How to Save Money: For One Income Families
Perhaps you are a single parent doing your best to get by on one income. Or maybe your partner is in between jobs at the moment. Perhaps you are just finding it to be a challenge to budget and save each month. Regardless of your situation, there are plenty of ways to save money and eliminate the stress even when you are supporting yourself and others on just one income.
Sometimes it can seem like we are doing everything in our power to put away a portion of our paycheck into savings each month, yet after all the expenses are paid, there is nothing left to save. This is an extremely common problem, but luckily it can be solved simply by incorporating as many money saving tips and techniques as possible.
This is not a “how to” guide on being cheap, but rather practical methods for guaranteeing that at least a small portion of your paycheck makes it into your savings account each month by cutting back on overall monthly expenses.
While some of these methods and techniques may appear to only save small amounts at a time, these small actions to cut back on spending combined over time equate to big savings. All it requires is a little patience, dedication, and perseverance. Here’s to a financially secure future!
Money Hacks to Build Your Savings Account
Budget, budget, budget. Create a monthly budget with all expenses laid out, include some breathing room for unexpected expenses as well. Plan what percentage of your paycheck will be dropped into your savings account. Mint is a budgeting and financial guidance app that helps you track your expenses and stick to your budget each month.
Switch to a prepaid cell phone plan.
There’s no way around the fact that expensive contract cell phone plans eat away a big chunk of money each month. Did you know that a multitude of prepaid phone plans cost as low as $15 per month, including talk, text, and data? Prepaying your phone plan means no unexpected charges or going over your data each month, as you will only be able to use what you’ve already paid for. It also helps you limit unnecessary data usage and cut back on screen time, so it’s a win-win.
Eat more meals at home and eliminate eating out at restaurants.
This is a huge saver. Especially if you are a large family, eating out really adds up and costs three or four times the amount of money than cooking meals at home. Saving money on food costs can be budgeted even more efficiently with meal planning. Try to make time each weekend to plan the meals that you will be cooking for the week. Make a shopping list that includes all the ingredients that will need to be bought, and make sure not to include ingredients you already have stashed away somewhere in your house. By planning meals in advance, you can save money on not eating out unexpectedly and by avoiding spending unplanned money on food costs. When you are shopping at the grocery store, make sure to stick to your shopping list and avoid impulse purchases.
Drink more water, less juices, and less unnecessary expensive beverages.
Sure, soda and juice are fun to have around the house. But they are also unhealthy and unnecessary expenses. In other words, we don’t need them, and our bodies will thank us for not drinking them. Stick to water; water is healthy and cheap. We actually don’t need to drink anything else – any other beverages are essentially a luxury.
Brew coffee at home and avoid getting coffee on the go.
Going out for coffee is a fun experience enjoyed by many, but the cost of one cup of coffee at a cafe roughly equals the same amount as an entire bag of ground coffee at the grocery store. You do the math. Those Starbucks coffees add up. Invest in an insulated to-go thermos if you think you’ll want coffee while you’re out and about and prepare it before you leave your home.
Buy in bulk.
Buying in bulk isn’t only good for the environment, but your wallet will thank you too! Stock up on your pantry and food essentials at the bulk food section where costs are significantly cheaper. Even Amazon has a bulk foods section where you can purchase foods in bulk supply.
Let YouTube be your new handy man.
Some fixes around the house or on your vehicle don’t require expensive professional help. Do thorough research on the problem you need fixed before calling in the troops. You’d be surprised at how many issues can be solved with the help of YouTube.
Use preventative health care.
Preventing health issues is always cheaper than curing health issues, and that’s easily done just through exercise and healthy eating. Commit yourself to a healthy lifestyle now to save thousands of dollars on health expenses later on. Eating healthy and living a healthy lifestyle doesn’t have to be expensive; it just requires planning ahead and getting creative. Filling and inexpensive meals can be made from healthy vegetables, legumes, and whole grains.
Buy from sales racks and second-hand whenever possible.
Buying new clothes is a hefty expense, especially when buying for growing children who will need a new wardrobe for years until they have stopped growing. Thrift and second-hand clothing stores have become popular in recent years, not only for their fashionable finds, but also because shopping second-hand is better for the environment.
Get a library card.
We’re all guilty of spending money on new books, CD’s, and DVD’s in the name of education and well-deserved entertainment, but those things add up. Take advantage of the free books and DVD’s your local library has to offer. If you have an Amazon Prime account, tons of shows and movies are offered for free as well. There is even a whole section of “free” Kindle books available for anyone with a Kindle account.