If you’re reading this, chances are, you’re broke and need to save some money.
We all been there.
There’s nothing like being broke, not knowing if you’re going to make ends meet before your next paycheck.
It has to be one of the worst feelings in the world!
But, there’s also nothing like reaching that flat broke moment to help you assess your money habits.
Nows the time to identify issues and get on track to stop living paycheck to paycheck.
In this article, we’ll cover how to identify your money problems, set a new standard for the way you think about and handle your income, and a few ways to cut costs while you hoard away some savings!
You’re about to learn how to save money when you’re broke.
#1 Figure Out Where Your Money Is Going
The first thing you need to do in order to start saving money when you’re broke is get a good idea of where all your money has been going!
Have you been overspending on food? Clothing? Cute decor from Target? Video games? Don’t worry – we’ve all been there!
You can start by pulling copies of your bank and card statements from the last one to three months and creating categorized lists of your purchases.
Once you have a good idea of how you’ve been spending your money, you’ll be able to create a game plan for moving forward on where you can realistically cut costs.
You may not be able to move to a place with a cheaper cost of living, but you can definitely cook at home and hold off on buying new fashion pieces for a couple of months while you build up a cash cushion for yourself.
To really get stuck into your spending. Consider learning how to do a money makeover.
#2 Start Selling Things You Don’t Need
Going through your things to figure out what you could sell for cash may seem daunting.
However it’s totally worth it.
Think about it this way, spending time going through your items will show you don’t need any more things, and it will keep you occupied so you can’t go out and spend that money!
Selling Clothes To Make Money When You’re Broke
When it comes to selling clothes, there are 2 options that work pretty well.
First, try taking your clothes to a local consignment shop in your area. Be sure your items are laundered, folded, and presentable (no worn-out PJ’s and no undergarments).
Pro tip: there’s a little tag inside your clothing that shows when the item was made. Find it, and snip it out discreetly. Many consignment stores have rules that they can only accept items that are less than 3 years old from fast fashion stores. But, if they can’t tell how old the item is, they’re more likely to just take it. Don’t cut out any tags that show the brand of clothing.
If you don’t have much luck selling to a consignment store or you just have a lot of leftover clothes to get rid of, you can try selling them independently on Poshmark!
You’ll have to take pictures of each item, create listings, and deal with shipping, but noone said making extra money when you’re broke was easy!
Selling Furniture And Miscellaneous Items When You’re Broke
What about extra furniture or decor that’s cluttering up your home or plainly not being used?
Sell, Sell, Sell!
You can sell furniture and home items pretty quickly (depending on your area) on Facebook Marketplace!
Be sure to take nice, well-lit, non-blurry photos of your items; name them accurately; write a detailed product description; and price them competitively compared to similar items on Marketplace at the time.
You can also reach out to friends, family, coworkers, and community members to tell them what you are trying to sell.
You never know who might need a new dresser, end table, recliner, blender, etc. Spread the word about selling your things any way you can!
If all else fails with your clothes and other items, throw a garage sale! You may not get as much money per item this way, but it beats getting nothing!
Remember, you’re broke, you don’t have the luxury of being picky with how much someone wants to pay for something.
#3 Cut Costs on Food and Groceries When You’re Broke
We’ll just cut to the plain and simple on this one – you’ve got to stop eating out.
There. We said it.
Getting take out and going to restaurants is one of the fastest ways to blow money.
(It’s also a personal weakness of mine).
It doesn’t matter if you think you’re doing it the cheapest way or only getting fast food. It’s still cheaper to eat at home. Plain and simple.
Pick one or two meals a week that you want to eat out, set a budget for it, and then accept that the rest of your meals will be made by you at home.
Now that you’ve come to terms with making your own food, here’s what you should do to save money on groceries when you’re broke.
- Get used to the idea of eating the same meals for a week at a time. Don’t curl your nose up at the thought just yet, remember, you’re broke! Choosing one breakfast, one lunch, two or three dinners, and one to two snacks for the whole week is one of the best ways to lower your grocery bill! Think about it, imagine buying oats for breakfast for the whole week versus buying oats, eggs, bacon, bagels, cereal, and poptarts just so you can have some “variety”.
