It’s easier to save money if you have a large income. It can take more creativity but there are ways to save money fast on a low income. Here are 23 best ways to save money fast if you are on a low income budget. (These saving money tips work well if you have more money too!)
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Related post: Top 10 brilliant money saving tips.
How to Save Money on a Low Income Budget
Let me be blunt.
It’s going to be harder to save money fast on a low income budget than if you made a higher income.
It just is.
But it’s not impossible, and people do it. You can too.
Here is a question I get asked a lot:
Q: How can I save money if my income is low?
A: There are two steps you need to do to save money on a low income:
- Drastically reduce expenses
- Increase income
You can’t save money out of nothing.
You need to create a space between your income and expenses.
Unless you are a money fairy who can produce money out of thin air (cough, bitcoiners), this is the only way to save money.
There is probably room in your budget to cut expenses more than you have. You will read examples below that will give ideas on where to start.
If after reading the ideas on how to save money fast on a low income, you find you just can’t reduce your expenses any more than you have, you have one option.
You need to increase your income.
This doesn’t mean you need an entirely new job, though you might.
If you’re tired of living on a low income, you can check out these 18 best work-from-home jobs that pay well.
You can set a goal of making an extra $100 a week and put all that money towards savings.
Here are ways to increase income so you can save more:
- Pick up a side hustle (see flexible side hustle ideas)
- Work from home (see stay-at-home mom jobs)
- If you work for someone, ask your boss for a raise
- Pet sit (you can literally make extra money from home while you wfh, take care of kids, etc.)
- Make extra money with surveys
- 10 jobs to make money without working hard
How to Save Money Fast on a Low Income
1. Use Trim
The Trim app automatically finds ways for you to save money.
Trim will help reduce your expenses, negotiate better prices on your behalf, and cancel subscriptions you don’t use.
If you want to save money fast on a low income, you need to slash your expenses. Trim is a quick and easy way to do this.
2. Ditch the Giant Vehicle to Save Money Fast on a Low Income
If you drive a big honking truck and you are not a contractor or don’t need to haul things, sell it and buy a more fuel-efficient car. Yes, seriously.
This is one of the best ways to save money fast on a low income.
Most people can drive a smaller vehicle than they are.
Whatever you drive, check out these 7 tips we all need to save money on gas.
3. Save small amounts of money often
Saving money fast on a low income isn’t about somehow getting a chunk of money to save.
The Acorns app will automatically round up your purchases to the nearest dollar and save that extra amount for you.
Acorns app takes away the real excuse of having to remember to save money by doing it for you automatically.
4. Invest As Well As Save
Consider investing instead of just saving.
What is that money doing for you in a savings account? Probably just sitting there.
Here are simple investing tips for beginners to get you started. They are not scary – I promise.
5. Switch to a High Interest Savings Account to Save Money Fast on a Low Income
If you are not ready to invest your money, switch to a high-interest savings account.
This high yield savings account will grow your money faster than a typical savings account.
You ultimately want your saved money to at least keep up with inflation, and ideally to surpass inflation.
6. Reduce Your Internet Bill
Call your internet provider and ask for a discount.
They are often authorized to give one if you have been a customer for a while and say you’re considering switching to a different provider.
The savings on this recurring expense will really add up over a year.
7. Choose One Paid Streaming Service
Choose a single paid streaming service.
Hulu, Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime, etc., etc.
Yes it would be great if all the shows we wanted to watch were on one service. But there is more than enough choice on a single streaming service.
Pick one, cancel the rest.
When you get tired of it, switch to a different one.
Save the money you would have spent on streaming.
8. Stop Eating Out Entirely to Save Money Fast on a Low Income
We know we pay for the convenience of having other people make our food for us.
Take a complete break from all eating out for 2 months.
Eat simply at home. Though it might be nice to have, we actually don’t need as much variety in our diets as we think we do.
You can have a 7-day meal plan and repeat those same simple meals week after week.
Eating at home and cooking simply will help you save money fast on a low income.
- Here’s a free trial of the $5 Meal Plan
- Grab this Ultimate Meal Planner for Families
- 16 Genius tips for healthy meal planning on a budget
9. Get Cash Back on Purchases You’re Already Making
One of the best ways to save money fast on a low income is to get cash back on your purchases.
You can get 5%, 10%, or even more off of things you buy each week or each month if you use Rakuten.
You still shop at your regular sites online (Target, Sephora, Walmart, Gap, etc.), you just go through Rakuten first. They give you a percentage of your purchase back into your account.
If you’re paying regular price and not using Rakuten, you’re paying more than you need to. I have even saved money on flights by using Rakuten.
10. Try a Savings Challenge
Challenges can be super motivating and can help you save money if you’re struggling to do so.
In my Minimalist Budget Binder (you can find it here), there are two challenges you can choose from. One is a 30-day challenge, and the other money saving challenge lasts a year.
By having a structured plan in place to follow, it will help you focus when you want to save money fast on a low income.
11. Join a Buy Nothing Group
I have been part of a Buy Nothing group on Facebook for the last couple of years, and have donated a T.V., DVD player, clothing, and books to the group.
We also received for free some items that would have cost me many hundreds of dollars if I bought them new.
