If you’re struggling to save money, you are not alone. My husband and I know the feeling of living paycheck to paycheck all too well. But today – today is a new day for you and you are in luck because I am going to share with you how to save money when you’re broke. These methods are “proven” because we have used all of these methods ourselves!
If you think these strategies won’t work, think again. You may have read my post, “From Food Banks to Paying off over 100k of debt,” where I shared how I once waited at food banks for hours to collect a few boxes of expired food. When you don’t have enough money for food, your life can get pretty dark.
So I don’t play when it comes to money managing. I’m thankful for those food banks, but I never want to have to go back to one again.
We use these strategies to this day. However, in the beginning, the savings were slow. But with practice and the right financial plan, your savings rate will rapidly increase.
How to Save Money When You’re Broke:
1. Lower Your Service Provider Expenses
- Cut off any extra services that you don’t need and you can get out of. This would include things like cable, streaming services, etc.
If you have a service provider that has a contract, ask them how you can get out of it. Even if you have to pay a fee, it may still be worth it to cancel the service.
- Call into any service provider that you do need and ask them HOW you can lower your bill. Do not ever ask IF you can. Always ask HOW.
Often times service providers will offer promos to their customers to encourage customers to continue using their service. I once called into my phone provider and told them I hit a bad financial situation and that I was thinking about canceling. They ended up giving me a free month plus 50% off for the next three months.
2. Lower Your Food Costs
- Try shopping at discounted food stores like Aldi.
- Find out where your local food auction is.
- Download a great coupon app like Ibotta where you can get instant coupons on branded and non-branded items. (You will even get a sign-up bonus by using our link.)
3. Find Multiple Discounts on Everything You Purchase.
Before you make a purchase, do a little research. Find all deals and discounts associated with the item and try to stack the savings together.
Here’s an example with using multiple discounts:
We wanted to repaint our living room earlier this year. I happened to remember that Lowe’s offers nice promotions on paint around Memorial Day. When Memorial Day came around, we bought a of couple gallon buckets and got a $15 rebate for each one after we sent in the Lowe’s rebate form by mail.
But I didn’t stop there. I also had a mailer coupon that I presented. Then, when the cashier told me my total, I used Ibotta Pay to get 2% cashback. As an added bonus, the credit card I had linked to Ibotta pay gave me 3x travel points at Lowes.
I wish I still had my receipt for this purchase, but if I had to guess, I’d say I probably ended up getting this paint almost free after all my discounts and rebates.
I’ll have more information on Ibotta in a future post, but it is definitely an app you need to have!
4. Check to See if You are Eligible for Any Government Benefits.
If you have pride, put that aside. If you can qualify for insurance, EBT, or any other benefits through your state, you could potentially save hundreds of dollars a month.
AND, if you manage your money better going forward, you will undoubtedly pay Uncle Sam back with your hard-earned tax dollars many times over.
Besides the basic government assistance, you can also check to see if you qualify for any government benefits that will specifically apply for you such as student loan forgiveness.
Additionally, if you are a military veteran or service member, you should do some research to see if you qualify for any VA benefits that you don’t know about.
5. Use a Credit Card That Actually Benefits You
If your credit card doesn’t give you many benefits, why are you using it? Credit cards have a variety of benefits from cashback to amazing travel rewards and perks.
6. Automate and Organize Your Bills
Late fees and interest will be the death of your savings. If you can, you want to pay off any credit cards and bills in full every month with automatic payments. This especially applies to credit cards since they usually have high-interest rates.
You should also arrange for all your bills to come out at the same time, depending on when you get your income. For example, if you get paid bi-weekly, you might want to have all your bill due dates changed to the 15th and 30th. This will help you keep track of which days you will have money leaving your account and you know you will have money in there.
7. Take Advantage of FREE Money
- You can find Unclaimed Money from the Government. https://www.usa.gov/unclaimed-money
- Search for Class Action Settlements to see if there are any that you qualify for.
- Is your bank doing anything for you? Shop around for different banks that might offer you better benefits to bank with them.
Don’t forget online bankers too – they usually offer better benefits than brick and mortar banks. One suggestion is SoFi – right now, they will give you a cash bonus for setting up an account with them, give you a high APY on your money account, and offer you incentives to use their other services. As an added bonus, they will also pay you for referrals.
8. Ask for a Raise
Gather information that proves that you have brought value to the company and present the information to your boss in a professional manner. The worst you could hear is “no.” And if you do hear “no,” ask what you can do to ensure you can get a raise within the next 6 months.
9. Start a Side Hustle
A side hustle is another job that you typically work part-time. A side hustle can be anything that makes money. Here are 3 ideas:
- Renting out space in your home or garage
- Selling stock photography
I’ll be posting more about side hustles soon!
If you are learning how to save when your broke, I want you to remember three things. First, you need to hustle to lower your expenses. Second, you need to improve how you spend by maximizing any discounts you can get. Third, you need to increase your income.
By using these methods, you WILL be able to start saving more money.