Saving money requires patience and discipline. But saving may seem next to impossible if you’re on a limited income or don’t have much to start with. Luckily, there are ways for people with little or no income to save and invest despite the challenges they might be facing. Here are 18 ‘How To Save Money’ Ideas for People With Little or No Income:
1. Have a Savings Goal
A savings goal is one of the most important aspects of saving – it provides motivation and helps you stay disciplined even when times get tough. Decide exactly how much you want to save each month, and ensure that’s the number you transfer into your savings account every month before spending any money.
2. Cut Back on Shopping Trips
Please make a list before going shopping and stick to it! This will help keep you from buying unnecessary items that can add up quickly if bought repeatedly. Plus, it’s also beneficial for your budget when you make an online grocery order through apps like Instacart, Amazon Fresh, or Shipt, as sometimes delivery fees are waived from certain stores.
3. Automate Your Savings
Readjustment setting up automated transfers for separate parts of your paycheck directly into a savings account on payday. This way, making payments will become second nature without thinking about it every month!
Additionally, consider using auto-drafts so payments come out of your account automatically instead of manually logging in each time. There are due date approachings; this will make the process much easier to work with while still managing finances correctly.
4. Track Your Spending
Ⅰ. Start Small
Start small and focus on one area of your finances, such as groceries or discretionary purchases (e.g., clothes, entertainment, etc.). Write down all the purchases you made in this category for the month and split them into two columns — needs vs. wants — for an easy visual.
Ⅱ. Use a Money-Tracking App
Using a budgeting or money-tracking app can make tracking much easier than writing it down in a notebook or Excel spreadsheet. With apps like Mint, Acorns, or Simply Usable (free), you can sync all your accounts with the app so that every transaction is tracked and monitored without entering anything manually.
Ⅲ. Set Financial Goals
Your main goal should be to have more money left at the end of each month than when it started, but setting specific goals can be helpful if you’re trying to save up for something like a vacation or renovation project. Take some time to write down short-term and long-term financial goals to know where your money is allocated each month and why.
Ⅳ. Track Your Progress
Once everything is set up, the next step is tracking progress against those goals that we set earlier. This helps us understand our actual savings rate — how much income we save compared to our total spending — which will ultimately show whether we make good spending decisions each month or need to adjust things accordingly.
5. Find Side Hustles In Your Area
Finding extra income streams is a great way to boost your savings, even if it’s just a few dollars each month. Look for freelance gigs or part-time jobs in your area that are flexible and convenient enough to fit your current lifestyle. You can also look into selling items online or offering services like pet sitting, tutoring, house cleaning, etc.
6. Invest In Yourself First Before Investing Elsewhere
Before investing in stocks, mutual funds, or other financial products, investing in yourself first is important. Take the time to learn about personal finance and budgeting so that you can make informed decisions about your money. Additionally, focus on developing new skills or starting a side business that can help you increase your income and give you more money to save.
7. Use Coupons and Discounts
Take advantage of discounts, coupons, and sales when shopping for needed items. Research online to find the best deals and prices on items you’re interested in buying. Also, look into store loyalty programs that offer discounts or rewards points when purchases are made. Use cashback portals (e.g., Rakuten) to get even more savings.
8. Get Creative With Meals
Try to get creative with meals and snacks to save money on food. Look for budget-friendly recipes, use pantry ingredients you already have, and can be made in bulk for multiple meals throughout the week. Additionally, plan out your meals in advance and create a grocery list, so you only buy the items you need and don’t overspend.
9. Practice the 30-Day Rule
The 30-day rule is a great way to curb impulse purchases and save money in the long run. Whenever you feel like buying something, please wait at least 30 days before ensuring it’s something you need or want. This will help you avoid unnecessary purchases and save money in the process.
10. Ditch Your Car
Consider ditching your car for a bike or public transportation to save on gas, maintenance, and insurance costs. This is especially beneficial if you live in an area where these items are expensive, and you’re not using your car often enough to justify the costs.
11. Negotiate Your Bills
Take some time to review your monthly bills, especially those that are recurring, and look for opportunities to negotiate lower rates or fees. Many companies will work with you if you’re a loyal customer and can offer discounts or other incentives to keep you around.
12. Automate Savings
Automating your savings is an easy way to ensure you consistently set aside monthly money. Please automatically transfer your checking account to a savings or investment account at the beginning of each month so you can save without thinking about it.
13. Take Advantage Of Free Resources
Many cities offer free resources like libraries, parks, and museums that allow you to enjoy activities without spending money. Additionally, look for free online courses and resources to help you learn new skills or develop your knowledge in a certain area.
14. Consider Freelance Opportunities
If you are looking for additional income streams, consider taking on freelance gigs in your expertise or offering services such as virtual assistant work, web design, writing, etc. Many companies and individuals are willing to hire freelancers, and the pay can be competitive. Additionally, you can set your own hours and work from home, making it a great option for those with busy lives.
15. Spend Time With Friends & Family
Instead of spending money on entertainment, take the time to spend quality time with friends and family. Get together for a potluck dinner, plan a game night, or explore the outdoors to enjoy each other’s company without spending money.
16. Use Your Credit Card Wisely
If you have a credit card, use it to your advantage. For example, sign up for rewards programs offering cashback or purchase points. Additionally, look for cards with no annual fee and low-interest rates to maximize your savings.
17. Sell Unused Items
Take the time to go through your closets and storage areas and sell any items you don’t need or use anymore. This can be a great way to make extra money and declutter your space simultaneously. Consider selling your items online, through classifieds, or at a consignment store.
18. Utilize Coupons and Discounts
Coupons and discounts are an easy way to save money on everyday items. Check for deals before shopping, look for coupon codes online, and consider signing up for loyalty programs at your favorite stores if they offer discounts or other benefits. Look out for “buy one get one free” offers and sales.