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Daily Things to Do to Save Money When Living on a Tight Budget

Updated on August 9, 2011

For those of us dealing with this prolonged recession, it has been especially tough to deal with the stacks of bills, the feeling that you have no money to spend on anything for yourself and not being able to see an end to your financial woes in the near future. Going from having money to not having money is the surest way to max our your credit cards. Sure, if you have absolutely no money, you will have to max out those cards or go homeless and hungry. However, there are things you can do to start to live on a tighter budget.

Here is a simple list of things you can do to help save money right now:

  • Make your own coffee and tea. Limit your daily trips to the coffee shop. Going to the coffee shop everyday really adds up to money that could go towards your bills.
  • Bring your own lunch. If you are working, you need to refrain from going out to lunch on a daily basis. It can be really tempting to socialize with your co-workers and go out to lunch everyday, but you need to put your money towards your bills. Avoid the temptation and bring your own lunch. If you are unemployed, you especially do not need to go out to eat everyday. The costs of eating out add up quick.
  • Shopping: Limit your trips to the stores. Go with a list of what you absolutely need. Otherwise, do not go to the store. If you are like me, you tend to be an impulsive shopper. If I go into the store, I want to buy. To avoid temptation, I limit my trips. This limitation prevents me from spending money I don’t need to spend. Avoid your temptations whether it is the mall, the bar or the club.
  • Entertainment: Use your public library for DVD rentals and books. You can cut out your premium movie channels and forget about buying books on Amazon. Libraries have loads of free entertainment options, so take advantage and reduce your out of pocket expenses.
  • Holiday Shopping: Another neat way to save money is to sell your used books online to a place such a Powells that will buy your used books and give you the option to have store credit. With that store credit, you can buy your holiday gifts without breaking your budget. With just a little extra planning, you may be able to buy all your gifts using this system.
  • Travel: Save on gas by carpooling when you can. Others in your situation would be more than happy to split the gas bills and take turns giving rides.
  • Exercise/Health: Forget about renewing that expensive gym membership. Talk up walking and save your money. Take the stairs, park far away at the grocery store, go to the park, take up running, and find simple exercises to do in your house when the weather is bad.
  • Cell Phone: Opt for the cheapest plan if you really don’t use all your minutes. Take advantage of the free mobile-to-mobile calls.
  • Special Treats: Living on a tight budget can be really depressing sometimes. Save your loose change in a jar. When you get a little bit saved up, take the jar to Coinstar or the bank to get the dollars and treat yourself to stuff that you have been sacrificing such as that Mocha Latte or a movie in an actual movie theater.

As you struggle to live on less, hang in there and don't lose faith. Things can change and get better.


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    • truthfornow profile image

      truthfornow 5 years ago from New Orleans, LA

      @mary615 I will have to check out your hub. Thanks for the vote up.

      Love where you are from @prettynutjob30 and thanks too for vote up.

      @stephanieb27 The library is great. Can get lots of stuff to do from there.

      Hope they never get shut down.

    • stephanieb27 profile image

      stephanieb27 5 years ago from United States

      Great tips! We use several of these tips! My youngest son and I go to the library weekly. I was just thinking about how much I love public library as we walked out today with our bag full of books! :)

    • prettynutjob30 profile image

      Mary 5 years ago from From the land of Chocolate Chips,and all other things sweet.

      Great hub, voted up, more and shared, these are some very useful, practical tips for saving money.

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 5 years ago from Florida

      You have some great ideas for saving money. I gave up cable TV about a year ago, and have not missed it at all. I was brought up to be frugal (wrote a Hub about that), and that is just my second nature. My kids tell me I'm cheap, but I prefer to think of myself as being thrifty!

      Voted UP and will share.

    • truthfornow profile image

      truthfornow 5 years ago from New Orleans, LA

      Thanks for reading Thelma Alberts.

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 5 years ago from Germany

      These are great tips. I´ve been doing most of these tips besides carpooling. Thanks for sharing.

    • truthfornow profile image

      truthfornow 5 years ago from New Orleans, LA

      Yeah, I always spend too much when I say I am going to run into the store to get just one thing ~ grocery shopping is expensive.

    • kitkat1141 profile image

      kitkat1141 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Great ideas. I definitely agree on the limiting your number of shopping trips to save money. Of course it is easy to avoid going to the mall, but we all need to eat, so grocery shopping can't be avoided. We all can be guilty running into the store to buy milk, and spending $100. I try and only grocery shop once a week, to keep the food bills down!

