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How to Save Money on a Tight Budget

Ever since I was a kid I was brought up to be frugal and to save and budget money. * Disclaimer: I am not a financial planner.

Cancel Your Cable Bill

One of the easiest ways to reduce your monthly expenses is to cancel your cable bill. Cable television is one of the biggest drains on your wallet, with rates that have increased almost every year for decades. The average monthly cost of basic cable service has gone up by more than $1,000 since 2000. And that's not even including all the extra fees you'll pay for watching premium channels or DVRs.

Cable TV isn't worth it—it costs too much, takes up too much time, and doesn't even offer most people what they really want or need from their entertainment options anymore! If you're looking for an alternative way to watch TV without breaking the bank (or feeling like you're missing out), here are some suggestions:

  • Use streaming services instead of subscribing directly through cable companies (which will save you some money)
  • Try out free streaming apps like SlingTV or Playstation Vue ($20-$45/month depending on channel selection)
  • Get local channels over-the-air with a digital antenna

cut back on alcohol consumption.

If you have a fondness for alcohol, this is going to be a tough one. But it's worth it: cutting back on your drinking can save you hundreds per month. And if you're the type of person who drinks regularly, it could save thousands over time. Plus, there are lots of health benefits associated with not drinking as much alcohol—you'll probably feel better and more energetic on days off from drinking!

The main benefit here is that alcohol isn't cheap—it might seem like a good deal when you buy multiple bottles at once or when they're discounted at happy hour (which is why so many people do it), but in reality each bottle costs quite a bit. If you're buying groceries in bulk, consider splitting up cases or individual bottles among friends rather than stocking up on your own: everyone gets some really great booze without having to spend too much money!

minimize use of your car.

When it comes to saving money, one of the best ways to cut costs is by using public transportation. By taking advantage of public transportation, you can save hundreds or even thousands of dollars every year.

If you have a car that needs repair, consider taking it to a mechanic who will work on your car for free. If he or she fixes your vehicle and then asks for payment, tell them how much you appreciate their work and offer an assortment of food from your kitchen as payment instead (or offer both).

You may be able to do most tasks in life without a car—and some people don’t even own one! Consider getting rid of yours if you don't need it or want it anymore:

pay with cash instead of credit cards.

One of the best ways to cut spending is to avoid using credit cards. It might seem counterintuitive, but if you're trying to save money on a tight budget and are feeling tempted by all those juicy bonus miles, thinking twice before swiping that plastic could actually be saving you money in the long run. Credit cards can be convenient and offer rewards programs that help you earn cash back or points toward purchases at certain retailers—but they also have their downsides. They can be dangerous if used irresponsibly (i.e., going into debt). And unlike debit cards, which allow you to spend only what's in your account, credit cards allow users to carry a balance from month-to-month without paying anything off until after the bill is due (meaning interest charges accrue every month). Not only does this make it easy for consumers get into financial trouble with no end in sight; it also prevents them from building up savings since they need capital reserves just for their monthly minimum payments alone! If someone doesn't pay off his or her balance at least once per month and continues using his/her card responsibly (or not so responsibly), he/she may find himself/herself paying interest on purchases made years ago without ever seeing any return on investment whatsoever!

get a side job to make more money.

The next time someone asks you, “How are you going to pay off your credit card debt?” or “Can I borrow a couple bucks?”, instead of saying no, why not say yes and take on an extra job? Working one job is hard enough, but working two jobs can be incredibly stressful and difficult. Taking on extra work doesn't mean that your current responsibilities will be neglected—it just means that there's more money coming in!

If having more money isn't enough to convince you that taking on side jobs is worth it, consider the benefits:

  • You'll feel like less of a failure because your finances are under control and growing every day.
  • Your friends won't have to ask for cash anymore because they know how broke everyone else is these days (and if they do ask for cash from time to time anyway).
  • You'll have something interesting to talk about at parties when people ask what you do for work.
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eat out mostly on special occasions.

Eat out more on special occasions.

The best way to save money on a tight budget is to only eat out when it's important. For example, if you're celebrating an anniversary or birthday, it's okay to spend a little extra cash at a restaurant where you'd normally be saving your pennies. But eating out on the regular? Not so much. Instead of going out every night after work (or even once or twice), consider using that extra time and energy for something else like reading or exercise instead. You'll be healthier and happier in the long run!

buy clothes off season or at end of season sales.

  • Buy clothes off season to save money.
  • Buy clothes at end of season sales to save money.
  • Buy clothes that are on sale, or buy them when they are on clearance or special.

save while grocery shopping by using coupons.

Every time you go grocery shopping, make sure that you have coupons on hand. This can save you a lot of money! When it comes to getting the best deals, don't just rely on one store. Different stores will often have different prices for the same items and different coupons that they offer. Try comparing prices at several stores before buying anything so that you can make sure that nobody is selling an item for less than the others. You might even want to check online at sites like Groupon or where there are often weekly sales and coupons available for local businesses in your area or even other parts of the country!

save money on gas by driving less and planning trips to get errands done all in one day.

  • Drive less.
  • Plan trips to get errands done all in one day.
  • Make a list of errands and prioritize them.
  • Pick the most important errands first.

you can save money without sacrificing too much

You can save money without sacrificing too much.

You don't have to cut out all the fun in life. It's possible to still enjoy yourself and go out with friends on a tight budget, or even take a vacation if you want to.

It doesn't mean you need to be miserable or live like there's no tomorrow! You can eat out, drink alcohol (responsibly), buy clothes and other stuff that will make your life better while still saving money.


There are so many ways to save money on a budget that we don’t have time to discuss all of them in this post. We hope you’ve found at least one idea that can help your finances improve, and we encourage you to keep looking for new ways that work for your lifestyle. You never know what might come up next!


This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

© 2022 Shanon Sandquist

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