Small Steps: Saving Money When You’re Struggling With A Low Income
If you’re a low- income family, it might seem impossible to save money, but there are actually ways you can trim your budget. A small income shouldn’t stop you from saving money. While saving just a few extra dollars a day might not seem like much it adds up over time. Here are five money tips that any low-income family can use.
- Cut down on expenses where possible
There are always things you can stop spending money on in order to save money. You might have an expensive cable bill because you ordered a sports package in addition to the basic channels. By eliminating the extra channel packages you can save money every single month. Maybe you have a habit of buying a five dollar specialty coffee every morning before work. This is one hundred dollars every month that could be saving by changing your habits and making coffee at home instead. If you don’t have any luxury expenses at all, look at the expenses you do have and see what you might be able to cut back on. If you’re a meat eating family, try having one or two meatless meals per week. You can also use less meat in casseroles and bulk them up using more veggies. What you save by not having these expenses is money that can be put into savings.
- Find free money and service opportunities
If you’re a low-income family, it’s a good idea to know what services are out there to help you and your family. You may qualify for help with your rent. At portal.hud.gov you can learn more about rental assistance and whether you qualify. You should also check with your bank and workplace to see if there are any accounts you can set up where your deposits will be matched by the institution. You might not always be told of these services, so it’s important to ask. You don’t want to miss out on any opportunity to receive free money or services. You may receive a free one-time service for signing up with a certain company. By doing a bit of searching online you can find these opportunities. For example you can find can find an uber promo code, which gives you your first ride free.
- Pay with cash
When you make purchases, pay with cash and you’ll never have to worry about going over budget. When you use a credit card, it’s easy to lose track of how much you’ve already put on your card. It’s also easy to grab a few extra items when you use a credit card because you’re less concerned about how you’ll pay for it until the bill arrives. If you’re serious about saving money, plan your shopping trip ahead of time and budget accordingly. By using cash you will buy only what you need without any extras you might normally be tempted by. If you are afraid that you might have a weak moment and use your card, leave it at home.
- Make money on the side
Maybe you have a hobby that you can turn into a side job. If you love writing, you can start freelancing in your spare time. If you’re crafty, you can sell your creations online. You can even make money taking surveys online with Ipsos I-Say for example. You can save up points to redeem for cash or gift cards. You can use money earned through your side-job for holidays or to add directly to your savings since it’s an addition to your main source of income.
- Leave the car at home
Maybe you’ve gotten into the habit of driving the four blocks to the store to pick up milk. While it might be quicker it will also drain your gas tank and your wallet much quicker. When you can walk, leave the car behind and get your body moving. You’ll not only save yourself money, but you’ll burn some calories as well. Do you have a bike that is gathering dust in the garage? Time to pull it out and put it to good use. If you are a two car household, consider using just one. Saving insurance and gas on just one car will make a huge difference in your finances and enable you to save more.
Creating new habits in order to save money might not be easy, but it is possible. You may be used to having certain things, but it doesn’t mean you need them. Sometimes realizing how much money you’ll save over the course of a year is enough motivation to change spending habits.
Chad Fonger has been driving for rideshare companies for many years including for services such as Lyft and Uber. He strives towards sharing his experiences and helpful information with his popular comprehensive blog, which goes in depth about the dynamic and ever-growing rideshare industry and share economy smartphone applications.