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Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Money Saving Tips For Low Income Earners

Yesterday, I was chatting with a close friend on investment and savings and this is what she told me. “How on earth do you expect me to invest, leave a lone save, any money when I’m just struggling to feed my family and pay my bills.” This did not only came to me as a shock but also left me wondering, do low income earners save? And in case they do, just how much can you actually save from your peanut income?.
I’m very much afraid that some people are going to be shocked at sometime in their life. However little you earn, you need to save money to be able to invest and to cater for your future financial needs. Right now, saving may seem like an unfeasible task. But , I can assure you that if you don’t save something now, you are never going to get out of debt and will never have anything to invest.
If you have already launched your way to a debt free life, kudos!! You are on a right track to financial freedom and the next step now is to start saving. You should stop looking at saving as just a good thing to do but as an obligation to yourself and to your family.
With a low income, a family to feed and oodles of other responsibilities to attend to; your life may look so messy that the last thing you would want to think about is saving. However, saving is another responsibility which I urge you not to forget. Do not be confused or stressed by this assertion. You can still budget with the little you have and, to your surprise, be financially independent and happy.
  1. Budgeting: Budgeting your earnings, especially when you are on a low income, is financially wise. The budget will not magnify your earnings but will show you how much you earn. Crazy? By budgeting, you will have to list down all your sources of income. You will also get to know how you spend your cash and whether you spend more than you earn. With a good budget you will be able to get the best out of your small income and even set aside something little to invest.
  2. Prioritizing: Making a list of the commodities you require starting with the most basic. Of course food will top the list, followed by shelter, clothing, transport e.t.c So make sure you have enough food first.
  3. Stop Unnecessary Spending: Only buy things you actually need. Do not persuaded by the peer pressure to buy all the expensive brands in the market or be fooled by your longing for a classy jewelry. Do not buy anything which is just going to lie in the house unused.
  4. Go For Value: Do not just enter the shopping mall and pick whatever good you first lay your eye on. Take your time to window shop, compare different prices and bargain to ensure you are getting the best deal for every cent you spend.
  5. Planning Ahead: We all pay for the loads of regular bills: rent, water, electricity, TV etc, whether you are earning little or much. However, it is very essential, especially for low-income earners to plan ahead for these bills. Immediately yo receive that paycheck, it is good to list down and subtract all your bill expenses before embarking on any expenditure. This will offer some financial relief and ensure that you pay all your bills promptly. No body wants to explain to the landlord that you spent your rent on chocolate!!!
  6. Financial Discipline: You have finally come up with an organized budget and now you can make sense of every cent you earn, you should now stick to that budget. Being financially organized and sticking to your budget will not only help you cut on unnecessary expenditure; but will ensure that you spend within your means and certainly have something extra to put into your savings account. 

 Once you start saving, you will discover that it is very easy to do. In fact, the only question you will be asking yourself is why you didn't start early. However don’t kill yourself over that, it is not yet too late. Start saving now for a better tomorrow. You can’t invest if you do not save. Therefore, saving is the first process in the long road to financial freedom. 


  1. While I appreciate your attempt to offer advice to low income earners, I urge you to do more research on the matter. As a new practitioner in the field, specifically focusing on low income earners, I am constantly looking for good advice. Unfortunately, everything seems to be cliches. A little research can show you that for a large class of low to moderate income earners in America, shelter and transportation costs can often reach 40-50% of their income. Throw in food costs and utilities and their isn't a whole lot of money left for undisciplined spending (as your post alluded to), let alone for savings. While I do believe that many of the families that we work with do have some waste in their spending habits, I am hard pressed to find anything higher than $20/month for them. I'd like to see an experienced financial planner do some quality research and suggest some tangible ways to make a difference in these individuals financial lives. Not to rante, and I know this may not be your target market, which is fine, I just prefer if advisers are going to make posts, that can be found in my Google search, there be something more substantive and useful, especially as I try to gain knowledge to support my limited experience

  2. Thanks a lot Mr. Anwar for visiting this site and leaving your comment. While I give money saving tips for low income earners, it may not be explicitly applicable to all the situations. Nevertheless, I still believe that budgeting, financial discipline and the other four tips can help someone save something small, their low income not withstanding. To bring the point home, I'm not alluding that the main reason low income earners don't save is because of their wasteful spending. However, avoiding this will help save something small, even the $ 20 / month can make a difference over a period of time.