I created The Pay At Home Parent in February of 2018 to help you be a successful home-based business owner, blogger or side hustler. As a wife, mom and frugal homemaker, I still make a full-time income on a part-time work schedule and I know that you can too!
This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my full disclosure policy for details.
Are you facing big expenses and determined to learn how to save money fast on a low income? If so, you’re in the right place!
I am going to give you 10 ways to save money quickly on a fixed or low income. If your income is not the issue, but your savings are suffering, these tips will also work for you.
In 2013 my husband (then fiance) and I scrambled to save money for some fast approaching deadlines. Our upcoming wedding, a down payment on our house, school loans and my brand new car weighed on our shoulders.
But guess what?! We did quickly save money and paid off all these things within our first year of marriage. The total debt we paid off in 2013 – 2014 was more than $30,000!
It’s amazing what a little frugal planning can do when you determine to save money fast.
How To Save Money With Low Income
Let’s talk about the ways you can learn how you can save money fast on a low income, and be on your way to a debt free life!
Living On a Low Income Tips
It’s important to first consider your mindset when reviewing these living on a low income tips.
What is more important to you? Short term pleasures (the here and now)? Or long term financial security and having everything you need?
To me, the answer is obvious. But many forget to consider the ramifications of having a short term mindset.
Think of it this way. Where will you be in 10, 30 or 50 years? What will you have saved in this amount of time?
We’re here to talk about how to save money fast, but to do so, we still need to discuss our future selves.
So with a long-term mindset, let’s dive right into a short-term plan to save money fast, even on a low income!
10 Ways to Save Money Fast
These tips to save money fast are easy, straightforward and honest ways to live a comfortable life. Use these tips to make the most of what little income you have!
1. Utilize The Tools Available
When it comes to saving money fast, it’s important to utilize the tools that are freely available to you. I use various smartphone apps to make extra money so that there is more in the budget to put toward savings each month.
As long as the app is safe, free and actually saves or makes me money, then what do I have to lose?
My favorite money-making websites (some are mobile friendly and can be used on your phone) are paid survey sites. When my brain is “mush” after a long day, sometimes I just want to recline and watch a movie or TV show. But that doesn’t mean I can’t still make some extra money while I relax.
- InboxDollars ($5 signup bonus)
- Swagbucks ($10 signup bonus)
- Survey Junkie (survey payouts tend to be higher)
2. Earn Cash Back on Groceries and Online Purchases
I’ve only been using Ibotta for a few months now, but in that short time, I’ve received more than $65 cash back on groceries! As long as you download the free app on your phone here and take a look at the savings on your way out the door, you can often find cashback offers on items you already have on your grocery list.
Ebates is my favorite cash back app for online shopping. It allows you to earn cash back on your own online purchases. Some stores offer small cash back percentages, while others like Walmart offer up to 10%! That’s no small amount if you already regularly shop at Walmart.
Sign up right here for a FREE Ebates account and get a $10 bonus just for trying it out!
I highly recommend taking advantage of free cash back apps if you’re looking to save money fast. It helps so much in the long run.
3. Work a Side Gig
If you are crafty and can sell your items on Etsy. If you have a slew of unneeded household items you can sell them on eBay. If you enjoy bargain hunting, consider flipping second-hand items on eBay.
One of my favorite side hustles is Proofreading. If you enjoy correcting spelling and grammar and have a knack for it, then this could be a great way to build up your savings funds fast. Caitlin Pyle is a guru in the industry and earns more than $50,000 per year proofreading. She shares a lot of start-up help in her 76-minutes free workshop right here!
4. Refinance Your Loans
Did you know that a refinance of school, home or vehicles loans could save you thousands?
If you have outstanding student loans or other types of loans, then you know all too well the reality of interest rates.
Review your rates and research your refinance options with LendKey.
A minuscule decrease in interest rates can change your monthly payment. This puts more money in your pocket each month and helps you to save extra bucks quickly!
Even a lowered interest rate with the same monthly payment will save money (long term savings).
