It may be hard to believe, but it is possible to save money on a budget.
In fact, even if your budget is tight, there are still many ways that you can budget to save money. These are simple yet effective ways to show you how to save money on a tight budget.
For most people, thinking about ways to save money on a budget can become quite overwhelming. Simple lifestyle adjustments can help you discover how to live on a budget and save money.
Learning how to save money on a budget will require you to make a few lifestyle changes. Making these changes will not force you to give up the things you love entirely. Nor will you need to reduce your life to the bare minimum.
This post is focused on ways to save money on a budget and why it is important even if you currently have an income lower than you desire.
1. TRACK YOUR SPENDING HABITS
Tracking your spending is one of the easiest ways for you to evaluate your spending and identify ways you can save money on a budget.
Being able to effectively track exactly where your dollars are going will allow you to distinguish areas in which you may be overspending. Keeping a record of your spending habits can help you gain a greater perspective of your present financial standing.
Maintaining this record can also help you cut costs in areas where a legitimate need has not been identified.
Tracking your spending habits allows you to pinpoint particular products, subscriptions, and even services that you can either place on an extended pause or eliminate from your budget completely.
Consistently tracking your spending habits will allow you to identify patterns in your own behavior and even the emotional responses that trigger your unnecessary spending.
There are numerous ways to track your spending. Of course, the easiest and most inexpensive way to do so would be by using the conventional notepad and pen method.
But if you are an individual who works more efficiently by being able to access a digital record of your spending habits, then one method to consider is to create an expense tracking sheet in Google Sheets.
And the best part is you can create, edit, and even collaborate with Google Sheets for free.
If you prefer writing your expenses out, then this printable expense tracker will help you keep track of your expense as you work on ways to save money on a budget.
By creating an expense tracking sheet on Google Sheets, you will have a digital file that is readily available to you. Your expense tracking sheet can be accessed at any time you wish to view, update or revise your spending record. So even if you are on the go and need to add to your expense tracking sheet (so that you don’t forget later), Google Sheets makes it easy for you to do so!
The benefits associated with creating a Google Sheets account include being able to access your file in any location at any time. Additionally, with Google Sheets you are able to customize your expense tracking sheet along with the added convenience of being able to sync your file across several devices.
By getting into the practice of consistently tracking your spending you will begin to understand how to live on a budget and save money.
2. CREATE A REALISTIC BUDGET
The word budget is often a scary subject for most people. But if your goal is to save money, then creating a budget will be a beneficial tool to help you along your journey.
Once you have made a conscious effort to consistently track your spending habits, you can then move forward with the task of creating a realistic budget that matches your present lifestyle.
In doing so, it is also important to take into account your desired future lifestyle.
Take some time to consider the life you hope to be living in the next five to ten years.
When you think of this life, how do you envision it looking?
How does this lifestyle compare to your present day budget?
What changes can you make over the course of the next five to ten years that will allow to live what you consider to be a comfortable life?
Your present day budget can play a major role in what your lifestyle and debt accumulation will look like in the future.
3. CULTIVATE YOUR SELF-DISCIPLINE
When it comes to creating a budget, one of the necessary requirements for doing so successfully is self-discipline.
Financial self-discipline is a core concept when it comes to budgeting to save money.
Being self-disciplined in your finances, requires that you actively exercise control over your spending habits. For example, as you journey on your path to save money on a budget, you must actively practice self-discipline.
You may have to ask yourself whether the Gucci belt that everyone is wearing is a must-have for you at the moment.
And there may be instances where you have to consider whether one of your desired purchases can wait until a later time when you are in a better position to make a large purchase without disrupting your budget and financial status.
Additionally, financial self-discipline requires that you fully access how you are spending your money. It requires that you take accountability and responsibility for your spending habits. You can take it one step further and identify if there are particular steps you can implement to avoid impulsive spending.
Tracking your spending allows you to see exactly where your money is going. But creating a realistic budget, one that you are capable of sticking to, will help re-direct the course of your money and ultimately your future.
4. ELIMINATE UNNECCESARY SPENDING
Once you are able to identify a pattern in your spending habits, you can then combine this knowledge with creating a budget. Gaining an awareness of these two areas will then allow you to identify and eliminate unnecessary spending.
Unnecessary spending refers to those non-essential items that limit your ability to save money on a budget.
There are things that we all would love to have in our life but when attempting to budget to save money there is a level of sacrifice required. This is not to say that the things you desire cannot be purchased in the future. But as you embark on the process of budgeting to save money, it will be necessary to put a pause on shopping for non-essential items.
By only purchasing those items that are truly essential, you are developing a greater awareness of your spending habits. By practicing self-discipline and eliminating unnecessary spending you will able to challenge yourself in order to meet your financial goals.
5. WAYS TO SAVE MONEY AT HOME
Another way to save money on a budget is by discovering ways to save money at home. If your childhood was anything like mine, you can probably recall asking your parents for McDonald’s for dinner.
You likely remember the excitement and anticipation you felt as your eyes lit up. You can recall your mother’s vehicle approached those golden yellow arches.
It’s probably easy to think back on the sound of your stomach growling and the feeling of your mouth watering.
If you’re anything like me then you can likely recall almost being able to taste the salt from the fries. Your eager excited as you watched your mother’s vehicle inch closer and closer to the restaurant.
And if you had a mother like mine, you likely remember your mom responding with, “there is food at home!”
Once I became an adult and life got more hectic, it was easy to just “pick up” something on the way home.
But as I grew more conscious and focused on attaining financial freedom, I often had to remind myself that just like my mother said, “there was food at home!”
If you are consistently tracking your spending habits then it may come as a shock when you realize just how much those fast food purchases add up.
Of course fast food and take out meals are quick and convenient options. But when you are focused on budgeting to save money, it becomes easier to stick with habits. Placing emphasis on reaching your financial goals will keep you focused.
Simple changes such as eating the food you have at home can put more money back into your wallet.
Even if you aren’t initially able to go cold turkey in regards to eating out, little changes add up. Reducing your restaurant purchases to once or twice a week can increase your overall saving potential.
6. SET ASIDE MONEY FOR YOURSELF
Tracking your spending habits consistently along with maintaining a budget will cause you to change your financial plan. You may realize that it will become necessary to include payments to yourself within your budget.
A key concept to save money on a tight budget involves setting aside money to pay yourself first.
Initially, when you are first starting out, you may choose to pay yourself in small increments. It may take time getting used to setting aside money to pay yourself first.
Learning how to save money on a low income shows you that the smallest amount can add up over time.
Although you may be unable to initially save up in large percentages, you can set small goals. These small goals will make your ultimate goal of putting at least 10% of your monthly income into savings achievable.
As you track and reduce your spending, you may discover that you have the ability to save a greater amount.