80 Ways To Save Money & 20 Mindsets To Live On An Extreme Budget
Are you always on a tight budget with no room for you to save?
Have you been worried about the zero accounts that make you look like you have nothing?
Peradventure you fall into any of these categories, then, this piece is for you. You don’t have to think or get yourself all worked up because you always have a tight budget.
You can always achieve whatsoever project on your list regardless of the cost only if you can be determined to save.
Great dreamers and achievers are those that know how to save resources effectively.
All they have acquired successfully did not just happen in one day; they started a long time ago.
Ask your friend who just bought a car how he did it? I am sure he will tell you he has been planning it for a long time ago but you might think he won a jackpot or lottery.
I can remember vividly how I got my first laptop. At that time, my parents didn’t have the huge sum of money to get a brand new laptop so they had to save to be able to get the laptop.
They joined a group of people who contribute a certain amount of money on a monthly basis and share the lump sum of the entire savings.
Due to this decision, my dad was able to get two brand new laptops for my brother and I. It was indeed one of the happiest moments of my life as many didn’t believe I could own a laptop. It looked impossible initially but my parent determination to save made it possible.
On getting back to school, some of my friends thought my parent must be rich for them to get laptops for my brother and I in a short while but they never knew it wasn’t a day’s job.
Do you know it’s easy for you to save money even when you have little? Of course, you need to work on your mindset, discipline yourself and portray some attitudes that would make it easy to save.
Else, even if you earn a billion dollars per month and you don’t follow some rules, you will never be able to save.
I will show you 80 ways to save prudently.
1.. Start Now
You don’t have to wait till you get a huge amount of money before you start saving. Start with the little you have, then you can gradually increase it. If you can’t increase it, just be consistent with what you can do for now. Remember, Rome was not built in a day.
2. Cut down expenses
When you have a tight budget and you want to save, you have to learn to cut down your expenses. It’s not necessary for you to get all your desires at a go.
3. Pen down your plans
You have to learn to write down your savings or keep a digital record. Continue to keep the statistics of any amount of money you save; this act will encourage you to continue.
4. Try paying with Cash
Start paying with cash instead of your credit card. There is a tendency you will spend less when you pay with cash because you will be careful of every penny you spend. You will likely not carry a bulk of the money to spend at a go. Meanwhile, you could empty your card at just one click of a button.
5. Set a limit
Another way you can save is to set a limit for yourself for the week or month. Once you exhaust the allocated amount for that period of time, you consider yourself broke.
Stick to your budgets and make savings what it is – savings. A practical and physical way to set such limits is to put the exact amount you need for the week in an envelope so you can notice how light or almost empty the envelope looks as you spend from it.
6. No spend day
Choose a particular day you will promise yourself not to spend any dime. It should be a day you really won’t need to move out or spend on transport or fuel. Cook at home, watch movies and have fun.
7. Go for homemade lunch
If buying lunch at work is costly, why not cook yourself and save that money. Food prices are usually more expensive in business and industrial environments so it’s advisable to cook at home. If that won’t be possible for you, fill your plates in a less expensive residential environment. Reduce eating out as much as possible. You can also grow your own food on your farm.
8. Prioritize your needs
Do you remember that scale of preference? When making your budget, always arrange them according to your priorities or preference, then you can attend to the rest later. This will enable you to save better.
9. Don’t let your car stay idle
It’s just like you are burning money. Use it for some transport services or a mobile shop and earn some money for savings. That car is the only thing some people need to kick-start their business.
10. Do not owe
Try as much as possible to stay away from debts. Make transactions within your income without having to borrow money from other people or financial institutions. The avoidance of debts is the beginning of a great saving capability.
11. Use your Bank’s ATM card
In Nigeria here, when you use the ATM card of your bank in another bank for a couple of times, an amount will be deducted from your account. So, try to stick to your bank ATM machine if you really want to save that deduction for something more important to you.
12. Prioritize quality over quantity
When you want to get clothes, do not buy because it’s cheap and you want to save, rather check the texture, washability, colour, fabric, stitching. A quality fabric will not wear out for years. You won’t need to keep buying clothes if you invest in a few good ones.
