It is always good to have savings. It gives you more financial freedom, independence and also a goal to work towards. But when you don’t have that much income, putting money aside can be tricky. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to save money even with a very low income. In this article, we list 18 ways that you can use to consciously or unconsciously set aside money and thus save up to hundreds of euros per year.
1. Determine that no amount is too low
When you want to save it is important to realize that every amount is a bonus. Whether it is a euro a week or a ten a month does not matter. The point is to understand that there is an opportunity to put money aside. It also does not matter if it is a small amount, because that total amount will become much larger in the long term.
Suppose you put aside € 1 every day. Then you have already saved € 365 after a year. Not a bad amount when you know that you can not even buy half a cup of coffee at the station for that euro. Saving is therefore not at all about putting hundreds of euros aside at once. Saving is an art in which the sustainer wins. And by starting small, you can also be sure that you can keep it up for a long time.
2. Visualize your savings
When you have started saving, it can help if you are visually stimulated to save more. This can be done, for example, by placing a piggy bank somewhere in the house that is made of glass. Although you probably do not have that much money in the piggy bank for the first two or three weeks, you soon notice that you have saved a considerable amount together after one or two months.
Although you know that you started small, you quickly see progress this way. The visual stimulation can also ensure that you are motivated to save a little more. In that case, you can use some tips from the article to get that done.
3. Look at your spending pattern
Is it difficult for you to set aside € 1 per day as savings? In that case it can be useful to first look at your spending pattern. Your spending pattern is everything you spend during a month. So take a notepad and write down all the expenses that you have spent during 3 months. If you come across an expense item more than once, you can also start peating by adding dashes after the same expenses. This automatically creates a list of one-off and recurring expenditure items. When you add up all those cost items and then see which ones you did not have to spend, you immediately see how much money you could have saved in the past 3 months if that expenditure had not been made.
Replace small amounts
The principle that you often spend small amounts that you really should not have spent, is also called the Latte Factor. Some people get a Latte coffee every day when they go to work by train. That costs them about € 2.50 per day. That may not seem like much, but on an annual basis it is about € 600 worth of coffees from the station. If you had brought coffee from home every day, you could have booked a nice holiday from the savings.
By looking at your spending pattern you will recognize this type of expenditure and you will also see how much money you can save extra in the future when you make other choices.
4. Have your money automatically put into a savings account
Almost everyone has a month left at the end of their money. So it is not surprising that if you want to set aside an amount as savings at the end of the month, that option is actually no longer there. That is why it is recommended to have the money automatically put in a savings account.
5. First tackle your debts
Imagine the following situation. You are 1,500 euros in red on your credit card. You pay an interest of 13.99 percent on that. Then you start saving money in a savings account. You receive half a percent interest on that money. If you had saved 1,500 euros, while still having the credit card debt, you would lose a lot of money on that every year.
6. Don’t pay for anything for one month
Do you fancy a challenge? Then you can also try to spend money on nothing but just the necessary things for a month. Think of your rent, mortgage, insurance and food. In that month you do not go out for dinner, you do not buy tasty snacks or snacks and you do everything by bike or on foot when that option is available.
7. Adjust your lifestyle
When you want to save for a purpose such as paying off your mortgage or your pension, you cannot ignore it. You will then have to adjust your lifestyle. That is not always fun, because you have chosen this lifestyle for a reason. But if you really want to save a lot of money together in the long term, you will have to change the routine in your daily life.
The weekly outings with friends to a cafe, the regular high teas with your friends or a subscription to a much too expensive gym. All examples of amounts that you could have put aside at one time as savings. Many people choose a life in which their expenses just fit the expenses. There is nothing wrong with that in itself, but that means you run the risk that you will have less savings at a later age than you would have liked.
8. Do a job for it
Do you work full-time? Then it may be (too) much to ask for another job. But there are many jobs on the internet that you can do for a fee. Even if it is only 3 hours a week on a Saturday afternoon, where you deliver coffee to a healthcare institution near you. Those few hours a week can quickly earn you more than € 100 per month, or 1,200 euros per year. When you put all that extra money earned aside, your savings will grow very quickly.
9. Save everything you save on expenses
Savings and savings go hand in hand. But when we save on something, we quickly spend that money on something else. It is time to change that. For example, you can set aside all your savings on expenses such as clothing, utility bills or groceries as savings. For this you must first make a few calculations. For example, consider how much money you spent on these three spending items in the past year. Then divide the total amount per cost item by 12.
This way you know exactly how much money you spend on average on these items per month. You can then check at the end of each month to see whether you have spent more or less than this average. If you are below average, you should in principle be able to put that money aside. For example, you can buy second-hand clothes, save a lot on your energy bill, but also do cheap shopping. These savings together must already yield more than € 1,000 annually. And instead of leaving that money in your payment account, you can of course just transfer it to your savings account.
