3 Secrets to Saving Money on a Tight Budget

by Susan Paige on August 19, 2020 · 0 comments

Many consumers are hardwired for instant gratification. Regardless of their income, they tend to spend impulsively, which they think can satisfy their immediate desires. Little do they know that doing so makes them get into debt easily. 

Things may worsen if you’re on a tight budget, and you still have bad money habits. The last thing you should want is allowing your debts to influence your entire life negatively. So, what should you do to save more money?

1. Spend Smartly

Expending your money smartly generally equates to spending less than what you earn. It’s a practical action you should do, so it should be no secret at all anymore. But what happens if you do otherwise?

If you spend more than what you earn, you’ll basically be at a deficit, and there’s a higher chance that you’ll end up borrowing money. What’s more, borrowed money comes with another extra cost (e.g., interest rates, upfront fees, and the like). Simply put, you’re going to spend a lot. If you badly need refinancing, better seek advice for borrowing money.

How to spend less smartly? Here are tips to reduce your costs while in a tight budget scenario:

  1. Opt for a high-GB data WiFi connection rather than paying a dedicated voice and Internet connection for every single phone.
  2. Go bulk-purchasing online, and the discounts will get passed on to you.
  3. Review how you’re moving around, consolidate your car usage, and audit your transportation costs. Think about whether it will be cheaper to drive your car and pay for the gas and parking fees, or travel using public transportation. 
  4. Buy inexpensive brands. It’s just marketing that makes brand-name items better than those of the generic brands. 
  5. Choose where you eat wisely. You must pay for the food you’ve eaten, rather than for the restaurant’s ambience. You may want to eat your lunch or dinner at discounted buffets. Most of the time, you can get a hearty meal at a very reasonable price.
  6. Make the most of discounts and coupons for every item you’ll purchase. At the end of the month, you’ll be surprised at how much you’d have saved. Mind you; you’re not stingy. It’s just what discounts and coupons are made for. 
  7. Don’t feel awkward about capitalizing on clearance and bargain sales, too. They’re not mainly about selling low-quality products. Business people do this to create value, save money, and make space for new products. Why not make the best of it? 
  8. Before renewing your insurance policies, compare rates or check comparative analyses over the Internet first. Several online aggregators curate almost all insurance companies and compare their rates online.
  9. Review your bank account and see whether you’re charged with “silent charges.” They can be indicators of unwanted automatic subscriptions, identity issues (e.g., you have the same name as other people), or, worse, identity theft. 
  10. Opt for credit cards without annual charges and with the lowest interest. You’ll also want to make the most of these cards’ vouchers, payback points, discounts, promo codes, and the like.

2. Keep a Set Savings Target

A lot of consumers only save whatever cash that’s left over after paying their monthly bills. This is a misconception of “saving.” You have to keep in mind that your spending fluctuates every time. In this case, even before thinking about saving, you may leave your bank account close to zero. 

The best way is to set how much you should save every month in advance. Think about your savings as part of your expenses. If you do so, you’ll end up forcing yourself (in a good way) to better live within your means. 

More importantly, automate your savings. How? Set your checking account to do automatic transfer to your savings every time you get your pay. This is to prevent “missed savings,” similar to how we give importance to preventing “missed debt repayments.”

These automatic contributions can also be used for other investment accounts, like long-term savings, retirement contributions, or medical insurance and health protection policies. What’s great about these accounts is that they’ll help your funds grow over time even without you having to do anything. 

3. Forecast and Plan Your Budget

Making a financial plan ensures that you spend what you can only afford and manage all your expenses, including your savings. It takes time, but it’s easy. What you’ll have to do is the following:

  1. Calculate your income
  2. List your monthly expenses
  3. Categorize expenses into “fixed” (e.g., utility bills, repayments, etc.) or “variable” (e.g., grocery, eating out, entertainment, gas, etc.)
  4. Total monthly income and expenses
  5. Adjust your expenses (if your expenses are higher than your income, cut your variable expenses)

You’ll want to aim for an equal balance in your income and expenses columns. This means, your salary is well-budgeted and accounted for towards specific savings goals and expenses. If this is the case, you’ll prevent being at a deficit, but instead, you’ll save more money. 

Takeaway

Studies have shown that personal money management should involve recording your money goals, monitoring your expenses, and keeping your budget as is. All of these can keep your money management on track and make your ends meet smartly.  

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