13. Be an automatic saver
You can automatically save by telling your employer to deduct some amount of money from your salary and send to a different account; this will enable you to take your mind off it.
You can as well put the responsibility on your bank to set your account in such a way that a particular amount is transferred to your savings account as soon as it drops into your salary account.
14. Don’t be too brand-minded
There is no risk in purchasing unbranded products if they are declared safe and registered. Well known and not-well-known brands are sometimes the same formula or ingredient. The premium you’re paying on brand names is most times for the marketing and advertisement. Generic products can cost several hundred dollars less to purchase annually than branded products.
15. Plan giving
It’s a great idea to give and bless others with the little you have but make sure you do that astutely in order not to end up in debt or end up exhausting your savings.
You can also decide how many times your money will be spent on gifts for the whole year. Once you get to that limit, you could begin to declutter your not-too-old belongings as a gift.
16. Save freebies
When you receive windfalls, bonuses, contest winnings or other forms of almost-free money, try to convert them into cash and save up. The value of such freebies, no matter how little, will add some more value to your savings.
17. Plan retirement early enough
Start saving for your retirement as early as possible. There is a high tendency that people who have been saving over the years get rich through their wages alone. The youngest workers are in the best position to save for their retirement as they have no or little responsibilities.
18. Make use of a local library
If you really need to buy a book, you should really check out your local libraries. You might be able to borrow some magazines, movies and books at a discounted rate.
19. Use a Reminder
There are a good number of apps you could use to set a reminder on your phone. This will remind you at intervals to save and take records of your saving milestones. This could come up monthly or weekly depending on how often you want to save. You can also do a paper or card reminder by placing it where you can always see it in your home.
20. Avoid purchasing unnecessary items
When you want to shop online, you might be tempted to add the things you don’t really need in your cart. Give yourself some hours to think about what you don’t need before you go online as you might end up buying other stuff if you don’t have a pre-determined limited list.
21. Go for water
Try to choose water over other options. There’s no doubt that water is healthier and cheaper than beverages and other fizzy drinks. So choose water.
22. Double your recipe
When buying family food, try to buy in bulk by doubling the recipe. This will mean you can buy more with less. You could decide to refrigerate the rest. By doing this, you will not only save money, but you will also save time.
23. Take care of your health
Always go for your routine check-ups as often as you can. With this, you won’t wait until you fall seriously sick and end up spending much on medications and treatments. Eat good food, not junks. Treat your body right and don’t stress yourself too much.
24. Learn DIY (Do It Yourself)
There are a thousand and one things you are paying for that you could do yourself. Try styling your hair yourself, do that manicure yourself, clean that space yourself. Search for Youtube videos and learn how to do certain things yourself instead of spending money.
25. Be Economical
Another way to save money on a tight budget is to be economical. If you want to purchase an item, do not ask from just one seller and buy immediately. First, check other alternatives at a lower price. You will be surprised that there is another price nearby. You can do this physically too by improving your negotiation skills.
26. Don’t spend outside your budget
One of the things that impede you from saving is when you go for a need that is outside your budget. If you are determined to save and you don’t want to touch your savings, you need to put some luxury aside until you are able to afford it effortlessly, probably when you get a salary increase.
27. Try long term savings
You can do long term savings by saving a little amount of money over a long period of time instead of saving a huge amount for a short period. People are more realistic when they do long term savings.
28. Enrol for counselling
Financial counsellors or advisors can work with you confidentially to help you develop a budget and savings plan. You can also enrol for the financial knowledge courses listed amongst different easy-to-get course types here.
29. Make a list before going to the market
When you make a list before shopping, you will likely reduce your expenses than letting what you see in the market determine what you will eventually buy. You will end up buying what is not necessary if you always do the latter.
30. Local savings
There’s usually a local savings group around you either around your place of residence or place of work. You could be a participant if the rules and regulation of the group are what you can cope with. I hope this helps you.
31. Categorize your purchases
To help you to save properly, get a receipt for every item you purchase. Then, compile the receipts into different categories like groceries, transportation, housing etc. This will show you where your money is going to.
You can also use some online apps such as piggyvest designed for keeping specific monetary records. It will also let you know where you are spending more or less and strike a balance.
