Ways to save money on a tight budget
Are you looking for ways to save money on a tight budget? Find out how I shaved 15% off our weekly expenses when times got tough!
Have you ever been in a position where you wish you could add a few dollars to your income to make your weekly budget go a little further? Do you wish you could find ways to save money on a tight budget?
You have come to the right place! Find out how I managed to shave 15% off our weekly expenses!
I’m sure quite a few of you wish you could stretch your income to cover a few more expenses. We did too!
Things were getting tight in our household and things were going wrong, unexpected expenses were starting to pile up and our Bills account was getting very low. It wasn’t enough to cover the unexpected costs that we were facing at the time. And we had already over-committed ourselves! The only option left was to find ways to save money on a tight budget!
It was time for a budget overhaul!
Due to some unexpected vehicle expenses, we were struggling to keep up with the bills and we were struggling to make ends meet. I realised it had been awhile since I had reviewed our budget, and I don’t mean just “reviewing” our budget. I mean giving it a complete overhaul and thorough investigation.
Ways to save money on a tight budget
This is where you look at each and every expense and ask yourself “Is this the cheapest I can get it for?”
We have our family budget in an Excel spreadsheet, and everything is broken down to a weekly expense. To give my budget a complete overhaul I went through each and every expense one by one and asked myself “Is this the cheapest I can get it for?” “Who else could provide this service but at a cheaper option?”
I then delved deeper and investigated all my options and its competitors.
Ways to save money on a tight budget
You may find some ideas here to help reduce your weekly budget, even if it is only for 12 months while you Get Debt Free!
Are you shopping at the cheapest supermarket? If I manage my shopping days a little better I could ensure to always shop at the cheapest supermarket, rather than having to top up shops at the more expensive, but closer to home supermarkets.
We sure weren’t hungry in our house and we always had nice things in the cupboards. One thing we didn’t do often was have cheap and easy meals! We almost usually cooked full-on meals for dinners. So I made it our family goal to introduce two very cheap meals per week, thus reducing our grocery bill by $15 per week.
Are you with the cheapest power company in your area? I changed my power company to another who offered regular specials and a $150 welcome credit.
When was the last time you reviewed your insurance? Get quotes from other insurance providers and see what they can offer you? Get an insurance broker who will do all the investigating for you and find you the best deal for your situation. If possible, pay annually and save on the administration fees they charge for monthly payments.
Same as above – Look for a better deal or perhaps if the kids have left home and are now independent you don’t need as much Life insurance? Go through your insurance broker for this one too as they may be able to combine all the policies and get you a better deal.
Telephone companies can be very competitive – they too may offer welcome credits if you switch to another provider. And do you really need that phone line? The only person that calls me on my phone line is my Mum and Dad and spam operators!
The good news here is that I had been over budgeting my telephone costs for the past 6 months and we had built up a nice little credit in our bills account which meant that I could reduce our weekly budget by $5.
Perhaps it is time to review your mobile plan? Are you still on the right plan for your circumstances. Can you reduce your plan at all? I probably could, I am not locked into a contract because I don’t use all my minutes or data on my mobile each month but seen as I have accumulated so much it is kind of hard to throw away.
I went from paying $260 a month in credit card interest to $0 in just 4 weeks. This reduced my monthly payments slightly but I was able to pay back the credit cards way faster than ever before.
- Avoid paying credit card interest – from $260 a month to $0 in just 4 weeks
- Reduce debt fast: How I paid off one credit card debt in 10 days
I have a technology budget because in this day and age there is always something that needs updating. So we committed to a 12-month standoff. There will be no new technology in this house for the next 12 months. No new cameras, no new phones, no new laptops or IPads, no new TV’s or stereos or alarm clocks. We made do with what we had.
We didn’t really need Netflix at that moment, especially when we are paying for another TV service as well? I mean come on – how many TV channels do we really need? So we cancelled Netflix saving $15 a month.
Sky (the other TV service)
We were able to reduce the package from $106 per month to a more movie basic package which was only $70 per month. Or you could cancel it all together, but that wasn’t an option for this household. As we live in rural Southland, NZ I consider this part of our sanity/entertainment budget.
We don’t really need to spend $10 a week on lotto at the moment. So we cancelled this and saved $520 a year.
The previous year had been so busy with after-school activities. It was expensive and took up so much of our family time, not to mention that the kids’ grades had dropped at school because we were too busy rushing around the countryside all week (or so it felt). So we decided to drop back on the ballet, Jazz, and Cubs and instead we chose some of the cheaper activities closer to home.
While saving some dollars in kids activities, we also saved in petrol costs, gained back valuable family time and were able to focus on school work in a much more relaxed way (which FYI is working wonderfully as they are passing their spelling and weekly maths test with ease and doing so much better!)
We cancelled a magazine subscription and chose not to renew a couple of other memberships for the year.
We put a hold on all of our savings accounts because getting rid of interest charging debts takes priority.
Diesel and Petrol
Our fuel bill seemed extreme and we already had fuel cards that offered good discounts. But we found a better fuel card company that offered a better discount, so our Deisel is now nearly 30% cheaper than what we were paying previously.
No more penalties and bank charges
By managing our money better we were able to avoid late payment penalties, unarranged overdraft fees, and other bank charges. Check out how I saved over $50 a week but just getting my debts and finances under control!
Avoid signing up to term contracts
When signing up with new providers, some of them try to lock you into a term contract. If you break that term for whatever reason, they usually penalize you for it in the way of a fee. I avoid signing up to term contracts now as our situation seems to always change and I am sick of being penalized for it. Aren’t you?
Analyse what makes up your expenses
By analyzing each and every expense, one by one, and actively searching for cheaper options, or welcome credits, you will be able to find ways to save money on a tight budget too. We easily shaved 15% off our overall weekly expenses. You can too!
Even if you can shave 10% off your expenses and make your income stretch that little bit further can be a huge relief and very satisfying. It can be the difference between making ends meet or not.
What have you been able to shave off your budget?
Give it a go now! Analyse your budget and see what providers you can get better deals at! Share your success stories and how you found ways to save money on a tight budget in the comments box below and help inspire others to find the same satisfaction as we did!