The first time we google, “how to save money when you’re broke” is often a desperate call for action when it comes to our finances. Most of us find ways to cut corners, get by and pretend our bank account is fine. Until your wifi is cut off. Then it’s time to start taking action.
Are you looking for ways to save money without changing your drastically changing your lifestyle? If you’re trying to save money for a vacation, tuition, a downpayment on a house or land, or just trying to get out of debt then this post will inspire you.
First of all good on you for typing in that honest question and hitting search. I can’t be the only one fearful of what my search history might reveal about me. About my finances I mean.
Reality is, wether you have been nieve about your money, got into a bad situation, or life changed drastically for you even if you’ve been a budgeter sometimes we all end up broke at some point in our lives.
In fact, I often wonder what people would look like if their total debt was stamped on their foreheads…
I’ve always been a frugal person. I didn’t realize so, until my in laws reminded me of my coupon binder I used during university. I’ve always looked for ways to make extra money, and to save the money I have while still enjoying life. I think it’s because I just can’t stand the idea of owing anyone or worse yet the bank. And I absolutely love a good deal and a savings win.
Points make my heart race and winning a giveaway makes it skip a beat.
In fact yesterday I won a giveaway my accountant was running through Instagram. Just by sharing her giveaway and bragging about her services- which I was already doing- earned me $80 off our tax return this year and a free shirt!
But you can’t count on winning giveaways and point rewards to survive!
You’ve come to the right place, I’m going to share with you my tips for saving money in day to day life. As an older millennial, I’ve been doing this “adulting” thing for 12 years now. In those years and now I still stay up to date with frugal living trends and tried and true strategies for saving.
I am working my budget like crazy to see if we can possibly manage our lifestyle on one outside income. Why? That’s another story. You can read about us later.
And when nothing is more important that being a mom to your kids, you’re income might plumet. So here are my top tips for saving money when your broke.
HOW TO SAVE MONEY WHEN YOU’RE BROKE
To save money when your broke is all about living within your means. Figuring out what do you have, what do you need, ( NEED not want…) and how can you save on your essentials.
STEP ONE: STOP SPENDING MONEY
Isn’t this obvious?! But this is the hardest part. Do what you need to do for a short bit to get your head wrapped about what you need to do to get out of your situation.
Put a hold on your credit cards, hide your cash and start making a plan.
My favourite way to do this is to do a spending freeze for either a few days, a week, a month or I’ve heard of some people lasting a year!
KEEP READING: HOW TO HAVE A NO SPEND MONTH
STEP TWO: LIST YOUR EXPENSES
By determining your monthly income and necessary expenses- bills- it’s easier to see where money is wasted. Do you have monthly subscriptions that can be canceled?
Think Netflix or subscription boxes? Then try and lower your monthly bills. We cancelled cable and combined cellphone plans to save.
STEP THREE: GET CREATIVE
Depending on your living situation I have tips for saving money when it comes to either renting or owning your home.
Wether you choose to rent or own, or are contemplating the pro’s and con’s of both, there are ways you can save on your living expenses.
By switching our mindset and treating our mortgage as debt, instead of a monthly bill we have been able to pay off more of our balance in the past three years than if we continued to treat the bill as a regular cost of living.
Now that we are in our thirties, we are very motivated to try and pay off our mortgage before we are forty. WHY, because I don’t want to waste time working to pay for interest.
Some easy ways to do this without to cut back the interest quicker with an accelerated bi weekly payment option, paying extra lump sums and making extra payments.
A good rule of thumb is to make sure your rent/mortgage is 30% or less of your income.
STEP FOUR: SAVE MONEY ON YOUR GROCERIES
Groceries, eating out and snack stops at the gas station or through drive thru’s are often where a lot of extra money gets lost. Get control over the money you spend on food.
Start meal planning. Look at what you already have in the cupboards and work from there, what meals can we make? What are the smallest amount of groceries we will need to use these things up?
These money saving worksheets help this family pay only $ 188 for their weekly food budget. We’ve been using these worksheets and have saved hugely on our food bill.
Switch grocery stores to a no name, no gimmicks store and use their points program to earn free groceries sooner. I was able to earn about $200 back in a year towards groceries and cut my grocery bill hugely by shopping generic.
RELATED: HOW TO SAVE MONEY ON GROCERIES
STEP FIVE: SAVE MONEY ON YOUR BILLS
Our hydro bill was crazy when we moved out to our homestead. Far greater a cost than anticipated. So we’ve looked into lowering it and so far these things have helped. We were able to save 20% on our winter bill this year with these tips!
We’ve switched to all LED bulbs and put Solar motion lights out on the barn, stalls and coops. We stopped using the dishwasher on a day to day basis and we wash in the sink after meals.
For laundry use full loads on quick cycles in cold water and if you can dry besides towels in front of a Wood stove during the winter and on the like during summer.
Doing a load daily makes this manageable. I put dry towels in with wet in the dryer to cut down on the time. Lights are turned off during the day and we don’t leave anything plugged in unless it’s being used.
STEP SIX: CREATE A CHALLENGE TO INSPIRE YOU
Have fun and enjoy the savings! Post below any other tips you might have, I’d love to hear them!
RELATED POST: HOW TO HAVE A NO SPEND MONTH
Looking for a quick way to save money fast? Why not participate in a money saving challenge and save up for a busy spending season or pay off debt. You could easily save $500 to $1000 just by not spending extra money in one month. Here’s how I did it!
STEP SEVEN: START RETHINKING YOUR HABITS
Cut your gift expenses by choosing handmade gifts more often.
Shopping online is becoming easier, safer and makes life simpler in many ways. I’ve started shopping more online now that I have two young boys at home, and we live out in the country so going to the mall or big department stores just doesn’t happen anymore.
If you have a small homestead, or even just a patio or balcony you can still save money by growing your own vegetables.
I also find a lot of joy in hosting a potluck dinner here with friends a couple times a month instead of going out for dinner. We do themes and everyone brings something. Try hosting your own monthly potluck or friendsgiving dinner.
RELATED POST: HOW TO SAVE MONEY BY MAKING THESE THINGS AT HOME
STEP EIGHT: LEARN SOMETHING NEW
Our bills have gone down since starting the homestead for ingredients like beef, poultry and vegetables.
We have learned how to raise animals for cheap, and to fill our freezer with high quality, organic, grass fed meat, lamb, chicken and pork for less than the grocery store cost and sometimes free. Read more about raising animals on your homestead for meat.
I find overall with one of us home full time it’s easier to save money with someone running the household and budget more effectively. With us both at work there’s just not enough time and we start eating out and going sideways again on our budget. Good luck in getting creative, I hope this offers inspiration.
STEP NINE: HAVE A PLAN TO STOP BEING BROKE
When it comes to frugal living, it’s really about knowing what you have. You have to do the math, know where what your balances are and keep track of how you’re doing with your finances.
Having a plan for your household with a planner made for homesteaders ( those frugal people that like to make it, bake it and grow it) is just what you need to start organizing your entire life!
Grab our Happy Homestead Secrets goal planning workbook and you’ll soon discover how easy it is to start feeling successful no matter what your goal is!
If you’re in a relationship, dare I say, communication is key. If you’re both on board with paying off debt, saving money and living simply then you’ve won half the battle. Make it fun and challenge yourselves.
Use this workbook and planner to stop being broke, to start organizing your life, projects, goals, priorities and find joy from celebrating more often!
Being broke isn’t always a bad thing, it might just be the first step to being where you want to be!