Saving money is hard for just about anybody, but it’s exponentially harder to do when you’re broke. Making smart decisions now can change everything for you later, but what are you supposed to do when you don’t have the money to make those decisions? Learning how to save money when you’re broke can be hard, but if you start soon you’ll be able to change your future.
There are so many great websites and blog posts out there talking about great ways to save money, but often times a lot of them need you to have a bit of money to start out. This post is all about being broke and ways you can save money when you’re broke and if you enjoy it share with your friends and pin it for later!
5 Ways to Save Money When You’re Broke
Start a Legit Savings Account
For the first five years after I started working (16-21) I saved pretty much $0. I was able to pay for most of my University education, but didn’t have any money in the bank and had too many useless items in my room. The main thing I blame for that? Never actually setting up a legit savings account. I had one single chequing account and nothing else.
The issue with only having one bank account is that you have such easy access to your “savings”. An everyday chequing account is meant just for that, everyday transactions. It makes it really hard to distinguish between your savings and your spending money. The first step toward saving money when you don’t have much is to keep your money separate.
If you’re anything like me and you know you’ll have trouble not touching the money in your savings you can put it in an account that’s really hard to get into. If you really think it’ll be a problem you could always have a separate card for your savings account that you leave with a trusted family member or close friend who won’t just let you have it.
Set up Your $1000 Emergency Fund
Having some “emergency money” set aside makes it exponentially easier to save money. An emergency fund allows you to cover unexpected issues without having to dip into your regular savings account or having to use credit. The real recommended amount for an emergency fund is 3-6 months of expenses, but if you’re reading this I assume that you’re broke, so we’ll start small with a $1000 emergency fund.
If you think $1000 is a lot to try and save, just start small. You can always sell old clothes, sell old books, babysit, rake leaves, shovel snow, do pretty much anything you can to get some extra cash and put it into your emergency fund.
Rethink Your Situation
There have been times where I say that I’m broke but I just spent $40 on a manicure and $100 on a dinner with my friends. Are you actually broke? Or are you just living way above your means?
If you’re the level of broke where you don’t know where your next meal is coming from, skip this step.
If you’re “broke” but still have the cash to go out with your friends and get a manicure, you need to rethink your entire situation.
Some things you should try if you think you’re “broke”
- Start a Budget – A budget will show you where your money is going and where you can cut expenses. It’ll also help you reach these financial goals quicker. Try out the zero-based budget, it’s perfect for beginners.
- Do some spending freezes – You can learn a lot about yourself if you aren’t allowed to spend money for a month unless it’s an absolute necessity.
Save Small Amounts Anywhere You Can
The best way to start to save money when you’re broke is to slowly cut out expenses that you don’t really need. There are a lot of items that you probably buy every week that you could stop buying without it affecting your life very much. I suggest you check out our post 10 items to stop buying to save you money, it outlines a group of things that you don’t really need to be purchasing.
You can also save a ton of money when you do shop by shopping smart with apps & websites that will help save you a ton of cash. My favourites include:
- Honey – Honey is a browser extension that automatically adds coupon codes to websites before you check out. You give it a nice quick click and it can save you a ton of money. I had to buy some new clothes for a business presentation and saved like $45 on a $120 order. Honey is amazing, check out honey FOR FREE.
- Ebates – Ebates is a free app/website that gives you cash back on a ton of awesome websites (like amazon!!!) when you shop by clicking on their link. Cash back is a great way to put some money away after you’ve spent it! Try getting cash back with Ebates today!
- Checkout 51 – Checkout 51 is a lot like Ebates but it gives you cash back when you buy groceries! Even broke people need groceries. All you have to do is take a photo of your receipt and checkout 51 will do the rest!
A really great way to save small amounts of money is to quit paying bank fees. It’s crazy to me that we pay money just to have somewhere to keep our money! My favourite free bank is Tangerine, if you’re Canadian I highly suggest you give them a try! (If you do, use my orange key to sign up and get $25: 50681730S1).
Increase Your Income
If you’re broke, chances are you’re experiencing an income crisis and the only true way to deal with an income crisis is to improve your income. You can try to save money in a ton of ways but you’ll always just be spinning the wheel and nothing is going to get better. I totally understand that your situation may not be able to accept another full-time job or even a part-time job, but there are a ton of ways you can make money these days. The internet has changed the world and the way we make money.
Some of my favourite ways to make money include:
This isn’t going to be easy for you if you’re broke but being broke is a state of mind. If you think you’re going to be broke forever, chances are you will be. Focus on making small changes to your life and you’ll be able to change the world. And always remember to fake it until you make it. Thank you so much for reading 🙂