32. Reduce dry cleaning
Dry cleaning bills can add up quickly. Why not reduce it by washing your clothes yourself once in a while. You will be amazed at how much you can save from that change of decision. You may get a personal dry cleaning kit for your lightly soiled items at home.
34. Reduce your cable bill
Some channels can be expensive. Why not go for channels that won’t cost you much? There are lower versions of your favourite cable and other alternatives. I think you should check them out.
35. Travel savings
Ticket tends to be cheap on off days. You can also schedule your flight three to three months in advance when there is no rush of any kind. You will be amazed that you could get that flight at half the price. Make sure you book ahead whenever you are travelling, save the rest of the money.
36. Choose low rent
Get your mortgage or rent a little bit lower than you can afford. This will help you to save the rest. It’s not about how big the house is. Your house can be small, yet beautiful.
37. Get a roommate
If you are single, you can get someone to move in with, you will both share the bills of the rent and some other utilities. It also works for couples too. Couples can share the bills, so they can both have spare money to save.
38. Stay with parents to save money
If you don’t have enough to get a house, you can move in with your parents for a while and you start saving for your rent or save to buy a house. This is easy for those with little or no number of children. Once you meet your savings target, you move.
39. Get a cheaper means of transportation
If the taxi is more expensive for you, you could go for an affordable alternative. A bike or a bus or other options that may be available to you. If your destination is not so far away, you can try walking. It saves your money and also makes you fit.
40. Use Internet services
You can make use of apps like WhatsApp, Skype to communicate with people instead of purchasing more call cards on your phone. You can also set call limits and internet limits to ensure you keep your expenditures low.
41. Avoid high speeds
Asides running on high speeds, you should also avoid anything that would cost you more money for repairs. Try not to be an accident victim or make someone else one which will result in getting more funds to take care of yourself, the other victim or your car.
Share a car with someone who has the same destination with you or you could try sharing with someone going through your route. You would save some transport cost this way.
43. Stop Incandescent light bulbs
Purchase low light bulbs rather than a full light bulb. This will eventually reduce your electricity bills and make you save more instead. It can reduce your electricity bills in half.
44. Lower your water heater temperature
Reduce it down to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. If you lower it for every 10 degrees, you will save up to 5% on your water heating costs.
45. Get a health savings account
Ask your employer if they offer such a program. Then, also make an enquiry on how it’s been done. This will help you to keep your health care bills low.
If you can’t depend on family or company on-site care to care for your child, and daycare isn’t an option, you can share a nanny with another family and share that babysitting costs.
47. Don’t shop when you are hungry
You tend to spend more on junks when you are hungry. It is best when you shop ahead of severe hunger or just cook your own light food and move around with it. Water can also keep hunger at bay until you get to eat proper food.
48. Delay spending
When you delay spending it helps you to save money because you will likely change your mind eventually or find a better way of spending that same money.
49. Go on exercise for free
Instead of going to the gym, try to exercise with a friend, go for morning jogs and brisk walks. This will reduce or eliminate the money spent on gym subscriptions.
50. Try using cool water to wash
Instead of using warm water all the time, try using cool water to reduce your expenses. The rate at which you use light for a washing machine will also be the same for heating the water you want to use to wash.
51. Stock up during sales
If something you’ve always loved to buy is eventually on sales, you should try to buy sufficient amounts so you won’t need to buy it at an increased price when the sales are over. This will reduce your expenses and help your savings. For groceries you buy regularly, check the supermarket that sells the cheapest.
52. Learn to grow your own herbs
If you need any herb or condiments for your meal, try growing them instead of spending money to buy them. The ones you grow will be yours forever. More money can go into your savings that way.
53. Reduce your thermostat in winter and raise it in summer
If you do this, you will be able to reduce your energy costs and focus more on your savings. Also, get a cool roof if you live in a sunny environment. It could make sense to install a cool roof that will reflect sunlight and not absorb heat. This will eliminate the need for Air Condition and other cost associated with it.
54. Go for a credit union or community bank
If you need to save in a bank, then try a community bank. They charge lower rates and prices for various financial products and services such as loans.
55. Negotiate medicals bills
Yes, you can negotiate with the person in charge if you have a high bill. Just ask the hospital management for a discount. This will help reduce your bills and also help you to save.
