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Are you looking for ways how to save money fast on a low income? Having a low income does not prohibit you from saving and saving doesn’t mean having a huge change in lifestyle.
There are some real, actionable ways to save that won’t have you feeling like you’re going without.
Take a look at this roundup of ideas to begin saving, starting today!
Building Your Savings Strategy
To save money fast on a low income, the first step is to create your savings strategy. You’ll need to make a plan to save and stick to it! This is a lot easier than it may sound.
First, make a list of your expenses. Then, make a list outlining your income. Allocate expenses against your income. This means, if you get paid twice a month, figure out which expenses will come from each paycheck.
This will bring you to your leftover income, which you can save! You don’t have to save it all. You can set a portion of it to save and leave the rest in your checking account as a buffer.
That’s all there is to it!
Over time you can increase the amount you save, building up your savings account even faster.
Check out these best practices:
1. Pay Yourself First
This is one of the easiest things you can do to start saving on autopilot. It’s pretty simple to start. Contact your employer or bank to set aside an amount to deposit straight into your savings account. It’s direct deposit for savings. This means the amount you see in checking will be after you have paid yourself first!
2. Consider Switching Banks
Take advantage of new account perks like cash and gift cards, while earning a higher rate of interest on your money with a competitor bank.
Try out these apps to up your savings game:
- Digit App: You can put your savings on autopilot with this app. Digit will track your spending and income putting together a savings plan. You can automatically withdraw that money and save it, earning 1% interest.
- Mint: Manage all your finances in one place using the Mint app. You can link your accounts, credit cards, and bills to make money management super easy. You’ll love the Bill Tracking feature.
Take a look at these 16 best budget apps to help you save money.
Make Room in Your Budget
Make room for savings. This means eliminating extras like:
- Food waste
Getting rid of these extras doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your lifestyle. You can cut out expensive cable and replace with Netflix, at just 1/10th of the price! Or, avoid food waste (throwing away food) by shopping for groceries with a list and using grocery apps.
Try these easy switches you can make to preserve your budget:
3. DIY It
Instead of buying expensive gifts for weddings, birthdays and other special occasions, make a handmade gift. Some inexpensive ideas for thoughtful gifts include candles, baking mixes, homemade pastries, beauty products, and soaps.
4. Enjoy Weekends In
Scrap weekends out with friends and entertain at home. Indulge in a movie marathon or play games in your living room. Everyone will save money and still have fun!
5. Eat at Home
This big budget buster can be eliminated for good. Avoid pricey takeout and restaurant eating by cooking your food at home.
Make it fun by planning a menu in advance, trying new cooking methods, batching cooking and freezing the leftovers.
6. Clean Your Filters
Cleaning out your home and car air filters will help you save on energy costs. For your car, a clean filter means improving fuel efficiency. For your home, a clean filter means avoiding expensive air conditioner repairs and keeping energy costs down. It’s a simple chore that can go a long way.
Learn more about cleaning your car’s filter easily.
Feeling like purging more expenses from your budget? Check out these 6 expenses you don’t need and can ditch now!
Once you get rid of the extras, you’ll have more room in your budget to save!
Take Advantage of Cash Back
Every day you might be missing the opportunity to get cash back on your monthly purchases. Here are 5 cashback opportunities you won’t want to miss:
7. Dosh App
Dosh is an app you download for free on your cell phone. After you link your debit/credit card, you earn cash back automatically from participating retailers!
This means your Friday Chinese takeout ritual that you love can put money back in your pocket, if that restaurant is a Dosh partner.
You can browse the app to find retailers and restaurants that participate online and in-person shopping. They also offer a healthy referral bonus if you share them with family and friends and those referrals result in sign ups!
With Dosh, you’ll never miss another opportunity to get cash back. Did we mention, they automatically apply the cash back to your account? That means no work for you.
Once you reach the $25 threshold, you can request your balance via direct deposit, PayPal, or gift card. Join Dosh for free here.
BeFrugal is the place to get cash back for your online purchases. You can get on board by downloading their Apple or Android app right to your cell phone.
You can snag offers as high as 40% cash back from participating retailers and their cash back is generally higher than some of their competitors, like Ebates.
You only need $.01 in your balance to cash out via PayPal! Sold yet? Get started for free with BeFrugal right here.
If you’re like me, when you do your online shopping, before checkout, like clockwork, you scour the web for coupon codes. If you can find one working coupon code to discount your cart, you’ll be happy.
Well, no more wrecking your brain to find deals online, with Honey!
Honey is a free tool that finds coupon codes for you instantly! It really is like a search engine for coupon codes. Visit Honey and download the free browser extension. Then, visit your favorite online retailers, shop and get a popup that notifies you of potential coupon codes available. In a few seconds Honey will check multiple coupon codes and automatically apply the best one to your cart.
To learn how to take advantage of stacking and more cool features, check out our full review of Honey.
Make More to Save More
Another way to save money fast on your low income is to raise your pay! You can do this by making more money through..
