10 Easy Tips To Save Money On A Tight Budget

How To Live On A Budget And Save Money

If you’re on a low income, you may desperately be trying to think of creative ways to save money. Everybody wants to be able to cover their main expenses and live a normal life.

Cutting expenses on unnecessary things can only go so far in building your long-term savings plan. Moreover, there are always unexpected expenses that come up every month, so having an emergency fund is essential.

Let’s take a closer look at some fresh ideas and tips to save money on a tight budget.

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✅ To keep track of your budget easily, this is my favorite budget planner you can print at home.

1. Refuse Loans And Taking On More Debt

The most important thing is not to rely on loans, even if your financial situation feels dire and impossible to get out of. In most cases, people who take up loans, are not able to pay them back on time.

What ends up happening is they take out another loan and eventually fall into debt. Having loans is a closed-loop and there is no easy way out.

Financial institutions and banks provide tempting introductory offers, but their interest rates are so high that you will often pay twice the original purchase price in the end.

You may think a better option is to borrow money from family and friends but this usually will create issues in the relationship. Resentment can build up on both sides if the money isn’t paid back timely or if you default.

Related: How To Help Someone Going Through Financial Difficulty

You might feel ashamed of your situation and don’t want anyone else to find out about this road bump. Many people have financial troubles at some point so it’s nothing to be embarrassed about.

The key is to avoid instant gratification by taking on loans and putting items on credit cards. It can be difficult when it feels like everyone else around you has the latest things but in the long run, you’ll come out ahead.

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2. Use Coupons And Discount Cards

Another great way to save money is by using coupons and different discount cards. Coupons can be extremely beneficial because you don’t just buy some lower-quality products on sale.

When you use coupons you are able to buy your favorite high-quality products at a lower price. You can also find diverse discount cards, available for clothes shopping.

Be sure to check the date because most coupons are valid only for a certain period. Remember, even if the discount seems tiny, added up over time you actually do save money.

Choosing bigger grocery stores that have weekly promotional flyers can increase your savings dramatically.

Additionally, you may find tons of coupons on the internet, in newspapers and magazines, or directly from the manufacturer. You can also ask friends and family to save coupons for you if they don’t have the intention to use them. 

coupon flyer with pink scissors

3. Sell Stuff Online

One of the major things people do to earn some extra money these days is to sell their stuff on the internet. It’s among the most common low-income money-saving tips.

There are many sites such as eBay or Facebook Marketplace that give you the opportunity to easily upload some pictures and start selling your things.

You can sell everything you can think of such as electronics, clothes, books, and accessories. Online shopping is popular and people are constantly searching for a good deal. Price your items right and you can sell them quickly.

If you are a stay at home mom, you might sell the clothes that don’t fit your children anymore and make another mom happy to buy them at a lower price.

Using Facebook Marketplace or apps such as LetGo, you can quickly sell goods locally. After you publish your free listing, people can contact you immediately.

After you’ve built up a financial cushion, you can think of starting your own business from home. After acquiring some experience in sales from free platforms, you can decide to open your own online shop.

This typically requires at least a small investment so you should make sure you’re prepared to take this step financially.

4. Consider House Hacking

Have you ever considered house hacking as a way to save money on a tight budget? It’s a common and easy way to earn cash in recent years.

One way to house hack is to rent a room out in the house you live in. Another option if you own real estate is to live on one side of a duplex or apartment and rent out the others. Make sure the rent for the other apartments covers the entire mortgage and monthly expenses.

You’re essentially living rent-free and have your housing covered by the rents you’re pulling in. It has become one of the most popular real estate investment strategies.

If you’re wondering how to find renters, you can easily bring a foreign exchange student to stay in your apartment or post your listing on Craigslist.

Consider renting other properties you have if your housing zoning allows it. For example, if you have an extra garage or a basement, you might have success renting them out short or long-term for some extra money.

There are always people looking for a new place to live or somewhere to store their belongings.

Another way to cut down housing costs is to save on utilities. You can get completely free internet using these tips.

5. Find Cheap Entertainment

Nowadays, people are used to going out every night, visiting different restaurants and cafes. Others like going to movies or bars.

These places can be really expensive and if you are on a low income, you can’t afford to waste so much money on entertainment.

There is a HUGE difference between restaurant and grocery store prices. If you want a fancy meal, try cooking it yourself at home using YouTube as your online cooking school.

Instead, try to have more fun at home. You can simply invite your friends over instead of going out.

