How to Save Money When You’re Broke – Find Out Using 28 Tips

Do you need to know how to save money when you're broke?

There is no hidden secrets or information

You just need to be disciplined and inclined to improve your financial condition

Perhaps you may not be aware of all below advices

Once you know them what is left for you is to apply what you've learnt

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how to save money when you're broke

That's why I will discuss below how to save money when you're broke

Stick to a budget

I believe budget is like a compass to your financial destiny

By using a budget you will be able to analyze where every dollar is going to

Creating a family budget is something very easy to build

But if you are lost and not sure from where to start then read about how to budget your money

To make it even convenient, I have made hard work easy for you by creating my best budget planner as one of my products

dated monthly budget page

Pay yourself first and automate transfer

Pay yourself is a simple term which means to ask you bank to cut an amount or percentage from every paycheck to your saving account

Or whatever you agree upon with your bank as all banks can easily customize this automatic transfer for you

Work on getting out of debt

If you are wondering how to save money when you're broke

I will tell you a surprise by paying off your debt

Perhaps your debt occurred due to many reasons like medical bill or due to gambling

Deferring your debt will put you in a financial trouble as interest accumulates every day

You are not fighting against your loans but also against accumulated interests

I love the below debt tracker which helps people nail down and pay debt easily

debt tracker to save money if you're broke

Buy generic brands

I really don't understand those who buy organic food – I am not against them

Seriously not only I never buy organic but also I give it a try to many generic brands

There are so many generic brands in grocery stores cheaper than original products

If I try any generic brand and it is good – I add it to my money saving list

Practice the 30 days rule

If you see a big ticket item and you want to splurge money on

Try the 30 day rule or method

Simply put it back on the shelf and leave the store

Wait for 30 days and ask yourself if you still want to purchase it

Use a jar for your spare change

I know this may not save money when you're broke

But it will make you caring about money

I remember walking with someone who purchased coffee with cash

It happened that few dimes and nickels fell off his hand

I waited a little bit as I though he didn't notice

Then I told him and he didn't take any action

I crouched down and collected his coins and handed back to him

It was so embarrassing as he refused to take them back

He told me he wouldn't put an effort to pick up change

I didn't know what to do?

Should I put them in my pocket, I kept them in my hand till he left and took them

If you think there is an alternative solution, let me know in the comment

I can't through them back again my hands won't obey me

Don't be fooled by any sales

Imagine you visit a mall and your eyes fall on an incredible sales

Question to you, do you really want this discounted item?

Most probably you don't but you get them because they are on sale

I was at Costco one day and I noticed winter jackets were on big discount

It was a great temptation to me as I love jackets but I have already 5 jackets

I took me some time to resist buying it although it was very cheap

But it is about the concept itself

What about you in that situation?

Choose affordable rent or mortgage amount

Unfortunately nobody knows before going for a mortgage or rent what is the percentage of they pay according to their total income

I am confident you won't be able to answer this question if you don't have a family budget

how to budget by calculating percentages of expenses per income
I am using hypothetical numbers not really representing my family income

Any budget especially excel comes with percentage feature to help you calculate your spending percentage for each category

Build an emergency fund

Like an anchor to a ship

Emergency fund is an anchor for your financial life

With emergency fund you set aside a personal saving amount in an easy to access account without the need to sell or liquidate this account to cash the amount

This emergency fund will protect you from any debt but how?

Simply if you encounter any emergency around your home with your roof, your pipes leaks or rusty, wet basement, your car breaks or whatever

You will have to put yourself into debt to fix this urgent issue and pay the debt later

But it would be better to pay your urgent thing from your emergency fund

The below printable is one of many pintables under ultimate budget binder

saving money for emergency fund if you're broke
use emergency fund to save money if you're broke

Setup a plan for the Tax refund season

If you are like me who prefers to contribute to your RRSP (Registered Retirement Savings Plan) in Canada or IRA (Individual Retirement Account) in U.S

You will be receiving a refund from Government during your tax season

Use your tax refund to save money if you're broke

Cancel magazine subscription and GYM membership

All households have either GYM membership, magazine subscription or both

For magazines, think about it if you really read those magazines

Or you take them from your door steps and leave them on table then to the recycle

cancel your gym membership to save money if you're broke
save money if you're broke

And for GYM membership, are you really using all sporting tools there?

You can get a treadmill at home and it will do the same job for you

Use major appliances on low peak and weekends only

Don't think that this advice is useless

If you're looking for how to save money when you're broke then consider operating your major appliances on low peak and weekends only

You will save a lot and if you're not aware major appliances are dish washer, washing machine and dryer

Oven is also one of the major appliances, to be realistic it is hard to use your oven during the low peak only

Use LED bulbs and turn off unnecessary lights

Regular bulbs use 5% of its energy to produce light and the remaining is heat

By using LED bulbs say goodbye to this wastage as LED uses 75%-80% less energy

Definitely you will be saving money if you're broke

Don't take this advice lightly and practice turning off unnecessary lights

Use smart thermostat

I underestimated how efficient smart thermostat is until I installed one and tested it