10. Sell unnecessary items
The fact that you have little money does not mean that you also have little stuff. And those things can just ensure that you can still save some extra money. An old camera that you don’t use, a set of garden furniture in the garage or a stack of books can make a lot of money when you put them up for sale. When you put all the money directly into a piggy bank, that amount grows very quickly. You can also ask the people around you if they have any stuff they want to put away. Perhaps you can then take it over for free. You can then sell them for a few euros via Marktplaats or Facebook Marketplace and thus also save extra money.
11. Take advantage of cashback promotions
Have you ever heard of cashback promotions ? You then buy a product in the store for the regular price, but you can get back part or the full purchase amount after the purchase. There are a number of websites that offer this, of which Scoupy is the most famous provider. There you create an account, where you then receive money when you have photographed and sent the receipt.
The money will, therefore, be in a separate account and will only be paid at your request. This is beneficial because it means that you cannot spend the amount until you actually receive it in your bank account. If you then request to have yourself paid out after a few months, you can also transfer that money to your savings account in one go. By using these kinds of advantageous products, you can sometimes unnoticed save tens of euros per month.
12. Empty your wallet every day
Do you always have a wallet full of change? Then make it a habit to empty your wallet every day when you get home. For example, you only take out all 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents. You put this in a piggy bank. Although you probably don’t even notice that a few cents are put aside every day, this way you can save several hundred euros a year. Quite interesting, since you probably don’t even realize you didn’t have the money.
12. Set aside windfalls
Do you get a financial windfall such as a salary increase, 13th month or holiday pay? Then do not immediately go to your favorite online store to fill your entire shopping cart with stuff that you always wanted. Just put the extra amount in your savings account without thinking. This can have a particularly large effect, especially with a salary increase. Suppose you start earning € 100 per month more. That would save you no less than 1,200 euros extra savings every year.
13. Try safe ways of investing
We all know that savings at the bank are nowadays nothing at all. In fact, you get so little interest in your account that the money in your savings account becomes even less valuable due to long-term inflation.
So it can be smart to invest part of your savings in stocks such as an index fund. This is a fairly safe form of investing where your money is worth an average of 4 to 7% more every year. So it can be worthwhile to find out what you can do with your savings when you have saved a few hundred euros together. It is a shame to let inflation lose value. Without having to do anything for it, your money will automatically be worth more.
14. Start saving for 52 weeks
This is a very difficult challenge that starts very simply. The 52-week savings challenge means that you start by saving one euro in the first week, two euros in the second week, three euros in the third week and so on. In the first 10 weeks it may still be fairly easy to save the euros together. But in the last weeks you have to set aside up to 52 euros per week. The last month, therefore, it concerns a total of more than 200 euros.
It is a challenge that not everyone can reach, but that makes it extra interesting to try and see how far you can get. Can you do it? Then you have saved almost 1,400 euros in one year.
15. Choose automatic savings on your debit card
At some banks you can choose to automatically save with your debit card. In that case, the bank rounds off the amounts for all the expenses you make. For example, you make a payment in the supermarket for € 23.15. Your bank will then withdraw € 24 from your account, putting the 85 euro cent in a savings account.
This is a very fast and convenient way to save, especially when you use your debit card often. At some banks, it is also possible to set aside a certain percentage of every debit card payment you make. For example 1%, 5% or 10%. With this you can also save very quickly.
16. Pay a higher amount for your energy bill
Every year it is a bit questionable whether you have to pay extra money for your energy bill. Therefore, put in a few euros (or tens) per month extra, so that you can be sure that you do not have to pay back. But paying a higher amount has another advantage. Because in this way you can not spend the money at all.
You actually use the energy supplier as a savings account. At the end of the year you will be told that you will receive a few tens to several hundred euros back. You can then put that money directly into your savings account. In this scenario, you just pretend that your energy bill has increased enormously, but you cannot do anything about it.
17. Make a savings goal
- Create a savings plan: how do you set up savings goals?
It has been scientifically proven that a savings goal is easier to achieve when you visualize the goal. Therefore, it doesn’t hurt to hang a target on your savings, even though you may not have a target at all. By visualizing what you are saving for, it becomes much easier because the goal actually achieves that. Every euro you put aside gets a special meaning. Goals for which you can save are, for example, your pension, a passive income, a camper, or a long journey.
18. Challenge someone
If you are competitive, this tip is for you. Find someone who is in a similar financial situation to you. You then start a competition to save the most money within one year. By fighting together, it becomes a lot more fun to keep one euro separate.
You can also give each other advice, because in the end, you are of course willing to help each other with the savings. It is also a nice idea to save money with your family. Your children’s creativity can come in handy in coming up with fun challenges that the whole family can enjoy.
You can see that there are more than enough options to save, even if you don’t have that much money. The most important tip we can give is that you should never choose to save what you have left at the end of the month. That way you can never really save. Try to calculate how much money you can miss and put it aside at the beginning of the month. You will see that your savings goals are getting closer that way faster than you ever expected.