How to Budget on a Low Income
Whether you’re working on a zero-hour contract, or you have low income due to high rent and childcare, here are some top tips on how to budget on a low income.
Delete all shopping apps
The only shopping app you should keep on your phone is one food delivery app – if you do your shopping online – and nothing else. No clothing apps, household or garden decor apps. Depop, Amazon, or eBay. When you’re browsing on your phones – even when you’re just window shopping – the more likely you are to spend money eventually. Get rid of the temptations and then you won’t feel the urge to spend money you don’t have.
Try shopping in-person
If you go shopping in-person rather than online it’s easier to maintain a budget. You can stick to a strict list and not be tempted by sales offers and £1 deals. You can also limit what you buy by walking or getting a bus. If you have to walk home you’re not going to buy a trolley load of items. You’ll be more considerate of your spending. Also, try shops like Aldi and Lidl, over Tesco, Sainsbury’s, and ASDA as you’re likely to get similar unbranded products for much less money, but the same quality of food. Avoid places like Poundland though – they stock high sugar/salt foods, not fresh and healthy food items you can make last. Independent grocers and butchers are also usually quite affordable and you can feel the added bonus of feeling good by sharing support for small businesses.
Stick to 5-ingredients or fewer meals
If you have five or fewer ingredients you’ll spend less money on food. And if you pre-plan your meals you can often get these meals to last more than one serving. Service a Spaghetti bolognese with 5-ingredients or less and make enough for lunch the next day. Win-win. You can get great recipes online or via places like TikTok.
Walk away and think about it
If you’re in a shopping centre and see something you like and think you might buy, walk away. It seems counter-productive, but walk away and if you’re still thinking about the item after 30 mins then go back and get it. You’re allowed a treat, and if you genuinely want something then that’s okay. Obviously within reason. If you see an item that you’re desperate for that is £50-100+, then think about saving for it rather than getting it straight away.
I hope those basic tips help you to make a difference with your budgeting on a low income.