These days, finding enough money to fill your savings account when you have a full-time salary can be difficult. If you’re only working a part-time job, then you’ll need to make your cash stretch even further.
There are plenty of reasons why you might need to stick to part-time hours at the moment. Perhaps you’re not in the best health and you can’t physically spend all day working. Maybe you have a child to look after, and it makes sense to only work part-time and save some money on childcare costs. Some people even work part-time to make ends meet while they’re going to college.
Whatever your reason for working part-time, remember that you can still find ways to save money. Here are our top tips for making the most out of your part-time income.
- Downsize Your Lifestyle Wherever you Can
When you’re working part-time, you need to be realistic about what you can afford. Usually, this will mean that you won’t be able to live in three bedroom house by yourself. Maybe you can share a house with someone local instead or pay for rent in a nearby apartment. The chances are you won’t be able to get a mortgage right now, so make sure that you look for the cheapest rental opportunities possible, without forcing yourself to live in place you hate.
You can also downsize your lifestyle by switching to a more cost-effective car or giving up your vehicle entirely and using public transport. You’d be surprised how much you’ll save on maintenance and fuel costs.
- Compare the Costs of Everything
With a part-time wage, you won’t be able to buy just anything you want on a whim anymore. Every item you buy, from milk to insurance, needs to be evaluated to make sure that you’re getting the lowest price. Consider downloading an app that allows you to compare the costs of all the items you buy each month with ease.
Remember, when you’re making big investments in things like utility bills, or even loans, you can also use comparison websites such as Readies.co.uk to make sure that you’re paying the lowest interest rates. Don’t simply assume that you’re getting the right deal on anything.
- Eliminate the Things you Don’t Need
Usually, when you’re working part-time, the little luxuries that you could have afforded with a full-time job will need to go. This means that you can’t necessarily go out for drinks with your pals every weekend or eat out at fancy restaurants. If the thought of giving up everything you love upsets you, then you can try putting enough money aside for one of the things that you want to do each month – such as one meal with your loved ones.
If you don’t have enough cash to do this, you might need to get creative. For instance, ask your friends and family to come to your house and make dinner there instead.
- Make Some Simple Lifestyle Changes
Sometimes, even the most basic changes can save you a lot of money. For example, planning your meals for the whole week will make it less likely that you’ll fall victim to temptation and order a takeaway instead. It will also ensure that you waste as few ingredients as possible.
Other quick lifestyle changes include using a line to dry your clothes instead of paying extra money on electricity for your dryer. You can also think about growing your own vegetables if you have a window ledge or a garden available to you.
- Track your Progress
One of the hardest things to do when you’re living on a part-time budget is stick to your own rules. When you barely have enough cash to get by, it can be difficult to keep yourself motivated. However, if you’re tracking your accomplishments each week, you can begin to celebrate the little wins that you achieve.
Even if you’ve only managed to save $100 in the last 3 months, being able to see how far you’ve come should be enough to keep you motivated when the going gets tough. What’s more, paying close attention to your spending habits will also make it easier to see where you have the hardest time managing your money.
- Build Saving into your Budget
Finally, consider making savings a “vital” part of your budget. Just like you set a small portion of your income aside each month for things like food, utilities, and rent, make a pile for your savings too. When you’re on a part-time income, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to save much. However, as little as $10 a month can make a huge difference in the long-term.
Everyone needs to start somewhere.