When budgets are tight, I mean really tight! It almost seems impossible to save any kind of money. Just looking at your expenses and wondering “How can I possibly even have savings?”. I want you to look at your budget again, tell yourself “its possible!”. You are going to perform surgery on that budget right now and make a miracle happen, lol. You are going to save money on a tight budget.
We are going to make this easy by just giving you Five ways. I know there are a ton of posts you read that say 50 or 100 ways, but if you can do at least this 5 you are making progress. There’s one great tip that can keep anyone motivated, a quick win! A quick win can prolong a good habit. Don’t burden yourself by completing 100 tasks when you are on your first step, today take 5 steps.
Not having awareness is where you lose the most money
If you want to save money on a tight budget you should be just as tight with your budget. Ughh, not the budget again! I know a super tedious and annoying thing to constantly revisit. There are those who love budgeting and those who get overwhelmed about it. Think of this as like preparing for a marathon, the end goal…Money in the bank! Your counting your calories, doing regimen routines and monitoring your health. In this case, you are monitoring your budget. If you are not good with monthly budgets and tend to slip up with expenses, a quick solution to try is a weekly budget.
I recommend a weekly budget for a tight budget just to train yourself to be conscious of every dollar you spend. Visit your progress week to week. Create a savings goal at the end of each week. Celebrate with a gift to yourself if you overly save, a quick reward. The challenge if you’re up to it will push you to win the race, only a seven-day race. Try budgeting for the month with my 30/30/25/15 method then divide up what you are allowed to spend each week. Check your progress daily and reward yourself at the end!
Save Money First!
Everything seems impossible when you’re in the pit of it! On a tight budget, your idea of saving can just be impossible. My simple and obvious method is to save first! Put something small aside, start out with 10% at least. After that deduction, apply your monthly budget method according to what’s left. You’re used to making sacrifices, you can do this! You can imagine your paycheck is the amount you have left after the savings made. This is a kind of trick yourself into saving. To make this even more secret, set the deduction to happen automatically every time you get paid. What you can’t see won’t hurt you, and at the end of the month, you saved money! If ten percent is too much I recommend starting in $20 increments. Try your first month at $20 a paycheck, if that didn’t hurt so much continue next month at $40 dollars and so on. Once you reach a comfortable limit you can stay at that increment until your income increases.
Live on Less
You have probably heard this term and have said: “Any less I’ll have nothing!” I mean if anyone looks at their spending you can always do with less. People throughout history lived with way less and still lived with a rewarding life. Many people in our current modern age vote with the popular term “Minimalism”. The Minimalist lifestyle has developed its own way unto style, life regimes and over the esthetic for choosing life versus stuff. Look at your home which is the best place to start. Now begin with putting your money glasses on, look for the stuff you can sell for profit! My idea of useless stuff is something I haven’t used in the last 6 months. Stuff unused it just taking up space. A cluttered mind can’t possibly keep track of the progress track on managing money. By adopting the rule of living on less, you will spend less. When you do spend it, the basis changes to the quality and uses. In the end, the cycle of less stuff equals fullness in your money pockets.
Reduce the large expenses in your budget
Many of the big bills take a huge chunk out of our budget. Most of these bills are associated with living expenses, for example, rent or a utility bill. I’m talking about any bill that is taking a couple “Hundoes” out of your paycheck. The harsh reality is that you might need them, but is it possible to reduce them? Let’s talk about rent for a second. Would you say you might be paying to much right now? Could you find the least desirable area to live for less? And just in case your afraid that I might be uprooting your life. Your budget is tight for a reason and it could as real as your income is too low. Struggle to stay afloat to have a nicer view of your life can ruin the pretty picture. And just so you can reach your money goals being temporarily uncomfortable is ok. You might like where you live but why not opt to get a bigger place and split the bills with a roommate. Be surprised that even though it might seem more of an expense it will save you more to share that burden.
Shop smarter when you do shop
Everyone knows I’m a fan of coupons. You don’t have to be a professional couponer to save big! All you to do is shop the sales and buy things at the right time. It can simple all shopping at multiple places to buy certain items. Purchasing goods at opposite seasons when they go on sale. Search the circulars and make a plan before you go out. I find a planned visit keeps your budget intact. Every day I have a constant list running of stuff I need to buy even if I can’t afford it at that time. I can revisit the list when I going through the circulars. And I don’t buy something that I don’t personally need. Using a list taking app like Evernotes or Tasks for Google, its conveniently on your phone.
I just gave you 5 ways to save on a tight budget. It was hard to try for myself personally and yet, I feel more liberated. Courage is trying something again even after failure. If you can’t start over again, even maybe as a teenager when you earned your first dollar. What would you do with it now? I always tell myself, “Well if only I started saving years ago!” And I want to tell you that it’s not too late to strive for saving this year, this day and this moment. As a reminder, a dreadful one, all of that money is gone! And you don’t have the capabilities to alter space and time and reverse it back into your account. The only thing you can account for is learning from your mistakes and making better choices. And if you fail, I give you the grace to let courage enter your “will” and get back up.