The irony of being poor is that it actually costs a lot to be poor. Just take toilet paper for example. When you buy toilet paper in bulk – say, in packs of 24 and up – the cost of each roll of toilet paper goes down. But while buying a pack of 24 rolls of toilet paper may be cheaper when you break down the cost, you still need to make a large initial purchase. When you’re broke, you just can’t afford to buy 24 rolls of toilet paper in one go. So you buy single rolls. Your initial purchase is lower, but the price of per roll is greater. And when you keep buying single rolls of toilet paper, you’ll end up spending more than the (presumably) more affluent person who bought that 24-pack of toilet paper
Plus there’s the space to consider. A more well-off person will most likely have enough space to store not just toilet paper, but other supplies in bulk. A friend of mine has an entire room just dedicated to storing supplies! When I was flat broke, I couldn’t imagine having the money to buy bulk, much less have the space to store it (I lived in a tiny one-bedroom apartment back then).
This doesn’t just apply to toilet paper, of course. Everything is cheaper in bulk. But I understand that if you’re facing monetary problems, buying bulk might be out of the question.
I’m bringing that up because I’ll be giving you some tips on how to save money when you’re broke. The words “saving” and “broke” don’t always go hand in hand. In fact, most people use being broke as a reason for not saving. Before you send me your violent reactions, I know that there are sometimes legit reasons for not being able to save money. I myself was in that position a few years ago.
I’m not going preach to you – and that’s why I brought up buying in bulk at the start of this blog post. Simply put, buying in bulk is out of the question when you’re broke, and it sucks when people flippantly tell you to buy in bulk, as if that was the solution to all your monetary problems. I also won’t talk about why you should save money, even with little income. Everyone knows they need to save money, and I know you would save, if only you had enough money left over.
Focus on Income
My first piece of advice on how to save money when you’re broke is to focus on increasing your income. When there’s absolutely no money left after paying for necessary expenses, you can’t be blamed for not having any money to save. So instead of fretting over not having any money left over, try thinking of ways to increase your income. This includes a variety of methods, and the choice of which one to use depends on you, since you’re aware of your current circumstances. Here are a few things you can do to increase your income:
Without further ado, here are my tips on how to save money if you are poor. And no, I promise not to mention buying in bulk!
Find a New Job
This is the most extreme action, of course. If your job simply isn’t enough to save money with, maybe it’s time to consider switching jobs – or even careers. I know it’s tough having to look for new work. Job-hunting is stressful enough, and that’s on top of the “regular” stress you feel at home and at work. The trick is to think of the stress and hassle you’re feeling now as a sort of moral investment. Get stressed now, and hopefully it all pays off when you land a better job.
Do Side Hustles
The internet is great for finding part-time jobs that don’t require you to quit your day job. If you need to hang on to your current job, find part-time jobs, or side-hustles, as I’d like to call it. There are lots of side-hustles for you to do, and again, finding one that works for you depends on your schedule and goals.
But some initial ideas include driving for Lyft, or making deliveries for Amazon Flex. Both methods offer flexible hours, and give you the opportunity to be your own boss. You could also look for miscellaneous work at sites like Amazon Mechanical Turk or PeoplePerHour. These sites having postings that cover a wide range of odd (and not-so-odd) jobs.
Explore Passive Income
I love passive income. Passive income refers to earning methods that don’t require you to actively do anything at the given moment. One great example of a passive income method is maintaining rental properties. But that’s for rich people. One the smaller end of the spectrum, you could watch videos on rewards sites like GrabPoints. I like this earning method because you can do other stuff – like your main job – while playing videos on GrabPoints. You could even watch videos while waiting on your kids. GrabPoints has other earning methods that are perfect for doing between tasks, like answering surveys and completing offers. And that best thing about GrabPoints? They’re the highest-paying rewards site on the planet! Definitely a big plus when you’re trying to build up your nest egg.
Not All Luxuries are Bad
Okay, my final piece of advice may be a bit controversial. Some people have this idea that if you’re poor, you absolutely must not spend money on non-essential stuff. And I can see the reasoning behind that. But there’s a fine line between occasionally rewarding yourself to increase your moral, and spending money irresponsibly. I’m talking about the former. Sometimes, you just gotta treat yourself, you know? It doesn’t have to be a big purchase. You might not even have enough cash for such a purchase. Make it a simple reward, like a tall glass of flat white coffee from your favorite coffee shop, or a movie date with your husband. Never underestimate the value of a moral boost!