Want to start saving money so you can pay off debt, buy your dream home or plan a trip to a bucket list destination? When you’re on a tight budget, you can still save money by making a few changes in your spending habits. Start by creating a budget and reviewing where you can cut costs. Use these creative tips and ideas to save money when you’re on a tight budget.
Creative Ways to Save Money
In this post, we cover:
- Things to stop buying to save money
- Side Hustle Ideas to make extra money
- And, creative ways to save money while traveling.
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Buy Less, Live More
The next time you get the urge to buy something, ask yourself, “Do I need that?” Think about how many times you’ll use it, and if it’s something you absolutely must have right now. We’re often tempted by sales and offers that feel like they’re too good to pass up. If you’re living on a tight budget and you want to save some serious dough, consider your long-term goals before you make a purchase.
Stop Buying These Things to Save Money
1. Beauty Treatments. Skip the salon and pamper yourself at home. While you may need to get creative, there are many great DIY beauty treatments you can do at home to save money. Give yourself a manicure, facial, or try a leave-in conditioner for your hair. Get creative!
2. Entertainment. Everybody likes a fun night out, but if you focus on your hobbies and look for free things to do, you can save money fast. Try limiting social events that revolve around drinking. Instead, wake up early to watch the sunrise, have a picnic in the park, go hiking or visit a museum.
3. Eating out – Ordering takeaway and going out to eat can add up, especially if you start adding drinks to the tab. Deep dive into your food expenses and look to see where you can cut costs. Meal prep at the start of the week, so you’re not tempted to spend money.
4. Stop buying new. Visit your local thrift stores/op shops to find deals on things you might need. You’ll be saving money and giving that item a second life. Check the shop’s website before you shop, to check for extra discount days to shop. Some thrift stores will offer 50% off deals on certain days.
How to Start Saving Money
Create a budget with actionable goals for saving. Give yourself a date and an amount of how much money you want to save. That way, you’ll be able to track your progress.
Savings Accounts. Open up a high-yield savings account that is dedicated specifically for travel, your future dream home, or paying off debt. Pay yourself first and set aside money from your paycheck to deposit into your savings account.
Cut costs. Set aside some time to review your bills and check to make sure you’re not being charged extra for transaction fees. Make a list of needs and wants and decide whether paying for streaming services or cable is worth it.
Reduce your phone bill. Some companies offer unlimited prepaid plans for $50 a month plus taxes and fees. If you’re paying more than that, consider changing your plan and adding the difference to your savings account.
Ask to lower your bills or interest rates. Reach out to your credit card company and ask if you can lower your interest rates. Be polite and try to negotiate a better deal, and if they say no, call back in a few weeks and try again.
Eliminate Bank Fees. If you’re paying a few bucks here and there to withdraw money, open up a bank account that won’t charge you ATM fees. I save money with Charles Schwab and get reimbursed for those fees.
- How to Sell Clothes on Poshmark and Be Successful
- Selling Clothes on Poshmark: Where to Get Clothes to Sell
- Tips for Selling on Poshmark: How to Fix Slow Sales
Ways to Make Money From Home
If you’re on a tight budget and want to save money, start a side hustle that you can do from home or in your spare time.
Do you like teaching and helping others? Then you would probably enjoy teaching classes online.
VIPKid – Teachers in the USA (except California) and Canada can apply.
iTutorGroup – Teachers worldwide accepted.
Are you a good writer? If you enjoy writing, proofreading, and editing, you can start a blog to create passive income or work with clients to write content for their sites. Working as a virtual assistant is also a popular side gig.
Are you creative? Design a product that you can sell. I used to pick up driftwood from the beach and make necklace organizers that I would sell online.
Start a website/blog. Check out these blogging resources to help you get started.
- Do you have a hobby that you can turn into a business?
- How about an idea for a product that you can sell?
If you’re serious about making money online, self-hosting with Siteground is an important step to get started. Once you host your website or blog, you can build and customize your site, create SEO optimized blog posts and landing pages, and get tech support when you need it. Whenever I have a question about something on my site, I just email Siteground, and they fix my issue within minutes. Support is available 24/7.
Affiliate Marketing – Working with Brands
You don’t need to have a lot of followers to work with brands. If you love a product and love telling your friends about it, reach out to your favorite brands and make a connection. Ask if they have an affiliate program you can join. Check out my blogging resources to get ideas for what type of affiliate marketing content to post.
Sell stuff you don’t need.
Apps like Poshmark and Depop make it easy to sell clothes, shoes, accessories and home decor online. Go through your closet and set aside anything you haven’t worn in months or years. Take photos in a well-lit area and post your items using keywords that describe the item you’re selling.
Traveling on a Tight Budget: Ways to Save Money
Here are tips you can use to cut costs and expenses when you travel.
Embrace slow travel. If you want to save money while traveling, choose a few places to discover, instead of rushing to check cities off your bucket list. Spend time in one place, getting to know the area. Explore local hangouts while getting a taste of the culture. Ask your hotel/hostel for a discount for extended stays.
Shop local. Visit local markets to try the local food. Avoid eating at restaurants in tourist areas and look for specials to save money on drinks and meals. Bring your own water bottle with you on the plane and your trip and refill it for free instead of spending money on plastic water bottles.
Volunteer. If you can’t pay for a ticket to a festival or event in another country, sign-up to volunteer a few hours during the event so you can still attend. Search for volunteer opportunities around the world on WorkAway. Once you connect with a host, discuss how long you would like to stay and what your responsibilities will be. Typically, you would work five days a week for 4-5 hours a day with meals included, but every situation is different and should be arranged before your arrival.
Transportation. Ride-Sharing apps and private shuttles are convenient, but if you want to stretch your dollar when you’re on a tight budget, you have to know when to save and when to splurge. Take public transportation or walk if it’s convenient. Most big cities have free walking tours hosted by a local guide who can share local history, tips on things to do, and places to eat in the area.
How to Save Money on a Tight Budget
Travel Insurance. Don’t get stuck with an expensive overseas hospital bill when something happens on your trip. I use World Nomads Travel Insurance when I travel to fill prescriptions, pay for hospital visits when I’m injured, or cover any emergencies.
Be flexible with your plans. If you don’t have fixed dates, you can change your destinations at the last minute, and save money by booking last-minute deals. Bookmark this Booking.com link to save money on travel accommodations.
Learn to negotiate. While not everyone loves to haggle, you can save money by negotiating a better deal. Have a price that you want to pay in mind, and be prepared to walk away. If the price is marked- that usually means there is no room for offers. Some places will make an exception.
Use a travel credit card with no foreign transaction fees. The United Explorer Card is one of my favorite credit cards for travel because I don’t get charged extra when I use it abroad. Earn 40,000 bonus miles with the United Explorer Card after you spend $2,000 in the first three months the account is open. Learn more.
If you make small changes to your lifestyle, you’ll be able to see results and start paying off debt. When you set a timeframe for how much you want to save, it’s easier to reach your goal. Commit to your plan. Create a vision board, or post a picture on your fridge of your dream trip to keep your eyes on the price. Saving money on a tight budget is possible if you commit to putting in the work.