How to Save Money Fast on a Low Income: 10 Useful, Frugal Tips

Amelia Rose Talks.
by Amelia Rose Talks.

I’m going to share with you 10 tips on how to save money fast on a low income. These extreme and frugal ideas allowed me to put a huge surplus of money into my savings fund for a deposit on a house.

They are not meant for everyday long-term living. You still have to live and enjoy yourself. You have to ensure that saving money doesn’t suck all the joy out of your life and burn you out. These are short-term ideas that should last about six months to a year to get you back on your feet.

I needed 10,000 pounds as a downpayment for a 100,000-pound house and these tips really helped.

1. Take on more work

If you have a goal, then take on more work, extra shifts, a second job, or overtime. It’s a short-term goal because you don’t want to crash and burn.

Take a job that no one else wants because you know it’s just for your goal. Make every single penny earned from the additional hours should go to savings and nothing should be spent. I took on a lot of overtime at the job I had at the time. I even took other people’s overtime shifts.

2. Set a goal

You need to know what that extra money is for. You need to know what you’re focused on or you won’t be able to focus. Set a realistic time frame to reach that goal. If you set an unrealistic time to reach the goal, you will demoralize yourself and run out of steam, motivation, and commitment to keep it up.

3. Review your debt

Write down all of your debt, how much you owe, and the interest you’re paying. See if you can renegotiate the debt. Seek out an interest-free credit card to take over the debt but don’t add up any more debt, just transfer the existing interest-paying debt and pay it off.

Calculating debt

4. Move home

You may cringe when you think about that, but living rent-free short-term can be a relief. Can you move in with your parents or a family member or friend short term? I moved in with my mom for six months. It was small but I did it and my mom knew what I was saving for. Every penny I would have paid for rent went into my savings fund. This extreme idea allowed me to put a huge surplus into my savings.

5. Sell what you don’t need

It sounds harsh but look around your closet and your home to find things that you don’t need, love, or enjoy. I went through my closet, looking at my shoes and handbags, and all the extras I never wore, and posted all of it and sold it.

I didn’t sell anything I loved or would regret. When you let all the money you make from selling things add up, it becomes a bigger sum to put toward your goal.

6. Cut luxuries

It’s worth it! Assess critically what you’re spending your money on. Downgrade your phone. I did. I didn’t need to have the latest fancy phone. I reduced my monthly payments dramatically by getting rid of my contract and paying as I go.

What about cars? Downgrade the car you drive and it will affect your payment, car insurance, taxes, and gas. What about your eating habits? Change how much you eat out. What about a gym membership you never use? I’ve paid for many memberships and never stepped into the gym. Streaming services–do you need them all?

Walk to work and where you’re going or take the bus. It’ll be cheaper than gas and parking. Can you cancel your car insurance for six months and walk or take public transportation?

Shopping for groceries

7. Cut your food bill

Buy in bulk, buy more freezer-friendly food, and stop buying processed and prepared packaged foods. Shred your own lettuce and cut your own fruit into chunks instead of buying it that way just for convenience. You also don’t have to buy the most expensive ingredients.

8. Cut down your social life

I’d easily spend an absolute fortune on a Saturday night on fashion, cocktails, and transportation to meet my friends. If you’re saving for a goal, cut it out. Stay off social media, too. If you’re not on social media, you won’t feel like the FOMO! Put the money you would have spent on a night out into your savings fund.

9. Shop smarter

Use loyalty cards, cash-back apps, and cash-back credit cards (but pay that off in one month but you can get the benefits of the points or cash-back). I have loyalty cards for everything. All of this adds up. Let it add up and take it out in bulk and it will feel like a substantial amount of money.

How to save money fast on a low income

10. Use money boxes

I have an addiction to money boxes. I buy breakable pots and jars and put change and cash in them to add up. Breakable pots are great because you won’t be tempted to open them up. Let the money add up, then smash the box and watch the money pour out. Then count it up and put it towards your saving goal.

Save up for six months and see what’s in the boxes and bottles that go towards your savings.

How to save money fast on a low income

I hope these tips on ways to save money fast have been helpful to you if you’re saving towards a goal. Let me know what goal you are saving for. Share with us the tips you are using to save money fast to reach your goal.

Join the conversation
  • Dau9830453 Dau9830453 on Nov 29, 2022

    i find sraying home is the best way to save if u r retired

    • Candace Candace on Jan 29, 2024

      Yes, staying home does save money. Yet, seniors are supposed to be social for memory and mental health. Local free events and senior center are low cost options.