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30 Creative and Simple Ways to Save Money on a Tight Budget

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Saving money is a great idea for the future, but you need to know why you’re doing it. Saving money isn’t just about having money to spend later, but it’s also about being able to get yourself out of a financial problem if needed. If you know why you’re saving and have goals set, you’re more likely to save money because it helps you reach your goals in the future.

But, how can you save money if you’re on a tight budget or have a small income? You may be thinking that there’s no way to save money, but it’s actually easier than you may think. The truth is that you just need to put some effort into it.

If you’re looking to save money on a tight budget, rest assured that it’s much easier than you think it is! All you need to do is adjust your lifestyle a little bit. Making a few small changes can make a big difference.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed and finding it difficult to save, here are 30 simple ways you can save money, even if you’re on a tight budget. By following these simple steps, you’ll be able to save money each month and reach your financial goals.   

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How to Save Money on a Tight Budget

1) Create a Budget

The first step to being able to save money is to create a budget. Everyone should do this. If you don’t have a budget, you are not saving money. The only way to start saving money is to know exactly how much money you have coming in and where it’s going. You probably have a rough idea of what your income is or the number on your paycheck. But, it’s time to look more closely at your income and expenses.

A budget is just a plan of action for spending and saving money every month. This is how you keep track of where your money actually goes every month. And when you first start budgeting, you’ll probably be surprised at how much you spend on things you don’t need. 

You don’t need fancy spreadsheets to create a budget; you can use a notebook. 

2) Track Spending for a Month

Once you’ve created your budget, the next step is to track your spending for an entire month. This is another way to see where your money is actually going. You may be surprised at how much you spend on things like coffee or eating out. When you track your spending, you’ll be able to see where you need to cut back in order to save some money.

3) Start Meal Planning 

To save money on groceries, start meal planning. Meal planning is when you plan out your meals for the week ahead of time and then grocery shop accordingly. 

When you plan out your meals and make a list before shopping, you’re only buying what you need and not buying things you’ll end up throwing away. 

4) Stop Eating Out

One of the most effortless ways to save money is to stop eating out. This can be a challenge for some people, but it’s definitely worth it. If you eat out just once a week, you’re spending at least $100 a month. That’s $1200 a year. And if you eat out more than once a week, the amount you’re spending goes up exponentially.

If you want to save money, start by cooking at home. Find copycat recipes of your favorite restaurant foods and make them at home. Not only will you learn how to cook something new, but you’ll also save a lot of money.

5) Bring Lunch to Work

Another way to save money is to bring your lunch to work. If you eat out for lunch every day, you’re spending money that goes towards your savings account. Save going out for lunch for special occasions only. 

6) Cut Back on Meat

Meat is one of the most expensive items in the grocery store. If you can get by without eating meat every day, you’ll save a lot of money. Many great recipes are meatless and still delicious. Start experimenting with different recipes, and you’ll be surprised at how tasty they are and how much you’ll save.

7) Eat Before Grocery Shopping 

Another money-saving grocery tip is eating before you go grocery shopping. When you’re hungry, you’re more likely to buy things you don’t need. If you eat something before going to the grocery store, you’ll be less likely to purchase unnecessary items.

8) Shop at Discount Grocery Stores

Start shopping at discount grocery stores. There are many stores like this out there, and they offer great prices on food and other household items.

When you shop at a discount grocery store, make sure you have a list of the things you need so you don’t end up buying things you don’t need.

9) Avoid Bank Fees 

If you have bank fees, try to avoid them. Some ways to avoid bank fees include maintaining the minimum required balance. If that isn’t possible, check around with other banks for free checking and savings accounts that don’t have any fees. There are several out there, and credit unions and online banks are great places to find them.

10) Go on a Spending Fast 

One simple and common way to save money is by going on a spending fast. This means you refrain from buying any unnecessary items for a certain amount of time. Start small. Try going for one month without spending any money and gradually increase the time you go without spending.

Don’t buy that cute outfit, those new shoes, or the latest electronic gadget. You don’t them! You’ll be surprised how much money you can save by doing this.

11) Lower Your Cell Phone Bill 

Cell phone bills are a real drag on your wallet. If you want to save money on your cell phone bill, start by lowering it. Try downgrading to a cheaper plan. If your provider doesn’t offer any cheaper plans, consider switching to prepaid or changing to a different cell phone provider altogether.

12) Cancel Unnecessary Subscriptions

Subscriptions are often a big waste of money. We pay to join something and then stop using it months later. In the meantime, we’re still paying for it. 

Cancel any memberships you have, like gym memberships. You can work out at home for free and save money. YouTube offers hundreds, if not thousands, of free workout videos that allow you to work out from home.

