People with a low income struggle to save because they are either not left with enough after expenses or are not in the habit of saving. Irrespective of how people manage their finances, no one can ignore the importance of saving. With discipline and financial planning, everyone can save, irrespective of how much they earn.
As someone famous once said, 'Savings give you the freedom to live life on your own terms.' So gather yourself, plan well and value your freedom. Read the following personal finance tips and strategies that can help you save money even with a low income:
Tip 1: Create and Stick to a Budget
Budgeting might sound like you are limiting yourself, but it allows controlled expenditure. It saves you from careless spending. Once you start budgeting, you'll know exactly where to spend your money, which, in turn, will help you bridge the gap between your savings goals and actual savings. So plan your expenses and savings, allot your money accordingly and start tracking it efficiently.
Tip 2: Make Saving a Habit
Treating your budgeted amount for savings like a monthly bill makes it easier. So every payday, make sure you set aside your savings money just like you would for other bills. You can start with a small amount and invest it in a guaranteed savings plan, or if you have a risk appetite, you could consider ULIPs, which offer higher returns.
Emergencies are always uncalled for. We cannot eliminate them but can take precautions. Chart out possible situations where you are likely to need money, like your ageing father's health or your children's health care, and allot your savings specifically for such needs.
The antidote is to make savings a part of your life. This way, your low income will never be an excuse for not saving. Your friends may start calling you a miser, but you'll be saved from borrowing money when in need.
Tip 3: Leverage Insurance to Secure Your Family's Future
Investing money in avenues like life insurance and savings plans provides you with a security net and an effective savings tool. If used well, you can build your wealth to meet your financial goals and future expenses, such as buying a new house, marriage, child's education or retirement.
Future Generali India Life Insurance Company Limited offers a variety of life insurance plans. These plans help you meet your savings requirements by making you future-ready, and also help you build your wealth effortlessly. Check out various plans offered by Future Generali India Life Insurance.
Tip 4: Cut Back on Housing Expenses
According to research by CNBC1, the thumb rule for housing expenditure, i.e., spending on housing should be no more than 30% of your gross monthly income. So, if you're earning, say, Rs.30,000 per month, you shouldn't spend more than Rs. 9,000 on house expenses. In the process of building up your savings, you should try to reduce your expenditure as much as possible by downsizing, changing location or renting out rooms.
Tip 5: Have a Food Budget, Too!
On average, an Indian spends 3.5% of their daily income for a plate of food compared to 0.6% by a New Yorker, according to the "Cost of a Plate of Food" report2 released by the UN's World Food Programme (WFP). Sticking to a food budget can feel like an impossible task with the constant temptation to eat out. However, this is a great area to focus on when it comes to saving money on a low income.
Tip 6: Cut Off Unnecessary Expenses to Build Savings
If you're finding it hard to save money, it's time to reduce unnecessary expenses. Go through your budget and look for expenses that can be ignored.
Look out for:
- Subscriptions that can be cancelled
- Expensive Phone Plans
- Unnecessary entertainment expenses
Cutting off unnecessary expenses to boost your savings may seem painful at first but get easier with practice.
The bottom line on how can you save money on a low income:
If you're looking forward to building your savings and living a financially-independent life, take a minute and be honest with your current financial situation and goals. Now, try to adopt the above tips one by one in your life. It might seem complicated initially, but with some changes in your lifestyle and mindset, you'll be set for a financially fulfilling life.
Insurance can be a great way to future-proof yourself and your family. Visit Future Generali India Life Insurance to choose from a variety of life insurance plans.