With the cost of living on the rise, saving money can be a tall order. Couple this with unexpected events like the COVID-19 pandemic, and saving money be a tough challenge.

However, according to financial experts, everyone can save money, regardless of their current financial situation. Discipline and out-of-the-box thinking can help you save money.

Here are some easy tips you can start implementing today to save money even during tough financial times. 

Make a Budget

Know where every dollar that you spend goes to. An easy way of doing this is by keeping a budget.

When you have a budget, you can efficiently allocate your money to take care of both immediate basic needs and long-term financial goals.

There are various smartphone apps you can use to keep track of your budget. One that we recommend is the You Need a Budget (YNAB). If you like doing things the traditional way, good old Excel sheets will work. 

Pay Off Your Debts

Take stock of your debts and make a plan of how you’ll pay them. Get all your receipts and payment reminds to find out how much you owe Also, take a look at all of your credit card debt.

If you have multiple credit cards that are overdue, consider consolidating them. The same applies to overdue loans.

Consolidating your debts will make it easier to make payments since you will only have only a few parties to deal with.

Start a Side Hustle

The key to building wealth is managing your income. Your needs will always keep growing. Therefore, there is a limit to how much you can save if you intend to live a comfortable life. 

However, this does not mean you cannot save. For example, if you increase your income, then you’ll have more money to save.

Start a side hustle to get some extra income during the evening hours. For example, you can do transcription jobs during your spare time and bring in a couple of hundred dollars that you can put away in your savings account.

Watch Your Recurring Expenses

Check your monthly bills to know how much you are spending on recurring services. Go through your PayPal account or credit card statement to see where a couple of dollars are going every month to services that you can do without.

For example, you may find that you are paying for both cable TV and Netflix. In such a case, decide which one to cut off.

Cook at Home

Cooking at home can also help you save a few dollars every day. Make breakfast at home and carry packed lunch to the workplace. Rather than going for the $5 Starbucks coffee, make tea or coffee at home. You may be saving a dollar a day, but it quickly adds up in a few months.

Limit eating out for a few months and see how much you can end up saving. Yes, it can be difficult to cook at home when you are not used to it. However, if you want to achieve financial freedom, you have to make sacrifices. Moreover, you may find that you actually love cooking at home than buying takeout.

Save a Percentage of Your Income

Finally, make sure you save a percentage of everything that you earn. Whether you are earning $200 a week or more, get 10% automatically saved into a checking account. This way, you will be able to budget for your expenses when you have already saved. 

Following the tips above will help you save money during tough financial times.

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