So you want to budget on low income? Here are 20 ways you must try

Would you care to share?

How do you start a budget with no money? 

Starting a budget with no money seems out of the question but if you think about it some people earn lots of money yet they manage to blow it away. 

So the income is not the issue, it’s how you spend your money that counts. 

In this post, I’ll show you how you can budget on low income and how you can manage your spending habits even with low income. 

But first let’s talk about the minimalism budget, if you haven’t checked my post on minimalism budget I highly recommend reading it first as it’ll help you understand some points later in this post.

What Does Minimalism Have To Do With Your Money?

 I didn’t explain how minimalism got to do with your money?

So here is how minimalism helps you to budget:

1- Prioritize 

Minimalist budgeting allows you to prioritize your spending habits if you have a hard time prioritizing what’s important and what’s not.

2- Creates freedom 

Practicing minimalism in terms of budget creates freedom for other things, especially if you have budgeting goals which I’m sure you’re since you’re here. 

3- Reach your goals

One of the best ways to reach your financial goals is to build a lifestyle around it and adopting a minimalist lifestyle will help you get there faster, since we’re talking about budgeting on a low income, this will help you in a big way. 

Read more >> How to achieve your goals (20 actions tips)

Read more >> How to set and achieve your goal in 5 days (Freebie)

4- The bigger picture

Let’s picture a scene together, shall we? You started to practice a minimalist lifestyle 3 years before purchasing/renting a house and when it’s time to get that house you consider the option you have, like how many rooms you want? What kind of space do you want?

And since you own only valuable items your option will be limited to what you only need.

Which in return will make you buy/rent a cheaper house, which will also guess what? Saves you a ton of money! 

Okay, not a ton but at least it’ll cut your spending by at least 30% if not more.

5- Eliminate stress

The money topic stresses everyone who has a low income and when you try to budget on a low income, oh boy! The stress is even stronger.

But, a minimalist budget does help eliminate that stress, while it won’t make the stress go away but think about the freedom you have over your financial habits? Nothing can beat that. 

6- Stay focused

If you need another reason to how a minimalist lifestyle does help with money, this is it.

It makes you mindful of your financial situation. 

Gets you clear on your path to budgeting. And, let’s not forget it gets your budgeting goals faster.  

Now you understand how minimalism helps with your financial goals, let’s see how you can create a budget on a low income?

But there are few important things to keep in mind first before deciding to budget on a low income.

1- Make a decision 

Like anything in life, you need to decide to budget and since we are talking about budgeting with no money it’s gonna require some commitments to do that.

And this leads me to my second point.

2- Know your why?

There is no point in doing something you don’t know the end of. You wouldn’t go to the grocery store without buying some groceries (Unless you have another reason).

So don’t skip on this one.

What’s your end goal from budgeting?

What do you want to gain from budgeting?

3- Be aware 

And I mean you need to be aware of your spending habits. Don’t be one of those people who realize that they have nothing left by the end of the month and don’t know where all the money goes?

I can’t tell you how much I see people having low income yet they spend a fortune on invaluable stuff.

It’s necessary to be conscious of your habits and it might seem like a lot of work at the beginning but it’ll be worth it once you see the results.

You can use my FREE tracking expenses sheet to help you be conscious of your spending habits.

Now you know the first few steps before deciding to budget on a low income.

 Here are 20 ways to budget on low income 

1- Change your mindset

You can’t see new results unless you change your thinking about it.

If you constantly think that budgeting with no money or even on a low income sounds impossible it’ll be hard to do that.

So start with your mindset.

What you currently believe about your salary? 

Is it possible to budget on a low income if you work on it?

What do I want to believe instead?

2- Change your lifestyle 

I don’t mean to change everything about anything that you do.

But your lifestyle determines the quality of your life.

If you consistently shop and hope to see some increase in your saving, that will be impossible.

So in that case you want to consider changing your lifestyle.

If you love reading books, instead of purchasing go to the local library.

Love fancy restaurants? Try to learn how to cook at least one of your favorite recipes.

3- Time to start a minimalist budget

I can’t tell you to change into something you don’t want but when you see other people do it, it’ll seem possible to you.

I wrote a whole guide on how to start a minimalist budget but it’s about only spending money on what’s valuable to you and eliminate what’s not necessary.

It’s not a 3-month chore it’s a lifestyle you can live by and it’ll change your life.

Free Budget Tracker
Easy Plug and Play

to track your expenses and set your budget.

4- Stay committed 

You only get results if you stay committed to what you said you’ll do.

It might seem hard at the beginning to do that but think about the first time you drove a car or even rode a bike? It sounded scary at first but eventually, you were done and it seems natural now.

You don’t get off the bike or the car when you have some trouble, it’s important to keep the same mindset when it comes to budgeting on a low income. 

5- Set reminders

What kind of person are you? When you know who you are and what helps you achieve your goals it’ll be easier to stay on track.

If you’re the type of visual person then setting visual reminders will help you stay focus.

