10 Best Ways To Save Money Fast On A Low Income In 2023
How To Save Money On A Low Income
Trying to save money fast on a low income?
I was too.
I wanted it all. The house, the car, the vacation.
And I did it!
And it all boiled down to one thing – managing my money.
But don’t get me wrong, I didn’t have it all together at first…
I was actually doing it all wrong. I thought I knew how to save money, until the numbers just weren’t adding up.
Long story short, I figured it out.
In this article I want to share the tips that I know will help you save money fast on a low income because it worked for me.
Even though it may not feel like it… there’s “power” in being broke. So let it be your motivation until you are where you want to be.
This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission at no cost to you if you make a purchase.
Here are 10 Easy Ways To Save Money Fast On A Low Income
1. Create a Budget that Works for YOU
Everyone will have an opinion on what your budget should be.
But the only person who can determine how you spend your money is YOU!
Ultimately, it boils down to what you need vs. what you want and what you are willing to sacrifice.
When you finalize your needs, break them down further – line item by line item, (i.e., groceries, cable, subscriptions, etc). This will help you determine whether or not there are any opportunities to save in these areas.
The most important way to save money fast is by creating a budget that works.
As with anything you set out to do, be sure to start with a made-up mind. There is not much anyone can do to distract a mind that’s laser-focused on a particular goal, so take that tip and apply it quickly.
If you really want to cut back and save money, find out how you can drastically cut your monthly expenses.
The key component that helped me save money fast and get an in-depth understanding of my finances was using this annual budget template that automatically calculates my totals and clearly shows me my total earnings, expenses, and how much I’ve saved by the end of the year.
With all the budget templates I’ve sifted through, this is by far the best one I’ve ever used. It provides instant gratification once you get a look at your earnings the way it’s set up. When you’ve earned $50K/y+ and have absolutely nothing to show for it. Pure motivation!
I may be a little obsessive, but using this template is such a fun way to track debt payoff. There is nothing like a visual to paint a picture of your real-life expenditures and if you’re reading this I’m thinking you want to improve your habits, you won’t be disappointed if you follow these tips.
2. Save On Must-Haves
There are some things you won’t be able to adjust as quickly as you’d like, for example; mortgage, rent, auto and insurance. Those expenses will technically be consistent each month. These are called fixed expenses.
Water and utilities aren’t a fixed expense, but they are a necessity. Here are a few easy tips on how to save money fast on your water and electric bills:
How To Save Money Fast On Your Water Bill
- Run full loads of laundry (try not to wash small loads if possible)
- Wash dishes efficiently – consider running the dishwasher every other day
- Install efficient showerheads
- Water your lawn at the right time – either early morning or late evening
How To Save Money Fast On Your Electric Bill
- Do an electricity audit – you can learn more here
- Turn off the lights in rooms you aren’t using
- Change your lightbulbs to Energy Star Bulbs
- Don’t run your appliances unless they’re full/unplug appliances not in use
How To Save Money Fast On Groceries | Meal Plan
Do yourself a favor, do a little research on how much you spent on just FOOD last month.
Did the grand total surprise you?
One of my biggest tips is not to impulse buy.
Try not to buy those “name brand” items at the grocery store. Sometimes the ingredients are exactly the same and the only thing you’re paying for is the brand. And don’t forget to check out Coupons.com to see if there’s an opportunity for you to save money on the items you’re already purchasing. Most stores offer some type of savings each week, so keep a lookout for those each time you shop.
I suggest following these best practices to shop smart for groceries:
- Grocery Shop Alone or Online – Get what’s on your list without impulse buying or grocery shopping without a plan. Don’t shop while you’re hungry.
- Shop Your Pantry – I know some folks are cabinet hoarders (I’m guilty too.) If you are, GREAT, because you can save by using the ingredients you already have.
- Couponing – Get instant savings by taking a few minutes to clip coupons. If you haven’t downloaded it yet, use Ibotta. If you’re shopping online, make sure to use Rakuten. I’ve earned over $300 using Rakuten (in real life)
- Meal Plan – I know meal planning isn’t for everyone, so if you need help, consider joining the $5 meal plan. For just $5 a month, they will send you a delicious meal plan where every meal will cost about $2 per person, and in most cases even LESS. It’s a great way to eat well for less. You can try it FREE for 14 days here.
If you rather meal plan on your own, we’ve been using this meal planner that helps keep us on track. One of the top reasons I love this meal planner is that I can add things to my list from my phone.
