Figuring out how to save money fast on a low income isn’t easy for many newlyweds. When you get married, your financial life is usually a bit messy, as it takes time to adjust to running a household together. Fortunately, it’s possible to get on the right track quickly. If you’re a newlywed with a low income, here’s how you can save money fast.
Start with a Budget
Right after you get married, you typically have to combine your finances. You’ll have to look at your joint income, evaluate your spending habits, adjust to shifting utility usage, alter your insurance spending, and much more.
As a result, if you’re worried about how to save money fast on a low income, the first step you need to take is sitting down with your spouse to create a budget. Gather up information about your income, debts, and expenses, allowing you both to get a clear picture of where you stand financially. See if you have any leaks you need to plug and eliminate duplication, such as having two accounts for the same streaming service.
By taking this step, you can see how much money is available once you’re needs are met. Then, you can allocate some of the remaining funds to savings, putting you on the right path.
Open a Separate Savings Account
Being able to separate the money you’re saving from the cash you’re leaving available to spend is essential. It reduces the odds that an accidental overage will eat into your financial reserve. Plus, it gives you a clearer picture of how much money you can legitimately use to cover expenses, which could keep you from splurging.
Ideally, you want to choose a high-yield online savings account that’s not at your primary back. While the funds are still reasonably liquid, they aren’t as accessible as they would be at the same institution. Transfers from that account typically take a few days to process, which can prevent spontaneous overspending.
Plus, by going with a high-yield savings account, you’ll earn more interest. As a result, your balance will grow faster on its own, giving you a larger balance as time passes.
Pay Yourself First, and Automate It
Paying yourself first means transferring money from your checking account to savings right after you receive your paycheck. It’s an approach that prevents you from tapping into that money because it’s available, causing you to save less than you intended.
If you want to simplify it further, automate the transfer. Schedule it to automatically occur every payday so that you don’t have to take the time to handle it manually.
Handle Windfalls the Right Way
Whether it’s a bonus at work, a tax refund, or any other type of lump sum outside of your typical pay, use the money wisely. Windfalls are an excellent opportunity to free up room in your budget or boost your savings.
If your expenses are generally under control, consider sending the entire windfall to your savings account. If you’re living paycheck-to-paycheck but have an emergency fund, consider using the money to pay down debt, giving you extra space in your monthly budget. Either option can help you save money fast, even if you have a low income, so use the strategy that makes sense for your situation.
Use Automatic Bill Payment
Late fees associated with missing bill payments eat into your budget surprisingly quickly. Plus, not paying by the due date can harm your credit score, leading to higher interest rates if you need to open a new account.
Use automatic bill payment features to ensure every debt and regularly-occurring expense is paid at the right time. That way, you won’t have to worry about late fees.
Turn Off Overdraft Services
Overdraft fees are another expense that can take big bites out of your budget by giving you a negative balance. In some cases, the fees also build up incredibly quickly, as some institutions will charge a new fee for every transaction that goes through after you spend all of your available money.
Fortunately, you can typically remove overdraft services. By contacting your bank or credit union and asking them to take off the overdraft coverage, your card is declined if you don’t have enough cash in the account. While that’s inconvenient, it’s a guaranteed way to avoid overdraft fees, which could give you more money to save.
Give Up Vices
Vices like drinking, smoking, and gambling are often far more expensive than many couples realize. By giving up those habits, you may find you have more than enough to build up your savings account quickly.
While quitting can be challenging, the money you save could keep you motivated. Plus, you may have access to free support services. For example, many health insurance plans have smoking cessation programs that are available at no cost, giving you a way to get nicotine replacement products without having to pay for them out of pocket.
Reduce Your Expenses To Save Money Fast On A Low Income
Expense reduction is often the simplest way to free up cash in your budget, making it easier to save. Start by looking at your biggest expenses, like housing and transportation. If you’re near the end of your lease and lower-cost units are available in your area, moving could be worthwhile. If your car payment is hard to shoulder and you have equity, consider trading in for a more affordable vehicle.
After you reduce your larger expenses, it’s time to look at smaller ones. Often, entertainment spending isn’t universally essential, so consider cutting cable, scaling back on streaming services, skipping dining out, and not using food delivery.
When it comes to groceries, check sales flyers for deals and plan your meals around them. Using rebate or coupon apps can help you get cashback, and you can couple those with traditional paper coupons or loyalty programs for even more savings.
For utility costs, you also have options. Keeping the temperature cooler in the winter and using low-cost heating options like electric blankets can bring down your bill. In the summer, stick with fans instead of using your air conditioner whenever possible. You can also unplug appliances and electronics when not in use to prevent ongoing power drain that comes with them being on standby.
Ultimately, reducing your expenses gives you more space in your budget. In turn, it’s usually easier to save.
Tackle High-Interest Debt
When it comes to debt repayment, focus any extra funds on high-interest debt. By doing so, you’ll reduce the total amount of interest you pay.
In many cases, it’s wise to make minimum payments on every debt and send any extra cash to the one with the highest interest rate. Then, once you get that debt paid off, you can focus some of that money on savings and send a portion to your new highest-interest debt on your list, making the next debt easier to pay off.
Seize Opportunities to Boost Your Income
If your expenses are high enough that you don’t have much room to save even after cutting back, look for ways to boost your income. Ask for additional hours or a raise at work, or look for a new job that comes with better pay. Launch a side flexible side hustle or get a second, part-time position to secure a new income stream, or sell excess belongings for a quick savings boost.
While working more than one job or selling items isn’t always easy, it’s a means to an end. It gives you the room to get your financial house in order. Plus, once you reach a good place, you may be able to transition back to a single job, so keep that in mind.
Do you have any other tips that can help newlyweds figure out how to save money fast on a low income? Were you able to save money fast on a low income and want to offer encouragement to others trying to do the same? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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