Saving money is hard for a lot of people. Do you want to know what’s even more difficult? Trying to save money when you are broke.
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Everyone has their list of bills. They often range from groceries, cell phone payments, car insurance, rent or mortgage. All of these little payments begin to add up to one huge number when it comes to your paycheck.
These charges can leave a person feeling pretty hopeless when they are trying to save and have nothing left at the end of their paycheck.
Being broke is not a fun place to be. The good news is there is a hope. You really can save money if you are broke.
First, you must realize that this isn’t unique to only you. Many people have been where you are at. You can change your situation, there is a way out of “broke.” However, it’s not something that you can do overnight. You will need to push yourself and create goals that you’re determined to achieve.
I know it’s difficult to even think about saving money in a society that bombards you with advertisements and encourages you to spend money you don’t have. However, in creating your budget, consider whether you can set aside even a tiny amount each week for savings as a cushion against future problems.
By taking part in these actionable steps you will see that you are able to change your situation. I’m going to guide you through the process of how to save money, you’ll soon begin to realize there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
But first before I go any further, I want to give a brief word of caution
I know living on a tight budget can be very frustrating. When living paycheck to paycheck and barely making ends meet people begin to look at various ways to get their financial problems under control.
Opening a savings account through a credit card may work for some but if you have debt or are living paycheck to paycheck I highly suggest you stay away from this kind of savings. The issue I have with credit card savings programs is that the credit company contributes to your savings account only when you are charging things to your card.
The reason I tell you to be cautious of these situations is because getting yourself in a program like this may just encourage you to spend more to save more. Obviously doing something like this won’t help you reach your goals.
If you are looking for a good high yield savings account to stash the little money you do have I highly suggest checking out Cit BANK. Cit Bank has significantly expedited our savings. I’m always looking to get the most bang for my buck and Cit Bank has met all of my expectations.
7 Ways To Save Money When You’re Broke
1. Evaluate Your Spending
I understand you have already taken the steps to cut out some of the unnecessary things in your life such as your daily $5 coffee, your $100+ monthly trip to the hair salon, and you only drive your car when you really need it.
However, have you stopped to evaluate your other monthly bills? I get it, there are some bills that you can’t do anything about such as water and electricity. But if you take some time, I guarantee that you can find a couple monthly bills that you can lower or even eliminate.
People get busy and oftentimes don’t take the time to examine where their money is going. Saving money can be as easy as calling one of these companies and asking for a rate reduction. Or perhaps, you may need to switch to a less expensive company altogether.
Let’s start with your cable bill. Do you really need the service plan you are paying for? I bet if you evaluated your use you would find that you could call the company and have your plan lowered to a less expensive service.
What about your cell phone? More than half of Americans who own cell phones pay over $100 a month. That is $1200 a year! Stop right now, and go to Republic Wireless and check out their affordable rates. I guarantee you that most of you can reduce your cell phone plan and save hundreds of dollars a year.
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2. Create A Budget And Stick To It
So you have taken some time to evaluate your spending now it’s time to set you up with a good budget.
I can’t begin to tell you the number of times I have heard someone complain that they are broke, yet they aren’t willing to take the steps to get themselves out of “broke.” The B word for BUDGET doesn’t have to be dreadful. I know, it sounds boring and dry but having a workable budget will be key in helping you to create a good savings.
When it comes to budgets, there’s no one template that everyone can follow. We have personally found this method to work for us. But again, remember budgets are a personal thing, find what will work for you!
When creating a budget please keep in mind that it needs to be:
- Attainable- Don’t create a budget that you know is too drastic of a change
- Sustainable-Create a budget that you know will work for the long haul
3. Begin Saving A Bit Each Month
People often times become overwhelmed when trying to decide if they should save money, or pay off credit card debt. I hate to say it, but you really should be doing a bit of both.
I know that your efforts to save money may not seem worth it if you are only able to save a small amount each paycheck. However, I am the first to tell you this couldn’t be further from the truth.
You don’t have to save a large chunk each month, you just need to consistently save.
I highly recommend putting your “savings” money into an account such as a credit union or a high yield banking account. The positive thing about using a credit union is that the money is less accessible so yo it makes it more difficult for you to dip into your savings account when you shouldn’t be.
Pro Tip: Use an automatic savings tool such as Acorns. After you have discovered that saving $5 from each paycheck isn’t so bad, why not try automating your savings.
We have been using Acorns for the last 6 months and I absolutely love it. We have been able to put a good amount of money into savings. Acorns works by automatically rounding up a little bit at a time on purchases made.
Remember, even a small amount over time adds up to
4. Reduce Your Interest Rate On Your Credit Card
As mentioned above, you should be working on saving and paying off your credit card debt.
Please put paying off your credit card at the top of your priorities.
If you have a credit card with a high-interest rate call up your credit card company and ask them to lower your interest rate. If you are unsuccessful at this you can begin shopping around for another card that offers a zero percent balance transfer.
By transferring our large balance to a guaranteed 0 % interest card for 18 months we were able to get ourselves out of some significant credit card debt.
5. Save Small Amounts On All Your Purchases
When you do shop, shop smart! There are many apps that exist that will help you to save a bit of money on the purchases you make.
If you haven’t heard of Ebates I highly recommend checking them out. Ebates is one of my favorite ways to shop. They are a rewards program that operates as an affiliate of over 2,000 stores. Customers receive cash back between 1-4% on almost anything they buy through their Ebates account.
Ibotta– is a fantastic app for saving money on grocery purchases. Why not save a bit of money everywhere you can
Honey– For those of you who aren’t very good at using coupons or remembering to shop through a particular site. Download the honey browser extension which automatically adds coupon codes to the websites before you checkout. This is absolutely FREE.
6. Inventory What You Really Need
Take a moment and think about what brings you joy in your life. Do you really need all of the stuff that is taking up space in your house? You can easily sell your unneeded items through a handful of different websites, a couple of my favorites are Gazelle and Decluttr.
How about your house itself. Can you downsize into an apartment or rent a room to make some money?
Some families have multiple cars. Having multiple cars can really add up -payments, insurance, wear and tear, and maintenance
Can you take public transportation or ride your bike to eliminate an added expense?
7. Increase Your Income
For some people, you may need something a bit more aggressive, such as a side hustle. Side hustles are great as a part-time income or you can even make it into a full-time gig. We have found side hustling to be a fantastic way to increase our income.
Obviously, our side hustle of choice is Blogging. It is incredibly fun and a great money maker. If you are interested in learning how to become a blogger I suggest you read this. If after reading the suggested article you are still curious and want to learn more look no further than that this Free 12-day blogging boot camp.
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Saving money is hard when you are broke. Please be patient and realize it’s going to take a bit of determination to get yourself out of the situation you are in.
The one thing to remember if you want to save money while living paycheck to paycheck is that a little can go a long way. I started with a small amount like $30 a month, that’s less than $8 a week! I know it wasn’t much but I put that money in Cit BANK and it’s continuing to grow today!
Can you tell us of other ways you have saved money while being broke?