Rent a movie from your local library or have each friend bring a movie from home to watch instead of going to the theatres. Prepare some homemade popcorns and enjoy it at your apartment this time.

Once you start earning more money, you will be able to go out more often. For the moment it’s better to stick to your savings plan.

You can still have a social life without spending extravagantly. Organize a party at home once in a while, it will be cheaper than going to a club.

Related: Free and cheap date ideas for when you’re broke.

family watching movie at home with popcorn dressed as superheroes

6.Quit Or Minimize Your Habitual Purchases

Can you think of a habit or a vice that you have? Usually, you have at least one, if not multiple habits that can get cut down or eliminated.

This could include buying a breakfast sandwich on the way into work or snacks at the gas station.

One of the most expensive habits to cut is smoking or even vaping. Smoking is not only very harmful to your health but also quite expensive these days.

Imagine how much money you’d have by the end of the month if you took that money and put it in a box. You’ll be surprised at how much money you usually spend on your habitual buys!

7. Avoid Emotional Shopping

It’s a common experience for people to start spending more when they become emotional or stressed out. It’s easy to blow your budget through impulsive and emotional shopping because you can’t easily estimate how much you’ve spent.

While impulse purchases may feel good at the moment, by the time you’re back home you’re even more stressed. You’ll realize you’re now completely broke and will feel guilt over your shopping.

If you feel the need to go shopping and buy something, remember to have a solid plan for spending and don’t let yourself fall into this trap. People are often regretful about unnecessary purchases they made while being emotional.

Sometimes you’re able to return the items but other times you’re stuck with it. Always think twice before you go shopping, be tough, and don’t give in to your emotions.

Related: Additional steps to help to overcome impulse purchasing.

8. Buy Clothing From Thrift Stores

Have you ever considered shopping in second-hand shops? You may have heard the clothing isn’t as good or you wouldn’t want to wear clothes already worn by someone else.

Nowadays, this isn’t taboo, in fact, thrifted clothing is often referred to as “vintage.” Shops are well-developed and they offer only high-quality second-hand clothes.

Many resale clothing stores sell expensive well-known name brands. Some of the donated clothes are brand new with tags still attached!

Once you see how many high-quality clothes you can get at super discounted prices, you’ll never go back. You will realize how much money you had spent on expensive clothes before, and how unnecessary it was.

Who is going to find out where you got your clothes from? Now, you have the opportunity to wear branded clothes at extremely low prices to save more money.

thrifted clothes hung on wooden hangers on clothes rail

9. Earn Cash Online

Another great way to save money is to use the internet to earn some extra cash to cover your unexpected expenses. There are various ways- you can take paid surveys or you can start writing articles for money if you are good at it.

Some companies will pay you if you do different tasks or click on advertisements. But be careful, because there are thousands of online frauds as well.

They offer you a huge passive income and they never pay you. So, if you want to try an online job, research the company well.

You can start your own blog and make a profit from it if you put in the work. There are ready platforms that allow you to start in a couple of minutes.

Use the skills you currently have in order to parlay it into extra income. Teachers and educators can earn money as an online tutor.

For additional online work from home jobs, check out my list of 15+ legitimate mom jobs.

10. Cancel Gym Memberships & Exercise At Home

If you want to stay fit, you may think that a gym membership is a must. The thing is, fitness memberships are quite expensive and can cost hundreds of dollars a month.

Bodyweight exercises using minimal equipment or free workout videos from YouTube are perfect alternatives. These are new, simple ways to exercise and accomplish the same goals that going to the gym entailed.

Picking up an outdoor sport or going jogging will get you outside and enjoying nature. There are many ways to keep fit and be healthy that don’t include huge expenses.

Money-Saving Tips Overview

There are hundreds of tips to save money on a tight budget. By being a little creative, you will be better off and have a long-term plan for your spending.

If you carefully evaluate your budget, you will have no problem covering your expenses and still save some cash leftover.

If you have the desire to save, your persistence will be able to find diverse and unique ways to live on a tight budget. It’s all in your hands.

By being confident and knowing what you want, you will find ways to make your tight budget work.

Steffa Mantilla round headshot
Steffa Mantilla

Budgeting & Debt Payoff Expert

Steffa is the founder behind Money Tamer. After paying off over $80,000 in debt through budgeting, she now teaches families how to get their own finances in order. Steffa’s background in operant conditioning and behavioral husbandry has given her an understanding of motivation and motivators. She uses this training to help people understand the reasons “why” behind their money behaviors and how to successfully change them. You can learn more about her here.

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Living On A Tight Budget Tips

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