Are you looking for ways to save money from your salary but aren’t sure how to do that?
Don’t worry! This post will share some tips on how to save even if you have irregular income or a smaller salary.
When I first started blogging I didn’t make any money and we live off my husband’s income. It was hard that year but we made it work and was able to put money in our savings account so it’s totally possible.
After I started making money from my blog I turned it into a business but my income was irregular and changed every single month. Because of that, it was very important for me and my husband to get on the same page so we decided to have a monthly financial meeting every month to set our goals. This post will share 12 ways to save money even with a smaller salary or irregular income.
12 Ways To Save Money on A Small Salary
1. Map out a Plan & Decide on Your Priorities
One of the first things you want to do to start saving money after each paycheck is to map out a strong plan. For me, mapping out a plan meant making the whole process fun with colorful binders, markers and savings trackers.
So think about these following questions first:
- What will make the process fun and enjoyable for you? One of the ways that most people fail at saving money and budgeting is by thinking that they have to do what others do to succeed but that’s not always the case. In fact, creating a specific savings plan that will cater to you will help you stay motivated.
- Figure out you’re why! Think about why you want to save money. Is it because you want to pay off debt? Do you want to have money for your children in the future for college? Having a “why” will help motivate you when things get off track.
- Find out what will be needed to accomplish your goals. What will be needed to accomplish your goals this season? Do you need new notebooks? A new savings app? Think about what will help you stay organized while on your savings journey.
- Think about what your priorities are. What are you willing to sacrifice to make sure you are adding to your savings each month? Are you willing to sacrifice eating out more? Not going into Target every week? What are you willing to put on hold for a little while?
2. Track Your Expenses
After you have mapped out a solid plan the next thing to focus on is tracking all your monthly expenses. The reason you will track and write down all your monthly expenses to see where your money goes every single month. When I track my expenses I break them down into 2 groups which are, my priority bills, and my variable expenses.
- Priority bills are the bills that you pay every single month around the same time of the month. Priority bills are also called fixed expenses which means they are normally around the same amount each month and you don’t have a lot of control on how much you pay. The payments are normally set by the company that you have to pay the bill to.
- Variable expenses may change each month because you have control over what you want to spend on these items each month. These expenses are things like household items, beauty, clothes, gas, and fun. I use the cash envelope system to help me stay organized with my variable expenses and only put a certain amount of money in each cash envelope after I get paid from my business and side hustles.
To help track my expenses I also use my monthly expenses tracker which is shown below! You can grab it by signing up below.
3. Use The Cash Envelope System
Using the cash envelope system has helped me stick to a weekly and even monthly budget every time I get paid. The cash envelope system is basically when you put your variable expenses into categorized envelopes and label each one with titles such as beauty, household items, and gas.
Once you receive your paycheck from your job or from a side hustle you put a certain amount of money in each envelope which is determined by you. After that, you only spend the amount in the envelopes until your next payday. This method has helped me to stay on track and not overspend which helps me save more money each month.
4. Set Up a Budget
Another way to save money from your salary every month is by setting up a monthly budget. When most people hear the word “budget” they think of boring restrictions but I have taken a whole new view on budgeting each month. Since I love making my budgeting process fun I make sure to have the following items to help with my budget every single month:
- Budget Templates (Monthly Bills Template, Paycheck budget template & Saving Tracker) You can grab my budget templates by clicking here!
- Highlighters & markers
- Budget Binder
- Debt pay-off tracker.
5. Increase Income With Side Hustles
Another way to help put money in your savings is by picking up a side hustle. Every single month I do at least one side hustle such as a focus group, a survey, or a website testing assignment to add money to my savings and cash envelopes.
Finding different ways to make extra money can help you put more money in your savings and also help with paying off any debt. If you are looking for ways to make extra money click here and read this post!
6. Use Trim
With the Trim app, it makes it super easy to save money each month. For example, have ever had a subscription that you weren’t using but forgot about it? Or have you gotten a late fee that you forgot about it?
Well, that’s where Trim can be of service!
Trim is a financial management service that helps you reach your financial goals quicker. Through personalized recommendations and savings opportunities, this app makes saving money in places that you never would have before much easier. Also, on your behalf, Trim communicates with different companies to help you save the most money.
