Earning money is difficult, but saving it seems to be an even more challenging task. A lot of people are doing their best to make ends meet and that is simply not enough for leaving at least a few bucks aside every week.
A report shows that almost 70% of adult Americans have less than $1,000 in a savings account, while 54% of those aged 45-54 have no savings whatsoever. At the same time, studies reveal that the personal saving rate in the US has been declining steadily due to the coronavirus crisis.
So how do you save money when you have no extra money?
It’s a very difficult question that forces you to embrace a different mindset. There is no one simple answer to this dilemma, but we compiled an entire list of 15 ways to start saving money on a shoestring budget. Let’s take a look!
1. Pay off the debts
Our first tip for you is to start from scratch by paying off the existing debts and loans. This is important for two reasons:
- It makes it easier to control your savings and know exactly where you are at any given moment.
- You won’t have to pay enormous interests anymore.
2. Create a savings account
If you want to save money, you should not take it for granted and leave it all up to you and your free will. Jake Gardner, one of the finest finance essay writers at custom paper writing service, says you should open a savings account: “That way, a designated amount will automatically end up in your virtual piggy bank.”
3. Use a personal finance app
We bet you own a smartphone (who doesn’t?) and so you can install a personal finance app to gain a deeper insight into your spending habits and savings. Some of our favorite budgeting apps include the likes of Mint, You Need a Budget, Acorns, Tycoon, and Wally.
4. Reduce utility bills
You can also reduce utility bills by saving energy consumption. Today, it’s easy to find smart thermostats and lighting control programs that automatically turn off the system to prevent energy waste.
5. Change your lifestyle
Do you go out frequently, smoke, and drink alcohol? If the answer is positive, perhaps it is time to change your lifestyle finally. It will not only help you live a healthier life but also save you a lot of money in the long run.
6. Be careful when buying groceries
When you go out to buy some groceries, don’t let your imagination flourish and control your behavior. A much better option is to make a list of necessary items and stick to it every time you enter the supermarket. That way, you can save money and time because you’ll only be searching for the products on your list.
7. Take advantage of coupons and free trials
Do you know that over 90% of all consumers have used coupons in some way? You should do the same thing and take advantage of every coupon, free trial, discount, and other shopping incentives out there. Although sometimes it can be boring to think about discount offers, it is by far the easiest way to grow your savings.
8. Change your eating habits
Let us be clear about one thing straight away – we are not saying you should eat less and stay hungry just to save money. On the contrary, we are simply implying that you could change your eating habits, prepare food back home, reduce meat consumption, and do all those little tricks that make your meals more affordable.
9. Sing up for a cheaper TV service
Do you really spend so much time in front of your TV? If you are not a passionate television addict, perhaps you could opt for a cheaper cable package with fewer channels. It looks like a minor addition to the saving strategy, but it might even pile up to hundreds of dollars annually.
10. Exercise outdoor
We know that having a gym membership is the most preferable option among sports enthusiasts, but it does come with a hefty price tag more often than not. We believe you can replace it with outdoor training – it is just as productive and even healthier if you worry about the coronavirus pandemic.
11. Sell the things you don’t need
This happens to all of us – we collect all sorts of items and stubbornly keep them home even though we are not using them. Our advice is to sell the things you don’t use as it will free up some space in your home and earn you money short-term.
12. Think twice before purchasing anything
Another important suggestion is to rethink your shopping plans and avoid any impulse purchases. For instance, you could be reading essay writing service reviews and decide to place your order instantly. Instead of doing so, you should think twice and see if you could write the same piece of content single-handedly.
13. Look for free entertainment
Almost everyone is used to paying a lot of money for entertainment these days, but it’s a mistake as there are so many ways to entertain yourself with little to no cost whatsoever. For example, you can use a public library to read books and use their Internet connection to download something. Just be creative and you’ll notice tons of similar tricks.
14. Sell your car
Having a car is a big deal for most people, but why would you pay for the gas and maintenance when you can use public transportation for longer rides? Sell your car and walk more – it will be a major addition to your savings account.
15. Earn more money
There is always the option of earning more money. Ask for a raise, do some freelancing aside, and try to find new income sources that do not interfere with your current job.
The bottom line
Who says saving money is impossible? You can do it if you really want it, but don’t forget that it forces you to change a lifestyle and the way you treat money in the first place. In this post, we gave you the list of 15 ways to save money when you have no extra money. Do you think you can follow some of these tips and which ones do you believe to be most important for your personal saving plans?
Leon Collier is a content creator from Edinburgh. He is a specialist in business, finance, entrepreneurship, and startups. When not writing, Leon is traveling or hanging out with his friends. Follow him on Twitter @LeonCollier12