    • truthfornow profile image

      truthfornow 6 years ago from New Orleans, LA

      Those are some great ideas iloveglee83, thanks for sharing them!

    • iloveglee83 profile image

      iloveglee83 6 years ago from Noblesville, IN

      Great tips! I have been living on a very strict budget for a year now and I found that buying in bulk is another great way to save. My roommate and I stocked up on stuff when we got our tax checks (basically things that would keep forever LOL) at the GFS Market Place. We got 5lb bags of noodles for $3 a bag which is really good if you consider how much 1 little box of noodles cost at wal-mart. The other thing we bought was canned vegetable, the cans are HUGE so we bought them, cooked them and then stored them in tupperware and froze them to use when we were ready to use. We also did the same thing with Pasta sauce, not only does it save time but it saves you money as well. Another good thing to buy in bulk is toliet paper and paper towels. Also, If you can get coupons use them, I don't recommend using them the week they come out because most of the time those items are either marked up or not on sale because suppliers know people will rush out to use the coupon. Hope these help as well, I'm sure I have more but I just can't think of them at the moment.

    • truthfornow profile image

      truthfornow 6 years ago from New Orleans, LA

      Thank you ekelsman. Having no money is the worst. Hang in there. And thanks for reading my Hub!

    • ekeisman profile image

      ekeisman 6 years ago

      I can completely relate to your hub. I am unfortunately unemployed (big surprise these days) and am constantly thinking about money. Bills to pay,'s overwhelming! It's nice to read about other's out there like me, and you give great tips. Thanks!

    • truthfornow profile image

      truthfornow 6 years ago from New Orleans, LA

      Injured lamb & harman001 ~ thanks for reading and the comments. They are appreciated.

    • harman001 profile image

      harman001 6 years ago from LUDHIANA, PUNJAB, INDIA

      great advices, very useful

    • Injured lamb profile image

      Injured lamb 6 years ago

      Hi there, thanks for sharing your great simple tips with us, they are indeed useful.

    • truthfornow profile image

      truthfornow 6 years ago from New Orleans, LA

      Thanks Rosie writes.

    • Rosie writes profile image

      Rosie writes 6 years ago from Virginia

      Great advice and easy to follow.

    • truthfornow profile image

      truthfornow 6 years ago from New Orleans, LA

      mandyk29902 ~ thanks for following.

      getridofwartfast ~ thanks for following.

    • getridofwartfast profile image

      getridofwartfast 6 years ago from Canada

      great hub very interesting !

    • mandyk29902 profile image

      mandyk29902 6 years ago

      great hub! great advice!

    • truthfornow profile image

      truthfornow 6 years ago from New Orleans, LA

      Thanks texasgirlfw, anyway to save money is good right about now.

    • texasgirlfw profile image

      texasgirlfw 6 years ago

      These are some really good tips. I will definately look into the cell phone plans.

    • blairtracy profile image

      blairtracy 6 years ago from Canada

      Great tips. These are definitely be helpful.

    • flagostomos profile image

      flagostomos 6 years ago from Washington, United States

      Oh I'm sorry, I agree. there are reasons to have those cell phone plans. My comment was more pertaining to people that have the expensive phone plans and don't use them.

    • truthfornow profile image

      truthfornow 6 years ago from New Orleans, LA

      Ebower ~ thanks for the vote up.

      Flagostomos ~ there are a lot of us out there with 100* cell phone bills, if I didn't have to use mine for work, I would cut it down even more.

      Thanks for reading dalemcleod!

      Amber Colleen ~ I was spending up to 5 bucks a day.

      Peace of Pieces ~ very hard to do when you are right next door huh?

      Thanks for all the comments.

    • Peace of Pieces profile image

      Peace of Pieces 6 years ago from Montreal, Canada

      I needed a reminder for these things, so thank you! I work right next to Tim Horton's, Starbucks and Second Cup, so what I need to do is resist the temptation and save my pesos!

      Great hub :)

    • Amber Colleen profile image

      Amber Colleen 6 years ago

      Good hub! I know I've been spending way too much money on coffee and need to cut back. Thanks for the reminder!

    • dalemcleod profile image

      dalemcleod 6 years ago from USA

      Very interesting and great hub!

    • flagostomos profile image

      flagostomos 6 years ago from Washington, United States

      Cell phone is one of the easiest money wasters out there. I switched from a 100 dollar verizon plan to a 30 dollar a month pay as you go, more than enough minutes/texts/data for me and still have my old phone.

    • Ebower profile image

      Erin Bower 6 years ago from Georgia

      These are great tips and helpful since I'm enemployed right now. I voted it up and useful!


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