Some people hear the phrase “personal finance” and assume that it is meant for people with lots of money. Not so. In fact, it may be that the less money you have, the more important it is to track it and make the best use of it.
Even if you are living paycheck to paycheck, there are usually things you can do to make savings possible.
Start with a budget. Seeing your income and outgo in black and white gives you a good starting point. Then analyze your spending and see where there might be some wiggle room. Having a clear picture of where you are can help to plot out a direction.
Eating out too often? There is something to save if you discipline yourself to make less expensive meals at home. Lower the speed on your Internet. Choose a less expensive cable package, or dump cable altogether. Avoid compulsive purchases. Even if an item of clothing is on sale, it isn’t a good deal if it derails your savings intentions.
If you cut all the corners you can and still aren’t able to put a consistent amount into savings, it may be time to look at more extreme options, such as taking a second job temporarily so you can pay off debt.
Downsizing your living space may be possible. That means saving in several areas, including the housing itself and the cost of the utilities it takes to live there. Making drastic changes for the short haul to come out better over the long term is smart.
Bottom line: Don’t wait until you can easily afford it to begin a savings program. Scrimping a bit now will pay off in the future when your income is likely to be larger. You will have developed the habit so that retirement savings will come natural.