Before we move on, make sure you check out this list of 15 things I stopped buying to save money. Maybe you can do the same.
3. Get Rid Of Your Debt
When you have a low income it can be difficult to try to find the funds to pay off debt. Trust me, I know because I’ve been there.
Getting rid of your debt first is a great way to save money because chances are (if it’s credit card debt) you’re paying a lot in interest.
Like they say, the best way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time.
Here’s a list of what we used to completely eliminate our debt.
If you’ve got quite a bit of debt and the APR’s are scattered across the board. It may be beneficial to consider debt consolidation.
Debt consolidation helped me pay off $10,000 with less interest than I was already paying.
Some credit card interest rates are as high as 29.99%. And there is absolutely no way you could pay that off in a reasonable amount of time. If you needed, you could get a personal loan for up to $50,000 with Upgrade.
One of the benefits of a personal loan is that you can pay it off earlier, so you’d be paying less interest than originally agreed. A personal loan offers you 1) Loans up to $50,000, 2) Low fixed rates, 3) Affordable monthly payments, and 4) No prepayment fees.
If your finances could use a personal loan to get rid of credit card debt with those outrageous interest rates, consider taking out a personal loan.
Enter your loan amount to see what your rate could be (choosing a fixed rate will give you a consistent and dependable rate that won’t change, plan for a fixed rate to prevent it from going through the roof). Don’t worry, checking your rate won’t impact your credit score.
Taking out a personal loan is one of the best tricks to paying off credit card debt.
Your credit score will likely jump within 30 days, it saved me thousands of dollars, and I’m able to manage my payments much easier than I was with my credit cards. In fact, it saved me over $600.00 in interest.
The most important thing to note about taking out a personal loan is that this is not a forever thing. I only recommend taking out a personal loan to get out of the hole you may be in.
Get out, and stay out. You don’t want to do all of this hard work just to get right back there.
To pay off debt efficiently, you’ll need to budget constructively. I use and highly recommend using the zero-based budget.
That way, every single dollar is accounted for and working toward paying off debt, investing, or building up your savings.
Pro Tip: If you’re wondering how to pay off debt in collections, call to speak with the creditor, or institution, they’re usually willing and able to help work something out for you to prevent your debt from going to collections.
4. Use a Cash Back Credit Card
Did you know you can earn cash by spending with your credit card?
According to The Simple Dollar, the average family grocery bill for a family of 4 is $731.00. Not to mention inflation…
You likely spend $500+ on groceries every month (3% cashback) and $150+ on gas (2% cashback). So you could earn over $300/yr for simply using your credit card.
We have an American Express Blue Cash Everyday Card that offers 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, 2% at U.S. gas stations & select U.S. department stores, and 1% cash back on other purchases.
If you put everything on your credit card and pay your monthly statement off in full (that’s the only way this works), you could easily earn $600 just for spending your own money.
When you get your American Express Blue Cash Everyday Card, you’ll earn $150 back after you spend $1,000 in purchases in your first 3 months of Card Membership as a statement credit.
I love AMEX because I’m rewarded multiple times a year and can cash out whenever I want. If you want the Blue Cash Everyday Card, you can apply here.
Be responsible with your credit card so that you don’t dig yourself into a hole. If you use the budget template and see you won’t have the funds to pay the credit card in full that month try and juggle it to the following month to keep yourself on track.
Check in on your bills weekly and revisit your goal progress at least once a week. This will help to keep you on track, and you’ll literally be able to speak it into existence.
You won’t regret doing this.
My husband and I tithe 10 percent of all our increase and take that off the top then pay off our credit cards every Sunday along with meal planning to get us on track for the rest of the week.
5. Increase Your Income
Pick Up A Side Hustle
Picking up a side hustle helped me earn and save over $7,000 in profit in less than a year doing it part-time.
Yes, I said over $7,000!!!
And it’s all because of this FREE course I took from ‘The Selling Family.‘
It’s amazing what you can learn online.
It’s much easier to save when you have more money to play with. So picking up a side hustle outside of your everyday job is a great way to get to that $15,000 mark.
Below are 5 side hustles that are helping me add $1000 to my monthly income, and you can do this too.
The great part about this side hustle is that you can do it too! You could earn much more than I did if you stay consistent and motivated.
If you’re considering selling on Amazon, be sure to check my 5 Best Tips: How To Sell on Amazon FBA For Beginners.
