How To Save Money When On A Budget

How To Save Money When On A Budget

I would assume that most people are like me when they are on a budget. Meaning they have a lot of bills to pay and that’s the real reason they are on a budget in the first place. It can be pretty disheartening to see the majority of money going out each week with nothing to show for it. However, I have come to realize in my case that I do have lots to show for it. It’s just that when I made all those nice to have purchases I am paying for them now. There is no getting out of the obligation of paying the bills, though they can be made a little cheaper if I if I get a quote from a broker, especially when it comes to insurance and the like. But I wanted to do something that would give me a lift every week as I saw the majority of my paycheck going into bill paying.

Setting Up My Budget

In order to keep on track, I had to design a budget for myself. By the time I got finished doing this, I realized there was nothing left over for savings. Basically, after meeting the requirements of my budget each week my bank balance was at zero. This is a scary position to be in because there is always the fear of a financial emergency and no money to cover it. But, how in the world could I address this problem when my budget just didn’t allow for it?

Putting Creativity To Work

I am a pretty creative person by nature. I consider myself to be a problem solver. So here I have a problem and how was I going to solve it?

Scrutinizing The Budget

My first objective was to scrutinize my budget just to see how liberal I was being with myself. Within this budget besides allocating money to pay my bills, I had assigned money to my living expenses on a weekly basis. My budget ran from week to week. Some of these expenses include:

  • Food for the week
  • Travel expenses like fuel for the car and parking
  • A night out with the girls

These were expenses that would generally fluctuate by a least a few dollars week to week. These were the ones that I had the best chance of working with to allow me to generate some savings.

The Food Approach

First I took a look at my allotment for food. I was giving myself $200 a week for this. I am a single person. This gives me about $28 per day on average. I tend to be lazy and buy my lunch each day. I decided to try and reduce the daily cost for food to $20. Per day. I really did not find this difficult to do. I don’t eat a large breakfast. Usually fruit or smoothies. Lunch is normally what most would consider junk food. Then for dinners, I always buy things that are easy and fast to prepare. Which means they are more expensive.

So what I did was put more effort into cooking dinners that would give me leftovers for lunch the next day. Fruit for breakfast is inexpensive and I bought enough to also make fruit salads for snacks. Following this process, it was really easy to reduce my costs and I ended up saving $8. Per day. This was $56. Going into my newly opened savings account.

The Travel Expenses

First things first, insurance is important. Using online comparison sides or speaking to a broker can help here. Next, my car is a gas guzzler so one tank of gas would provide me with about three days of travel and use. The cost per fill-up is about $60. Then parking is costing $10. Per day.  My approach here is to only use the car twice a week for travel to work. Taking transit is not a big deal for me due to the hours I work. My savings here was about $40 in gas and $30 in parking. There was another $70 per week into the savings.

There was still plenty left where I could glean some more savings, but overall $125. Per week was a great start.