I stumbled upon a post on how to save money on a low income. And it was eye-opening. Not just on one front either.
So I figured I’d share the highlights of how one gentleman and his wife were able to save money despite low incomes for both of them.
This article will cover the steps they took, some luck they had, mindset that empowered them, and what saving money fast really means. Plus, I’ll note some of the detractors’ comments.
(*7 simple tips to save money at the article’s end)
How to Save Money on a Low Income— Steps They Took
I’ll break down the steps this man listed for how he and his wife saved money when it seemed like an impossibility with low revenue coming in.
Began with low salaries (His: $29,120 / Hers: $35,000)
Set goal to buy home
Used roommates to save money on rent
Guy went all in on his job to stand out to management
Finally completed degrees (total student debt→ $50k)
He avoided company-wide layoff but wife lost job
He gets a new tech certification, gets promotion ($75k per yr)
Wife gets new job at $40k
Deferred student loan payments during COVID
Moved to lower-cost city
Paid off both cars
Another promotion boosts his pay to $110k
Wife goes to $45k
Gets lucky with a chance to sell company stock (helps purchase house)
Fixed mortgage payment means no more rent hikes
Wife now at $50k and he lands $135k new job
Husband laid off, studies to get another certification in downtime
He lands new job at $175k
Wife at $52k (her job’s top pay)
Those steps include some good fortune, yes. Still, that’s how to save money fast on a low income. He started out making $14 an hour and did not settle for that. His wife leveled up her income consistently as well.
But what’s the key here?
Saving Money does Not Mean Overnight or in 90 Days
There are quick fixes for a low income. But quick means many months, at best. Most of the time five years still means a quick success. The poster above, well, he and his wife’s financial journey took about five years. If that seems like forever, it is not.
But I can understand how a younger person could see five years as an eternity. I get it…
As you get older though, five years goes by in a blink.
Spending five years increasing your income and saving all you can is one option. The other is feeling defeated about the circumstances you find yourself in on day one. Because day 1,825 (five years) is hard to comprehend when you start thinking about turning your finances around, right?
That’s Why there were Detractors on How to Save Money on a Low Income
The web is known for haters no matter the topic. This financial turnaround topic was no different. While many people on the forum were happy for the guy and encouraged by his success story, a few others wanted no part of it.
● Poking holes in how fast it happened
● Noting how layoffs usually crush someone
● Saying not everyone can do what this couple did
Differences are Real…
True, not everyone’s situation is the same. A single mother on a low salary can’t spend all her free time working on new certifications to help her earn more money. And not everyone is in the tech industry, where many certifications only take weeks to complete but can boost your salary fast and in a major way.
*For example, one certification in this case only cost $350, could be retaken twice, and had a money-back guarantee.
How to save money on a low salary will come via different avenues and timelines depending on your situation. That’s true. What is untrue is that this couple’s story is a fairy tale only attainable by certain people.
For those who believe that, I’m sorry, but you are cutting your legs out from under yourself. Or you’re letting someone do it to you by telling you it’s impossible to rise up from where you are financially.
Again, good fortune helps. Which this gentleman gave credit to.
One More Note on Jobs with Low Incomes and Saving
As I mentioned, the husband was in the tech industry. Many of those jobs have enormous salaries. So-called nerds can earn more than doctors and lawyers these days, right?
But there are opportunities for individuals and couples who don’t have any geek DNA at all.
Mike Rowe always points to high-paying blue-collar jobs. And I read an article last week about the big demand and shortage of electricians.
So I peeked at low-voltage electrician salaries to see those entry-level opportunities.
Salary.com showed the average at over $48,000 and the ceiling at $55,000 (depending on where you live).
Not impressed? Well, a master electrician salary is often over $80,000. Remember the steps UP from the guy we’re talking about. He did not start out making $175k. He worked his way up.
Not only with the extra certifications he earned either…
Caring about What You Do can Turn a Low Income into a High Salary
It wasn’t just more education that was the answer to saving money and buying a home.
● He networked
● Made it clear he was dedicated to his company
● Put in more effort than other workers
● Sacrificed time off
Many people wake up five, ten, twenty years later and realize they’ve been stuck in the same job or pay scale forever. Also, they begin to see they don’t have much time left to save for retirement.
That doesn’t have to happen. There are clear steps, not just with this success story, that show how to upgrade your position within an organization. And no, getting laid off is not the end of the world. Not if you make so many contacts that getting the next job is as simple as making five or six phone calls. Upgraded skill sets get you more interviews too.
Again, some luck helps, I’m aware. But preparation is the biggest magnet for luck ever created.
Let’s wrap up…
How to Save Money on a Low Income Summary (with 7 bonus tips)
Oh, don’t miss one key point in this financial turnaround. The partnership… aka the couple.
Two low salaries are better than one! Plus, the moral support. Not only that, just look around and see how many young men are directionless without a partner to motivate them. We may dig into that topic at a later date.
So, to break their success story down in three key takeaways:
● Leveled up education that directly boosted income
● Saved more with every pay increase
I encourage you to make a financial plan today. To get on the same page with your partner if you’re lucky enough to have one. Then set a budget, goals for the future, and take steps that lead to higher income regardless of the field you’re in or want to be in.
To close, here are those 7 Tips to Save Money Fast on a Low Income.
Avoid restaurants (Yahoo reports) dining out costs at least 2x dining at home)
Schedule automatic savings transfers
Drop monthly subscriptions (all of them if you can!)
Contemplate all assumptions about your financial situation (are they true?)
Adjust thermostat to lower utility bills (develop indoor toughness☺)
Make stores battle to get your hard-earned money (gamify saving)
Find extra jobs/gigs that pay not by the hour, but by the task (and be fast)
Investment advice offered through Private Advisor Group, LLC, a registered investment advisor.