You can't imagine what smart thermostat can do for you to save on your heat/cool bill

Like programming it to switch off automatically during certain time of the day

And being able to control it from your mobile plus adding future vacations timelines

Smart thermostats are not expensive so if you're broke and need to save money

I recommend you to replace your regular thermostat with a smart one

Use coupons and cash back apps

Nowadays mobile apps replaced regular flyer coupons

So you have a chance of not missing any coupon

Beside coupons, there are so many mobile apps that reward you with cash back

Like Rakuten where you get $10 bonus when you sign up

Also couple of similar mobile apps like MyPoints, TopCashBack, Qmee, ShopAtHome, Honey, Shopkick and Paribus

And for grocery apps there is Ibotta that rewards you for grocery receipts and gives you $20 as sign up bonus

Fetch Rewards is another similar grocery app and gives you $2 bonus when signing up

Again there are couple of competitive mobile apps to Ibotta like Receipt Hog, Cashout 51 and Storewards

Another mobile apps that track your purchases by linking your debit or credit cards to the app like Dosh – sign up and get $5 welcome bonus

You can save money on gas too by downloading an app called GetUpside as you will collect 25 cents back on every gas receipt

Use cashback credit cards

I love cashback credit cards as I make money while shopping for my daily expenses in my budget

At the end of the year on renewal date you collect cash back a good one

You have to do your homework and look for credit cards that give you cash back on specific category

I have a master card that gives me 3% cash back on restaurants so I use that only if I buy any take away food

Also most of the big stores have their own credit cards that maximize their cash back when you use their cards to pay for your shopping inside their stores

Plan your meals with shopping list

How many times I go to grocery store during the week just to pick what I forgot from my last visit

Not anymore with the shopping list app like AnyList

Also I have it integrated with Amazon Alexa

I ask Alexa to add my grocery item to my shopping list and it goes there

When I visit the supermarket, I go through the items on my shopping list

Use your leftover dinner for lunch at work

If you're keen to know how to save money when you're broke then stop buying lunch at work

Each day buying a lunch will cost you from $10 to $12 that's around $300 a month

What's wrong with eating a food you bring from home

I know some people don't like the word leftover but they are not as you think

You plan to cook food to take it with you in your lunch

Cut cigarettes, alcohols and soft drinks

I should say cut cigarettes for your health sake

Reduce alcohols and soft drinks to save money especially if you're broke

When it comes to alcohols, I love drinking alcohols on certain occasions with guests

I cut the habit of drinking by myself

For soft drinks, I realized I gained weight so I was able to cut it easily

Join wholesale club membership

Why I say wholesale club, it costs money for its membership

Well make up your mind as you buy grocery items in bulk with discounted prices

Yes you save money but you pay for an annual membership

I will tell you my experience with wholesale club stores

Regular membership costs $60 for shopping there

While executive membership costs $120 and gives 2% cash back on your purchases

I tried this executive membership and I got a check for $86

This means I pay around $35 and I save on buying bulky items

Reduce dinning out to special occasions only

I don't want to be weird asking you to cut dinning out

Be reasonable and reduce dining out

Assign an amount in your budget for eating out

Definitely you will save money especially if you're broke

Cut cable and replace it with IPTV

You can't imagine how much you will save money especially if you're broke

By replacing your cable bill around $50 to $70 a month with IPTV which is around $30 a year

Do you see the huge saving of money here?

I will leave it for you to make up your mind

Giving up your home phone

Everyone is using cell phone nowadays

In fact you don't need your home phone

In case you need to buy a backup phone, go ahead and buy VOIP phone

I pay $3 a month for my VOIP phone

Buy used items

Please can you check Facebook Marketplace before buying any item

You won't believe your eyes, you can find used big ticket item with fraction of its original price

I remember I was trying to estimate how much my Piano was worth

So I checked Facebook Marketplace and found people offering free Pianos waiting for buyers to pick them up

Know your needs and wants

I know there are many people still struggle to understand the difference between their needs and wants

Are you one of them?

Simply you needs are everything that keep you alive like your shelter, food and transportation

Your wants are all the items that make you feel good like buying new clothes, watches or playing console

Find cheap gas stations to save money

If you're broke and willing to save money it is easy with GasBuddy app as you can find an up to date of all gas stations prices near you

You can combine the above with GetUpside to collect 25 cents on every fill up

Work side hustle if you're broke

If you have a hobby it is a good starting point to save money from it

But if I don't really have one, here are some of my previous posts to give you ideas

Making 200 dollars per day

How to make 300 dollars fast in 2021

Making 500 dollars fast cash free

Join 52 weeks money saving challenge

I discussed before the 52 weeks money saving challenge

If you don't know anything about it

This is a saving challenge for one full year where you start saving $1 for week one and increment it by $1 every week till the last week of the year where you save $52

money saving plan for $1,378- 52 weeks money challenge

Michael launched Wealth of Geeks to make personal finance fun. He has worked in personal finance for over 20 years, helping families reduce taxes, increase their income, and save for retirement. Michael is passionate about personal finance, side hustles, and all things geeky.