5 Creative Ways to Save Money on a Tight Budget

It’s common for people to struggle to meet their monthly expenses. Many of our Addition Financial members are on a tight budget. In fact, one of the most common questions we hear from our members is this:

“What are some ways to save money on a tight budget?”

The good news is that there are lots of ways you can save money even if you feel like there isn’t any wiggle room in your budget. Here are five of our favorites to recommend.

#1: Trim a Little from Every Monthly Expense

This first tip is one that might not seem like a big deal. Instead of trying to make big cuts from each monthly expense, see what you can do to make some small cuts, instead. Here are a few examples:

  • Switch from name-brand to generic products wherever possible
  • Turn your thermostat down one or two degrees in the winter or up one or two degrees in the summer
  • When you can, try walking or taking public transportation instead of driving to save on gas

These things won’t help you save a lot, but by making a real effort to save across the board you can trim your expenses and put the money you save aside for other expenses.

#2: Get Rid of Cable TV

It’s common for people to spend $100 or more on cable television every month, especially if they’ve got one or two premium channels in the mix.

It might surprise you to know that if you get rid of cable, you could get premium versions of streaming services like Netflix and Hulu for only a fraction of what you’d pay for cable. While it’s true that you won’t be able to watch everything as soon as it airs, you may be surprised at how easy it is to adjust to not having cable.

Keep in mind, too, that most local libraries have DVDs available for lending. If you can make the mental adjustment to not having cable TV, you can save a significant amount each month. And if cutting out cable entirely feels like too much, try dropping your premium channels as a way of saving money.

#3: Call for Better Rates

Many of the utility companies you pay each month may have better rates available for the asking – and if they don’t, their competitors may.

In Florida, electricity is not deregulated. That means you’ll likely have only one provider. However, you can still call and ask if they have better rates available or, alternatively, what they suggest for customers who want to save on their electric bills.

Here are some other suggestions:

  1. Call your cell phone provider to ask if they have a more affordable package available. This works best if your contract is up, but sometimes providers add new packages and they may allow you to switch mid-contract if you ask.
  2. Call your cable company to see if you can create your own package that includes only the channels you watch regularly. Cable providers will also sometimes offer a rate reduction if you agree to a two-year contract.
  3. Sometimes, utility companies offer discounts if you switch to, for example, water-saving showerheads and faucets or energy-efficient lighting.

These little savings might not seem like much at first, but in the long run they can help you save money every month even when it seems like you don’t have anything to set aside.

Money Management Tips and Savings Strategies for Every Budget and Age

#4: Create a Cash Budget for Daily Expenses

It’s easy to lose track of what you’re spending when you put everything on a credit or debit card. Instead of doing that, try withdrawing a fixed amount in cash to cover things like gas and incidental expenses.

The benefit of this method is that you’ll know you have only the cash in your wallet to pay for these items. It can inspire you to be more cautious with your money because you’ll know what you’ve spent and how much you have left for the week.

You can even think of the cash you carry as a weekly “allowance.” You won’t want to go over that amount and you may even find that you have cash left over at the end of the week.

#5: Buy in Bulk

Buying in bulk has its benefits and risks. However, if there are non-perishable items that you know your family will use, it may be worth doing a quick price comparison between your local supermarket and a big store like Costco.

Make sure to check the price per unit so you’re doing an apples-to-apples comparison. Provided you have the storage space to buy in bulk, you can save quite a bit by buying your family staples in bulk.

If you’re looking for ways to save money on a tight budget, the five items on this list can help you do it. To learn more about Addition Financial’s savings accounts, please click here.

The content provided here is not legal, tax, accounting, financial or investment advice. Please consult with legal, tax, accounting, financial or investment professionals based on your specific needs or questions you may have. We do not make any guarantees as to accuracy or completeness of this information, do not support any third-party companies, products, or services described here, and take no liability or legal obligations for your use of this information.