56. Refill your bottles
Asides buying bottled water, you can also refill your bottles. Why spending on what you can get free from your tap? Common, get a good fancy bottle you can keep refilling when you need to go out.
57. Sign up for membership programs at your favourite stores
If you frequently purchase from a store, then you should try discount, coupons and special gifts through the loyalty programs. For example, Amazon’s program offers some discounts to retailers.
58. Go for Off-season purchase
If you really love a newly introduced product, I think you should buy it when it is off season and likely to be cheaper.
59. Go for unadvertised theatre ticket discounts
Make enquiries from your nearby theatre about discount options. They are often not well advertised.
60. Take Advantage of Homeowners insurance
Before renewing your existing homeowners’ insurance policy. Check out the rates of competing companies with lower prices.
61. Keep the sun out
Keep your curtains closed during the hot season, it makes the house cooler instead of making use of the A/c or other electrical appliances for cooling. This will definitely reduce your energy bill.
62. Stop wasting foods
Going to restaurants for lunch also add up bills, you can cook (not to waste) dinner and if it remains, reheat, then pack as lunch the following day. It is more advisable to cook what you can finish at once.
63. Reduce partying to save money
You don’t have to throw a big party to celebrate your birthday or graduation. The huge cost-implication might not go well for your savings. Go for a parlour get together and share the little snacks you have.
64. Prepare your drink
Get fruits and some other ingredients stored in the house. Then take time to prepare it once in a while and refrigerate. This is healthier and more cost-friendly than spending money on already made juice.
65. Have a savings Target
Let there be a purpose for your saving. It could be because you want to get land, a house, a car or something for your child’s future. When you have a purpose in mind, it is more likely you achieve it.
66. Grab opportunities
If you are invited to do any temporary work, grab the opportunity and make some money. As long as it’s legal and you have the capability to carry it out, there’s no reason not to try.
67. Convert freebies to cash
When you receive windfalls, bonuses, inheritance, contest winnings, try and convert them to cash and put them in your savings account. You could also sell gifts you don’t really need and save the money you earn from the sales.
68. Early saving culture
Start saving for your baby, instead of purchasing nonessential things such as decorations and several toys. That money when put together could be useful for more important things.
69. Buy less affordable prescription drugs
Don’t just stop at the closest drugstore because the cost might vary from pharmacy to pharmacy. Make sure you check out your local pharmacists and supermarkets.
70. Unplug unused devices
When you unplug an unused device, you reduce the amount of light used and save money on your electrical bills.
71. Avoid damages
Sometimes, the amount spent on repairing damaged items would have been more useful as savings. Try as much as possible to treat your assets and items with care so you won’t need to repair or replace them often.
72. Keep track
Always calculate your savings, no how far you have gone. It will help you go on. Always go over your budget to ensure you are on track, and you are not spending excessively. Learn to balance your account at the end of every budget
73. Avoid varieties
Don’t allow your children to get used to eating a lot of junks or goodies. It can be dangerous to their health and also add up to your bills.
74. Increased income should increase your savings
Increase in your Savings should be done when your sources of income increases. If your earnings have increased, learn to also increase your savings. If possible, spend less, save more, reduce your budget and increase your savings.
75. Have an accountability partner
This person reminds you of your goal and ensures you are following through. It could be your spouse or a well-trusted friend that encourages you when you are about to give up or indulge in the luxury you don’t truly need.
76. Always set goals
If you’ve achieved a saving goal, make sure you set a bigger one. Keep doing that and your achievements will keep getting better.
77. Reduce watching television
You could set a few hours in a day or days in a week for your special programmes. Asides that, you should spend more time doing what will not add to your electricity bills.
78. Start a side business
No matter how busy your schedules are, there should be something you can sell effortlessly that gives you the extra income you need. Do you have extra space in your compound or farm? Check our ways you can make money from such environments.
79. Turn off the lights
Ideally, you don’t need to use the bulbs when there’s sufficient daylight provided from the sky. Lol. Keep saving by using more of the things you can find naturally available in the environment.
80. Buy used items
You can still get a pretty item which has been fairly used at a price that is far less than the brand new. You could even get a better design and quality for less if you make your findings well and ask people around you.
