How to save money on a tight budget

Sometimes it seems like there's just not enough money to go around. Even with a budget, many people find themselves without any money left over. Here are a few tips to help you save money, even on a tight budget.

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  • No matter what my month is like, I always make sure to stay on a tight budget. Sure, some months are tighter than others; sometimes the mail brings bills, and other times it brings checks. But whatever happens, I always make it a point to keep the same budget. If I end up with extra money, I either put it toward savings or use it on something that's not in my budget.

  • Through this, I've learned that saving money when you're on a tight budget can be easy. The first thing you need to do is figure out your guaranteed income for each month. For example, my husband works a full time job that brings in a set amount of money. I, on the other hand, have a blog that generates variable income. So when I'm calculating our set monthly income, I don't count the money that my blog generates, because it changes all the time.

  • Once you've established your guaranteed monthly income, you need to lay out all of the bills you pay each month. These should include all of the necessities, like the electric bill, house payment, water bill, car payment, gas charge, etc. These should be your first priority on your budget.

  • Now that you know what you need to pay first, you can subtract that from your guaranteed monthly income and see what you have left. There are many ways to make the left over amount go further:

  • Public utilities often offer a discount for lower income households; contact your utility company to see if you qualify

  • Whether or not you do, you should always be sure to use your utilities wisely. Turn lights off when you don't need them, don't keep the water running when it's not being used, and consider putting on a sweater rather than turning on the heater. It's not hard to do, and you might be surprised how much money it will save you.

  • The money you spend on gasoline for your car can be reduced by shopping at certain grocery stores

  • Many stores offer up to $0.20 off per gallon at participating gas stations. This is pretty much a free benefit if you shop at that grocery store on a regular basis.

  • The amount spent on household groceries can be significantly reduced by using coupons, club cards, and store promotions

  • In fact, many stores accept electronic coupons, so you don't actually have to search through mailers, cut out what you need, and file it away for future use. My blog focuses on saving money with coupons. It's called Christian Clippers, and it's a free resource for those who are looking for help saving money.

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  • Sticking to a budget requires some work, but with a little bit of preparation and organization, you'll be able to do it. Once you've got your regular expenses figured out, then you can start setting goals to help you save more money every month.

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Apryl Griffith is a mother of three. When she's not tending to her kiddos, she's blogging at Christian Clippers.

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