It would be great if we had all the money we wanted but for many of us, it’s hard to make ends meet. Bills need to be paid each month, we need to eat, and cars need gas. Then we need to save a little something each month for either long-term goals or emergencies. You know emergencies tend to pop up when we can least afford them. Thankfully, there are ways to save even when you don’t make a lot. Here are five.
Keep your pocket change.
Those nickels and dimes that you typically cast aside can add up to a lot if you store them. Put them in a clear container so you can watch your savings grow. It helps if you set a savings target or particular purpose for the funds. When you can, throw in a small bill to further boost your bounty.
Whatever you need, there’s probably an almost new or gently used version out there for sale. From major purchases like cars to clothing and house décor, you can save a lot if you don’t insist on only having brand new items. Flea markets, garage sales, car boot sales and thrift and consignment stores are all places to look. Just be sure to examine the items carefully to be sure they are indeed worth it.
Grow your own food.
Food is, of course, one of the major expenses for most people. Try to grow as much of what you eat as you can. If you don’t have access to a large plot of land, look for ways to use pots, vertical gardens or even window spaces to grow vegetables. The only thing limiting you is your imagination. You can also rope a few of your neighbors into starting a community garden for a wider range of crops and some help with planting, watering, and reaping.
Monitor how much you spend on the little things.
When confronted with a necessary major expense, you may be tempted to find an instant loan. This can give you a quick cash injection but its’ often at a high interest rate. If it’s not a genuine emergency, you may be better off monitoring your spending and cutting back on unnecessary purchases. Do you drive or pay to take public transportation when you can walk instead? How much do you spend on candy, or lottery tickets? All these little $1 purchases add up.
Carefully assess your energy and utility costs.
Leaking pipes and faucets, inadequate insulation and old appliances can all be costing you more than they should. Have a professional visit your home to ensure that you aren’t spending more on utilizes and energy because of inefficiency. Turn off your lights when you’re not using them and unplug appliances since even small bits of energy usage accumulate. Make sure all members of your family are on board.
It can seem almost impossible to save when your budget is tight. The good news is that you can still put something aside if you think creatively and commit to the task. If you have a family, bringing everyone on board makes it even easier to achieve your savings goals.