How to save money living paycheck to paycheck? Very carefully! If you can barely make enough to get by, there is no room to overspend. To help, I’ve put together this handy guide on how to handle your finances wisely.
By the time you’re done reading, you’ll have all the information you need to make wise spending choices and stack cash in your savings account. Being able to manage your money smartly will give you more freedom and confidence. And who doesn’t want that?
Ready to get started? Let’s go!
- How to Save Money Living Paycheck to Paycheck: 12 Ways to Save
- FAQ: How to Save Money Living Paycheck to Paycheck
- Is living paycheck to paycheck normal?
- How much should you be saving per paycheck?
- How should you save money?
- What’s the best way to save money?
- How can I save money when I live paycheck by paycheck?
- How much money does the average person have after paying bills?
- How do I save money on food when I live paycheck to paycheck?
- How else can I save money when I live paycheck to paycheck?
- How much money do I need to save each paycheck?
- How to Save Money Living Paycheck to Paycheck: Final Thoughts
How to Save Money Living Paycheck to Paycheck: 12 Ways to Save
Here’s my list of twelve ways to save money. The first ten are easy ways to make a quick savings. The last two are more long-term, but they’ll help you get out of debt and build up your savings account. Use it, and you’ll see increased cushion in your bank account.
1 – Track Your Spending
Before you even start cutting back, I recommend setting up your finances with a budget. You can type up an excel spreadsheet or download a free tool to your phone, but the goal is to know where your money is going.
It’s important to track your income and expenses each month. You can get a sense of your spending habits and figure out where you need to cut back (and where you can indulge a bit!).
Tracking your spending is important, because you’ll see where you’re spending your money. You might find that you’re paying too much on certain bills or going out to eat too often. You might notice where your purse is light – and avoid unnecessary costs.
2 – Start Freezing Meals in Bulk
Freezing meals is one of the few time-consuming ways to save money. But it’s a great way to have tasty food on the ready.
Not only will you save money by not going out to eat or buying pre-made meals, but you’ll also save grocery dollars by only buying the ingredients you need. Preparing a bunch of meals ahead of time gives you the flexibility to make anything you want – or nothing at all.
Start pulling out your favorite recipes and freeze things for your family. By spending a couple hours in the kitchen, you’ll save hundreds at the store over the course of a few months of not eating out.
3 – Use Coupons
Next, I’m going to cover how to save money using coupons. Use your coupons to buy items you already buy. You’ll save money on your most common purchases and make your grocery trips more affordable.
You can clip coupons and check grocery ads online. Just make sure to plan your trips around your coupons, so you don’t buy items you don’t need. (See the next item about using a shopping list to avoid impulse buys…)
4 – Use a shopping list
When you go grocery shopping with a list, you’re more likely to not overspend or buy extra items and food. You’ll feel accomplished when you leave the store without extra items you don’t need.
If you’re a planner, write out a shopping list with the meals you want to make. You’ll have a better handle on how much food you need, and the price per item. This makes it easy to stick to your budget.
5 – Try a no-shopping week
Every now and then, set yourself a time limit and don’t shop at all. This could be an entire week or a few days over the weekend as you’re preparing to go back to school or work. Make sure you planned to have enough on hand so that you don’t need to shop.
If you have a tight budget, you can try going a week without entering the grocery store or any store. If you can make it through a week without spending anything at all, you’ll be surprised at how much money you can save. Again, just be sure you have everything on hand the week before.
6 – Skip Starbucks
There are so many ways to save money by not going to Starbucks. First, skip overpriced and overhyped coffee drinks. Brew your own at home. It’s cheaper and healthier. Then, instead of going out to coffee shops, invite a few friends over for coffee.
You’ll save money on transportation and won’t need to leave your home. Enjoy the fellowship of your friends and the warmth of your home without the cost of a trip to the coffee shop. Baristas hate this one weird trick!
7 – Don’t make impulse buys
Impulse buys are any non-essential items you buy just because they’re there. Impulse buys are not a habit you want to get into – it only leads to overspending. And you won’t have the money to cover it.
Every time you’re tempted to buy something that’s not on your list, ask yourself, “Do I really need this?” The answer’s probably no. You can avoid impulse buys by not going to stores that sell those types of items.
If you see something at the grocery store you don’t need, resist the temptation to buy it. Even if it’s a non-food item, and even if it’s not expensive, don’t buy it. I’m sure you already have something like it at home.
