How to Save Money on Low Income: Complete Guide

How to Save Money on Low Income

There are lots of ways that you can save with the low income, and many of them can be applied easily with a little common sense.

If you think that you are already doing everything you can to save money on a reduced income, then check out this article because it contains both the commonsense factors that you should be following as well as some little-known strategies to surviving with a low income.

Let’s get started with your motivation for saving money in the first place.

Create a Visible Savings Goal

The first thing that you have to think about when you are trying to save money and reduce your expenses to fit a low income is why you are doing in the first place. It is likely that if you have been a low income person for a long time, then your expenses already fit your income.

You don’t have extravagant expenses, you don’t spend too much money on food or vices or entertainment. Instead, your expenses are probably close to what your income is.

But what if you have a major savings event coming up? That’s exactly what will be looking at in this article. If you know what you are saving for, then you can post it on your wall and remind yourself at every opportunity that you are saving for that particular item.

This will allow you to avoid impulse expenses and save as much money as possible.

There are a number of savings apps you can make use of which we have covered here on MoneyCheck:

Reduce Housing Costs

Housing is something that everyone needs in some form or another. But there definitely ways the can save money on it. For one thing, you can move into smaller housing. Many people have two or three bedroom apartments or homes with space that they do not need.

Single people may find the space available in additional bedrooms nice, but they are not necessary. Instead, these people could be perfectly happy in a studio apartment that cost hundreds less. This would definitely save money on housing.

In addition, renting an apartment often cost less than renting a home. While having a home to yourself might be nice, and the privacy from not having neighbors through the next wall might be lovely, you should consider the fact that an apartment often cost $200 less for an equivalent amount of space in the home.

Why would you pay more for the same amount just because you were able to play your music louder? That’s a question that must be answered if you are trying to save money on your rent with a low income. Getting a smaller place might be a solution if you are not able to afford your bills.

Eliminate Credit Card & Other Debt

Avoiding credit card interest rates or other debts might be the solution to your income problems. If you have a low income, then you are definitely going to want to avoid credit card fees.

Using your credit card costs approximately more than you would pay for the purchase of you were to buy it outright. Of course, credit cards have their place if you have the income to cover them, but for someone with a really low income, having a credit card just means the you add more money owed on top of your regular purchases.

Unless you can justify a credit card purchase is actually saving you money in the long term, then you want to get rid of your credit cards altogether.

You either want to keep them in your wallet and not use them or cut them up if you are not able to avoid doing so. Credit cards get millions of Americans in debt every single year.

In addition, you want to avoid other types of loans or fees that will cost you money. For example, a checking account that requires that you pay an annual fee or a monthly fee for not maintaining a certain balance is something you want to avoid if you are low income.

Anything that charges you money every month that you do not need is something you should eliminate from your budget.

Stop Using Credit Cards

Read: Our Guide to Stop using Credit Cards

Cut Back Food Expenses

Food is an expense that you simply cannot avoid. Everyone has to eat, but the good news is that you can reduce your food budget a lot more than most people think you can.

For one thing, if you have a low income, you can reduce your food budget down to almost nothing by taking advantage of government programs such as food stamps and food boxes that will allow you to pick up food on a regular basis from charities and use government money to buy your food instead of your regular income.

Food stamps and food boxes are two of the major assistance programs out there are those who have a low income, and they are specifically intended to supplement those who do not make enough money to pay their bills.

But aside from those government assistance programs, there are ways that you can save money on your food regardless.

For example, if you grow your own vegetables in a garden, then you will not have to buy them from the store. Growing your own lettuce, tomatoes, carrots and other foods will allow you to make salads and all you have to bias the dressing go with them.

Salads can make up a pretty significant part of your food budget every month if you grow them yourself. You can also keep goats, cattle or other sources of dairy products around in order to make milk, yogurt and other dairy products.

You can even slaughter animals to get meat. It is perfectly feasible to sustain yourself when it comes to food if you have the right resources.

Complete Quidco Review

Read: Quidco Review – Earn Cashback on Purchases

Save on Entertainment Costs

Some people spend a great deal of money on entertainment. In fact, some people spend hundreds of dollars a month on various activities that they use to entertain themselves. Whether that is drinks at a bar, multiple nights in a movie theater or various streaming services that they browse through to find the content that they want, the fact is the entertainment can be one of the biggest expenses that you have.

