Is it possible to save money and live better even when you’re broke? According to a survey by GoBankingRates in 2019; 69% of Americans have less than $1000 in savings and 45% have absolutely nothing in their savings account.
As much as it feels good not to be alone, this will lead to financial instability. Why? Because when emergencies arrive, there is nothing to hold on to.
It can be said that the more money you have or earns; the more you have to save.
However, with these tips to help you save money fast; no rule says that you have to earn a ton of money to save. Even if you’re living paycheck to paycheck, you can start saving money and budgeting easily.
How to Save and Live Better With these Actionable Steps:
Get Everything on Discount
The most rewarding feeling is getting an item cheaper than the actual price that everyone is buying it for without tampering with the quality.
Not because you get something for cheap means it’s poor quality.
What are some things you can get at a discount/cheap:
When buying food there are few things that we consider which include time, price, and convenience.
In recent times, many households are leaning towards convenience food such as frozen meals or foods that will take less time to prepare.
Like, when most of your meals are prepared in the microwave instead of on the stovetop.
The problem is that these types of foods are expensive compared to their less convenient counterparts.
Here are some ways you can save on groceries:
- If time determines how much you spend on food, then check out this $5 meal plan to save money.
- To find coupons easily, go here – all you to do is print them out when grocery shopping.
- Download the Ibotta app to get cashback on your groceries by uploading your receipt.
- You can buy generic brands to cut your food budget in half.
How To Smash Your Food Budget In Half
To save on clothing other than buying second hand from thrift stores, buy through cash-back sites such as Rakuten.
Join Honey and download the chrome extension to find promo codes and online coupons to save hundreds of dollars.
Plan For the Future by Budgeting
Do you know how to budget? Get started with this budgeting template to make things a lot easier.
Budgeting is the map to saving money and living well on less. The only way to achieve your financial goals is to budget.
Budgeting is simple. It’s your income minus what you spend.
Steps to getting started:
- Get a budget template
- Figure out your goals whether short or long term (e.g. emergency fund)
- Identify or work out your income and expenses.
- Subtract expenses from your income to see if you have money leftover or fall short. Your expenses should never be more than your income.
- Based on your results, you’ll make the required adjustments.
How To Budget and Save Money At The Same Time?
If you fall short in your budget, then you need to find out where all your money is going and if you can spend less such as cutting back on Starbucks.
And also find ways to earn extra money such as doing online surveys or do a garage sale to help with the bills.
For extra money left over, add it to your savings account.
How To Create A Zero Based Budget
A Guide To Meal Planning For Beginners On A Budget
7 Things You Should Not Buy If You Want To Save
Have a No-spend Challenge
The best way to spend money you don’t have is to have a no-spend challenge.
So this is how it works, for a no spend month challenge, you will not spend on anything other than essentials.
And by essentials, I mean food and gas, etc. So you’re going to decide on all the things you know is a must for survival, then purchase those stuff and nothing else for the month.
You’ll be surprised by the amount of money you’ll save.
If a no spend month challenge sounds excessive, you can also try:
- No-spend Days
- No-spend Weeks
- No-spend Weekends
This is a great way to reduce impulse spending habits and follow a more minimalistic approach to saving money.
Invest Spare Change Easily
Acorns is like a money saving tool that makes investing way easier. This app is known to help you save spare changes. For instance, if you spend $8.15 at Starbucks then Acorn will round it up to $9.
The remaining 75 cents will be added to your investing account.
You can invest a larger amount automatically monthly too.
Acorns is great for beginners who want to get started with investing while saving money and living better for years to come.
Save For Emergency Funds
An emergency fund is a sum of money set aside for unexpected expenses that may cause a financial shock if one is not prepared.
Examples include job loss, medical expenses, home repairs, car troubles, or damaged cell phone.
Everyone needs to have emergency funds set aside for rainy days. Why? Because if you’re not prepared, it may lead to you taking out loans or use your credit cards to pay for these unexpected expenses.
This will then have long-lasting effects.
Emergencies even has a way of happening when we least expect it!
How much should you save?
It’s recommended to save 3-6 months of your monthly expenses. Once you have set up a budget using this template, you’ll know what your monthly expenses look like.
If you’re living paycheck to paycheck and have no clue how you’ll begin, just start with a small amount. $400? $500?
At least having a small amount saved up will help to ease the pressure of finding money to pay for unexpected expenses upfront.
Multiple One Income Streams
You may not realize, but having multiple income streams can be beneficial.
If one income decreases or vanishes, you’ll have other sources to rely on.
The best way to break the cycle of living paycheck to paycheck, or hand to mouth as my mother would have said it, is to find an additional income stream.
If you have a lot of debts, then this could be a way to help you pay them off quickly.
You can get started with freelance writing, marketing your skills on Fiverr, create a course on teachable, start a blog, or become a virtual assistant.
And the great thing about these options is that you can do it in the comfort of your home.
Sign up for Cashback Sites
Rakuten is an app that helps you earn money while spending. This app has been around for over a decade and is still going strong.
Rakuten also has a 4-star rating on Trustpilot. You’ll shop from the merchant’s site through Rakuten.
This allows you to earn up to 20% and more back on purchases. This is a great way to save money when shopping online. With all the benefits, the only downfall is that they payout quarterly.
Sign up for Rakuten and receive a $10 bonus.
The best way to reduce your expenses is to find out what you’re overspending on.
Overspending is spending more than you can afford on a given thing. The problem many people have is not that they don’t have enough money, but overspending.
A great way to manage your money is to set up a budget with this template and also find cheaper options.
Some signs of overspending include:
- You can only make minimum payments on your credit card
- Most of the things you buy you barely use them
- Unpaid bills
- Retail therapy
- When you use your credit card more than debit
Buy Reusable items
Imagine buying something once and don’t have to think about buying it again for a very long time.
In this post, I talk about the best household items that are one time purchases.
Using reusable items helps you to save more money.
You can save money and live better if you know how to manage and budget your finances. With these money-saving tips, you’ll learn how to live well on less and break the cycle of living paycheck to paycheck.