For many people, the phrase “saving money” means limiting everything. It’s intimidating, and cherished goals seem unattainable. In fact, even with a small budget, you can have savings without denying yourself the essentials. Here’s how to save money by cutting back on spending.

Saving on Household Expenses

Monthly payments for utilities and entertainment can be reduced:

  • Keep an eye on the condition of your plumbing. A leaking faucet or toilet tank can “run off” about 870 liters of water a year.
  • Give up unnecessary services. For example, subscribing to audiobooks you don’t have time to listen to, or a few hundred pay TV channels. Children can accidentally connect to paid services, for example, through the TV menu, and the bill for them will arrive every month. To avoid such situations, you need to prohibit the purchase of subscriptions in your personal account.
  • Find a free hobby. Most paid entertainment has alternatives that can save you money. For example, a jog in the park can replace a treadmill in the fitness center, books can be borrowed from the library or borrowed from friends without buying them.

Planning and Keeping Track of Monthly Expenses

Amelia and Elizabeth Warren suggest dividing your budget into three components:

  • Basic expenses (e.g., utilities, taxes, groceries) – 50%.
  • Expenses you can do without (entertainment, a bankroll to bet on cricket, fast food, etc.) – 30%.
  • Paying off debts and building up a cushion for 3-6 months – 20%.

At the same time, extra expenses may appear even in the column of necessary expenses. So if you’ve come to the point that you need to save money, plan how much you’re willing to spend on each item group – groceries, household chemicals, gifts, etc. You can always adjust your budget if necessary. For example, if you spent $550 instead of $600 on food, add $50 to your financial safety cushion.

Perhaps to learn how to save money and save with a small salary, you will have to give up some not necessary, but nice things. In order not to lose motivation, set goals: save for vacations, make repairs to the apartment, pay off debts, etc.

When planning your budget you should rely only on your own resources, so try not to take out microloans, luring with promises to get by on your salary. If you can’t do without a loan, choose the best deals and make your monthly payments on time.

Saving Money on Food

Saving money on groceries shouldn’t affect the quality of your meals. Some tips can help:

  • Plan your menu for the week. That way you will know exactly what you need and you won’t buy unnecessary items.
  • Cook a home-cooked meal. It might seem like a business lunch and a cappuccino from a café won’t make you poorer. But if you cook your own food and drink, you can save quite a bit of money over the year.
  • Don’t buy an item just because it is on sale at a discount. It is better to make a list of products, and then think about where it is better to buy them. Free apps are handy for comparing prices.
  • Don’t overpay. Famous brand products are more expensive. To save money, look for cheaper counterparts. The flavor of many of the best-selling products is virtually identical regardless of the brand.

What if You Don’t Have Much Money

Recall the character in the movie The Martian, who had to spend long months on a lifeless planet. Before developing a further plan of action, he calculated how many days he had enough food reserves. Financially, it’s the same story. If you can barely make it to your paycheck, start keeping track of your income and expenses.

In sorting out your spending, it often turns out that money is spent on little things you can do without. For example, if you buy $10 worth of coffee every day, you’ll spend $3,650 in a year. Cabs, car washes, meal deliveries, popcorn and coke at the movie theater can add up to substantial sums that are not enough for vacations, medical treatment or major purchases. It is also worth paying attention to bad habits: alcohol, smoking, abuse of fast food and sweets. By giving them up, you will save money and contribute to your own health.