Best Ways to Save Money with a Low Income
It’s a difficult to hear people talking about how to save money when you know you have a low income and are living paycheck to paycheck. According to a recent survey, nearly half of all American’s are trapped between paychecks including many that have incomes exceeding 6 figures.
Of course, some of these people are living beyond their means and some are doing so because of where they live in the country. Can you imagine being a school teacher living in San Francisco where incomes range between $60K and $70k yet the median rent price is around $4,488?
Most people don’t fall into that category. They’re living paycheck to paycheck because of a low salary. The available jobs in the US have reached just over 6 million and the job market continues to rise even though wages are not. Many people are forced to take on second or third part-time jobs which can lead to further stress in the household.
Money seems to go out just as fast as it comes in but there are a few ways to save money or earn more money while struggling with a low income. You need a goal to save money and the first goal should be to have at least 6 months worth of living expenses in a savings account.
Here are the best ways to save money on a low income:
1. Housing is normally the largest expense so finding places to save in housing should take priority. Reducing your utility costs is obvious but other expenses such as maintenance, and food consumption should be examined for waste.
2. Get comfortable with second-hand goods, especially clothing but also with furniture and other household wares. Need a new blender? Get it at a thrift store.
3. Learn how to shop with coupons and not just for groceries. A lot of people do their shopping online now and it is very easy to find coupon codes before checking out. Shop at stores that have a rewards program and offer cash rebates or points towards future purchases. Get their apps and record your receipts to earn rewards. Many places offer these apps or just go search the Amazon Coupons.
4. Find ‘free things to do’ in your local area. Just do a Google search using that term but add your location or someplace near where you live. You will often find free days to local attractions such as museums, historical sites, walking and photography tours, zoos and other cultural events. You may even check Groupon for incredible discounts on all sorts of offerings.
5. Pay off your high-interest debt as soon as possible and then other debt. This means you don’t just make the minimum payment on your high-interest debt, pay as much as you can without sacrificing other payments. Once the high-interest debt is paid off then you concentrate those payments on reducing other revolving debt.
All of this will help you save money but remember to work towards that goal of having a 6-month living expense cushion in savings. It may take a year or more to reach that goal but once you’re there you will have a bit of breathing room.
I’ve recently mentioned a couple ways how I have increased my income; freelance writing and flipping items, but finding a side hustle that fits easily with your skills will go a long way to help you reach your savings goals.