good rule of thumb is 30 days) before buying it and after the buffer period is over, check again to see if you still NEED it. Chances are, after the period is over, you might even forget about the item.
Go ahead with the purchase only if It adds value to your life at that point, NOT the future.
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