18 Ways to Save Money on a Tight Budget

Just like it’s easier to avoid unhealthy foods than to burn them off with exercise, it’s easier to avoid paying unnecessary money than to have to work extra to account for that cash. In other words, sometimes the best way to make money is to save money! Everyone – poor, rich, or in between – can benefit from easy ways to save money. This list of ways to save money will start with the larger money savers and descend to the smaller ones. Here are some tips that will help you in your question for wealth:

  1. Big purchases have the most impact on your bottom line. Making your best effort to save on cars, boats, homes, education, and other large expenditures will save you tens of thousands of dollars over your lifetime. While the rest of the tips are useful in saving you dollars and cents, concentrating most of all on getting great deals on these purchases is the best way to save money.
  2. Related to the above, watch out for high interest rates on loans. Whether a mortgage, car loan, personal loan, or the dreaded credit card, interest payments can eat into your savings and lower the amount of cash on hand. Try to avoid using lines of credit whenever possible. Credit cards are OK as long as you pay them off in full every month and avoid interest charges.
  3. One way to lower your interest charges if you do have to take out a loan is to maintain a high credit score. This means you must avoid late payments, don’t max out credit, and pay off your debts in full. Order a free credit report from each of the credit agencies once per year to monitor your current status and to check for errors that may be hurting your credit history.
  4. Look for ways to get extra money without having to do a bunch of work. This can come in the form of gift certificates, gift cards, prizes, and other offers that you can use to make ends meet. For example, click here for a way to get a $1000 Visa gift card (details apply).
  5. Cut back on non-essentials. This means actually going out and stop purchasing the gadgets and gizmos that drain your bank account, even if they are fun.
  6. Lower you food bills by cutting out the restaurant trips. This doesn’t mean you have to totally stop going out to restaurants, especially if you have coupons.
  7. Don’t buy or lease new cars. Automobiles lose a ton of their value the instant they leave the lot. To get the reliability and ‘newness’ of a car without paying inflated prices, buy ‘like new’ cars with around 30,000 miles or less.
  8. One of the best ways to save money is to cook more breakfasts, lunches, and dinners at home. Eating out constantly, especially with the high costs associated with drinks, alcohol, and tips, can really add up over time. This is especially true if you have a large family. The more you can coordinate meals, buying in bulk and preparing food ahead of time, the more overall money you can save.
  9. Also, avoid snacks and drinks (including coffee) when you are out on the town. They may seem cheap at the time, but $1 -$3 charges will accumulate rapidly, hitting your bank account hard without you even realizing it.
  10. Determine what you truly love to do and invest your money into that. Buying useless trinkets, gadgets, DVDs, and other stuff may make you feel good at the time, but the fun fades as the novelty goes away. Then you’re off to buy the next hot thing. Find a hobby or two that you enjoy and spend your time and resources on that. Perhaps you love to play the piano, so you spend money on instruments and music. Or perhaps you like your car, so you spend more time with that, or you like to cook, so you buy cook books and kitchen accessories. Whatever your love, find it and develop it.
  11. Use more public transportation, car pooling, or walking/biking to get around. The price of gas isn’t going down anytime soon, and it will most likely continue to ride. Also, the more you use your car, the more maintenance is required. If you could get rid of your car altogether, think of how much you’d save in insurance, maintenance, and car payments! This is one of the great ways to save money on a tight budget.
  12. Buy in bulk. The more you buy at one time, the less you’ll pay for each unit, saving you cash in the long run.
  13. Buy items online. You can save tons of money by buying from sites like amazon.com that can get you steep discounts on everything from clothes to household supplies to toys. Also checkout sites like craigslist and Ebay for other great deals on secondhand goods. In fact…
  14. Buy used goods whenever possible. A huge secondary market exists filled with people wanting to sell their stuff. You can get so much like new stuff – including clothing, cars, video games, furniture, whatever – for a mere fraction of the cost if bought new. Check out thrift stores, garage sales, and discount stores in real life, and auction sites, craigslist, and other sites on the internet.
  15. Drain the maximum value or use out of everything your purchase. Whether it’s food, clothing, or entertainment, get the most out of every dollar you spend. Look for ways to get extra cash to supplement your budget as well.
  16. Use the library. Your local library has thousands of books and DVDs that you can borrow for free. Stop buying books for full price at the book store, and don’t waste your cash on movies you watch once, even if you rent them. Exploit the library to the fullest possible extent. You might even learn some new info and skills in the process.
  17. Always be on the lookout for places to cut, scrimp, and save. Saving 50 cents here, $1.50 there, and 35 cents here will add up over time for a minimum of effort.
  18. Avoid silly fees wherever possible – late fees, annual fees, interest fees, overdraft fees, etc. These are all completely avoidable with some careful attention to your finances and financial choices.
  19. Use fewer utilities. Conserve electricity, water, and heat, and kill your internet, cable, or phone bill. Your wallet will thank you for it.