March 8, 2024

10 Secrets To Save Money on a Low Income And Still Feel Rich

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Here’s why most people never save any money: Because the average human doesn’t like to save money, unless it seems like they’re going to get a MASSIVE reward for the effort.

This is why people can THINK they’re ‘wealth-oriented’, and pay big bucks to attend those ‘make a million in real estate’ seminars

And HONESTLY BELIEVE they’re trying to ‘save money and get rich’ but still be so un-conscious about the ‘nuts and bolts’ of real everyday money that they waste HUNDREDS of bucks a month on fund-suckers like convenience foods, taxi rides, impulse purchases, and bargain-bin spending sprees.

FACT: People are WILLING to invest time and energy if the results seem GENEROUS (even when those results aren’t guaranteed) … but NOT so willing for a guaranteed, but SMALLER, pay-back.

Not me, though. A few years ago, I got SICK of how much of a ‘struggle’ saving money had become, and decided to get it figured out once and for all.

It took a while on my low income, and I sure had some kinks to iron out along the way (like how to live and save sanely without depriving myself of my own quality of life) … … but these days, I’m King Thrift.

I live well, I feel rich and I feel prosperous, without spending lots of money to do so. I’ve paid off debt.

And I haven’t taken on new debt for years. By the way: from an economist’s point of view, my ‘standard of living’, which is the QUANTITY OF GOODS I buy, is pretty low but my QUALITY OF LIVING – how happy and content I am on a daily basis - is SKY HIGH.

The following tips will help you stretch your paycheck further than ever before – you'll save more money even if you've a low income or you're on a tight budget without anyone except you knowing what you’re up to.

And best of all you'll feel rich and that's important! You know it.

So let's begin.

Part 1 - How to Save Money on a Low Income And Still Feel Rich.

Having the skills to save money, even when it doesn’t seem like you’re necessarily saving that much is an art.

Choosing the $1-cheaper own-brand cereal from the supermarket doesn’t sound like a lot; but consistent choices in this vein can REALLY add up. I saved $47 in my last weekly shop, simply from choosing the generic-brand one.

If you apply this money saving technique to MOST facets of your life, you’ll save hundreds. Real thriftiness means applying this ability across the board: you’ve got to be consistent to reap maximum pay-off with minimum effort.

1. Stopping the penny-pinching just before you start feeling deprived or irritated.

The way you spend your money is a deeply personal matter – it’s why generic pre-printed budget sheets never work and it’s why you’ll never follow anyone else’s financial advice unless it matches up with YOUR values.

Here’s an important fact: Even assuming a base level of solvency (you can pay your rent, basic food, and basic utilities), you won’t want (or be able to) pinch pennies in the same areas that other people happily can. Why?

Because money, and how we spend it, is a highly personalized thing.

Therefore, to live thriftily while also feeling prosperous and balanced, you need to figure out what your own personal cut-off point is: YOUR ‘deprivation level’, the point at which ‘thriftiness’ crosses the line into ‘deprivation’. (Joel Teller, author of the Get Rich Slowly blog calls this the ‘irritation threshold.’)

Then, work within the boundaries of what works for you if you want to save more money on a low income or tight budget.

2. Discard the financial advice that you know, deep down, isn’t going to improve your QOL (Quality Of Life.)

When I come across advice that doesn’t quite ‘fit’ the way I operate, I take what works and discard the rest.

Example: I personally have never followed the advice of anyone who advises throwing ‘all’ your money at debt until it’s paid off.

Why? Because my values are to pay off debt but while also leading a balanced life RIGHT NOW

Therefore, I take what works, and ignore what doesn’t.

Of course, it’s taken me many years of ‘tinkering’ with my own budget and spending habits to figure out, from experience, what’s going to work for me and what isn’t – so if you’re new to money-consciousness, it’s generally best to keep an open mind and try new things.

Over time, you’ll come to understand which principles work with you, and which work against you when it comes to saving money.

Of course, if you’re accustomed to throwing money around like a man with eight arms, just about ANY financial advice will seem restrictive at first – which is why I say it takes practice!

3. Know that you can have it all, after all – just not all at once.

One of the keys of being great with saving money is to remember that you actually can afford to have everything you want – just not all at once.

For instance, if you want to socialize a lot this week, you might need to cut back on your grocery bill.

Or your clothing allowance. Or your transportation expenditure. Get it? It’s a balancing act.

You can have everything you want but you’ve got to learn to prioritize.

Again, if you’re used to whipping out your credit card for everything from new jeans to lunches to gas for your car, even this kind of flexibility might feel like a strain at first; but there’s a difference between ‘true grinding poverty’ and simple self-restraint.


Figure out what’s most important to you now, and put everything else into the compartment marked ‘future purchases’.

It really is your choice – and this ‘individualization’ is what means thriftiness works really, really well for EVERYONE, once they’ve got the kinks ironed out.

