7 Genius Ways you can save Money when you live Paycheck to Paycheck

It can be very difficult to save money when you live paycheck to paycheck. Sometimes our budgets are so tight, it can feel impossible to save even a dollar.

save money when you live paycheck to paycheck


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However, there are ways you can still save, even when it feels like you can’t.

Years ago we were living paycheck to paycheck. No, scratch that. Our paychecks weren’t even covering what we needed them to. It was stressful and discouraging. This was a period in our lives that lasted for years.

But, shortly after we had kids I desperately wanted to travel. I hadn’t seen very much of this world, and I wanted to experience some of it. I wanted to see the mountains. I wanted to see the ocean. I wanted to see other parts of our country and beyond.

Looking at our budget though, that seemed like a dream that we couldn’t ever accomplish. Until I decided to get creative.

I kept thinking to myself that there HAD to be a way. I just had to figure it out. I suddenly became very determined.

Maybe you feel the same way. Maybe it’s not a trip you want to save up for, but you want to build up an emergency fund, or buy a large ticket item, or just have a rainy day fund.

I’m here to tell you there are things you can do. You see, I started racking my brain and I found other ways I could save money on an extremely tight budget. And though it sometimes felt like an extremely slow process sometimes, we did save for some trips. Some were smaller weekend getaways, but one trip we saved up for was a 40 hour drive to go see the Colorado mountains!

So, the first thing I’m going to tell you is to have patience as you do it. You might feel like it isn’t worth it because it might take a year or two to get there. Well, let me tell you that a year can fly by pretty fast, and if you decide to not try and save, in a year from now you will have wish you had.

So take it one day at a time, and START today.

Here are some things you can do to save money when you live paycheck to paycheck.

Use cashback programs.

If you can get cashback for stuff you already have to buy anyways, like groceries, toiletries, or other items, why not? Take whatever cashback you get and put it into your savings account. Some great cashback programs are Ibotta, Checkout 51, and Ebates (now under the name Rakuten.)

Save your rewards from rewards programs.

Maybe you shop at a grocery store that has a points program. Maybe you have a credit card that gives you points when you use it. These can be helpful when saving for something.

When we were saving for our trip we would save all our points we would get from our groceries. When it came time to take the trip we had over 100 dollars worth of points to use on groceries.

We used it for the groceries we needed on the trip. However, you could shop for your groceries with the points and then take your regular grocery money for that week and put it in your savings fund. We were able to do this with our gas as well. We had saved up enough points on a credit card to buy some gas gift cards for our trip.

Shopkicks is a great rewards program to download to your phone to start earning rewards that you can save and redeem for gift cards!

Save any extra money that comes in.

Birthday money, Christmas money, an extra work bonus, tax refunds – these can all be put into savings. This money is above and beyond your regular paychecks so it can sometimes be used for extras.

Sign up for Swagbucks.

Have you heard about Swagbucks? Swagbucks is a reward site where you can do different things to get swagbucks like searches online, surveys, watching videos, etc. and cash them in for gift cards, or money into your paypal.

While you aren’t going to get rich quickly, there are a ton of stories circulating online of people who save up their Swagbucks and cash them in to use on things like gift cards for their trips to Disney World, or another person I know never buys Starbucks coffee but always uses Swagbucks gift cards she earns.

I’ve used Swagbucks for Starbucks, and Amazon purchases, and right now I am saving my swagbucks for a trip fund for next Summer. I’ve had a Swagbucks account for years.  You can sign up here.

Sell some of your stuff.

So many of us have things around our home we just don’t use anymore. If you need some money in your savings, take a look around your house and see what you can sell on an online yard sale site, or have an actual yard sale.

Start a side hustle.

When there is absolutely NO room in our budget, the only thing we can do is bring in some extra income. Add a side hustle to your life earn some money.

There are various side hustles for all different schedules. If you don’t have a ton of time, but could use an extra 100 dollars a month, consider doing surveys at sites like Survey Junkie,  and Pinecone Research.

If you have more time you can consider starting a blog, babysitting or dogwalking on the side, freelancing,  cleaning homes, tutoring, or teaching music lessons.

Put away $5-$10 per paycheck.

Okay, sometimes there really isn’t ANY extra money you can use from your paycheck. But sometimes we can put 5 to 10 dollars away. It may not seem like much, but it all adds up over time.

Sometimes we think if we can’t save large amounts of money all at once that it isn’t worth it. Doing something instead of nothing is ALWAYS worth it.


Living paycheck to paycheck is hard. There’s no way around it. Many of us have experienced it at least some point in our life, and some of us have lived our whole lives that way. It can feel exhausting and discouraging.

However, even though life can feel limited when funds are short, there are ways around that. Sure, you can’t just go out and buy what you want tomorrow, and you can’t just take a trip whenever you feel like it. But you can plan for these kinds of things and with hard work and determination, you can bring many of these ideas and dreams to fruition. It just might take a little longer than other people.

But that’s okay, because life isn’t a race. It doesn’t matter that it takes some of us a little longer to get where we want to go financially. What matters is that we put in the effort and don’t give up. What matters is that we don’t say, “well, other people may be able to acquire enough money to do __________ but I’ll never be able to” but instead we focus on getting the job done.

Now, I get that this isn’t black and white. I get that there are obstacles in our way. And while I say we need to fight for what we want when it comes to saving our money it doesn’t mean we are invincible and can get whatever we want if we work hard enough.

Because, truth is, I’m probably never going to have a mansion and ferrari, no matter how hard I work at it. Not that I have any desire to have either, but you get what I am saying.

However, while I will most likely never obtain a ferrari or mansion, there’s a good chance I could go on a trip I want to take, even if it means I need to save for 5 years.

There’s a good chance I could save for a big ticket item, or whatever else I would really like to do. How I do it may just be a little more unconventional then those who have more disposable income. That’s why I apply the ideas above to save extra money.

Decide what you want to save for, and then use some of the ideas in this post to begin.

7 Genius ways to save Money when you live Paycheck to Paycheck
Article Name
7 Genius ways to save Money when you live Paycheck to Paycheck
It can be difficult to save money when you live paycheck to paycheck. Learn some genius ways you can save money on an extremely tight budget.
Publisher Name
Simple Life of a Frugal Wife

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