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. This blog post is all about being broke and ways you can save money when you’re broke! If you enjoy it, be sure to save this post on Pinterest.
How to Save Money When You’re Broke
#1 – Start a Legit Savings Account
For the first 5 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 much useless junk. The main thing I blame for that? Never actually setting up a legit savings accounts. I had one single chequing account and nothing else.
The issue with only having one bank accoun tis 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 that money separate.
If you’re anything like me and you know you’ll have trouble not touching the money in your savings account, you should put it into an account that’s harder to get into. If you’re really bad, you can have your savings in an account, and give the debit card to a trusted family member or friend.
#2 – Set Up Your 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 of money to have in an emergency fund is 3-6 months of expenses, but you’re reading a post with the word broke in the title, so I assume that would be pretty hard to build up.
This is why you should start with a $1000 emergency fund for now, and just keep building it up until you reach the 3-6 months of expenses mark.
If you think $1000 is a lot to try and save, start small. You can always sell old clothes, old books, you can babysit, rake leaves, shovel snow, do pretty much anything you can to get some extra cash and put it into your emergency fund.
#3 – 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 above your means?
If you’re the level of broke where you don’t know where your next meal is coming from, you can 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 habits and make some real lifestyle changes.
Some things you should try if 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.
- Try a Spending Freeze: You can learn a lot about your habits if you simply aren’t allowed to spend money for a month unless it’s something you need to survive. Only buy groceries and gas and pay your bills, nothing else and see how your habits change.
#4 – 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.
- Related Post: 10 Items to STOP Buying to Save Money
You can also save a ton of money when you do need to shop by shopping with smart apps & websites that help you to save a ton of cash. Below is a list of my 3 favourite resources to save me money when I must spend.
- Honey: Honey is a browser extension that automatically adds coupon codes to websites before you check out. They search the entire internet to try and find the best deals for your purchases. I once had to buy a new outfit for a business presentation and save like $45 on a $120 order. Honey is amazing, check it out for free!
- Ebates: Ebates is a website that gives you cash back on a ton of awesome websites (like amazon!) when you shop by clicking through from their website. You get up to 10% cash back on some of your favourite stores. Try it out for free today!
- Checkout 51: Checkout 51 is a lot like ebates, but you can get cashback on your groceries! When you buy products, all you need to do is scan your recipts and Checkout 51 will give you a few dollars back when you buy products they’re working with! Check it out!
#5 – Increase Your Income
If you’re broke, chances are you’re experiencing an income problem and the only true way to deal with an income crisis is to improve your income.
You can try and save money in a ton of ways, but you’ll always just be spinning your wheels and nothing will 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 other ways you can make money on your own terms.
The internet has completely changed the ways we can make money, some of my favourite ways to earn money without a job include:
- How to Make Money Dog Walking
- How to Start a Blog
- 4 Non-Computer Side Hustles
- How to Create Passive Income Online
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.
Thanks so much for reading!