Save money on a low income

It is possible to save money on a low income. It won’t be easy but it is possible. There is no reason you can’t implement a few small and simple changes in your life to save a few euro.

10 ways to save money on a low income

  1. Write a realistic budget and stick to it.
  2. Cancel any subscriptions you aren’t getting value for money with.
  3. Shop around for the best price for your utilities when your contract is up.
  4. Aim for zero food waste.
  5. Low cost or free entertainment like hiking and reading.
  6. Save an emergency fund.
  7. Avoid adding to any debt and try to pay off any current debt.
  8. Batch cook.
  9. Consider buying new to you.
  10. Start sinking funds.

Write a realistic budget and stick to it

A budget is vital for your personal finances health. It is the key to getting good with money and keeping your head above water. Think of it as swimming lessons. If you fell into deep water you’d like to know you had enough ability to survive at the very least.

Start by tracking your spending and figure out your realistic numbers. The more honest you are with yourself the better. This is going to be your guide when something inevitably crops up.

If it’s not in the budget and it’s not urgent consider other ways to achieve the same goal like gifting your time instead of a present or baking a treat instead of buying one.

Cancel any subscriptions you aren’t getting value for money with

You do not need Netflix, Disney+, Amazon prime and YouTube Premium etc. If you are getting value for money and getting use out of a subscription then keep it in the budget. However if you hardly use it or forgot you have it then cancel that subscription.

Again with the swimming analogy, getting rid of unnecessary subscriptions is like emptying your pockets of whatever is weighing you down.

A great way to cut subscription costs would be alternate between them. NowTv this month and Hayu next month.

Shop around for the best price for your utilities when your contract is up

Figure out when you’re contract is up and make a note of it. Coming up to renewal time start shopping around to find the best price. You do not need to be spending more money for the same service. A simple google search for the best price or a few phone calls could save you a few hundred a year.

Back to that swimming analogy! Ok so now you’re threading water and you’ve shed unnecessary weight. Now you are giving yourself a bit of wiggle room. A bit of breathing space so you can relax.

Aim for zero food waste

If you want to save money on a low income the food budget is a very simple but effective place to do it. Reducing the amount of food and therefore money that you bin is a fabulous way to cut costs.

A meal plan is a sure fire way to guarantee you cut your food waste and save some money. Look at what food you already have on hand and decide on meals for the coming week based around those ingredients. Prioritize fresh food that needs to be eaten before it spoils. From your meal plan you can then make a list of what you actually need in the grocery shopping.

Low cost or free entertainment like hiking and reading

Getting out into nature or borrowing a book from the library are free or very low cost forms of entertainment. You can reduce your entertainment costs significantly by thinking outside the box.

Date nights don’t have to be super expensive. A walk on the beach and a fake-away at home can be just as much fun. Board games can make for some friendly competition and a great laugh.

A relaxing bath or shower with your favourite music playing can make wonderful self care.

Save an emergency fund

Its time to don the life jacket.

An emergency fund is the best decision you will make after you decide to get on a budget. It is inevitable that at some point you will have an emergency come up. It’s not if it happens but when it happens. To prevent getting into or further into debt you need an emergency fund.

Save an amount to cover a basic emergency at first. You can increase the emergency fund as you go along.

Avoid adding to any debt and try to pay off any current debt

**Disclaimer!! I am not a financial expert and this is not financial advise. Speak to a qualified financial advisor about your own situation and make an informed decision.**

Debt is stealing from your future to pay for your past. It can cost a significant amount of interest to go into debt. That is money you could be putting towards your own goals.

Paying down debt will can take some time and dedication. It’s not a whole lot of fun. However paying off high interest loans in particular can free up some money to save for your wants and needs.

Batch cook

Batch cooking is amazing. It saves you time, money and electricity.

Have you ever been out of the house longer than you anticipated and when you get home can’t face cooking. You end up buying expensive takeaway food. Batch cooking means you always have a delicious, healthy meal on hand.

The great thing here is you aren’t out the cost of a takeaway and no fresh food is going to waste. Double money savings!

Using the cooker to its full potential while batch cooking saves you on electricity. You could potentially be cooking a lasagna, a casserole and a whole chicken all at the same time.

Consider buying new to you

Second hand items are a wonderful way to keep your spending to a minimum. Vintage clothing and furniture can be bought at very reasonable prices. Oftentimes new to you items will have had very little use and be in great condition.

Bonus tip- Shop smart! Just because something is cheap doesn’t mean you need to buy it. Stick to buying items you will get full use out of.

Start sinking funds

If an emergency fund is a life jacket then sinking funds are the speed boat taking you to dry land.

Sinking funds are when you set aside a small sum of money regularly for a short term savings goal. An example of a sinking fund would be your car tax. You know when it’s due and how much you need to pay. You save a few euro a week or a month to be able to pay your car tax when it’s due.

Further reading

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