Get this free discovery workbook to help you understand what’s keeping you stuck

6- Track track

You need to look at what you do so that you can measure if the type of budgeting you use works or not.

I use Notion to track my expenses. Also, lately, I found this app called 1money that lets you track your expenses and check if you’re on track. 

My posts usually contains affiliate links which means I may earn commission if you decided to purchase through any affiliate link, read the full disclosure here.

7- Consider another source of income

That doesn’t mean you always have to hustle to get more money but doing something you are passionate about and gets you an extra income every month will be so worth it. 

If you love digital products as I do, you can start with this course to help you make extra income.

8- Don’t be afraid to ask for a raise

If the idea of starting a side gig sounds too much for you then It’s okay to ask for a raise if you feel your current salary won’t help you reach your financial goals. 

Free Budget Tracker
Easy Plug and Play

to track your expenses and set your budget.

9- Cancel subscription

How much do you think you spend on TV subscriptions or even app subscriptions? I mean everything is automated to help you organize your life better but at the same time, you lose a lot of money each month behind the curtains.

10- Ask for help 

I know we are all shy to ask for a little help but that one little favor can change your world around.

And that doesn’t mean to owe someone money, it can mean that your partner starts to save with you or share your spending. Just don’t be afraid to ask for help to save money.

11- Keep adapting

If one type of budgeting doesn’t fit your needs, throw it out the window and go on to the next type. With that being said, certain budgets don’t fit with your lifestyle.

So before digging in with a budget method, figure out if it does meet your financial goals. 

More resources you’ll love:

12- Get a planner 

Almost everything now needs a kind of planner for each goal you have and budgeting especially on low income requires the right type of planner.

Here is my favorite one. You can also check my post on which planner suits your goal?

Read more>> What is the best goal planner for each goal?

13- Learn to earn

Sometimes to be able to save money fast on a low budget requires managing your spending habits. This is why there are so many courses out there to help you keep your savings high and manage your financial habits.

I love SkillShare to find a course for almost everything. 

14- Resell

This is more than saving money on a low budget but it does help to bring extra money to the house.

Look around your house for things you don’t use anymore or you think you’ll use but you don’t and consider selling them in second hand stores or even on an online shop for used items.

15- Electronics

This goes along with reselling unused items but it’s worth its own section. 

How many unused phones do you have around the house? Well, that differs from country to country but where I live you can’t do much with an old phone other than selling it. So consider getting rid of unused phones. And if you wonder how that will save more money? If you think about it you might use the phone for useless things such as playing games or looking at old photos and that takes a lot of power and adds to your electric bills.

16- Invest

I know, I know you are asking how can I save money when I want to budget on a low income? Well here is the thing, you spend a lot of money on everyday items that can’t be recycled, and in return, you buy more of them. Such as toothbrushes, straws, hairbrushes, and a lot of hygienic items. 

Instead, try to purchase high quality items that are made of bamboo or nonplastic materials. 

You’ll save a huge amount of money just by doing that. 

Read more >> 15 budget friendly ways to invest in yourself

17- Stop purchasing plastic 

Another point that needs its own section. We all know how plastic is bad for our life yet we still use them every day. Look around your house 9 out of 10 there are items made of plastic, well there might be things that can’t be replaced but there sure are ways to recycle them or invest in good quality.

If you have a lot of plastic water bottles do the math of how much each one is worth and you’ll be surprised by how much you spend on it.

18- DeClutter 

I have neighbors who were in the phase of constructing the whole house and had a hard time with money yet they managed to make a party and buy unnecessary items around the house.

I’m telling you this cause they’re not the only people who do that, we all do at some point.

So look around the house and see where you can Declutter things from your house. 

19- Set a deadline

I know how awful and stressful setting a deadline is but, it helps you see where you are headed.

Just like tracking but this one helps you to see where the end goal is.

Set a deadline to budget for at least 3 months and check how it goes for you, if you feel something is not right then it’s time to change something up. 

Maybe you need to focus on another source of income if you feel nothing else works.

The bottom line is you won’t know unless you try.

Free Budget Tracker
Easy Plug and Play

to track your expenses and set your budget.

20- Think outside the box

Things are impossible, it only seems like that because you don’t have enough information about it.

Like I mentioned changing your lifestyle earlier in this post. It does require thinking outside the box.

See what you do in everyday life that could cost you money without you realizing it? 

And from there try to see if there could be alternatives.

I prioritize my skin which means I need to purchase items to take care of my skin and it might seem impossible to not do that but I found natural ingredients for a much cheaper price.

My point is if you do think outside the box, there will be alternatives. 

Final Note

You might think that budgeting on low income seems a lot of work even after everything you have done, and that’s ookay. What you can do instead is to track your progress little by little and you’ll see results come in your way.

Plus, don’t forget to get your Notion template to track your expenses and save more money.

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Budgeting on a low income

So you want to budget on low income? Here are 20 ways you must try

Would you care to share?


Hi, I'm Amira and I run the website The Self Art for creative women who want to work on self improvement and becoming their best version by setting goals with a fun twist.

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