Saving Money on a Budget

By: Julie East, Corp. Marketing & Recruiting

Nov 5, 2019

Saving money may seem impossible for most people living paycheck to paycheck, but if you have the will…there is a way. If you have tried to save money, the effort to save money versus how much you can afford to save is a constant battle. The key is finding a balance that allows you to take advantage of ways to save money without feeling deprived while you do it.  

The most important part of saving money is discipline. Come up with a plan and stick to it! It’s all about following through with your plan, no matter how small, and over time….it will pay off.  If having a goal helps motivate you to save, allocate the savings for a short-term or long-term goal that enables you to see a quicker reward.  Your short-term goal, for example, could be having enough cash to replace a broken dishwasher, while your long-term goal might be to get completely out of credit-card debt.  

Here are some more tips to help you:  


The simplest way to save money is to take out a small portion of your paycheck every week to put into a savings account or emergency fund. For example, if you take out $20 a week and work year-round, you can save $1,040 over 52 weeks. If you can afford to take out more, like $50 a week, that savings jumps to $2,600 a year.  Every little bit counts!  

If you receive tips in your job, instead of including the tips as your normal “pay”, put that money straight into savings.  For example, if you average $30 in tips for the week, you can save $1,560 a year.  If the bulk of your pay is your tips, however, put a percentage of your tips into savings. Let’s say you average $150 in tips for the week, decide on a reasonable percentage, such as 10% (or $15), and put that money into savings.  


While taking out cash from your paycheck for savings, you may also need to tighten your belt in other areas to save money.   

  • EAT IN.  Food is often cited as the top budget buster for many people. If a dinner for two costs $50 on average, then cutting back on eating out to just once a week instead of two times a week can save you $216 a month, or $2,600 a year. Eat lunch out once a week instead of five – assuming the average lunch costs $10 – and you save over $40 a week, or $2,080 annually!
  • BUY IN BULK. It can pay to stock up at the supermarket, drug store, warehouse club, or health food store, especially when your favorites are on sale. Many stores have weekly specials like a “two-for-one” or “buy 10 @ $1.00 each.” Over time, those savings can really add up.
  • USE COUPONS. If you have seen any of the coupon saving shows, you know that clipping coupons can pay off big! Not all stores double or triple coupons, but saving ANYTHING on groceries is a win.  When used with a store’s weekly specials, you can save even more.
  • USE UNIT PRICES. You might think that the largest box is the best buy, but that’s not always the case. Sometimes, two smaller boxes are cheaper. Check the unit prices on the price sticker located on the shelf.  The large box might be 63 cents a unit, while the smaller box is only 49 cents a unit.  In that instance, it’s cheaper to buy two of the smaller boxes. 
  • REPAIR INSTEAD OF REPLACE. There are significant savings to be had in repairing certain items instead of replacing them. Is the handle on your microwave falling off?  Consider replacing only the handle rather than the entire microwave. There are many places to buy replacement parts and online tutorials on how to fix items yourself.
  • DO-IT-YOURSELF PROJECTS. The more you can do on your own, the less it can cost to repair, update, or fix whatever “it” is. The more new skills you learn, the more you can save. There are free courses available, especially in the big box stores and sewing centers, as well as videos on where you can get clear instructions on how to do pretty much anything.
  • ASK FOR A BETTER DEAL. This one is one of the hardest tips to follow, because people are afraid to speak up. But it pays to ask for a better deal on services you regularly use. Whether it’s to get a better credit card interest rate, lower insurance premiums, or cheaper cell service, sometimes all you need to do is ask. Do this at least once a year. Knowing what the competition offers will put you in a much better position to negotiate with the companies you currently do business with. Be informed and make a few phone calls. The money you save will be your own.
  • BORROW. Instead of buying a weed trimmer or edger, borrow it from a friend or family member. If you are attempting to repair your own vehicle and need a special tool that you can’t borrow from a friend or family, consider renting one instead.  In most cases, renting a tool costs a fraction of the price you’d spend to purchase a new one.  Ask yourself this question:  how many times am I really going to use that special tool if I buy it?
  • JUST SAY NO. Do you suffer from impulse purchases? With the ease of online shopping, the temptation to impulse buy is greater than ever. Popup ads, shopping aps on your smartphone, and advertising on popular programs are all designed to tempt you into impulse purchases. Before clicking that link, wait. Take the time to visualize other ways you could spend that money or put towards your long-term savings goal. 

Everyone has good intentions when it comes to saving money, but don’t worry, it’s not as overwhelming as it sounds. With a few changes in your savings priorities, you’ll be on the fast track to saving money in no time. 

About Lofton: Founded in 1979, Lofton Services offers clients the best of all worlds. We provide the responsive, personal service and flexibility of a small local firm while having the technology, resources, and infrastructure to deliver the benefits of the biggest players in our industry. Lofton Staffing can deliver the right people, with the right skills, right when you need them. Celebrating 40 years in staffing excellence! Contact us today

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