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How to save money on a low income

The key things you need to do to start saving money if you have a low income.

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1. Learn to budget

Learning how to budget will not only save you money in the short term, but will help you develop better spending habits so that you can continue to save money in the future. You should start by using a budget planner to manage your spending, but should also look at adopting a popular budget strategy like the 50:30:20 budget.

2. Check if you're eligible for government assistance

Depending on how much you earn and your personal circumstances, you may be eligible for a number of government assistance programs or concessions. This could be anything from cheaper transport for students and seniors, to housing assistance or specific rebates for people on low incomes.

You can find which financial help you may be eligible for in our guide here or via MoneySmart.

3. Pay off your debts

If you have a low income and are currently trying to pay off debts, you'll find it even harder to properly save money. The interest charged on things like credit card debt can even make your savings go backwards if you don't stay on top of it.

If you're really struggling to pay off your debts, you should speak to your lender to see if it defer your interest charges or give you longer to pay off your debt. You can also call the National Debt Helpline for further assistance.

4. Cut down your expenses

Everyday expenses can really hamper your ability to save money on a low income, especially if you aren't tracking your spending. You can start by cutting out unnecessary splurges, but should also look into other money-saving methods like saving on your groceries. Even shaving 20% off your weekly food bill can go a long way to helping you save money.

5. Save on your bills

It's always possible to cut down on your bills and save some extra money. Whether it's changing phone or Internet plans, finding a better deal on your energy or even consolidating your debt, there are plenty of ways you can save more on everyday expenses. The best part is that making a lot of little savings can quickly add up to a substantial total each month.

How to save money fast on a low income

It is possible to save money quickly even if you have a lower-than-average income, but you'll need to be even more disciplined about your spending to do so. This might mean cutting out all recreational spending (such as nights out or non-essential purchases) for a certain amount of time, but shouldn't extend to taking out a loan or going into debt if you can help it.

You can find more tips for saving money fast here.

More guides on Finder

  • How to save money fast

    5 key tips for saving money quickly, from cutting down on unnecessary expenses to finding another source of income.

  • How to save $20,000 in a year

    Start by breaking this goal down into a monthly target of $1,666, then set yourself a budget and reduce your spending.

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