8 Ways to Save Money On A Tight Budget


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The cost of living seems to be spiralling upward and up each day, making it seem harder and harder to save any money. At this point, even small adjustments to your lifestyle can help. So, if you’re looking for ways to save money on a tight budget, you just have to put a little effort into it.

Saving money on a tight budget can be challenging, but there are many ways to make it work.

Here are eight (8) ways to save money on a tight budget:

1. Creatively Cut Your Budget

There is so much you can do with your budget to ensure that you save money on a tight budget.

First of all, do you have a budget?

Before you can save money, you need to know where your money is going. Create a budget to track your income and expense. This can be done using an app, spreadsheet or going old-school using pen and paper.

With your budget down, here are some simple ways to creatively cut your budget:

  • Prioritize your expenses: The most basic way to cut back your expenses is to itemize your expenses in your budget into two main groups – essential and non-essential expenses. After which, determine which ones to keep (essentials e.g. rent, food, transportation or fuel) and which ones you can cut back (non-essentials e.g. entertainment, dining out).
  • Reduce your bills: Now it’s time to get creative by looking for ways to reduce your existing bills. What more can you do to reduce your expense on essential bills? For instance, you can consider negotiating with your service providers to get a better rate, change subscriptions or switch to a cheaper provider.
  • Cut back on non-essential expenses: Review the items that still made it to your non-essential list and identify areas where you can cut back some more. For example, consider buying generic brands, doing your own hair and nails or cancelling subscriptions that you do not use often.
  • Find ways to increase your income: Sometimes cutting back your budget just won’t cut it and you need to look for ways to earn more money. Some ways people look to increase their income is by selling items they no longer need, taking a part-time job or freelancing.
  • Set savings goals: Be realistic and start small, then gradually increase savings as you get used to living on a tighter budget. Remember, saving is always easier when you have a plan.
  • Shop smart: Always look for deals and discounts when shopping. Buy items in bulk, use coupons and always compare prices to get the best deal possible.

2. Pay Yourself First

Trying to save when there is little left over is challenging. So, flip that around and do the saving first.

Set up a direct deposit from your income into a dedicated savings account and contribute to your retirement plan. Doing so will ensure you continue to prioritize your long-term financial well-being. After all, you won’t miss what you do not see.

3. Buy a Bidet

The price of toilet paper has almost doubled since the pandemic and it’s eating deeper and deeper into our budgets. Therefore, if you have not considered it already…now is the time to think about getting a bidet. A bidet will quickly pay for itself in toilet paper and wet wipe savings. They are efficient, so they won’t run up your water bill – if that is a concern to you. The low-end models do not use electricity.

Ultimately, if not for your finances, consider the environment – cutting back on your use of disposable products is always great for the environment.

4. Take On a No-Spend Challenge

You might think that forcing yourself to not spend any money for a day, a week or a month would just create a lot of pent-up demand.

For instance, you might think that if you don’t buy groceries now, won’t you just buy more later?


But you also might find yourself reevaluating those purchases you postponed, thereby resetting your budget.

For instance, I typically go on a no-spend week on the first week of every month. I typically pay all bills and purchase groceries the week before the month starts because, at the start of the month, that’s when stores I frequent post all these offers. I know myself and I know I can’t hold back. Since I am aware of this weakness, I am therefore able to structure my life and access to finances around it to avoid impulse buying of unnecessary items. My no-spend week challenge has kicked up my account balance a notch and slowly but surely, I will be able to kick this habit.

5. Stop Using Credit Cards

Use cash for your purchases instead of credit cards or debit cards. Paying with cash feels more painful than paying with credit or debit cards. The pain of payment that comes from using cash can curb impulse responses and thus reduce the chances of making impulse purchases. This can help you stay within your budget and avoid making unnecessary purchases and accumulating debt.

6. Search YouTube Before Paying a Professional

Some tasks and repairs around the house can easily be DIY – like tightening a leaking pipe etc. However avoid dangerous tasks, particularly those relating to electrical connections. Also, consider whether or not you might make the problem worse and more expensive to fix if you try to do the work yourself.

Overall, most minor tasks we typically might hire people to do are surprisingly cheap and easy to handle ourselves after we’ve watched someone else do them on youtube. From changing your car’s air filter to unclogging your own toilet. The next time you have a problem, you’d normally pay a professional to fix it…do some video research first. Youtube has become the school of life.

7. Reduce Your Subscriptions

Newspaper, Netflix, Internet, Cloud Storage, Google, Gym and more. Out of all your subscriptions, which one do you use most?

Allow yourself the indulgence, and cut the rest. Many have free alternatives. Also, you don’t have to pick one subscription and stick with it all year – try switching things up, for instance for Netflix this month, Spotify the next etc.

8. Give Yourself an Allowance

It can be quite miserable and difficult to stick to a strict budget. Give yourself an allowance. Every day, week or month or general pay period make a conscious decision about how much money you’ll allow yourself to spend on fun things – remember to remain within your overall budget though. This will prevent you from stretching your willpower too thin and risking long-term financial success with a spending splurge.  

Then, enjoy those treats guilt-free. And if you want to save up for something bigger, roll over your allowance from one period to the next. A cash envelope or dedicated savings account can help you manage your fun money and keep it separate from your essential spending.

The Bottom Line

There are so many ways to save money on a tight budget. But, remember to succeed, saving money on a tight budget requires discipline and commitment.

Stick to your budget, prioritize your spending, and stay focused on your savings goals.

Image Credits: Top by Karolina Grabowska via Pexels.

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Irene Makanga
Irene has an MBA in Finance and is an avid businesswoman, passionate about financial literacy.


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