How to Save Money Fast on a Low Income

Saving money on a normal day isn’t so easy. It is even harder to save when you are living on a low income. But, it is not impossible. In this guide, you’ll see various ways you save money fast on a low income by simply adjusting your lifestyle.

This is a gradual process, so you’ll only be making slight changes that will impact your savings greatly in the long run.

Let’s get started.

Live on a budget

Many people are unable to save anything monthly and still end up getting elbows deep in debt. This happens because they spend more than they make.

When you don’t live within your means, you can’t save anything.

The only way to get back on track is to learn to live on a budget. By creating a budget and sticking to it, you can easily monitor your spending and increase your savings.

It is very easy to create a budget – you should be done in an hour or two.

Your budget helps you know where every single dollar you’ve spent went. You need a budget.

You might be a pro already at budget creation or you may be new to the task. But novices and experts alike often need a helping hand. Here are the best budget apps to help you stay on track!

Reduce transport costs

You may not be aware, but it costs more to drive to work every day than to take public transport.

Instead of paying for gas or parking space, you can save money by riding the metro system to work.

If your house is close to work, it would also cost you nothing to ride a bike or have a coworker pick you up.

If you want to save money fast on a low income, you have to make some sacrifices.

Is there a way you can get to work without spending as much as you do now? Go for it.

Save money on food

Food is one of the major areas people spend money on every month. Food is expensive, and there’s no way you will survive without it.

However, you can reduce the amount you’re spending on food each month.

Firstly, instead of going out to eat with friends at fancy restaurants, you can opt for cooking your meals. This is a great way to save lots of money.

After doing that, you then proceed to cut costs on the foodstuff (groceries) you buy each month.

Here’s how to go about it:

  • Check the groceries you have at home before going shopping, so you don’t buy what you don’t need.
  • Write a list before going out and stick to it.
  • Buy generic brands.
  • Use money-saving apps like Caddle and KOHO
  • Shop sales.
  • Don’t go shopping when you’re hungry. You’ll end up spending more than you need to.

Collect coupons and gift cards

Coupons help you save some money on clothes, groceries, and almost anything you want to buy online. By using a coupon code, you get the products at a lower price.

To find coupons, just search online and you’ll get multiple results. They are all out there. You just have to find them before shopping.

Gift cards are great too. If you can ask for gift cards as gifts instead of asking for things you don’t need, do so. You can use gift cards to pay for anything you want. With enough gift cards to cover your expenses, you can just keep your money in a savings account and buy things with the cards.

Automate your savings

If you don’t want to skip your savings for any month, or you want to save without feeling bad that you can’t spend so much, automate it. This way, you have no choice.

On the day you choose, a percentage of your income leaves your checking account to your savings account automatically. It’s almost like you never had it.

When next you look into your savings account, you’ll see that the money has piled up there.

Reduce unnecessary expenses

You’ve already created your budget, but you still find yourself spending on things you don’t need. For instance, you still have various subscriptions you pay for monthly but don’t use.

Cut back on all these unnecessary expenses. Cancel all the subscriptions you don’t use and hop on the lower plans of the ones you use.

Also, you can watch TV without paying for cable. Go for the cheaper options available today like Netflix, CraveTV, and CBS All Access.

Increase your income

This is a sure way to save money fast on a low income. If your savings greatly have not increased after trying the other 6 methods above, it’s time to get a side hustle.

Increase your income by using your skills to earn. If you have digital skills like writing, digital illustration, and digital marketing among others, you can offer your services to individuals and companies and start earning from it.

You can also earn from physical things you can do. For instance, if you knit, you can open a store that sells knitted wears and make some money on the side.

The money from your side hustle can be thrown into savings while you budget the income from your day job.

The gig economy is wide open for everyone with a passion, purpose or need. Learn more about how to make extra cash with a side gig here!

Frequently asked questions on saving money

Can I get rich just by saving?

Saving money does not make you rich. It only allows you to have some money to use in the nearest future. It helps you not to get stranded at any time. To get rich, you have to make more money and invest.

Is it better to store my money in savings or checking?

Savings accounts are better for storing your money. You earn interest on the money stored in a savings account. Checking accounts, on the other hand, are good for handling your daily transactions.

How much should I have in my savings account?

You should have about six months of essential expenses in your savings account. So, if you lose your job today, you’ll still have enough money to last you for six months.

What percentage of my income should I put in savings?

You should save at least 20% of your income. If you make enough, you can also increase the percentage as you see fit. But, also invest some money as you make more — to grow your net worth.

How can I save money if I live from paycheck to paycheck?

To save money when living paycheck to paycheck, start a budget that cuts your previous expenses. Save first, and then budget the remaining money for the month.

How do I automate my savings monthly?

To automate your savings, you can split your direct deposit into two or more deposits. Many banks let you automatically deposit from your checking to your savings account. You can also use money-saving apps with higher interest rates to automate your saving.

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Jake Victor

Jake Victor is the founder of Life on the Dough. Life on the Dough is a personal finance website that focuses on budgeting, investing, and increasing income streams as ways to manage and improve finances. He has taught over 500 people on freelancing as a way to earn money online.