Part 2 - How to Save More Money on a Tight Budget And Still Feel Rich.

4. To Save More Money Stop Buying Clothes You Never Wear

The thing to remember about living and spending sanely is that thriftiness is basically the art of buying less of things, but still getting good results.

5. Get Rid Of What You No Longer Love to Save More Money.

After looking at my wardrobe, I realized that the 80/20 rule is true: I really do wear 20% of my clothes, 80% of the time.

In other words, eighty percent of my clothes hardly ever get worn.

So I started the great wardrobe purge. One Saturday afternoon when not much else was going on, I pulled all the clothes out of my wardrobe and drawers onto the floor.

Then, I divvied them all up into piles of ‘Love it; must keep’, ‘use it; must keep’, and ‘pretty indifferent to it; purge.’

Then I sold, gave away, or donated what I no longer wear or like, and kept the much smaller pile that remained.

I estimate that I got rid of about 70% of all the clothes I owned. Now I’m richer by a couple hundred bucks and am no longer confronted with a bulging pile of ‘I hate my wardrobe’ whenever I go to choose an outfit.

In fact, choosing clothes each day has become a positive pleasure and I feel more happy and peaceful.

6. Only Buy What You Love if You're on a Low Income or Tight Budget.

Buy clothes that suit your life as it is NOW. Think of your clothes like your diet: your wardrobe should be mostly ‘nutritious’ clothes that are wearable every day, with a dessert-sized quantity of ‘frivolous’ clothes. 

Only buy what fits your real body – don’t ever shop for your fantasy size or weight. Just because you can do it up doesn’t mean it fits.

If the size on the label offends you, cut it off. Good fashion consultants usually suggest going shopping on a ‘fat day’, not on a skinny day - if it looks good when you’re at your worst, you’ll know you can fall back on it at any time. 

It’s far better to have a streamlined wardrobe where all the clothes actually make you feel (and look) GREAT than a huge pile of average clothes that you don’t really like that much. If it doesn’t work for you, turf it – and in future, ONLY buy it if it makes you feel like a million bucks.

7. Cut Your Utilities Bill to Save Money.

Ever noticed how advice on how to ‘cut your household bills’ is usually centered around big, high-cost items with up-front expenses that slowly save you money in the long-term?

(Perfect example: those articles that tell you to ‘cut household expenses by getting solar heating!’

Ummm … all very well, but what if I want to save money now instead of spending $15 grand up front?) 

This bugs me - as far as I’m concerned, if you want to save money around the house, you probably want to do it NOW, not bit by bit over the next ten years.

As far as household bills go, power is the big one – and it’s a priority bill, too (you might be able to get rid of your TiVo and phone, but most people tend to freak out if their light and heating gets cut.)

8. Eat Healthier for Less Money And Save More Money.

Yes, eating healthy will not only shave calories (and inches), but it’ll help you to improve your financial situation and allow your bank account to gain weight – exactly where you want that extra bulk! 

Health and nutrition isn’t my forte, but I do know that certain types of foods are usually more nutritious than other types – and they cost less to buy, store, and prepare. Bingo.

My top food-based money saving tips:

  1. Drink water. Drink nothing but water. Give up the soda! It’s fattening, it does NOTHING for your body, it clogs your teeth with cavity-causing sugar, and it’s expensive. 
  2. Drink water from the TAP – not bottled water! Bottled water is EXPENSIVE. It’s also one of the biggest causes of plastic build-up in our landfills. If you’re worried about water quality nonetheless - or live in a polluted area - you can fit a filter to your tap. Brita Water filters cost $15 and they’ll filter 40 gallons of water for you. Or you could pay the same amount of money for 2 bottles of water. Your choice.
  3. Eat more beans. Beans are the food of champions – they’re protein-rich, fiber-rich, with zero sugar, almost zero fat, and zero cholesterol. Vegetarians and vegans are always skinnier than meat.
  4. If you won’t eat beans, substitute white meat for red meat. Beef is pricey however you want to slice it. Chicken and turkey are much cheaper. Buy from a butcher’s, not the supermarket (it’s cheaper, and the animals are almost always treated better)
  5. Buy what’s on your list, then LEAVE THE STORE. Statistics show that you’ll spend an average of 40% MORE on food when you don’t have a list.
  6. Take food to work. The average work-day lunch costs $10. Add an extra $5 or so for a combined can of soda, mid-morning giant cookie, and maybe a protein bar in the afternoon, and you’re pissing $75 a week away on CONVENIENCE FOOD instead of saving that money.
  7. Stop buying protein shakes and protein bars! Protein shakes and protein bars, also known – somewhat disingenuously – as ‘nutrition shakes’ and ‘nutrition bars’ are a COMPLETE waste of money. Humans need about 25g of protein a day for a healthy body and cell reproduction. That's enough. I don't want to get into scientific calculations on this. Just trust me.