- Overtime at your job
- A second job
- Taking paid surveys
- Working online
10. Overtime at Your Job
With overtime being time and a half, it pays to work extra hours at your job. Take advantage of any overtime available to give you a nice boost in your paycheck.
11. A Second Job
Sometimes getting a second job makes sense. This can be an after work part time job a few days a week or these nontraditional jobs that don’t feel like work:
- Landscaping or gardening
- Flea market flipping
- Selling junk mail
12. Paid Surveys
Online paid surveys are a nice way to make extra money around your busy schedule. You can take surveys when you’d like, 24/7 and get paid as often as weekly!
Here’s a list of some favorites you might enjoy:
If you want an opportunity to design your own work schedule, the ability to control how much you earn, and work from home, paid surveys are a great way to make money.
13. Finding Online (or on Your Phone) Work
There are a number of websites and companies that pay you to work online. You’ll do a variety of task-related work from tutoring students to performing small tasks for busy professionals.
Here are some examples:
- Teaching English online to Chinese students with GoGoKid
- Pick up gigs on the go with Gigwalk
- Work from home cold calling with City Twist
- Are you bilingual? Be an interpreter with Language Line
- Freelancing with Upwork
- Do live chat with Needle
Want more ideas? Here are 35 work from home gigs that pay weekly or daily.
Blogging is the kind of fun side hustle that can turn into a full time gig. If you are passionate about a topic and love to write, connecting with an audience, give blogging a try. Everyday, there are countless newbie bloggers that leave their 9 to 5 to blog full time! You could be next!
You make money blogging in various ways including:
- Working with sponsors
- Placing ads on your blog
- Creating your own products and selling them through your blog
- Affiliate marketing
Once you create your blog, you monetize it using one (or more) of the methods above.
Not sure how to get started blogging? All you need is a host and a domain name. We recommend using Bluehost – use our referral link and get a special deal of $3.95 per month of hosting plus your first year free on your domain name (after that it’s about $10 per year).
Working with sponsors means that brands will pay you to feature them on your blog. You get paid to try cool products and share with your audience.
Placing ads on your blog is super easy and is practically passive income, once you install the initial ad code.
Creating your own products is by far the most lucrative way to make money blogging. You create products or services and sell them to your audience.
Lastly, affiliate marketing works similar to the friends/family referrals you may have gotten for sharing a referral code to GrubHub or Uber. You refer products to your readers and if they buy, you earn a commission on the sale, at no additional cost to the reader.
Interested in giving blogging a try? It’s very rewarding and can change your life. You’ll love these 30 key tips on how to start making money as a blogger.
Get on Budgeting Apps
Budgeting apps will be your best friend. They go hand in hand with your savings strategy. Apps are important because they make saving easier by helping you track and manage your budget. These apps are some good ones to get you started:
Mint is all about personal finance and money. It’s a great all around budgeting app to help you get your finances in order and save money.
What you’ll love?
Mint is easy to use and free. It connects with virtually every U.S. bank and you get alerts to notify you when a bill is coming due soon. If you are a visual person, you will like the helpful graphs available which paint a picture of where you’re spending your money.
Are you sold? Get Mint here.
This app embraces the cash envelope method. The cash envelope method separates your budget into categories, like:
You take envelopes for each budget category and stash them with cash. The idea is to put yourself on a cash budget and only spend what’s in the envelope for that budget category.
Mvelopes is the app version of this, with the ability to link your debit and credit cards. You can set money saving goals, monitor your habits, and avoid overspending.
Learn more about Mvelopes.
17. Clarity Money
This budget manager app, Clarity Money, lets you connect your account with ease, to get your full financial picture. You can analyze your spending and get suggestions on how to save better.
One component of the app you will love is the Negotiation & Lowering feature which lets Clarity Money negotiate on your behalf to lower your bills!
Another perk of the app is the ability to check your credit any time you want, for free. This app offers a little of everything and with the founder Adam Dell, being brother to computer legend Michael Dell, you’ll want to hop on this band wagon while it’s still 100% free to use.
Not only that, but Clarity offers a bill cancelation feature, a savings account with a high APY and detailed insights to your spending.
Joy takes a different perspective to money management, looking at the psychology behind saving money.
It helps you track your finances and boost your well-being. Some of the features offered include:
- Money coaching
- A savings strategy
- Spending tracking
It works by connecting your spending and your mood. You break your spending into “happy spends” and “sad spends.” The goal is to help you spend happier and save more.
It’s a really unique twist that you’ll find refreshing. Take a look and download Joy to learn more.
Want to explore more budget apps? Click here to read about these 10 best budgeting apps to help you save money.
It is possible to save money fast on a low income.
Here’s a recap:
- Build your savings strategy
- Make room in your budget
- Make more to save more and,
- Get budgeting apps
Hopefully you found these ideas inspiring. There are even more ways to save money including:
- Saving money on entertainment, like video games
- Tips to save on home expenses and essentials
- Living without a car
- Saving money while traveling
Do you have some money saving strategies you’d like to share? Comment below so we can hear from you.