13) Set Up Automatic Savings 

When you’re on a tight budget, set up automatic savings. This is a great way to make sure you’re always putting money aside for later. You can have your employer take a small amount out of your paycheck each payday and deposit it into your savings account. You won’t miss money you can’t see, and you’ll be surprised how fast it adds up.

14) Lower Your Electric Bill 

Electric bills can be a considerable drain on the wallet. Some ways to lower your electric bill include turning off the lights when you’re not using them, using a power strip, and unplugging appliances when they’re not in use. 

Also, be sure to thoroughly check your bill each month to make sure you aren’t being overcharged.

15) Stop Using Your Clothes Dryer

Instead of throwing your clean clothes in the dryer, start hanging them out on a clothesline. This is a great way to cut back on your electric bill each month.

16) Take Advantage of Free Entertainment

There are many ways to have a good time without spending a penny. Some ways to take advantage of free entertainment include going to the park, visiting friends and family, and watching TV. 

You can also host a potluck or game night with friends. You don’t need to go out and spend money to have fun.

17) Work From Home

If you can and depending on your line of work, try to work from home. This can save you a lot of money by not buying gas for your vehicle and clothing for work. If your company doesn’t let you work from home, consider finding a remote job. 

18) Use Cashback Apps 

Cashback apps are a great way to save, not only for in-store purchases but also for online purchases as well. Some popular cashback apps include IbottaSwagbucks, and RebatesMe.

19) Cut Your Cable Bill

The cost of cable is outrageous! You don’t necessarily have to cut the cord to save money, although it’s better if you do. Some ways to save on your cable bill: downsize to a lower-tier plan, negotiate a better price, or cancel your subscription altogether and sign up for a streaming service. Just make sure you don’t sign up for many streaming services and end up paying the same as you did with cable. Try to keep it to only one or two.

20) Lower Your Insurance Premiums 

Contact your insurance agent to see if they can offer you better rates. If not, shop around with other insurance companies to see what they have to offer. If you own a home, shop around for cheaper homeowners insurance, too.

Other ways to lower your insurance premiums include increasing your deductible, bundling your policies, and asking for a discount.

21) Car Pool or Take Public Transportation 

If it’s possible, start carpooling or taking public transportation. To save money on gas each week, you can carpool with friends, family members, or co-workers, or you can take public transportation to work. 

22) Sell Items You No Longer Need

One of the easiest ways to start funding your savings account is to sell what you no longer need. Everyone has things in their home that they no longer use. These items are just taking up space and can be sold for extra cash. You can sell them online, at garage sales, or through classified ads.

23) Buy Generic Brands

Whenever you can, buy generic or store brands. These products are often just as good as the more expensive brands, but they cost less. For example, you can buy generic cereal, pasta, peanut butter, and other staples for much less than the name-brand versions.

24) Buy Used Instead of New

Save money by shopping for used goods. You can find nice things in thrift stores and consignment shops and save a lot of money in the long run. You can buy used cars, furniture, appliances, clothes, and other items for a fraction of the price.

25) Set Up Automatic Bill Pay

One way to waste a lot of money is by paying your bills late. This causes unnecessary fees and can add to the strain of feeling like you don’t have enough money.

To avoid late fees and save money, take a few minutes to set up your bills for auto-pay. Some bills even qualify for a discount if they’re paid automatically.

26) Stop Buying Bottled Beverages

Buying bottled water or other bottled beverages is a waste of money and it’s not healthy either. Instead, invest in a water filtration system or a reusable water bottle that you can take with you wherever you go. You can also make tea or buy packaged drink mixes a lot cheaper than pre-maid drinks.

27) Take Advantage of Sales

Taking advantage of sales can save you big each week at the grocery store. Compare flyers from each of your local stores, and whenever you see a good deal, stock up on the items you need. 

28) Shop at the Farmers Market 

Instead of buying produce at your local grocery store, shop at the farmers’ market. You’ll be able to find fresh produce and other items at a fraction of the price you would pay at the grocery store.

29) Use Cold Water to Wash Clothes

One great way to cut down on your electric bill is to use cold water to wash clothes. Depending on how often and many loads you do, you can save up to $50 a month by doing this.

30) Find a Side Hustle

If you’re still having trouble saving money, consider finding a side hustle. A side hustle is like a second job that you do in your spare time. It can be freelance work, selling items online, or any other kind of project that makes you extra cash. When you have a side hustle, you make extra money that you can use to save.  

Final Thoughts

Saving money doesn’t have to be complicated. And you don’t have to sit at home in the dark. It just takes making a few simple lifestyle adjustments, and you can save money in surprising ways. 

Start with two or three of these this month. Then add a few more every month after that, and before you know it, you’ll start to see your savings grow and feel more in control of your finances.

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