Budgeting and saving money can be challenging when you’re a low-income earner. You often spend your monthly income on necessities, such as food and rent, and you will no longer have any money to save. Living this kind of life can lead to stress, especially when emergencies arise.
This might come as a surprise, but there are many ways to save and budget money, even if you’re a low-income earner. When you implement the tips listed below, it won’t be long before you can attain a healthy financial life regardless of how little you earn.
1. Schedule When You Shop
Stores regularly offer promos and discounts to attract new customers and retain patrons. Newly opened stores might even offer freebies to increase their revenues.
One way to save and budget money is to shop when stores have promos or discounts. This marketing strategy enables you to buy more items without spending more money. Just make sure to regularly check store weekly ads to determine when your favorite store will hold promos.
2. Lower Your Housing Cost
According to research, Americans spend $21,409 a year for housing, including mortgage payments or rent, furnishings, utilities, and cleaning supplies. This amount can put a dent in your bank account and might even cause you to compromise other expenses.
To save and budget money, work on lowering your housing cost. There are several ways to accomplish this task, namely:
- Downsize: If possible, move or rent to a smaller apartment or space to minimize your living expenses. The lesser amount of money you’ll pay for mortgage and rent, the easier it’ll be to save and budget money.
- Move to another location: Real estate prices vary per location. For example, homes in California cost about $554,886 while homes in Massachusetts are $422,856. Consider moving to a new location to save more money. This often requires a lifestyle change, but the results will surely be worth it!
- Rent out rooms: Do you have extra space in your home that rarely gets used? If this is the case, rent them out to earn more. Turning some parts of your home into a rental property is an excellent source of passive income.
3. Pay Attention to Your Food Spending
Spending money on food is essential, but this doesn’t mean that you should do it hastily. On the contrary, you should pay more attention to your food spending as this can adversely affect your monthly budget and ability to save money.
On average, households spend almost half of their monthly food budget eating in restaurants. Even if you don’t spend this much, it’s still crucial to minimize your restaurant spending.
To better control your food spending, prepare meals ahead of time. Knowing what you’re going to eat for the entire week will motivate you to drive home after work instead of ordering a drive-thru from your favorite restaurant. Meal planning also helps you save time and money on groceries because you already know what to buy.
Speaking of groceries, checking your pantry before doing some shopping also helps. This prevents you from buying food items that are still in your pantry.
4. Find Affordable Entertainment
Taking a break from your work and daily routine is essential to stay mentally and physically healthy. As the maxim states, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” However, this doesn’t mean that you should overspend in one day just to relieve yourself from stress.
You can actually have fun without spending too much as there is a lot of cheap or free entertainment today. Do you want to catch up with your friends and family? Host dinner parties at home instead of eating at restaurants. Do you often feel stressed at work? Spend your next weekend hiking or biking in the woods.
5. Prioritize Your Health
Medicines and hospital bills are expensive. Being admitted to the hospital will also cause you to take a few days off from work, resulting in a loss of income. Taking care of your health can help eliminate unwanted and unexpected medical expenses.
Regardless of how busy you are during the day, there are plenty of ways to look after your health. For example, if you have a full-time job, you can exercise before or after work or during your rest days. It’s also important to stick to a well-balanced diet, get at least eight hours of sleep every night, and limit alcohol consumption.
Improve Your Daily Routine
Saving and budgeting money requires long-term commitment, so don’t expect results once you’ve followed the tips here once. To achieve financial independence, you need to be consistent with your efforts — and that means incorporating the tips in this article into your everyday routine.