Ever since the surge of the pandemic, many people are finding it difficult to save money. Seeing money put away starts to feel like a sacrifice than planning financial security.
When challenges arise it’s easy to not think of the future. What’s happening right now is giving us a sense of alarm that we forget about our goals.
Why can’t I save any money after my paycheck?
Are trying to save more money but it seems like you can’t? There are a few reasons why this might be happening. One reason is that the cost of living is increasing. This means that your paycheck may not stretch as far as it used to.
Another reason may be that some people have difficulty with self-control when it comes to spending. Do you shop to get excited, cover up emotions, or just because you are bored? Meanwhile, you are buying things they want instead of saving for what they need.
The third possible reason is that people sometimes have a hard time accepting the idea of saving because they feel like they’ll never be able to buy anything again if they do – but this is not true!
If you’re finding it harder to save now than ever then after reading this I hope you get some inspiration. In this article, I’m going to list some tips to save without sacrificing what you have left.
Cut Down on your Expenses
In this section, I’m going to go over tips to help you can save even with little to no money. Cutting back on expenses and using the tips below will automatically help you save and still keep up with the things you need.
The expense categories I want to discuss are the ones that can easily take up most of your budget.
- The common monthly expenses to list in your budget
- 110+ Best Cash Envelope categories to use in your Budget
- What percentage of your paycheck goes to bills?
Areas, where you can save on your bills, are groceries, monthly subscriptions ( like the internet), utilities, rent, and many others. When you have no money to save because it all goes to bills then you need to get creative and see where there is opportunity.
Spend Less on Groceries
We all need to buy food, even though it can be a variable expense because it changes so often. Around the holidays or birthdays, you find yourself spending more on food than normal. In the summer, there’s grilling food and tons of more products and frozen treats.
When I’m budgeting for food it feels like a win if I’m able to get really close to the amount I want to spend. If you don’t have any money to save each month, then cutting back on groceries could free up a lot of cash.
Buy in Bulk
You can save hundreds of dollars each year by buying in bulk. Bulk purchases can be made at wholesale retailers like Costco, Sam’s Club, and BJs. Always look at the unit versus the price. So keep in mind not everything will be a good deal.
I always go for bulk purchases that will ultimately cost me less if I was to buy one at a time. I personally have a BJs card and they have their own coupons and will allow me to use the manufacturer’s coupons. Learning how to use coupons and shopping in bulk really helps me stretch every dollar.
Make a List of What you buy Every Week, Every Month
The best tip I have for saving on purchases throughout the year is to make a list of everything you normally buy. In turn, you can save hundreds of dollars a year just from this one tip. Toilet paper, toothpaste, your favorite laundry detergent.
If you are going to buy it anyway why not shop for the best price?
You might think comparing prices is long and tedious but actually takes me only a few minutes. With the help of technology, I’ve downloaded an app called Flipp, it compares prices, makes a watch list of deals I want to look out for, and makes a list.
By always getting the lowest price on regularly purchased items you can cut back on grocery purchases, gifts, toiletries, clothing, and holiday shopping. I can never go shopping on Black Friday, or Christmas without this app, Flipp. It has helped me stay within my budget every month.
Plan your meals in advance until your next paycheck
I’ve learned that if I don’t plan my meals in advance two things will surely happen. One, I will ultimately spend more money on groceries, and Two, I will be figuring out what to cook every day. So why not get rid of two headaches in one, by planning your meals in advance.
Just this week I took the time to search for recipes that were easy to make, generate a shopping list and look for deals. I’m just as busy as a lot of moms, sometimes I don’t have the energy to prep. At least if I can make a list of what we are eating Monday to Friday and shop accordingly I’m saving money.
If I’m in a pinch to save a tip I’ve learned was to use one to two of the save meat groups for the meals for the week. Meat and produce take up most of a grocery budget. By buying large quantities of the meat and using it for multiple meals I’m able to stretch my budget. It’s a win-win, we try new recipes and I save more money.
Take up a No-Spending Challenge
I found out what help me the most while I was committing to a no spending challenge was to keep myself busy. On the weekends I was doing my no spending I put in activities that were free or a project that I haven’t gotten to in forever.