- Once you’ve decided on your meals for the week, sit down and make a grocery list. Take your time with this, because once you’re in the store with your list, you’re only allowed to buy the things that are on it. If you forget to write down bananas, you need to go home and make a new list and come back another day. It seems harsh, but you’ll learn fast to stick to a list and not overbuy.
- Another way to save money on groceries is to buy frozen fruits and veggies. Frozen produce is often fresher in its frozen form, because it was flash-dried at peak freshness rather than being preserved to sit on a truck for few days and then still be good on the market shelves for a few days more. Frozen berries, mangos, pineapples, as well as frozen peas, green beans, peppers, onions, and broccoli are all wonderful choices for frozen produce.
- One last suggestion for cutting costs on your grocery bill is to do a “nothing but water” challenge. Besides your morning coffee or tea, challenge yourself to drink nothing but water throughout your day. You’ll be surprised at how much you save by leaving the extra drinks on the shelves.
#4 Consume Information About Saving Money
Saving money is only as fun as you convince yourself it is.
One way to save more money when you’re broke is to change your mindset about consumerism and increase your financial literacy!
Instead of going out shopping, stay home and watch a documentary from The Minimalists on YouTube.
Get a library card (free) and check out the book The Year of Less: How I Stopped Shopping, Gave Away My Belongings, and Discovered Life is Worth More Than Anything You Can Buy in a Store.
If this one doesn’t convince you to start hoarding your cash, we don’t know what will!
Listen to podcasts like Paula Pant’s Afford Anything, The Stacking Benjamins Show, or Frugal Friends! Read books like The Simple Path to Wealth by JL Collins, and absolutely download Mr. Money Mustache’s blog app where you can start reading his journey starting back in 2011.
Simply surround yourself with people (even if it’s digitally) who value their money and spend it responsibly, and you’re sure to catch what they’ve got.
Go all-in. Become laser-focused on achieving your savings goals, and don’t let anything get in your way!
#5 Start A Low Or No-Cost Side Hustle
You may not see yourself as the type of person to be “entrepreneurial”, but we know for sure….
Anyone and everyone is capable of having a successful side hustle! Read our article on 21 Side Hustles For 2021
Here’s a quick list of some zero-cost or really-close-to-zero-cost side hustle ideas to help you save money when you’re broke:
- Rev.com – Know how to type? Apply to be a Rev.com transcriptionist. You have to take a practice test, and it may take a couple of weeks to be approved, but once you’re in you can earn money immediately! It’s free to join. Rev pays their freelancers weekly! There are thousands of jobs uploaded daily, and you can claim them as you like. Pay per minute of transcription audio ranges from $0.30 to over $1.00, which may not seem like much, but if you can do a couple of hours a day, you can make a couple hundred a week.
- Fiverr – Have a digital skill like writing, designing, or virtual assisting? Get on Fiverr today! It’s absolutely free to set up a profile and start advertising your services to potential clients. Get on YouTube and watch videos about people who have used Fiverr to make money with different skills, and get an idea of how you could best use the platform!
- Furniture Flipping – Have an extra piece of furniture in the house that could use some TLC? Have 15 bucks to spare on a coffee table from Goodwill? You can start flipping furniture today. This is not a no-cost idea, as you’ll likely need to buy some paint, sandpaper, and brushes, but you can do all of that on a budget if you shop the clearance racks at your local hardware stores. Learn more about flipping furniture to make money from the Furniture Flipping Teacher on YouTube.
Concluding How To Save Money When You're Broke
Hopefully we’ve answered the question of how to save money when you’re broke.
We hope you feel inspired to start stacking your cash and climb out of your money rut!
Remember, it’s a process, and it may take a month (or three) to see your progress start to build.
Stick to your plan, and stay hopeful! You got this.
Next step? Learn how to do a money makeover.