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How to Save Money on a Budget

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  Most of us, at one time or another in our lives, decide that we need to create a nest egg in case we should need extra money at a later date or in case of an emergency. But what if your income is too low to allow you to follow a traditional savings plan? If you need to start saving back money but don't think you have any to spare, read on for some tips and tricks that will put you on your way to the savings account you don't think you can realistically have.

   To start off with, evaluate your budget. Chances are, even if you live frugally and watch your spending, there is still some fat that can be trimmed. Don't look at large expenses, since chances are these are necessary and can't easily be done away with. But what about that cup of coffee or bagel you buy on your way to work every morning? Small and unnecessary expenses like this are where there is still some saving that can be done. Even the elimination of the smallest of expenses, $1 or $2 a day even, will add up significantly over time. By making these small changes, you will find that you have suddenly freed or a few hundred or even a few thousand dollars per year, which can then find their way into your savings account.

  Another great way to work your way to a good savings is to start saving back the change you get when you make purchases. Let us say that you have just purchased $38 of food at the grocery store, and you paid with two $20 bills. You will receive two dollars back. Now, two dollars seems like nothing to most people, and the inclination is just to shove those two bills back into your wallet and spend them again another day. However, someone who is serious about creating savings will take a slightly different approach to those "insignificant" two dollars. The reason most people would spend this money is because such a small amount would never be missed in the context of the overall financial flow of a person's life. However, this exact same line of thinking is a perfectly good reason to save, rather than spend, this money. Because you will not miss this tiny amount of money, let us say you put it into a box or jar reserved for the small change you amass during your days. Starting out, the amount of money you save will seem like nothing. However, if you keep yourself in this habit on a daily basis, you will be amazed how much money will build up out of that insignificant change over a period of weeks or months.

  One final tip for creating a savings on a budget is to make your money work for you. Let us say that you have now followed the tips listed above, and have, through your efforts, set aside a few hundred dollars. You have worked hard to earn, and perhaps even harder to save, this money. Now, it is time to put that money where you will not be tempted to spend it, and where it will also make you some more money over time: in a savings account or CD deposit account. This will not only allow your money to build up through interest payments over time, but will also keep you from being tempted to take it out on a whim and spend it. To set up such an account, you will want to consult with advisers at your bank or credit union, who will help you to pick the best account type to deposit your money into for long term growth.

    Allow me to say in conclusion that saving money when your income is low is no picnic. It takes hard work, dedication, and some creative thinking to make it happen. However, if you can stick to it in the long run, you will be amazed at the results. Remember the words of Benjamin Franklin: a penny saved is a penny earned.



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