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Many money saving advice out there focuses on people in the middle-class range, earning middle class incomes. But how about those working for minimum wage or low incomes, how can they save? This post will show you how to save money when you earn minimum wage.

It can be difficult to save money when you earn minimum wage or are on a low income because of how small your paycheck is.

The thing is, many people are living paycheck to paycheck. And when money is tight, saving is usually the last thing on your mind.

So how do you save money when you earn minimum wage?

When it comes to your personal finance, it’s important you think of the future, not just the present. Even if you earn minimum wage, there are ways you can save some money, little by little. Here’s how:

1. Start with a budget

This is the first and most important part of your journey. There’s no way out of it. You must budget your expenses so you know where your money is going.

Write down a list of things you most absolutely need. Also keep your budget lean. It can be tempting to add a little here and there that you do not need to justify your spending habit.

Learn to spend only the things you need. It might seem like I’m asking you to stop enjoying life but after some time, when you have a lot of cash saved, you will thank me.

2. Save any extra cash you come across

Even when you earn minimum wage there are times when you come across some extra cash from a friend or something… maybe you won a bet or something. You might be tempted to blow this money on “enjoying yourself”, which shouldn’t be the case.

When you unexpectedly come across large sums of money, resist the urge to go on a spending spree and instead save the money.

Some advisers will ask you to put half of the money in a saving account but I would suggest you put all of the money in a savings account.

But if you feel like you absolutely have to treat yourself for working hard or something, you can take ten percent of that money and go have a good time.

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If I were you, any extra money I make I’ll save it immediately and continue living on my paycheck so that I don’t have regrets later.

Why are you saving? You might ask!

I’ll let you know later. Keep on reading.

how to save money when you earn minimum wage

3. Tackle high-interest debt first

If you want to start saving your money, you should tackle all your debt head-on. Because it’s really difficult to save money when you have a pile of debt hanging on your head.

Especially high-interest debts from personal loans and credit cards, because they make you pay high fees and interest charges.

Prioritize your debt in order of interest.

Pay the high interest debt off first.

Then as you start saving your money, avoid debts like a plague, especially credit card debts.

4. Cut down your biggest expenses

What is taking the most money out of your pocket?

Take a good look at your finances, you will notice the thing that sucks the most money out of your wallet then you can do something about it.

Aside from the usual money-saving ideas, like cooking your own food and cancelling your cable bill, you can also focus on the higher ones so you can make more significant impact.

Housing tends to be the biggest problem for most people, If you can downsize to a smaller apartment and save the remaining money, you will be a lot further off in your journey to save more money.

If you live in a place with two or more bedrooms, you can consider renting the remaining room(s) out. That way you will technically be living rent free.

5. Take advantage of free money/freebies/sales/coupons

If someone offers you a gift card or free coupon, take advantage of it so you can save more money.

As a family with low income, you may qualify for the earned income tax credit (EITC). According to the IRS website, the EITC, can be a large refund on your taxes, helping you keep more of what you earned. Sometimes even as much as a few thousand dollars. (1)

There are plenty of free and cheap items to enjoy, you just have to know where to look. Go to your local garage sale or a giveaway page on Facebook and look out for people selling things for cheap, or better still, giving them away for free.

When looking for these places where you can get things for free or cheap, make sure you are only looking for the things you need, not things you want.

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If you buy something you don’t need because it’s 50% OFF, and assuming the thing is worth a thousand dollars, you did not save five hundred dollars, you spent five hundred dollars. Keep that in mind.

6. Keep your budget lean

When creating your budget it is important to keep it lean. Include only things you will need to survive in your everyday life, like food, water, transportation and shelter.

When you do this you’ll notice how little you need all those other things.

For instance, your cable bill. Do you have to watch TV when you come home? No! Why not read a book instead or go outside and enjoy the fresh air. It will do wonders for your health.

To save more money, you have to control how much you spend every day. Choose one category to indulge in and keep the rest of your budget as lean as possible. It’s going to be challenging but not impossible.

7. Start a side hustle

So why are you saving all these money? What’s the use? Someone once asked me these questions.

Apart from the part where you need a savings account for emergency funds for the rainy days, like when you get cut off from your job or if you need money immediately to get someone out of jail or something.

The main reason you are saving all this money is to start a side hustle.

There are so many ways you can make money out there and so many side hustles out there you can choose from, some of them you don’t need any money, some you will need some cash and others you will need a little more investment in terms of money.

If you’re the type of person who fancies making it on the eCommerce platform where you definitely need some capital, it is imperative you save money to start that business.

And if the business model you’re looking at will require you to have some sort of capital, that’s where your savings come in place.

Another reasons for saving is investments. Look at it this way:

  • You earn minimum wage or at best, low income.
  • You save some money for a year.
  • You invest that money
  • In a few years your investment starts to pay off
  • Then you QUIT YOUR JOB!

The official formula is:

  • Earn money
  • Save that money
  • Invest the saved money
  • Repeat

This is how you get out of the rat race.

8. Save the change

Whenever you finish your day and and you have some spare change, don’t spend it the next day, save it. Put it in a change jar and when the jar if full, take it to the bank.

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This is a slow but steady way to save money. Keeping your change over the year can have a huge impact on your finances than you think.

Whenever you make purchases in cash—which is already a helpful tip to avoid over-spending — save any change you get. 

9. Don’t eat out

This is easier said than done. And it is easily the more obvious money saving tips. It can take a lot of discipline to plan your meal for the week and gear your grocery shopping around sales and coupons.

Sure, when you work multiple jobs and deal with many responsibilities, eating out can seem like the easy way to go. But buying groceries and prepping your meals can be a lot easier on a budget if you go about it the right way.

Pay off debt. Budget like a boss. Reach your financial goals.

10. Wait before you spend

Brian Tracy once said that in order to save your money, try this little trick:

Whenever you feel the urge to buy something you want – not need – you might want to take a day off buying it and the next day see if you still get the urge to buy that thing.

For instance, if you see a lovely shoe and you must have it, wait till tomorrow. If tomorrow comes and you still have the urge to buy that shoe, then by all means.

Of course this is a money-saving tip for the middle-class.

What if you earn minimum wage or are in the low income bracket?

It’s simple, don’t buy the shoe. When your investments and your side hustle starts paying off then you can buy all the shoes you want.

Use these money saving tips to help save money when you earn minimum wage

Have you been trying to save money without any success?

Did you find this post helpful and did it give you some helpful tips on how to save money when you earn minimum wage?

I hope so.

Trying to save money when you earn minimum wage can be difficult but not impossible. It is a sacrifice you’ll have to make in the short term for your long tern financial security.

Whether you are wondering how to save up for a car with minimum wage or trying to build an emergency fund, follow these money saving tips and see what a difference it makes.

Do you have any money saving tips that you use and didn’t see on this list? Share below!

Manage Your Money Better

Below are some personal finance books I recommend to help you save more money. They have helped me a lot and I'm sure they'll help you in your journey to financial freedom.

  1. The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy
  2. Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey
  3. I Will Teach You to Be Rich by Ramit Sethi
  4. Master Your Money (Super Bundle)
  5. Need an extra $2,500? Get loans up to $5000
  6. Are you in debt? Get free debt consultation and find a solution to your debt
  7. Unshakable: Your financial freedom blueprint
  8. The New Money Masters
  9. Tools to make money in tough economic times

I have read about 5 out of the 7 books and I can boldly say they have helped me handle my finances better. I believe in them because they have helped me in my financial journey and I think they’ll help you too.

Categories: Save Money

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