It’s tough to live on a budget. I know. I’m right there with you. The inflation has pushed commodities of items up while the paycheck for many seems to be stagnant. With the current hard times, you have no option but to cut down or re look into your spending habits.
That’s why I’ve put together this list of money-saving tips for people who are trying to get by on a shoestring budget—because I know how hard it is to meet all your financial obligations while also making sure that you have enough money left over for yourself and the ones you love.
Money Saving Tips for People Living on a Budget
I don’t want you to feel guilty about spending some of your hard-earned money on yourself or your family, so here are some ideas for ways to save money without feeling like you’re skimping on quality or taking away from someone else in need.
Track your spending and make a budget
The first step to saving money is tracking your spending, and then making a budget.
You can start by tracking your spending by using an app like Mint or Personal Capital. Both of these apps are free and make it easy to see how much you’re spending on each category of your budget, like groceries or entertainment. You can also set up budgets for each category so that you know exactly how much money to spend on each thing.
Once you’ve got a handle on where your money goes, it’s time to make a budget! Just like with tracking spending, there are lots of great apps out there for creating a budget: Mint and Personal Capital both have this feature as well as others like You Need A Budget (YNAB).
If you’re not sure where to start when making a budget, just think about what’s important to you right now—like paying off debt or saving up for something big—and use that as inspiration for getting started.
It’s easy to spend more than you think you do. That’s why I recommend that everyone who is living on a budget track their spending for at least a month or two. It’s a good way to get a clear picture of what you’re spending your money on and where it’s going, so that you can start making changes in your spending habits.
You may be surprised by how much money you spend on things like coffee, fast food, and other items that don’t really cost that much individually but add up when they’re bought every day or even just once per week. By tracking your spending, you’ll be able to see exactly how much these small purchases are costing you each month and make adjustments accordingly.
Work out what you really want versus what you truly need
Last week, I was talking to my friend about the things she was going to spend her money on. She told me that she wanted to buy a new pair of jeans, but that she couldn’t afford it because she needed to save up for her rainy season coat.
I asked her why she didn’t just buy both. It was clear from our conversation that she really wanted both, but it also seemed like she couldn’t justify getting both at once. So I asked her if it would make her happy if she had enough money to get both right now.
She said yes, so we went shopping. She ended up getting both and noticed something else: having two new pairs of jeans made both pairs feel special—each one had its own unique character and style. The same thing happens when you try wearing two different pairs of shoes in a day!
So here’s the lesson: instead of trying to save up for one item at a time, think about how many items you could purchase with the money you’re saving up for one item—and then make sure each item is really worth the wait!
If you’re trying to cut costs, one of the best ways to do it is by making a distinction between what you need and what you want.
You need food, water, shelter and clothing in order to survive. You want a vacation at the beach. You need a car so that you can get to work and back. You want a luxury sports car.
When making decisions about how much money to spend on necessities versus how much money to spend on wants, it’s important to take some time to think about how each purchase fits into your overall budget.
Travel without breaking the bank
The best way to travel without breaking the bank is by planning ahead. Make a list of all the places you want to visit and research how much it costs to get there, where you can stay for cheap, what activities are available nearby, and so forth. You’ll be able to narrow down your plans so that you can see what’s possible and what isn’t, then plan accordingly.
If you’re worried about money, don’t hesitate to ask friends or family members if they have any ideas for a cheap trip. They may have some great suggestions that will help you save money on things like flights or hotels!And finally, remember that sometimes it’s okay to splurge on something. If there’s something specific that makes your heart sing when thinking about your next vacation, go for it! It’ll make all those other sacrifices worth it when you’re having fun in paradise!
Here are some tips for traveling without breaking the bank:
1. Plan ahead! You should start saving for your trip at least 3 months before you go.
2. Stay in hostels or Airbnbs instead of hotels. Hostels are usually cheaper and more social, and Airbnbs tend to be cheaper than hotels, allowing you to stretch your dollar further.
3. Take advantage of free activities like walking tours or museums! If you’re not interested in paying admission fees, check out websites like Eventbrite or Meetup to find out what’s going on around town—you might find something interesting and fun that won’t cost anything at all!
4. Bring snacks with you! It may sound silly, but having a few protein bars or nuts in your bag can help stave off hunger pangs when they hit during long days at the beach or museum visits, making it easier for you to save money on food while you travel without feeling hungry all day long!
Don’t spend just to save
We’ve all been there: you’re looking at your bank account, trying to figure out how to make it through the rest of the week. You could cut back on some expenses, but then you’d have to give up something you love—and isn’t that the point of a budget? To spend what we want on what we like?
Well, yes… and no.
It’s true that budgets are made to be broken. But they don’t have to be broken with reckless abandon! You can still have fun while saving money, which is why we’ve put together these tips for living on a budget without sacrificing all of your favorite things.
1) Don’t spend just to save: If you’re going out for dinner with friends, don’t pick a restaurant based on its low prices; pick it based on the food! If you’re buying a new pair of shoes for work, don’t buy them because they’re cheap; buy them because they’ll last forever and look good with everything in your closet. And when you go grocery shopping, don’t just buy whatever’s cheapest; instead, try new things that are healthy and delicious!
2) Think about where your money goes: It’s easy to say “I can’t afford it
Pay off debt strategically
It’s easy to get caught up in the “debt snowball” mentality—where you focus on paying off your smallest debts first, then move onto the next, and so on. But that method can be counterproductive if it means you’re paying more interest than necessary.
