When you are barely getting by on a tight budget, it can seem impossible to find additional ways to save money. With the holiday season behind us and the new year upon us, now is the time to start getting those finances under control. Savers who make a plan are twice as likely to save successfully, according to American Saves.
Here are our top seven tips for saving money when budgets are tight.
- Take another look at your numbers. Most likely if you are on a tight budget, you have already looked over your budget to find areas of your spending where you could save a few dollars. Now that we are one month into the new year, make an appointment with yourself to sit down and review your budget to make sure it is working for your current goals and realities. Need help? Read through our guide, Creating a Budget You Can Stick To, for some tips to get you started.
- Set up alerts. Get up-to-date information on your spending, on the go, the way you want it. Ask your bank to send you automatic alerts when your balance falls below a certain level, or to confirm when certain types of transactions occur. These alerts can help you track your spending and make you more aware of how much money you are spending each month. You may be surprised to learn how much you are spending on dining out or impulse purchases.
- Consider automatic deductions. Save money without even thinking about it by scheduling automatic transfers or automatic payroll deductions from your checking account to your savings account. Arrange to have a specific amount transferred every pay period.
- Click to unsubscribe. Make a list of all of the services that you subscribe to. You may have forgotten about the memberships you enrolled in during the holidays to save 20% off your purchase. These $10-per-month subscriptions can add up to hundreds of dollars each year and may be eating up more of your tight budget than you realize. Take inventory and only subscribe to the necessities.
- Shop around. When you compare prices at different stores before making a purchase, you can often find lower prices for necessary purchases — such as food, transportation, and insurance— leaving you more money to save.
- Collect your change. Put all of your loose change into a savings account. For some people, that could add up to well over $100 a year.
- Schedule “no-spend weekends”. If you tend to splurge more than you wish on the weekends, try scheduling a couple of no-spend weekends throughout the year. Feel like you don’t have that type of self-control? FSB’s CardValet mobile app allows you to turn off your debit card when you are not using it. During these weekends, look for free events in your neighborhood or tackle that growing to-do list that you have been putting off!
And there you have it – seven tips for saving money when on a tight budget. Looking for more ways to save? Subscribe to our e-mail newsletter, or follow us on Facebook or Twitter, for more ways to save money in the year ahead.