78% of U.S. adults are living paycheck-to-paycheck since COVID-19. Having a low income, high living costs, too much debt, and no savings account are other common reasons why Americans don’t have any money in reserve.
When it comes to saving, people want to see results quickly.
Are you ready to find out how to save money fast on a low income?
Let’s get started.
How to save money fast on a low income
The idea of trying to save money on a low salary may sound far-fetched, but there are several ways to contribute to your saving funds.
Check out these 13 money saving tips for a low income.
1. Switch banks
If you’re paying monthly fees on your bank account, it’s time to switch banks and instantly start saving money.
Switching your bank account is quick, simple, and a great way to save money fast.
There are lots of banks that provide free accounts and even give you cash when you open an account.
There are also bonus schemes available that allow you to earn money when you meet certain criteria such as depositing a minimum amount of money into your account every month.
Regardless of your earnings, you can save money just by changing who you bank with.
2. Cancel unnecessary subscription services
If you want to know how to save money fast on a low income, have a look at the items in your house.
If there is a pile of unread magazines in your living room, it’s probably time to cancel the subscription and use the money to save.
Other popular unused subscription services include beauty boxes, treat boxes, food, and alcohol subscription boxes.
TrueBill is an app that reviews your purchase history and finds forgotten subscriptions to help you cancel them or renegotiate for a cheaper rate.
3. Sign up for rewards and loyalty programs
Some quick ways to save money include researching reward and loyalty programs. Retailers love to reward people for shopping at their store and it’s one of the best money saving tips for a low income earner.
Fetch Rewards is a great app that lets you scan a grocery receipt and save on thousands of products in-store. You also earn points with every receipt you scan.
Simply shop scan, and save.
4. Try a spending ban
Take a break from shopping and save stacks of money at the same time by introducing a spending ban.
The main rule of a successful shopping ban is not to spend any money on certain items for a set amount of time such as a month or a year.
Start by deciding which items to add to your banned list.
Items such as clothes, dining out and entertainment are good places to start.
Don’t forget to unsubscribe to store emails to get rid of temptation.
This is an effective way of how to save money fast on a low income.
5. Negotiate utility bills
Negotiating your utility bills and services is a great way to save money every month.
You can negotiate almost anything, including your:
- Cable service
- Cell phone
- Lawn service
- Trash pickup
- Credit card rates
Mortgage interest rate
If you don’t ask, you don’t get and that applies to discounts too.
Most people will get at least a few dollars off monthly bills just by asking.
Don’t be afraid to shop around and let a company know that you have received a better offer.
Chances are they will want to keep you and match the price you’ve been quoted elsewhere.
6. Shop smarter
Quickly learn how to save money fast on a low income by shopping smarter.
Changing your spending habits is one of the best money saving tips for a low income household.
Fix your spending leaks by making these smarter spending choices:
- Only take cash to the grocery store
- Stop making impulse purchases
- Use comparison sites
- Buy own-brand produce
- Purchase in bulk wherever possible
- Choose your shopping partners wisely
- Buy off-season
- Plan your meals
- Don’t shop when you’re hungry or bored
Stick to a list
7. Turn off the television
Spending less time watching television has several financial benefits including:
- A lower electricity bill
- Less exposure to ads, which means you won’t get tempted to spend unnecessarily
- More time to spend on other things such as a side business or selling unwanted items
If you can’t bear to turn the television off, save money by downgrading your cable subscription will also give you extra money to save.
At the very least, don’t leave TVs on standby as they use electricity, which could cost you hundreds of dollars a year.
8. Complete a balance transfer
Transferring your credit card balance to another card is a simple way to save money on your monthly interest fees.
Don’t make a purchase using a balance transfer card or withdraw cash as the fees and interest are usually quite high.
Remember to close your old card to resist the temptation to start spending again.
Find the best current balance transfer deals via a comparison site such as MoneySuperMarket.
9. Swap books, music, and DVDs instead of buying them
Do you have stacks of items that you no longer use but can’t be bothered to sell?
Sites such as PaperBackSwap let you swap books with other club members.
You can then choose from over one million available books to keep or swap again.
Other popular items to trade include music, DVDs, console games, and even clothes.
The more swapping you do, the more new things you will acquire without spending any money.
Stop shopping and start swapping to see how much you could save.
10. Make homemade gifts
If you added up how much you spend on birthday and Christmas presents every year, you’d be surprised at the total.
An instant way to save money is by ditching the shop-bought gifts and start making them yourself.
Choosing the right gifts for family and friends can be tricky, especially when giving to somebody hard to buy for.
Toys, jewellery, food, bath, and beauty products all make great homemade gifts that are thoughtful and will save you several dollars.
A quick and easy way to make money is by decluttering your home.
For every room in your house, including the garage, make a note of every item that you don’t use and sell it online or host a garage sale.
Here are the most popular items to sell around your home:
- Book: bundle your books together by genre or author and sell on eBay.
- Hobby supplies: if you recently gave up a hobby or don’t have time to start it, make some cash fast by selling the items.
- Antiques: if it doesn’t have sentimental value or you simply don’t like it, sell it to someone who has a place in their house for it.
- Clothes: the second-hand clothes market is huge.
Effortlessly save money by rounding up the amount of every purchase to the nearest dollar.
Here’s how it works:
- Download a round-up savings app
- Every time you make a purchase the app will round it up to the nearest dollar
- The difference will be automatically transferred into your savings account
For example, if you buy an item for $25.75 using your debit or credit card, the app will round it up to $26 and transfer 25 cents into your savings pot.
Some saving money apps will combine your round-ups over a while and transfer in one go.
Be mindful of apps that charge you fees to move your money from one account to the other.
13. Automate your savings
Put your savings on autopilot by setting up an automatic transfer every time you get paid.
Clever apps such as Digit will analyze your spending habits and automatically save money without you having to make a single decision.
The benefit of this method is that you won’t spend money that is intended for your savings.
How much should you save each month?
Whether you’re saving for a holiday, a new car or to pay off debt, a savings plan will help you achieve your goals.
On average, Americans save between 7% and 8% of their monthly income.
However, that doesn’t mean it’s the right amount for you.
Work out your monthly budget and anything you have leftover from your salary is the percentage that you should save.
No matter how small you think your savings percentage is, it’s never too late to start putting money aside.
Start saving money today
Now you know how to save money fast on a low income, it’s time to give it a go.
Setting achievable goals and believing in yourself will go a long way to saving money on a low income.
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