9. Spend more time doing, less time getting.

Is shopping a hobby for you?

Do you count ‘buying things’ or ‘eating out’ as pastimes? If so, consider taking up a hobby that revolves around doing rather than getting. Think about it this way: if shopping is your hobby, what that involves is:

a) going to the mall, and
b) spending money

You don’t get anything in return for your time-investment here, except for MORE STUFF – which often requires yet further expenditure to store and maintain what you’ve bought (and even to use, if you’ve purchased things that need electricity, batteries, or further parts and gadgets to be operational.)

It’s a total money-suck. But if, say, yoga is your hobby … well, you don’t ‘buy’ yoga. You do yoga.

And what you get in return for the time invested is not only the pleasure you feel while doing it, but also a healthy body that will cut down on medical expenses in future; a lean body that will look great in almost any clothes; a reduced appetite for harmful substances like tobacco, alcohol, and sugary junk food; and maybe even a whole new circle of like-minded yoga buddies.

For the most part, these benefits are the same whether your hobby is yoga, golf, rock climbing, playing with your cat, meeting your friends for walks, or playing cards.

Clearly, a right hobby is like a true passion revolving around moving and strengthening your body will pay off more generously in the ‘health and wellness’ sector, but the fact remains:

 When you focus on ‘doing’, not ‘getting’, not only do you spend less money, but you actually GET MORE ANYWAY.

10. Stop Renting to Own To Save More Money.

Do you have multiple hire-purchases at a department store? Did you buy your clothes dryer on a ‘rent to own’ scheme?

Is this how you fund the purchase of electric goods, fireplaces, and sofa sets in your household?

If so, you’re pouring money down a rabbit-hole. Renting to own (where you pay a little, or nothing, up front, and then a little bit plus account. It’s your INCOME.

Your income is a finite amount. You get a certain amount each week, to do with as you choose.

If you have no debts and no hire-purchases or rent-to-owns to spend that income on, it’s yours to do whatever you want with.

Once shelter and utilities are paid for, you have a large chunk of money left over to do WHATEVER YOU FEEL LIKE with.

This is an incredibly empowering concept!

If you’re following the spending-proportion figures I mentioned in my other blogs (50% for needs, 20% for savings, 30% for wants), that means you’d have fifty percent of your income left over to do whatever you want with (thirty for ‘wants’ plus twenty for ‘savings’.)

Imagine how quickly you could save more money, invest, and REALLY make yourself  feel rich for life if you had FIFTY PERCENT of your total income to do whatever you wanted with!

It’s an amazing idea. But most people have nowhere NEAR this much money left to play with each week.

Most people, in fact, have ‘far too much month left at the end of the money’ and that ‘pinch’ is what causes them to jerk awake at 4 a.m. each morning, sweating and wondering how they’re ever going to pay off the house, send the kids to college, and retire with some semblance of dignity.

Here’s what I’m getting at: It’s pretty easy to sign away a mere twenty, thirty, or fifty bucks each week to pay off that new widescreen television.

But the more ‘small drains’ on your income there are, the less money you have left to play with.

It’s surprisingly easy to box yourself into a corner this way. And how do most people react to feelings of financial constraint? Bingo! They go further into debt.

They take out a loan from the bank, or they max out their credit cards, in order to ‘have a little fun’ and reassure themselves that there’s still room to maneuver in their budget (even though there isn’t.)

It’s a vicious cycle. Know the easiest way to stay out of debt? It’s keeping your income available. If your income is largely available to you – not promised to other people and companies before you even earn it – you can spend it and save it as you see fit.

No need to go into debt. No need to take out a ‘debt consolidation’ loan. No need to spend money frivolously just to ease the pressure for an hour or two.

Because it’s all yours to do whatever you like with. Renting to own is like welcoming a vampire into your house.

You only have so much money to go around. The more vampires you’re housing, the less blood … whoops, money you have left to live on.

Stop frittering your money away and live in a cash economy.

Only buy what you have money for NOW. If you don’t have the money, SAVE UP for it until you do.

Sounds almost archaic, doesn’t it?

But this little concept will keep you solvent, safe, and sane for the rest of your natural life. It really is that simple.

I will stop here. If you loved reading guide on how to save money even on a low income please do not forget to share and comment.

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Manish Yadav

My name is Manish Yadav and I’m the owner of the blog "Love Finds its Way". My advice does away with the manipulations and mind games recommended by magazines and the surface level advice of TV gurus… We’ll dive DEEP to you actionable steps you can use today. Over 900,000 men & women have transformed their lives, and I've been featured in Lifehack, Return of Kings, Menimprovement, Urban Dater, and so on...
...My only intention is to help you have all of achieve your dreams and desires and live a beautiful and prosperous life.
And we’re just getting started!

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