I would challenge myself to eat from the pantry, find out what else I can use peanut butter for? lol Get creative and write in a journal and not think about what I wanted to buy. No matter when I do a No-Spending Challenge, it is the quickest way to save money!
I don’t know what it is about it, but I save more money when I do not spend. To me, it didn’t seem like I was doing anything drastic but it goes to show you how easier it is to save when you are competing against yourself.
Do a Money Challenge with your Friends
When it comes to a challenge it’s more fun and achievable with a team. That team can be your partner friends or like-minded individuals from a Facebook group.
You can hold each other accountable and cheer each other on for milestones. Try it for your next money challenge, it could be an annual or a 30-day new year resolution.
I’ve always been super competitive so challenges are exciting. Especially if you have a hard time committing accountability comes easy in a group.
Make a List of Activities that are Free
There’s nothing more tempting in breaking the budget with an entertainment expense. Going out to eat can easily make you spend more than expected.
When it comes to saving sacrificing entertainment makes me less motivated. To prevent me from not achieving my savings goal I make a list of Free entertainment. It could be a trip to the park, town events, or stuff you can do as a family at home.
Go online a research free activities. You can even do a bucket list and spend more time-saving money. Use the activities sparingly throughout the year so there are more chances of fun.
Teach your kids the value of Money
As I started to save money it became easier to not spend on myself but spend more on my son. There was a point in time when my son asked me for money for his Xbox and finally I told him it wasn’t in the budget.
As a mom, you have this guilt to make your child feel like you can provide anything for them. Surely they don’t need to know that you’re in debt or trying really hard to save. There is a good reason to teach your child the value of money.
Starting with why it shouldn’t be wasted and how money can be earned. Begin with some chores and the basics of opening a savings account. When he or she has earned it then spent it. They will truly understand the value.
Get Rid of Monthly Subscriptions and Pay for a Year
Subscriptions are one of the most deceiving bills unless you monitor them regularly. Working on my own and having a blog I easily racked up tons of subscriptions for tools that I don’t even use. The same goes for home, TV subscriptions, meal subscriptions, oh yeah, and that monthly jewelry subscription.
All subscriptions are alike in this way, they look way cheaper as a monthly versus a year. That low price and probably what you can afford now not later. The yearly price, however, can save you a little money but boy it’s expensive. The reality is that you will end up paying the yearly price if not a little more.
After all of the expenses, I’ve accused from subscriptions I’ve learned this one thing! If I can’t afford the year then I can’t afford the monthly. So make it a rule that if you are going to buy, go for the year if that year is not affordable then you can’t get monthly.
Save yourself money and come to a few realities that you don’t need subscriptions if you can use them for a year. Once I started buying yearly subscriptions, I used those tools more often because I paid that money and I had to take advantage of it.
Challenge yourself to Save Money Daily not Monthly
Stretching a tight budget for a whole month can be challenging. Even after you made your budget there are surprises along the way that sweeps your plan. A tight budget is always tough but that’s why we need to watch our spending.
Instead of trying to save by the end of the month, save money daily. Challenge yourself to cut back each day. Stay in for the day instead of going out, opt for a glass of water instead of a snack out of the vending machine.
After your day begins ask yourself how can I save money today. I promise this will turn into a natural habit of cutting back. By the end of the month, you won’t be struggling to put away savings.
Celebrate yourself every month
Saving money on a low budget is just like planning to eat healthier or weight loss. It’s hard and you should not ignore your progress. Challenges come with rewards and you should celebrate every month.
Make it a ritual to have a nice dinner with family when you’re under budget. Buy yourself something motivating that you will look forward to. And why not have a party.
Celebrating along the way will reinforce the reason you should push to continue. How can you celebrate this month?
Now that I’ve gone over my many strategies for saving money, I dare you to try at least one next month. Put it on a calendar like a doctor’s appointment.
I have faith in you, you can save money without sacrificing what you have left. You can cut back on expenses, save on groceries or commit to a money challenge.
After you are done doing all the work, congratulate yourself. It’s a lot of work and you are doing providing for your future!