Tightening Wallets: 5 Tips on how to live on a budget

Author: CBS8
Published: Updated:

When your income is tight or you’re saving for a major expense, living on a budget is a must.

But adjusting to living on less isn’t without its challenges. Without a little planning and some smart money management, any money saving progress you’ve made so far will quickly de-rail.

If you want to stay on track and start saving-money fast, keep reading to learn 5 tips on how to live on a budget by CBS8.

REPORT: ALICE Study of Financial Hardship in Florida 

1. Stick to Your Budget

The most important step to living on a budget is actually setting a budget that you can stick to.

If you want to set a budget that you’ll be able to live on, it’s important to include every expense, necessary or otherwise, that you know you’ll have throughout the month.

Once you’ve set your tight budget, it’s even more important to stick to it. While you can’t always avoid an unexpected emergency, you can avoid spending on impulse purchases that you don’t need.

2. Track Your Expenses

Tracking your expenses is essential for helping you stay on budget.

When you’re paying multiple bills, buying groceries, spending on subscriptions, and more, it can be tough to keep track of where your money is going.

Top financial apps can help you track your spending and keep you from breaking your budget. They can also help you manage any investments you might have, to ensure that you’re growing your finances rather than losing even more cash.

3. Drop Your Subscriptions

With so many subscription services out there, it can be tough to even keep track of all the ones you’ve signed up for.

From music stations to television subscriptions and more, all of those small monthly fees can add up fast.

If you need to start extreme budgeting to cut back on your spending and start saving some cash, you need to start dropping subscriptions that you never use or very rarely use.

4. Take Advantage of Free Fun

Filling up your time with free fun is a great way to keep yourself from spending money on high-cost items like movie tickets or fancy dinners.

Check out local parks in your area. Take advantage of free outdoor concerts or art museums.

Apps like Eventbrite and Songkick can help you find free events, concerts, and more in your area.

5. Make Small Changes

When it comes to learning how to save money on a tight budget, every dollar counts.

Making just a few small changes in your habits and around your home can help you save money.

Done a sweatshirt and socks so that you can turn the heat down a few degrees in your home to cut back on heating costs. Buy store brand products rather than spending a bit more on name brands. Drop your gym membership and hit the pavement for a jog instead.

Saving a dollar here and there will add up by the end of the month.

Learning How to Live on a Budget

No matter your reason for saving, learning how to live on a budget can help you cut costs and make the most of your income.

If you’re setting a budget to help you start paying down student loans, check out these tips to learn how you can actually save money while doing so.

DOWNLOAD: Cash Flow Budget Excel Worksheet from United Way

CALCULATOR: Free Budget Worksheet Calculator from NerdWallet

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