5 Ways to Start a Savings Plan on a Paycheck-to-Paycheck Budget

If you’re living paycheck to paycheck, putting money into a savings account may seem like an impossible feat. When you’re barely scraping by, how can you afford to put money aside for a rainy day? It may not be the easiest to start a savings plan when living on a paycheck-to-paycheck budget but it’s not impossible.

By building a savings account, you can pay for unexpected expenses and even get out of debt. Here are five ways to save money, even if you don’t have much wiggle room in your budget.

1. Set Savings Goals

Before you can start putting money aside, take the time to create financial goals. Even if your goal is as simple as saving $20 a month, it’s better than having no goal at all. Other common financial goals include saving money towards retirement or even putting money into a short-term investment account. Check out sites like Get Out of Debt to find tons of financial tools that can help you plan a savings goal that not only attainable, but also beneficial to your long term goals.

By setting goals, you have something to work towards each month. Goal setting will keep you on track and make saving a possibility. Once you have goals, write them down or use a budgeting app that can track them for you. To make saving a routine part of your monthly budget, try to set new goals often. This way you always have an objective to reach.

2. Open a New Bank Account

Depending on your bank, you may have to put a certain amount of money into your savings account in order to keep it active. Since this can be impossible if you’re living paycheck-to-paycheck, you’ll want to find a bank that doesn’t have a minimum balance requirement. You’ll also want to look for a bank that doesn’t charge fees.

To make money on the money you save, look for a bank that offers a savings account with a decent interest rate. This way you’ll earn interest as you start saving money each month.

A great option for saving money is an online bank account. These accounts are more out of sight out of mind, meaning you’re less likely to withdraw the money you’ve saved because it isn’t as convenient as a traditional bank.

3. Reduce Your Expenses

Chances are you can make a little wiggle room in your budget by reducing your expenses. There are all sorts of ways to cut down on the amount of money you spend each month. For example, bundle home entertainment services so that you can pay for a cheaper package deal. Another option is to use less energy at home by opening the windows and minimizing hot water usage. As you become more energy efficient, your gas or electric bill is sure to decrease.

Other ways to reduce your expenses include:

  • Eating meals at home
  • Unplugging unused appliances
  • Using coupons when shopping
  • Using public transportation
  • Bundling insurance policies

By reducing your expenses, you will have money left over that you can put into a savings account. A hundred dollars or so each month can go a long way over time.

4. Make More Money

Making more money may sound like a tedious task, but in our digital world, it’s quite easy to give your monthly income a little boost. If you have a few hours to spare each day, there are many things you can consider doing to put more money in your wallet. Online you can become a freelancer, take surveys or even get paid to write product reviews.

You can also offer services like pet-sitting, babysitting, or even lawn care in your community. This is a great way to make money without having too big of an impact on your already busy schedule. Other options to consider include working a seasonal job or selling household items you no longer need.

As you make more money each month, you can put a set amount of cash into a savings account while also giving yourself a little wiggle room.

5. Minimize Spending

In a world of ever-growing gadgets and new clothing trends, it’s quite easy to spend more than we should. If you’re already living paycheck-to-paycheck, one of the worst things you could do is make your financial situation even worse by spending money you don’t have. While there’s plenty of temptation, no purchase feels as good as watching your savings account grow.

Be sure to remove yourself from company newsletters and mailings. The more marketing materials you’re exposed to, the more likely you are to make an impulse purchase.


Saving money isn’t easy, and it’s even harder when you’re living paycheck-to-paycheck. Using these five methods, you can take control of your finances. As you make saving a routine part of life, you’ll feel much more comfortable living on your budget.

If you have any helpful tips for saving money on a paycheck to paycheck budget, leave a comment and share your best advice in the section below.


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