How to save money (fast and sustainable) on a low income in 2020 during the pandemic

It’s a big challenge nowadays to save money, especially on a low income. It’s hard but not impossible, the thing we are looking to cut down are on daily expenses without affecting how much we eat.

Reasons for saving money is to endure through the pandemic, planning to go on vacation later, expecting a new family member (congratulations! keep your spirits up!) or because you want to buy that new console or computer that is coming out.

You have come to the right place for advice. My advice on saving money fast is based on the life experiences of my own and the people around me. It’s a topic that was keeping me busy both before and after the coronavirus. I just simply made more steps to ensure more financial stability.

Switching housing

I recently wrote about the Living cost in Bali. If you are renting a house you might want to consider what I am doing. My contract was going to expire in a few months and I wanted to look for a different living situation anyway: a more calm, cleaner environment with lots of green.

Switching housing saves me up to 33% money for rent on a monthly basis! That’s a lot of extra money being left over. Ok! So I made some sacrifices, the new house is a little bit smaller. But for me and my family, it’s still great, even better due to the environment.

Downsizing Internet

internet router - take a cheaper subscription to save money

The Internet is an important part of life now. There is no denying it. It’s also something that cost us some money. I found out how to save money on using the internet.

Instead of having one of the faster packages, I went to one of the slower packages. I am happy to say with 15Mbit I stream (Youtube and Netflix) as fast as the 60Mbit package. The quality is still High Definition.

In terms of my own usage, there is little to say just that the internet works good enough. But when it comes to saving money by downsizing the internet package I have saved a whopping 30% on my monthly subscription! I am actually now thinking to switch providers for it to be even cheaper! So consider downsizing and switching your internet provider, it can save you a lot of money.

Shopping for the promo, discount and using coupons

When going to the grocery store/supermarket please keep safe by practising social distancing and make use of hand sanitizer. When buying things try to look for the discounted/promo products. Also ask yourself the following:

  • Do I need it soon? (in the coming 2 weeks)
  • Do I really need it?
  • Can I replace this with a cheaper alternative
  • Is it cheaper here or at the other store?
  • Can I buy this product second hand online?

Make sure you really need it. For somethings, you don’t need to ask these questions for yourself.

If you need something a lot and frequent, could there be a bigger pack of that for sale which would even save you on grocery expenses?

Shopping for discounts and promo, and cutting down on non-essentials can save money quickly on a weekly basis. Depending on needs and lifestyle you can easily save 25% this way.

Let your partner cut your hair

I won’t be going to a stylist any time soon, and my better half is afraid to go to the barber. So a solution for women: let your hair grow or… are you really going to consider that?! I will cut the hair for my husband. I have 0 experience but at least he gets a hair cut. All you need for this is a pair of scissors.

Are you on your own? There are also tutorials out on how to cut your own hair. You can also shave your head bald, it even saves money on shampoo!

But there you have it, barber cost cut down to 0! (sorry if this is your profession!)

Downsizing non-essentials

Think about the non-essentials you might want to cut down. An example would be a subscription on your phone. Do you still need that speed or data package? If not there is a possibility to save money on this.

Subscription for anything like a gym membership, magazines, or anything you pay a membership for can be eliminated.

I had to let go of my baby sitter, this is because I would be a home a lot more due to lack of work. I had no resources to pay for a babysitter, it’s a bit sad but during quarantine it also makes sense.

Saving on electricity and water

LED bulbs save on electricity
Image by Klaus Hausmann from Pixabay

Reducing your water and carbon dioxide (CO2) footprint actually saves money. You can shower shorter, and use electronics less in the house. Now I turn off the router at night, turn off the TV more often.

For those with an air conditioning unit, you can set a sleep mode to stop during the night 2 hours before waking up. This reduces a minimum of 60 hours of high powered electrical devices and definitely noticeable on the bill at the end of the month.

Think about what you can reduce and how you can reduce it. If you have a garden use buckets to save rainwater to water your garden on the dry days.

If you use a heater in the house to warm it, open the door from time to time to let fresh air in. This reduces damp air in your house and easier to heat the house that way. (source: Energuide)

To go a step further, switch all lights with LED lights. These are energy-efficient lights, cost-effective. However, this would require purchasing them.

Driving style

If you have a motorcycle, scooter or car that uses petrol your driving style can affect the way you spend money on fuel. Consider slow pull-ups, quicker shifting into the higher gears, and earlier breaks. This all affects fuel consumption. Instead of driving 1:12 you can manage to get 1:16 or more. This would save 25% on your direct spending on petrol!

Make sure your tires are pumped well with air, and your vehicle is well maintained. This prevents unexpected expenditures.

Switch insurance that offers the same for less

If you can go with another insurance company that offers the same and cost less. Be sure to read the fine print in order not to spend more. Sometimes switching can cost more because of administration fee or something else which is usually considered a fine print.

Buying Second-hand goods online

Most places have a digital market place. If you want to buy something maybe a second hand can be considered. Look out though for the state of the product. Often there is no warranty left so there is some risk.

Facebook market place is a good place to find second-hand things such as gadgets, clothes, accessories. Sometimes you can even negotiate about the price.

Sell your own stuff online

Need money fast? Consider selling your gadgets, clothes, things you don’t use anymore. By selling the things you do not use anymore, you clean out the house and gain some space, a win-win situation.

Cook more instead of take-outs/restaurants

Making your own meal at home is a great way of saving money. It is well known that a restaurant or even take-out do cost more. Be inspired by my cooking recipes.

Delicious food can be made at home. Practice some you will notice it’s an enjoyable time to spend cooking.

There we have it, plenty of ways to save money fast and effectively. Reduce all your bills and still have the things you need. It’s also a good method to save money for your up and coming vacation this way. But make sure to wait patiently and be safe from the virus. We can get through this pandemic!

The pitfalls of saving money

I find it important that your daily food should not be less because of saving money. Do not compromise for the normal minimum requirement of daily intake. Make sure you and your family have enough to eat!

If you have ideas to save money fast please share them with us in the comments

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