20 Mindsets To Live On A Tight Budget
I know you intend to save. It’s fine, but can you just make that determination to follow through with that decision? The truth is, only a strong determination can make it possible.
2. Be satisfied
When you are determined to save, you have to learn to be contented with whatsoever you have. Little or few, be ok with it. Don’t go for more until you have reached your savings target.
3. Be a goal-getter
Once you have made that decision to save, do not relent but continue to pursue that financial goal until you get to that desired achievement.
4. Be disciplined
I understand the fact that it’s not easy to save, but the best way to help yourself is to be disciplined. It helps you to even save more than you can imagine. Human wants are insatiable; you will continue to crave for more and more things but you should know when to stop. Always deduct your savings first before spending. In fact, do not see your money as your money until you have removed your savings from it.
5. Don’t imitate
It’s easy for you to save when you don’t imitate others. You don’t have to compare yourself with your friends earning twice as much as your income or even the same amount of income. Your friend might not be so concerned about saving because he has families to help him out when he is broke. You may not have the same opportunity and that’s why you need to keep at it.
6. Don’t be discouraged
There are times you might feel discouraged as a result of your inability to get some things you really want. Let this article be a reminder that you are not alone. Save it on your phone or print it out to encourage yourself and keep your eyes on the goal.
7. Be positive
‘Is it possible for me to save this particular amount? Can I continue with this?’ These are normal questions that run through your mind. Do not allow such negative thoughts over your decision. Be positive. There’s nothing impossible for you to achieve because when there is a will, there will always be a way.
8. Stay focused
No matter the distractions calling your attention to spend more than what you have budgeted for, you have to learn to stay focused and undeterred. Neglect such an item and stay focused. Keep your eyes on the goal.
9. Don’t bend your rules
Let it be that once you have made this decision there will be no going back. Don’t bend your rules because of anything. If there is a pressing need, don’t let it affect your savings. If it does, make sure you make it up. Care less about people while saving. Don’t be forced to withdraw your savings due to people’s opinion.
10. Be wise
A wise person prepares for a better tomorrow. Do all you can to save now so that it can be easy for you to achieve all or almost all you want in the nearest future. Human wants are insatiable and you will continue to crave for more and more things but learn to be careful with your spending. Always plan your savings when making your budget.
11. Believe in yourself
You have to learn how to first believe in yourself before you start saving. Trust yourself than anything else. Make up your mind that you can do it and you will eventually be able to do it. Always remember the end goal positively.
12. Avoid procrastination
‘I will start saving next month, I will start next year’. If you keep on procrastinating, you would end up not saving a dime. Try as much as possible not to procrastinate. Like I said earlier, start now.
13. Be happy
You don’t need to be moody because you are unable to achieve some things due to the fact that you are saving. You should rather put on a happy face because you will enjoy the results of your decision soon.
14. Do not be extravagant
You can’t be extravagant and excessive and at the same time, be a successful saver. Try as much as possible to keep your eyes away from things that would take a big chunk of your money. Spend wisely; don’t keep buying what you don’t really need.
15. Give your accomplishments a treat
When you want to give yourself a treat, for example, you could get a smoothie. Make sure assign a treat for each and every savings milestone achieved. If you can’t save to a particular milestone, then there is no treat.
16. Do not give empty promises
Don’t promise what you know it’s not in your capacity to do. If it’s not in the budget, then forget about it.
17. Be yourself
You can’t turn yourself to who you are not. Don’t go to any length to please people or be like someone else.
18. Avoid complaining
Don’t get moody around the house because you are saving. Anytime your children want the usual, don’t scream at them or complain to them about your predicament rather give them another option without no huge cost.
19. Start afresh
If you have spent your savings on what you want to do with it. Then, start a new one. Don’t stop yet. You might just need the money for something else soon.
20. Connect with others
As it applies to other aspects of life, learn to connect and learn from friends or older people that have achieved a lot through savings.
Saving is a stepping stone to a brighter future. Though it might not be an easy step to take, taking courage to start will enable one to go extra miles.
Don’t spend all your money rather save a larger part of your money. Trust me, it goes a long way.
I hope this list helps you to save money.