Reselling online is obviously not for everyone, so if you need more side hustle options, make sure to check out this list.
6. Cut Out Paid-Grooming, Subscriptions, & Gym Membership (Temporarily)
Do you have Netflix, Audible, or some other subscription-based entertainment fee? Most people do nowadays, But the question is, should you?
Millions of Americans waste over $300/yr on these services.
Is it really worth the monthly fee when you consider how much that is per year? Also, do you really need to watch the latest Dave Chappelle Special that was exclusive to Netflix? Or does this sound like a date night when you go to a friend’s house and watch THEIR Netflix?
I used to be a member of a gym but when they raised the monthly fee to a whopping $79.00 per month I had to gracefully bow out. Most gym memberships are more than $50/mo.
Now, I take daily strolls on the sidewalks or just go for a morning run. It’s just as effective as a treadmill if not more.
7. Find a Credit Union/Bank That Works for YOU
When you’re on a low income and something unexpected comes up, you need to make sure you’re protecting the money you have.
Find a Credit Union or Bank that offers overdraft protection or is willing to waive your fees.
I never understood why banks will charge you a $30+ fee for overdrafting on your account when they know you don’t have the money. After all, that’s the reason you overdrafted in the first place. However, Congress is working on getting this practice eliminated.
That is one of the reasons so many people get stuck in a slump.
If you use any of the 7 tips we’ve gone through so far, you’re on track to save money on a low income.
8. Take advantage of Public Transportation/Car Pool
The cost of gas has been fluctuating significantly over the last year.
If you can, consider carpooling, UberX Share, Public Transportation, or any other method of shared transportation (if it makes sense).
If you live close to your place of work, consider walking or biking. It’s a good alternative that keeps you keeps you active.
9. Exercise & Stay Healthy
The best way to save money on your health is by doing preemptive maintenance.
Going to the dentist, annual doctor check-ups, and staying active can keep you on a good path.
Here are a few tips:
- Be physically active for 30 minutes every day
- Eat a well-balanced
- Don’t smoke, or quit smoking if you do
- Brush your teeth after meals and floss daily
- Wear sunscreen
By staying healthy and exercising frequently, you’re less likely to go to the dentist for expensive dental work repair or hospital trips that leave you with high bills that take years to pay off, not to mention the stress of it all if it goes into Collections.
In addition to health maintenance, there’s a financial incentive to getting in shape called HealthyWage.
HealthyWage is a health and wellness money-earning app supported by the Government to incentivize people to lose weight by putting their own money at risk with the potential of YOU earning up to $10,000!
Yes, you heard right, they provide weight loss and fitness challenges with CASH PRIZES!
Here’s How It Works:
- Start with the HealthyWage Prize Calculator. Enter how much weight you want to lose, how long you’ll take to lose it, and how much you want to bet a month for that period of time.
- The calculator determines your prize amount, up to $10,000. You can play around with the calculator until you get your desired prize amount.
- Sign up for HealthyWage and agree to pay the monthly amount for the duration of the challenge.
- Achieve your weight-loss goal, and win your prize!
If you don’t hit your goal, your money goes to support HealthyWage, including prizes for others who achieve their goals.
You can see how Jennifer won $4,181, and Anastasia won $10,000.
Click Here To See How Much You Can Make on HealthyWage.
Earn credit for walking with the “Sweatcoin” app. And you can earn money via PayPal by inviting your friends and family. If you’re walking anyway, it makes sense to download the app and earn.
10. Visit YouTube for “How To’s”
If or when you need something repaired like an appliance, or really just anything, try to troubleshoot potential fixes on YouTube. It’s an incredible and free tool, the only thing you would need to do is subscribe to say thanks for the great advice.
Quick personal story; our lawn mower stopped working earlier this Spring, and instead of hiring a company to fix it, we went to YouTube and found a video that explained in detail the exact issue we were experiencing.
This saved us over $300 easily.
Below are a few extra tips to help you save money.
- Just because you have a coupon doesn’t mean you should buy it
- Price matching
- Refinancing your car
- Take care of your body
- Build up an emergency fund
How To Save Money Fast On A Low Income
Do Not Save What Is Left After Spending, But Spend What Is Left After Saving. ‘WARREN BUFFETT’
I hope you learned some new ideas that maybe you had not thought about that can easily save money fast on a low income.
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10 Best Ways To Save Money Fast On A Low Income In 2023
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