But when you have a low income, it can be difficult to justify these expenses. Even more difficult is the fact that you cannot live without some form of entertainment. That’s where money-saving exercises command to allow you to spend as little as possible.

The first thing you should consider is limiting your expenses down to one form of entertainment. If you prefer to read books, then limit your entertainment to something like Amazon Kindle Unlimited. This allows you to read hundreds of thousands of books free of charge like you might find your local library.

Your local library is also a great resource for books that are not listed on Kindle Unlimited. You do not even have to pay $10 a month to use your library. All you have to do is get a library card. If you prefer to watch movies, there are multiple streaming services out there for around $10 a month that will allow you to access their entire library.

The same goes for video games. Their videogame subscription services that only cost between $10 and $15 a month which will allow you to play any game that you want that is in their library.

Transportation

Getting around these days is an unavoidable expense. In the past, cities were set up around walking patrons that could buy everything that they needed within a few blocks. However, as cars became more prevalent, that changed.

Now, if you need something, you might have to go all the way across town to get it. That means the transportation expenses are going to have to be part of your low income budget. The way that most people combat this is by using public transportation and riding a bicycle whenever possible. Of course, you can also prevent having to go all over town by limiting the number of expenses that you have.

Transportation is something that you definitely want to address if you’re trying to save money with a low income. If you have a vehicle that is already paid for, you are still going to be responsible for the maintenance on that vehicle and the insurance every month.

This can be costly, particularly if you only use them vehicle to go around town did get these things. If you have to use a vehicle to get to work, then you can justify that expense. It is totally up to you if you decide that you can justify driving a car because of the necessity for needing it for work.

Utilities

Your utilities also make up a significant portion of your monthly bills. There are lots of utilities that you can include with these bills, and if you rent an apartment or own a home, most of these are going to be your responsibility.

Some of the potential expenses include electricity, water, natural gas, sewer, garbage, Internet, cable television, home telephone, mobile telephone service and more. Having all of these utilities can add up to more than $1000 a month.

But if you are on a budget, then you should be able to look at these expenses and decide where you can cut back.

For example, many people have mobile phone plans that overlap with their Wi-Fi expenses. If you value your mobile phone more than anything else, then you might want to reduce your Internet costs or remove them completely by using the Wi-Fi hotspot on your phone.

This allows you to spend a significant amount of time using your phone’s Internet to do the things you do on the web. If the opposite is true, and you value your Wi-Fi more than anything else, then consider shutting off your phone and only using it with your home Wi-Fi service.

These are just a couple of ideas when it comes to reducing your utility bills and making sure that you are able to pay your bills each month.

Cutting Out Bad Habits

Your bad habits might also be costing you big money. Bad habits like smoking and drinking alcohol can lead to spending hundreds of dollars every month. A tobacco habit at just a pack a day is nearly $2000 a year and alcohol can be even more costly.

In addition, you may have to pay for medical expenses that come from smoking and drinking. If you are trying to live on a low income budget, then you may want to consider giving up tobacco altogether.

Despite what nicotine make sure brain and body think, tobacco doesn’t add anything to your life except for the chance of cancer. If you don’t want to give up alcohol completely, then consider limiting your drinking to a few drinks once a week.

There are other bad habits out there that cost money to indulge in as well. Anything that you spend money on the you do not need to should be looked at carefully if you’re trying to survive on a low income. That might be going to the movies, shopping, dating or dozens of other things.

Household & Hygiene

Household expenses, hygiene and other miscellaneous costs are definitely something they want to look at if you are trying to reduce the amount of money that you spend.

Most people can survive with just a few hygiene items that cost them less than $20 per month. However, when you start looking at the cost of getting a haircut each week, the cost of manicures and pedicures, the cost of multiple beauty products, makeup, expensive hair gel in other hygiene products that are marketed to us, it can get pretty expensive.

The same goes for household items. You may not need to spend $50 or $100 a month on household items. You may be able to get by with just $20 or $30 if you do things like wash Ziploc bags and reuse them or cut down on paper towel usage by using rags instead.

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Oliver Dale is Editor-in-Chief of MoneyCheck and founder of Kooc Media Ltd, A UK-Based Online Publishing company. A Technology Entrepreneur with over 15 years of professional experience in Investing and UK Business. He built Money Check to bring the highest level of education about personal finance to the general public with clear and unbiased reporting.


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