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9 Ways to Save Money on a Tight Budget

By March 6, 2021October 6th, 2021Save Money, Money6 min read
save money on tight budget

Want to learn how to save money on a tight budget? Or, want to save money for an emergency fund or vacation?

Quite frankly, it’s expensive to be alive in 2021. We have to pay for food, inflated living costs, clothing, transportation, entertainment, utilities, and so much more.

Some of these ways to save money require a bit of a change in your lifestyle. If you genuinely want to save money, you have to evaluate what you really need to pay for in life or whether you’re just buying junk.

9 ways to save money

Below, I’ve created a list of nine different ways to save money on a tight budget. There’s also free savings printable if you’d like to save extra money!

Let’s get started.

Disclaimer: This article contains affiliate and referral links, where I may receive a small commission on purchases or signups at no cost to you. You can read my full disclosure here.

1. Automate your savings

Customize your bank to automate your savings every week. You can allocate however much money you’d like to save weekly/monthly into a separate savings account, and it will automatically save for you.

I also use a bank that rounds up purchases I make. Meaning that if I were to spend $5.39, it would automatically round up to $6 and save $0.61. It’s a really unnoticeable way to save extra money with no work required.

Banks that automatically save for you:
US: Chime Bank
Worldwide: Acorns/Raiz (Get a $5 bonus if you use invite code 6P2KYV at signup)
Australia: Up Bank (Get a $10 bonus when you sign up through my link)

2. Unplug electronics & turn off lights

Save money on your electricity bill by unplugging electronics and turning off unused lights.

It’s pretty amazing how much electricity certain products use, even on standby. According to this study, standby power can cost households an average of $100 a year.

Also, if you aren’t in a room, turn off the light. It takes less than a second and will save you money.

It sounds so stupid to include, but open up your curtains/blinds during the day. I think that people sometimes forget what sunlight is.

save money on a tight budget

3. Use cashback programs

If you shop online, an excellent way to save money is to earn cashback from stores you already buy from. Simply sign up for a program, buy through the link you’ve clicked, and you’ll make money back.

I’ve saved over $400 from using cashback apps. It’s an easy way to save money on a tight budget with zero effort required.

You can earn anywhere from 1% to 90% with the cashback programs below.

My favorite cashback programs:
Worldwide: Rakuten ($20 referral bonus after $20 spent)
Asia-Pacific: Shopback ($20 referral bonus after $20 spent)
Read my Shopback review here

4. Start a savings challenge

Savings challenges are a fun way to save money over a while (usually 13, 26, or 52 weeks long). If you’re on a tight budget, $1000 to keep in a year is an excellent starting point 🙂

↓ Join my email list & get free savings printables

5. Exercise at home

The average gym membership in the US costs $58 a month, or $696 per year 😮

Save money by working out at home and canceling that membership. You’d be surprised at how many workout videos there are that require no gym equipment.

No Equipment Workout Channels:

Chloe Ting
Pamela Reif
Bully Juice
Fraser Wilson

6. Buy in bulk

Buying in bulk is an excellent way to save money on products you buy a lot. I don’t recommend buying fresh produce in bulk as that can be costly.

Buying the bulk of products like cleaning products, spices, and nuts can benefit your wallet in the long run. Just make sure to compare the price per ounce/price per 100 grams to your local grocery store.

7. Purchase second hand

Shop at thrift stores to save money if you’re on a tight budget. You can find excellent deals on clothing, books, furniture, tools, and way more.

I often have found $25 books selling for $1 at thrift stores; it’s a great way to save money and shop more sustainably.

save money on a tight budget

8. Stop eating out

Start learning how to cook at home. It’s the simplest way to save money on eating out costs. Cooking at home also allows you to use up all the products in your pantry, so nothing expires and goes to waste.

I’ve included a list of Youtuber’s who are budget-friendly below:
Joshua Weissman (makes cheaper versions of favorite fast food joints)
Pick Up Limes (posts under $2 meals, vegan friendly)

9. Track every dollar spent

If you’re on a tight budget, an excellent way to save money is to track every single dollar you spend.

Sounds a bit crazy, doesn’t it? But, it’s an excellent way to honestly know what you’re spending your money on.

An excellent way to start tracking your money is to look back on last month’s spending and put the amounts into categories. I would categorize like:

Monthly Spending Categories:
Bills: Mortgage/rent, water/electricity/gas & phone
Food: Groceries & eating out
Entertainment: Going out, streaming services & subscriptions
Shopping: Products/services bought
Transportation: Gas/petrol, car payments or public transport

Once you’ve established how much you spent last month, you might see just how much money you unnecessarily spent. You may be shocked at how much money goes towards eating out or clothes shopping.

Tracking every dollar spent is a fool-proof way to be accountable for your spending habits and save more money.


If you want to save money on a tight budget, you need to really evaluate your finances and stop spending unnecessary money.

By simply implementing at least a couple of the tips above, you’ll be able to save extra money each month. I really hope that it can help you to save for an emergency fund or even for your next holiday 🙂

Which was your favorite money-saving tip?

Read next:
50 Ways to Save Money Fast
59 Inspirational Make Money & Save Money Quotes


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