How to Live on a Budget and Save Money

For people on a low income or anyone looking to manage their finances better.

A happy woman putting money into a piggy bank

By Bob Atoo
February 12, 2021

Living paycheck to paycheck is never a nice reality to face, but if you’re struggling to make ends meet and you’re living on a low income, there are a few things you can do to live well on a small salary.

Living on a budget can be done providing that you take the necessary steps to ensure that all your bills are paid and that you can afford the things you really need to pay for.

Careful budgeting certainly takes plenty of time and practice in order to ensure that you can live as comfortably as possible on a low income.

Below, you’ll find some of our top tips and advice on how to live cheaply in the UK and how you can survive on a low budget. 

How to live on a budget

The first step you need to take when you live on a tight budget is to work out exactly where your money goes and what you spend it on each month.

It’s a good idea to write down an extensive list of all your expenditures and incomings each month, in order to see what you spend your money on and where you could potentially save money on some things.

For example, cutting the cost of your subscription services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime can help you save plenty of money each month. Even if you don’t feel like you spend your money on these kinds of “unnecessities”, there are probably still areas that you can cut back on.

Your grocery bill is likely one of the most common places where you can cut back on your spending a little bit. Of course, ensuring that you and your family are well fed is incredibly important, but it’s worth checking your weekly shopping bills to see whether there are any things you could remove from your grocery basket in order to save a pound or two.

It’s also worth checking your utility and household bills such as your gas, electricity and water to see if you could save any money in those areas. Chances are, if you ring up your providers and ask them for a better quote, you could find yourself saving money on your monthly bills; this will all help you to live more comfortably on a tight budget.

Read more: How to Save Money on Your Energy Bills

How to save money fast on a low income

If you’re looking for tips for saving more money in the UK, then the section below shows how you can save money fast on a low income, as well as a few ways to make more money as well.

Trying to save money when you’re on a low income can seem like an almost impossible task, but there are several things you can try in order to save money, even if you don’t make an awful lot in the first place.

Work on getting rid of any debt

The first thing you should try and focus on when it comes to saving money on a low income is eliminating your debt where possible. Paying off your debts should always be a priority before saving money as you’ll likely never be fully comfortable with saving your money while you’ve still got debt looming over you.

Read more: What Does Coronavirus Mean for Credit Card Debt?

Set a budget

Creating a budget that works for you is also a very important step when it comes to saving money. We’ve already talked about checking your monthly incomings and outgoings to see where you could cut back on your spending, so creating an ideal monthly or weekly budget as a result of that could help you save money.

It’s important to remember that just because you’re on a low income and you’re living on a small, survival budget, that doesn’t mean to say that you have to miss out on the fun in life.

While expensive days out and costly entertainment subscriptions might be a little too far out of your budget, it doesn’t mean that you have to miss out. You can take advantage of free activities in your local community, pick up books from your local library and attend events at museums or sports centres if you want a fun, free and alternative day out - when Covid restrictions ease of course!

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Reduce your spending

Cutting back on the money you spend is usually easier than making more money, especially if you don’t really have the time to do so. However, if you can find ways to make more money, then this can be a great way to boost your savings even when you’re on a low income.

If you’re partial to baking or cooking, you could try selling your treats locally via social media, or even set up an online shop where you can sell your goods. Of course, making more money takes a lot of time and effort and can often even lead to burnout, especially if you’re struggling to find the time to commit to making and selling things, alongside maintaining your normal day job.

Therefore, it’s probably a good idea to try and figure out other ways to cut back on your spending in order to increase your savings.

It's also worth bearing in mind that when purchasing online, you can use cashback sites to help you get some money back. 

Living on a low income can often prove to be quite a struggle, but hopefully, you’ve discovered some ways to live on a budget and still get the most out of life. Of course, you will likely have to make some sacrifices here and there, but cutting back and saving your money for something more special will always feel much better in the long run. Don’t forget to treat yourself every once in a while though; you deserve it!

Take a look at our handy articles below for more money-saving tips.

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