Not all of us are born with huge trust funds like Kim Kardashian or Paris Hilton. Sadly, some of us (most of us) have to work very hard and at first, for very little. The most responsible of us will start saving from very early on, and work out very quickly how to make your money work for you, because really anything and everything is possible, even being able to save on a budget.
There is no sexy way to talk about saving. Saving doesn’t seem like a sexy thing, but you know what is great about saving? Security, saving now will come in handy in the future and we think that is sexy. But how does one, and especially how does someone save on a very tight budget? When funds are few and you are living from pay cheque to pay cheque, putting money aside for a rainy day doesn’t seem like it’s something that is feasible.
We put together a few small tips and tricks that really help when trying to save on a budget, but remember the biggest tip of them all is that you should only be saving what you can afford, whether that is $1 or $10 000 every little bit counts and it all adds up.
Here are some tips to save on a budget:
Workout your monthly income
Knowing how much you are earning is important – make sure you’re looking at all incomes and removing tax! Make sure you are not overextending yourself and will allow you to be able to make decisions and choices that will allow you to stay within your budget. Knowing exactly how much money is coming into your account is important if you want to be able to live a life where you can enjoy things, splash out a little bit and have some fun whilst still being able to save on a budget.
Work out your expenses
If you know how much you are earning, the next most important thing to know when trying to save on a budget is how much your expenses are. If your expenses are less than your income then you are lucky and you can afford to save right from the start, if your expenses are more than your income then you need to start making some changes.
There are two types of expenses
Food and housing are necessities, these are expenses that are non-negotiable and have to be accounted for. Look at your necessary expense and see where possible you may be spending too much money, if you are shopping at luxury grocery stores and living in a high-end suburb there are simple changes that you can make like changing grocery stores, only buying items on your shopping list, or moving to a different area. Even your most necessary expenses could be excessive and looking at them properly with a “savings lense” on will really allow you to see where you are overspending and how to can fix that, so you can still save on a budget.
Luxury expenses are items that you like and bring you great joy but you can do without. Luxuries are things like going out for dinner, buying a chocolate at the grocery store and getting your hair highlighted. There are all “nice to haves” and nice to haves will not make or break your life if you go without them for a while in order to stick to a budget. Making little sacrifices with your luxuries is just one of the things you can do to be able to save on budget.
What’s coming in and going out?
If your expenses are more than your income then, “Houston, we have a problem”. If that is the case then you really need to take some serious action, this could mean changing jobs if you are feeling underpaid or taking on another job to help you cover your expenses, however not all hope is lost if you have already made drastic changes and are still feeling like there is just not enough money to go around. Here are some more really great and easy lifestyle tips and changes that you can help you keep to your budget, and save money:
Grow a vegetable garden
Not only is homegrown vegetable better for you health wise in the long-term, you can sell the excess. An added benefit is that the cost of seeds is substantially cheaper than the cost of buying Vegetables weekly.
Turn off the lights
It may seem like a frugal thing to do, but switching off lights in rooms that no one in, is an easy way save a little bit on an electricity bill. When you are on a tight budget, every little bit helps.
Eat less meat
Meat is very expensive, and if you want to save on a budget it is a good idea to eat fewer meals in a week that include meat. It’s an easy way to save money on your weekly or monthly grocery bill.
Ditch your car
If you live close enough to your place of work that you can cycle or walk, then do it. Wake up a little earlier and get peddling or put on your trainers and get walking, not only is it better for your health but it is also a great way to save on petrol.
Pay with cash
Instead of relying on Credit Cards to pay for things, switch instead to only using them in dire situations or in times when unexpected expenses come up that can’t be avoided. The great thing about using cash is you are more aware of the money that you are spending, and it allows you to have a daily amount that you set aside and when it’s done, you can’t buy anything else or make any unplanned purchases. Another way to save on a budget when you are using cash to pay for things is to save the change for your daily purchases.
Take advantage of online deals
There are often great deals online, the trick to buying items online is to only buy the deals that you know you will use or that you need.
Buy in Bulk
When you see a good deal on items that last for an infinite amount of time (the likes of toilet paper, toothpaste, shampoo etc) buy them. Bulk deals are a great way to save in the long term, there is a reason why the TLC show “Extreme Couponing” is so popular, everyone loves a great deal!
Ready to save on a budget? Here’s how to get going
The thing that seems so daunting about trying to save on a budget is not knowing where to start. Don’t let not knowing how or where to start put you off. Our suggestion is that you start small and work towards a goal amount that you want to be saving towards. Once you start seeing where you can save money and how easy it is to make small changes, we are pretty sure that you will want to save more and more.
Saving on a budget is doable. It does not matter how much money you do or do not have anything is possible if you are strict with yourself and your family. Nothing worth having comes easy and the same can be said for saving. Michelle Obama’s beautifully toned arms were not achieved in a day and the same mentality can be applied to saving. You just need to keep on keeping on at it!
You’ve got this
Saving isn’t always easy. Stick with it and when you have been saving for some time you will see the amount of money growing. It’s then that you’ll see that the security of having some money for a “rainy day” really is worth it.