Instead of jumping right into the debt avalanche method, where you pay off your smallest debt first (and therefore save the most money), consider finding a middle ground. Instead of starting with your smallest balance, try a hybrid approach that includes both methods: Start with your smallest balance but pay down your largest balances as quickly as possible. This will help you avoid interest charges and save money in the long run.
If you want to take this one step further and really maximize your savings, consider using a balance transfer credit card to consolidate all of your credit card debt into one low-interest loan that can be paid off over time with just one payment each month!
That’s because paying off your biggest debt first is a great way to get motivated—and lose steam. You’ll be so excited to see those numbers drop on your spreadsheet that you’ll want to keep going! But once you start paying off debt, keeping yourself motivated can be tough. That’s why we recommend starting with the smallest debt first—it will give you a sense of accomplishment and momentum that will carry over when it comes time to tackle the bigger ones.
For example, if your smallest debt is Shs 5,000 and your largest is Shs 15,000, pay off the Sh 5,000 first while keeping track of how much money you’re saving on interest payments by making minimum payments on the rest of them .Once those bills are paid off completely, take that amount and add it to whatever amount you still owe on other credit cards or loans; then use that money toward paying off those debts as well. Within six months or less.
Create a monthly budget
Creating a monthly budget is one of the most important things you can do to help yourself save money. The first step is to figure out how much money you have coming in each month. This can be tricky, but it’s a good idea to try and make sure that all the income you receive is accounted for.
Start by writing down all of your income, including any bonuses or gifts you’ve received in the past month. Then write down all of your expenses, including rent/mortgage, utilities, groceries, and other regular bills. You should also include any discretionary spending—things like eating out, going to the movies, etc.
Add up all of your expenses and subtract them from your income. This gives you a rough idea of how much money is left over for savings and investing each month. If there’s not enough left over for those things (and depending on your priorities), then consider cutting back on some expenses so that you can set aside more money for savings and investing.
Next, create categories for all of your expenses. Make sure you include everything from rent or mortgage payments, utilities, groceries and other essentials, entertainment expenses (like going out to eat), and any other expenses that come up throughout the month.
Once you’ve got a good idea of what each category will cost you per month, go through each one and decide whether it’s something that needs to be cut down or eliminated completely. If so, what can you do about cutting back? Are there cheaper alternatives available? Or is there an expense that could be reduced by making some changes like taking public transportation instead of driving yourself everywhere?
Finally, now that you know how much money needs to be saved up before each category gets paid for again (at least in theory), make sure those amounts are being set aside before anything else goes into your accounts!
Automate your savings
Automating your savings is one of the easiest ways to save money. It’s also one of the most effective! You can set up an automatic transfer from your checking account to a savings account, or you can use a debit card that automatically withdraws money from your checking account and places it in your savings account or a SACCO.
Now, this isn’t something you want to do on a whim. You need to make sure that you have enough money in your checking account to cover bills at the end of the month before you start moving money around. If you’re not sure how much will be left over after paying bills, try using [tool name] to see how much money is left over every month.
Get a side hustle
If you’re living on a budget, it’s easy to feel like you don’t have any options. But there are lots of ways to save money without sacrificing your quality of life!
One strategy is getting a side hustle. You may think that this means working a second job, but that’s not necessarily true. A side hustle can mean anything from selling stuff online to making your own products or services, like tutoring or freelance writing.
Whether or not you have the time for another job, having a side hustle can help you make extra money—and some people even make enough to quit their full-time jobs altogether!
Here are some tips for starting a side hustle:
* Decide what type of work you’re interested in doing. Think about what skills or personal interests might lend themselves well to making money on the side. Is there anything in particular you do well? Or do you have any special skills that could be useful for other people? If so, try thinking about how those might translate into a business idea. The more specific your idea is, the easier it will be for people find and pay for what they need from you.
* Do some research online before getting started.
Keep an eye on your grocery and energy bills
If you’re trying to save money, it’s important not to overlook your grocery and energy bills. Many people find that they can save a lot of money by paying careful attention to their monthly grocery spending.
The first step is to find ways to reduce the amount of food that you buy at once. You might not be able to eliminate all of your trips to the store, but you can cut them down quite a bit by buying in bulk or using coupons and other promotions offered by local stores. You can as well grow your vegetables on your home garden instead of buying them.
Another area where many people spend too much money is on energy bills. The good news is that there are plenty of ways you can cut down on these costs without having to make any big changes.
For example, turning off lights when they’re not in use can help lower your electric bill significantly. Also, consider purchasing energy-efficient appliances such as refrigerators and air conditioners so that you don’t have to pay extra for electricity usage every month!
Living on a budget can be tough, but it’s not impossible. You just have to be willing to make sacrifices and stick to your guns.
If you’re having trouble saving money because of all the bills you have to pay and expenses you need to cover every month, consider talking with your landlord about receiving rent payments every other week instead of monthly. Or come up with a plan that allows you to pay off one of your debts completely each month so you can then use that payment amount towards paying off another debt or saving more money towards an emergency fund.
You can also save more money by getting rid of any unnecessary subscriptions or memberships that you don’t use anymore. For example, if you canceled pay TV but still have the subscription because it was bundled with internet services and phone service, get rid of pay TV so that you can save money on all three services at once!