Whether you’re broke and have no money or have low income, you can start saving and/or paying off your debt now. The basic principle is simply spend less than you make! This is a skill that you would need to master regardless or not if you’re venturing into a work from home opportunity or side hustle. I also did another post on some apps that I recommend to help with passive saving, so be sure to check that out.
It can be quite difficult to save money if you don’t know how to reduce the amount of cash that you spend on a daily basis. Once you’ve made the decision to make daily budget cuts, you’ll be surprised to find out just how much money you can save! So grab your frappes and lets get to these tips!
These tips will make it easy for you to make progress towards your financial goals:
1. Keep track of your spending. One of the easiest ways to track spending is to use a small notebook that you can keep handy in your pocket or purse. The same way you track your calories when you go on a diet to see what you’re consuming. You don’t have to track forever but for at least a week or two. You’d be surprised how much your spending on certain “small” things.
* Whenever you spend some money, jot down the amount that you spent in your notebook. Most people make the mistake of skipping this important step.
* Never underestimate the power of tracking your finances. Even though your mind is incredibly powerful, it can be difficult to remember where all that money went.
* It might take a while to get into the habit of writing down the amount of cash that you spend on a daily basis, but once you get used to it, it becomes fairly automatic. I recommend the spending diary at least 1 week a month to make sure you’re being mindful about your spending still.
2. Make a budget. Living on a budget may not sound fun and may sound a bit restricting, especially if your use to being free flowing but let me first assure you that having a budget does not mean your broke or “poor”. It means your smart. Whether you’re bringing in $2,000 per month or $20,000 per month, you need to know where it’s going and what your doing with it.
Budgeting is a smart success habit that you should embrace because if I haven’t said it before it all starts in your thoughts. So if you go into it with a negative mindset, I can almost ensure you will quit doing it quickly. But if you go into it with an abundant mindset “I can do this” or “it’s ok, it’s going to get easier”, etc, it changes things.
The first tip I can give you is to give every dollar a job. This principle came from Dave Ramsey and I agree with it because it has helped me thus far so I’m sharing it. A simple budget consist of you writing down your total monthly income, your primary expenses/bills (rent, car payment, etc.. nonnegotiables), debts (with min payments for now), than write your “regular” expenses such as pets, car and home repairs, etc.
Now, I use to be pen and paper and I still am slightly but now I primarly use EveryDollar. I use to use YNAB but I found it to be a bit cluttered for me and find everydollar to be more my speed. EveryDollar makes it simple to budget your monthly finances. You basically just put the amounts in the according places and you can add categories accordingly. You can also keep track of debts. EveryDollar is free and you can upgrade to connect your account and other features but I use the free version that has been working great for me.
3. Cut back on pleasure. Unfortunately, it’s too easy to overspend on entertainment and leisure. Cutting back on pleasure can drastically improve your financial situation. But what can be removed from your list? After taking an account inventory and tracking your spending as said above, you will have a clear idea on what to cut.
Some cut backs may be in online media such as Netflix, Hulu, Prime, Youtube premium, etc. These are good but we generally don’t need all of them and we often forget we have them all. Speaking for myself, I had all those and some others and wasn’t using them. I actually use my mother’s Netflix and after doing a run through my expenses I noticed that I was paying for Netflix through comcast and never used it. I had hulu and hadn’t used that in a couple of months. These seem like small costs but they add up.
Check for unnecessary subscriptions for instance I had Fabkids and was being charged $29.95 monthly and I only used them once a couple of months ago.
* Make sure you call about unknown subscriptions the companies will often refund a month or two, they understand those honest mistakes.
* Watch movies at home rather than go to the theater. Invite your friends for a potluck and you can have dinner and a movie for less than the cost of movie tickets.
* Consider breaking habits such as smoking. A pack of cigarettes can cost $10 or more in some areas. You could try switching to a less expensive alternative such as e-Cigarettes or just focus on quitting smoking altogether.
4. Eat out less often. We all love to dress in fancy clothes and hit an expensive restaurant for a night of good food and relaxation. There’s nothing wrong with that. But the bills can add up to an outrageous amount and have a huge impact on your finances.
Not only can restaurant eating eat your money but those fast foods and small purchases at the gas station for drinks or snacks can take a big bite of your money again you’ll be surprise when you do your spending tracker. Sometimes we try to “save” during grocery shopping but if you get starbucks EVERY morning or a mountain dew at the gas station everyday than it would be cheaper to just get a case of soda. You can get a small cooler for your car for coldness, etc. Be creative!
* Consider reducing the amount of times that you eat out.
* Learn to cook at home. It’s cheaper, healthier, and also fun.
5. Check for less expensive alternatives of current services. We all utilize a different set of services on a daily basis. What if there was a way to reduce those bills?
* Consider a prepaid phone card. Most people are glued to their smart-phones, but how much time do you spend actually making calls? You can look into switching to a prepaid company and save. I’ve been with Boost Mobile for a few years now and have no regrets. I love the freedom and the no-thinking consistent payment and I still get unlimited everything.
* Sticking to internet based text messages is also another cost-effective way to communicate with people. Try checking to see if there’s a better plan. We often go for plans like “unlimited” but if we look at our usage we really don’t need it.
* Does your cable company have a less expensive package that would meet your needs?
* It’s convenient to have the magazines you enjoy delivered to your doorstep. But is there a more frugal alternative? Yes, most of these magazines have online subscription options, and you don’t need to pay a cent!
6. Avoid shopping when you’re hungry
Shopping when your hungry, leaves you with a basket full of random, unplanned, unhealthy items because EVERYTHING looks good… lol.
But what you may not know is that you’re also vulnerable to overconsumption if you shop anywhere when you’re hungry. In fact, researchers found a department store shopper who was hungry spent as much as 60% more on non-food products than shoppers who weren’t starving.
And this rule is not just for grocery shopping. This is honestly just for leaving the house. Try to have a snack or meal before leaving your house to prevent you from being tempted to swing pass a fast food joint.
7. Use discount codes and coupons
Of course there are things that you have to buy but when you do make purchases, your goal should be to ensure they cost as little as possible. To do that, always try to use coupons and/or discount codes. I would also recommend using Ebates when shopping online and I recommend you downloading the app Ibotta and Flipp. Flipp is an app that lets you know about all the sales and coupons at ALL the stores around you! It’s awesome.
You can order specific coupons that come from the Sunday paper for food and toiletry items so you can use coupons for things you actually buy. Sites such as Bargain Coupon Clippers and Klip2Save make this process affordable and easy. You can also search for coupon codes for all online purchases from RetailMeNot and KrazyCouponLady, she helps you to get things dirt cheap with combining coupons, she also has an app, which I recommend downloading.
8. Always shop with a list
Another good way to avoid impulse buys is to make a list of items you need to purchase, then remember to take the list with you, better yet use an app for that lol… then stick to the list. You can do this at the grocery store, but also when you shop for other things, such as hitting the mall to buy a pair of shoes and a new belt for work, write down what you’re going to purchase and don’t be swayed by other things you see along the way, stay focused!
Make sure you preplan upcoming large purchases.
Getting in the habit of cutting expenses takes some practice so don’t be hard on yourself. But once you start to condition your mind to look for opportunities to save a few extra bucks, you’ll soon realize that your financial goals are within your reach! I have included some affirmations that you can repeat to yourself constantly throughout the day to start conditioning your mind in a positive direction.
A few affirmations I use:
- I spend money wisely.
- I am committed to spending my money wisely.
- I am mindful of my spending habits.
- My income is constantly increasing.
I would love to hear your feedback on this subject and any other tips that you would like to share in the comment section below.
Many blessings and abundance! India