7. Check out Honey
If you are looking for ways to save money from your salary check out the Honey app. Honey is an awesome browser extension that helps you find the best deals and coupons while shopping online. This app finds you the best deals within seconds and gives you discount codes to apply to your online shopping cart to save money.
While you are shopping online at your favorite stores, Honey automatically searches for coupons which makes it much easier than looking through a full book of coupons. Save money on your purchases by checking out Honey here!
8. Use Cashback Apps
Another way you can save money is by using cash-back sites such as Ibotta and Rakuten. With Ibotta, you can earn money back after you upload a receipt from most grocery stores that you already shop at.
How it works:
- First, you will download the app and then select offers on great products such as ketchup, mustard, juice, and more.
- After that, you will buy the items at any supported retail store and grab your receipt.
- After you grab your receipt take a photo of it and upload it onto the Ibotta app. Then Ibotta will match the items you bought and you will earn cash-back.
Rakuten is formally known as Ebates. With this site, you can earn 40% cashback from over 2, 500 stores online. The cool thing about this site is that you don’t have to earn points or pay fees to join.
Since stores pay Rakuten a commission for sending customers their way, Rakuten shares the commission with us and we get money back. It’s that simple! Check out Rakuten by clicking here.
9. Reduce Utility Bills
Another cool way to save money is by reducing utility bills. Some of the ways, you can do that are the following:
- Contact Your Utility Company: At times if you contact your utility company and ask them about programs or ways you can save money they will give you a ton of resources and information. So, it wouldn’t hurt to reach out to them to see what can be done to lower your monthly utility bills.
- Grab Some Fans: To save money during the summertime on your electric bill get some fans because they use less energy than cooling systems.
- Unplug Your Electronics: There are a ton of electronics that we don’t use on a daily basis that can be unplugged to save on utility bills. When electronics stay plugged in but aren’t being used they still take a small amount of energy just by being plugged in.
10. Start Meal Planning
Meal planning is one of the best ways to help save money every month. Before I started meal planning I would overspend on fast food all the time. One day my husband and I looked at our bank statements and found out that in one month we spent over $500 on fast food alone.
Seeing that number woke us both up and helped us get serious about not eating out so much.
After that, we were determined to stop spending so much money on fast food so we started using the cash envelope system to help us stay on budget for each month.
Tips To Help With Meal Planning:
- Write out a list of meal ideas for the week. Check out Pinterest and type in the keyword, “Recipes” in the search box to help with ideas.
- Write out the items you will need to make the meals for the week.
- Take the list with you to the grocery list and grab the items.
- Put your weekly meal plan up so that you can see it daily. This can be in the kitchen up on the wall or even on your phone.
11. Avoid Shopping Triggers
I use to be the type of shopper that would go inside a store without a plan and leave with a bill of over $200. I had seriously shopping triggers and would shop without a clear plan and spend over my budget all the time.
After setting up a budget I had to address this issue and fix it. It wasn’t easy at first but with dedication and hard work, I am now able to go inside a store with a plan and not overspend.
So think about any shopping triggers you might have. Do you shop to feel better? Do you shop more when you see a “SALE” sign in the store? Whatever your shopping triggers are make sure you are aware of them and move in the direction to fix them so that you can stay on budget and save.
12. Start a Savings and Emergency fund
I saved the best one for last!
No matter how much money you make it’s super important to start a savings and emergency fund. If you aren’t sure what both are and how they are different, I am going to break each one of them down below.
- Savings Account: A savings account is created for the purpose of saving a certain amount of money each pay period. A saving account isn’t supposed to be like a checking account where you can take money out every day but it’s there for you to save money over the years and grow the money in the account.
- Emergency Fund: An emergency fund covers 3 -6 months or more of living expenses. This fund is for the possibility of emergencies such as your car breaks down out of nowhere or you get charged a huge hospital bill that needs to be paid ASAP. This fund is only to be used when emergencies pop up out of nowhere and to cover unexpected expenses.
Alright! That’s it for now! This post shared some tips on how to save money from your salary. How are you saving money this week?