Saving on a Budget: 20 Easy Ways

Saving on a budget (especially a tight budget) can feel challenging. But when you're learning how to save money as a student, you are figuring out a way to gain financial control.

Learning how to begin saving money on a budget or on a low income is an emotional experience. The only way to do it is to let go of your pride, expand your creativity, and dive in head first.

Simply knowing you should be saving money as a student or saving money on a low income, doesn’t mean it’s easy for you. I’ve always been into saving money, and since I started at a young age, tossing a $10 bill into an old shoe box never felt strange for me.

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How do you start saving on a budget?

It’s when you’re a blooming adult trying to save money as a student, when you get your first adult job, or when you consider it lame to only save $20, that saving feels impossible.

I encourage you to take a breath and keep an open mind to the 20 ways you can save money as a student or someone on a tight budget.

As always, to begin setting our money plan in motion, we have to know what we’re working with.

That brings me to the first way you can start saving on a budget.

20 Easy Ways To Save On A Budget

#1 Compare your income to expenses

This a fancy way of saying know your budget.

How much money do you bring in every pay period?

When you’re saving money in college or saving on a budget you need to understand just what your income is and how much you are spending.

Do you pay for rent, subscriptions, food, utilities, help out your family, hang out, and find yourself clueless to where all your money is going?

Write it all out, get a visual representation of what you are spending and how much is left over.

If you’re strapped for cash, struggling on your tight budget, and running into obstacles when saving money as a college student, reconsider going out to spend $50 on getting your nails done or getting a hair cut.

Being on a budget doesn’t mean you can’t do the things that make you happy it just means you have to find a different, more efficient way to do it.

#2 Reconsider your expenses

Current expenses

This can be determining what it would look like to down space your apartment. Think: how could you go about moving into a new space where the rent is cheaper or maybe your lights are paid for by the building?

It can also look like determining how you can spend less on groceries if you still want to buy food out once a week.

Bringing a sandwich from home is a lot cheaper than a cafeteria meal

Saving on a budget can look like rearranging where your money is going.

Future expenses

Before you buy a new phone how can you make the one you have now function better?

Before you move out on your own what would life look like if you bought an apartment that cost $1600 a month as opposed to $1100 a month?

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Plan ahead when saving on a budget

Saving money in college means making decisions that won’t cause you more stress.

Saving on a budget also means not bringing on more stress in the form of additional bills.

#3 Determine how you can make more money

So by now you’ve looked over the two most important things when it comes to ways to save money and ultimately build better financial habits.

If you can save an extra $50 simply but eliminating a gym membership go for it. But if your expenses are a bit more rigid and you can’t find any obvious simple ways to save money on a tight budget, you have no choice but to find a way to make more money.

Once you determine what side gig you can set up to boost your income, determine where the extra money will go.

Use extra money to save

The extra money you make wouldn't be used to fund your current habits that are making you broke.

This money is strictly for your savings. It’s to boost the amount of money you can save per month, so you can create a financial cushion.

Use extra money for a sinking fund