5. Invest Your Pennies
Acorns is an investment app that allows you to round your purchases up to the nearest dollar and invest the increase. I have been using Acorns for only a short time and already I’ve racked up a lot of money in my account! You can open an account with Acorns right here.
Investing extra pennies (or quarters) into an interest-bearing account is a simple way to save money fast! You won’t even notice the difference.
If you mainly use cash for purchases, you can place all one and five dollar bills into savings.
My husband has done this for three years now and we don’t even notice the “missing” cash. Our savings from this alone has added up!
I recommend depositing the cash into an interest-bearing account. The extra interest income, however small, is passive income!
6. Request Partial Refunds on Recent Purchases
Retailers often refund partial payments on an item when there is a price drop. But most online shoppers forget to take advantage of this fact and request a refund.
I like to use Paribus to check for price changes on my recent purchases. It will scan your email and locate digital receipts.
Paribus will then contact the retailer on your behalf to request a partial refund.
If you shop online often, I highly recommend this company! Otherwise, you could be wasting hundreds of dollars per year. Sign up for a free Paribus account right here.
7. Create a Budget
Let’s quickly talk about the obvious. How many times have you heard that budgeting goes hand in hand with saving money?
Probably all the times.
If you do not know exactly what is coming into and leaving your accounts, then you cannot know where to save!
For my family budget, I use a mobile app called Mint. Intuit (creator of TurboTax and QuickBooks) established Mint to record and categorize transactions.
Mint is free, easy to use, and accurate. Each month I get updates reminding me when we are nearing our family budget limits in various categories.
I’m embarrassed to say that the very first month using Mint I learned that we spent $700 that month on food alone. For two adults and one small child, yikes! We found ourselves eating out far too often because it was easier.
Thankfully it was not a trend but it was definitely an eye-opener!
For my business finances, I use Google Sheets’ budgeting templates. Google has free monthly and annual budget templates that you can download.
Having a budget has been a lifesaver when it comes to saving money fast! We’ve pinpointed plenty of purchases that we can weed out to save more.
8. Commit to Give Up One Thing
Budgeting is only half of the uphill battle. After creating and reviewing your budget, commit to giving up one luxury each month.
Ideas of expenses to eliminate could include your Netflix subscription, Amazon Prime account, Cable or dining out expenses.
Consider choosing an unnecessary expense from your budget that you spend the most on. Put this exact amount aside into savings. This will help you save money fast!
9. Pick Up Some Extra Hours At Work
If you’re in a hurry to save cash, consider working extra hours at your day job.
Most employers pay overtime when the hours are available. Even if overtime is not offered, reach out to your bosses to see if they can use the extra help.
It might surprise you to find that they have extra work for you. At the very least, it will look great that you were willing to work more!
10. Shop Second Hand
Not everything you need can be purchased second hand. Groceries, hygiene supplies and OTC medicine are a few examples that always need to be purchased brand new. But there are many categories of items that we often forget to consider purchasing second hand.
A few types of items you can consider purchasing second hand are clothes, shoes, toys, books, large appliances, electronics, furniture, etc. There are many places that you can purchase second-hand items today for a great deal such as thrift stores, garage sales, eBay and Facebook Marketplace.
Next time you need to purchase a pricey item, research your second-hand options! You can save tons of money quickly by shopping second hand.
Bonus: Start a Blog
Bloggers make decent incomes selling products, services, affiliate products or earning ad revenues. If you have an interest in writing and enjoy networking and marketing, then starting a blog might be for you.
Many bloggers make a decent monthly income depending on the time and effort put into their blog.
How To Save Money Fast
The ultimate way to save money on a low income is to remember just that- you have a low income and you have responsibilities that need to be met. Always prioritize needs above wants and it will help you save money that didn’t need to be spent. It’s a mindset that once you’ve established, could stay with you for life.
There you have it. I’ve given you 10 ideas of how to save money fast on a low income. The real question is, will you try them?!
Let me know in the comments if you know of other ways to save money fast on a low income!