8 – Check your gas mileage
Check your gas mileage every few weeks. If you’re not getting the average miles per gallon, adjust the way you drive and check your tire pressure. Even a few extra miles per gallon can add up to hundreds of dollars over the course of a year.
Gas prices are never going to be under a dollar again, so help yourself save more by getting better gas mileage. It’s one of the easier ways to save money. And if you can’t do it yourself, go to a local shop for a tune-up and check.
9 – Go to the library
Instead of buying books, consider going to the library. If you have the option, try it out and see how much time you save by not having to buy the books. Plus, many libraries have free programs and lectures, as well as free internet.
You can also use your library card to download ebooks, stream movies, and listen to podcasts. So if you like to read or watch movies and listen to audiobooks, the library can be a great time-saver and money-saver.
10 – Learn to be satisfied with less
Eating out and buying new things can be a huge drain on your finances. If you’re trying to get out of debt, it’s important to learn to be satisfied with less – even if you have extra money. This can help you save significantly.
There may be things you want, but if you don’t use them, why purchase them? You’ll want to indulge a little every now and then, but if you don’t use something again and again, you don’t need to buy it. Add up all the small purchases you make in a week. You might be surprised.
FAQ: How to Save Money Living Paycheck to Paycheck
Here’s a few commonly asked questions and answers about saving money when you’re poor!
Is living paycheck to paycheck normal?
No, it’s not normal. But it is something many people experience, especially in the 21st century. There are a number of reasons that people live paycheck to paycheck. Some of them are unavoidable and others are avoidable.
How much should you be saving per paycheck?
Every month, you should be saving at least 10% of your income. But ideally it should be more. If you’re living paycheck to paycheck, you need to be saving at least 20% of your income. This means cutting back and living learn for a few months.
If you can’t save that much, try saving 5% each month. It’s better than nothing. The point is that you want to go without for a while so that you can begin to accumulate money.
How should you save money?
The best way to save money is to cut back on your spending. Before you start saving, make sure you’ve slashed every expense you can. You’ll need to cut out all “luxuries” and start living a Spartan/minimalist lifestyle.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that living a simple lifestyle is “poor people lifestyle”. Don’t think of it that way. It’s just your new way of life as a saver.
What’s the best way to save money?
The best way to save money is to always be aware of your spending. When you think about buying something, should you really be spending money on that?
If you’re living paycheck to paycheck, you’ve already realized that you’re overspending. So now you need to look at your spending habits and change them.
How can I save money when I live paycheck by paycheck?
This will be the hardest part for you. You’ll need to eat less, stop buying new clothes, and cut out anything that’s not a necessity.
It’s going to be hard to cut back, but you need to do it if you want to save up some money. It won’t be easy, but you’ll thank yourself later when you’re in a good financial position.
How much money does the average person have after paying bills?
On average, the average person only has $400 from each paycheck. Of course, this number varies depending on your living situation and income.
Someone with a low income will have less money leftover. Someone with a high income will have more. For example, someone with a low income who’s living paycheck to paycheck will have less money available. Someone with a high income with a huge savings account will have more money.
How do I save money on food when I live paycheck to paycheck?
You’ll need to eat cheap food. The biggest thing you can do is buy generic brands of everything. It won’t be as good, but it’s better than eating nothing.
Don’t eat out and don’t go to any restaurants. You should have a few cheap recipes that you can cook from home. This way you’ll have plenty of food that’s cheap and doesn’t cost too much money.
How else can I save money when I live paycheck to paycheck?
Cut down on transportation costs by only using a bike or walking. Find some friends who are also living paycheck to paycheck to share the cost of gas or living space with them.
If you can’t find friends, then it’s time to move in with someone. This is the best way to save money. Sharing a house with a roommate costs much less than living on your own.
How much money do I need to save each paycheck?
You’re going to need to save as much as you can. You should be saving at least 20% of every paycheck so that you’ll be ready for an emergency situation. A good rule of thumb is to make it a habit to check your bank balance and see how much money you can save that month.
But remember that the more you save, the better. The truth is that you should be saving 30% or more of your income if you want to be financially stable.
How to Save Money Living Paycheck to Paycheck: Final Thoughts
Saving money when you live paycheck to paycheck is going to be incredibly hard. You’re going to need to cut back and live on a low budget for a few months.
But if you save enough money and get ahead in your finances, you’ll quickly realize that it was all worth it. You’ll have peace of mind knowing that you have extra money laying around in case an emergency happens.
And if you’re already living paycheck to paycheck, you know that emergencies do happen. It’s better to be prepared!