I got a ride-on toy for my daughter (this one that typically retails for $100), a pretty bookcase, toys, and more.
Buy Nothing groups are city-specific, and often neighborhood-specific, so do a search for one close to where you live. They’re a fantastic way to save money fast on a low income.
12. How to Save Money Fast on a Low Income: Switch to an MVNO
Switch your cell phone provider to an MVNO.
MVNO stands for Mobile Virtual Network Operator.
MVNO’s don’t own the mobile infrastructure to provide cell service, but piggy back on the big guys’ cell towers. Because of this, they have less overhead and can offer much better prices to you the customer.
Check out MVNOs Sprint, T-Mobile, or Republic Wireless to see how much you can save on a cell phone plan.
Cell phone bills can cost us many hundreds of dollars every year.
Switching to a low cost mobile provider is one of the best ways to save money fast on a low income.
13. Make Your Own Coffee at Home
I will fully admit that I personally hate this way to save money fast on a low income. I LOVE my coffee shop drinks and just can’t get a matcha green tea latte at home to taste as good as a Starbucks one.
But if you spend $3-5 on a coffee drink 5 times a week, that will add up to $780-$1300 a year.
Eeek! I really hate mathing lattes but there you go. Make your drinks at home, use a travel mug (this one is bomb), and save a crap ton of money.
14. Sell What You’re Not Using
Do you have furniture you don’t really use? Clothing? Electronics? Get rid of it.
Declutter, make money, and save that money (don’t spend it!).
This post will show you the best places to sell your things for the most money.
15. How to Save Money Fast on a Low Income: Find Your Why
It’s not just about saving money fast, there is a reason you want to do it.
Remembering this reason will boost your motivation to save money on the challenging days when you want to spend.
Write it down and put it on your fridge where you will see it every day.
16. Use the Flipp App
This grocery app is a way to save money fast on a low income.
Flipp shows you the flyer deals and coupons from over 2,000 stores each week so you know where to shop for the best prices.
You can browse, filter by store, or type in a food you want to buy, say milk for example, to do a quick and easy price comparison.
17. Track Your Money to Save Money Fast on a Low Income
If you’re not already doing so, track your money coming in and money going out. I recommend Personal Capital, a free app that is easy to use.
It will track your expenses and income, and will help you save money fast on a low income.
You need to know where your money situation is, in order to improve it.
18. Get Your Credit Repaired
If your credit is poor, fixing it will be one of the best ways to save money fast on a low income.
If you can get debts consolidated, some debts forgiven, and have a lower interest rate negotiated, you will have less money being drained every month to your debt.
Check out CreditFirm which will help you fix your credit and raise your credit score. They have a pay as you go plan and you can cancel anytime.
19. Use the Latte Factor Calculator
Use the calculator in this post to help motivate you to stop overspending.
If there is an area you know you probably spend too much money on, take a look at what it’s costing you long-term. Maybe it’s your online clothing shopping habit or your coffee shop drinks and snacks (note to self…)
Seeing how much it costs over time can help you curb the spending.
Also take a look at ways to reduce spending here. Spending less will help you with how to save money fast on a low income.
20. How to Save Money Fast on a Low Income: Switch to LED Bulbs
Saving money on basic utilities is one of the easiest ways to save money fast on a low income.
Utilities like lighting and heat are something you spend money on every day (even though we don’t think about it!)
21. Share Your Space
If you can, look into getting a roommate. Having another person contributing to rent or a mortgage will help you save money fast on a low income.
If you happen to have a spare room (or can make a spare room), consider renting it out as an Airbnb. You can offer as many open days as you wish, or rent it out only a few times a month to bring some extra money in for your savings.
22. Walk More
Walk more. Both to get exercise and also to save money on transportation.
We get used to driving or even taking the bus everywhere. If you need to get somewhere that is up to a 20-minute walk away, why not walk there?
Use a FitBit or simple step counter to get you motivated about your steps, while you are saving money on gas.
23. To Save Money Fast on a Low Income, Hang Out With Frugal People
Hang out with frugal people. Spend more time with people who also have money goals.
Surround yourself with folks who are paying off their debt, becoming money wise, or saving money for a new house.
Reduce your time around people in your life who complain about money while doing nothing to change their money situation.
The environment you’re in makes a big difference to your motivation and choices about money.
Related post: 10 clever ways to save money on a tight budget.
Final Word on the Best Ways to Save Money Fast
If you are on a low income budget, you need to make space between your income and expenses to be able to save money.
The two ways to do that are:
- Decrease expenses
- Increase income
Or do both to save money fast on a low income.
You can be super frugal and slash expenses until your spending is really lean.
(For some unique ideas see this post on 16 extreme saving tips that will save you money.)
There is a limit to how much you can reduce your expenses.
You need to eat, have clothing, shelter, transportation. You need to live.
If you are just unable to save money on your low income and have tried all the money saving tips, you will need to increase your income.
For more ideas to increase your income so you can save money fast, try:
- Appointment Setter Jobs: 24 Easy Online Jobs for When You’re Feeling Lazy
- Make Money with your Phone: 21 Ways to Work Wherever You Are
- How to Sell Feet Pics – An Easy and Unusual Way to Make Money