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7 Ways To Save Money on a Tight Budget

4 min read

7 ways to save on a tight budget

Written By

Brandi Marcene

No doubt, it becomes a challenge to save money when you are especially tight on budget. However, it can be done if you implement a few strategies, including avoiding using your credit card and shopping with cash. Don’t believe us? The study will clear your doubts.

According to research, we pay 15% more when adding to a cart. An average Canadian house can easily save $3000 a year if they quit paying via credit cards.

Sometimes, it becomes irresistible when enticing materials are in front of you, but you must prioritize your more important bills. And to help you with that, the following blog will guide you on how to save money on a tight budget:

Focus on Small Changes in Various Budget Categories

Canadians, begin your Mission: Save Money On a Tight Budget by focusing on small changes in various budget categories. What does that mean? List down the categories that demand your maximum expenditure. Such as groceries, bills, housing, transportation, and other entertainment. Let’s break it down so you can understand it better.


Take a look at the following categories to maintain your grocery budget. Seeking out coupons and buying no-name brands are simple ways to better your budget.

Make A Planner For The Whole Week

Instead of thinking about what to cook daily, plan what you will be cooking. This will cover the entire week as you will have a grocery list in advance and will save money from impulse purchasing that becomes dangerous when you have to after your tight budget.

Search For Deals And Coupons

Do you have a handful of physical flyers? Good! Because you have to search for deals and coupons in the flyers that will help you keep up with your monthly budget. If you prefer online shopping, the same formula is applied there as well because you have to spot the stores offering generous home item promotions.

Invest In Generic Brands

Make a habit of saving money. Invest in generic brands from a local grocery store. People do look down upon when they don’t find the proper name of the company on the food items and prefer purchasing the ones that have everything mentioned, but that comes with a cost, which you will have to avoid being tight on budget. Therefore, buying generic brands can help you save money.


Who can forget to pay the utility bills? Keeping all forms of entertainment on the side, these bills demand the majority of your income, and if you don’t pay them on time, you are aware of the consequences. These exist in the form of electricity, phone, and cable.

Hence, to save money, you will have to do three things: negotiate with the concerned vendor for lower prices, do a market survey to get the best insurance quotes, and have a look at your subscriptions that run on monthly payments.

Negotiate With Concerned Vendor

If you have a number of vendors who are providing you with electricity, cable, and phone, call them to revise their contract to offer you a considerably lower rate than the previous charges, not encouraging you to save money and compelling you to compromise your tight budget.

Do A Market Survey To Get The Best Insurance Quotes

Having insurance in place is never a bad idea, but gaining access to the best insurance rates will save money. Do a market survey, compare rates, and get the best insurance quotes from multiple insurance companies in your proximity that aid you in saving money for your car and home every year.

Have a Look At Your Subscriptions

Where is your money being spent? Have you subscribed to any services, like a monthly gym membership? How frequently are you availing of the subscription? If it has been time, then it is recommended that you cancel any subscriptions that are provoking you to spend more money.


One of the ways to save money is to curtail your housing expenses.

Look For Roommates

You might not be the only one stuck in a financial condition who is looking for ways to save money on a tight budget. So put one room on rent and advertise or ask around in your social circle if any of their friends are in need of a place where you can live with a roommate and split the cost to save money.

Look Around For Reasonable Accommodation

Is your lease up, and your landlord has given you daily reminders? Then start looking around for reasonable accommodation so that you can manage to save money.

Earn Interest on your Savings Account

Another way to save money on a tight budget is to earn interest on your savings account. There are three types of savings accounts in Canada: tax-free savings accounts, high-interest savings accounts, and regular savings accounts.

Tax-Free Savings Accounts (TFSA)

It allows you to grow your money tax-free. Contributions to a TFSA are not tax-deductible, but any earnings from interest, capital gains, or dividends within the account accumulate tax-free and can be withdrawn tax-free at any time.

You have a contribution limit each year that is set by the federal government and carries forward if not used.

High-Interest Savings Account (HISA)

A high-yield savings account typically earns a higher interest rate than a regular savings account.

Interest is usually compounded monthly or quarterly, which means you earn interest on your interest over time.

It is easy to access your money, often with unlimited withdrawals.

Not all HISAs are created equal, so be sure to shop around for the best rates and features

Regular Savings Account

It's a basic savings account with a low interest rate.

A good breathing room is needed for every day savings or short-term goals.

Provides easy access to your money with debit card purchases or withdrawals.

If we dig into high-interest and regular savings accounts, we will encounter a few differences. Let’s learn more about high-interest savings accounts vs savings accounts.

Interest Rates

Managing your payments and keeping a tab on interest rates is essential for maintaining your financial health. Utilizing high-interest savings accounts and other accounts, such as a TFSA, can help dramatically.

High-Interest Savings Accounts (HISAs):

Offer significantly higher interest rates than regular savings accounts. Currently, HISAs can offer interest rates ranging from 1% to 3% in Canada, while regular savings accounts may only offer around 0.33%. Click on KOHO to learn about the pros and cons of a HISA as well.

Regular Savings Accounts:

Typically, they have low-interest rates. The interest you earn on a regular savings account may not even keep pace with inflation, which means the purchasing power of your money goes down over time. In order to obtain the best interest rate on a savings account.

Smart Shopping Habits

Smart shopping habits are pivotal in helping you achieve your financial aspirations. One key strategy is leveraging coupons, discount codes, and cashback offers to optimize savings on both necessities and indulgences.

These money-saving tools, readily available through various retailers and online platforms, empower shoppers to trim expenses and redirect freed-up funds towards setting financial goals, whether it's saving for a dream vacation, funding higher education, or building a robust retirement nest egg.

Additionally, adopting a practice of comparison shopping and bulk buying can yield substantial savings over time. Individuals can unlock significant cost efficiencies by diligently researching prices across different vendors and seizing opportunities to purchase in bulk during sales.

These savings then become invaluable resources that can be redirected toward setting financial goals, such as paying off debt, investing in personal development, or creating a robust emergency fund.

DIY and Thrift Shopping

DIY and thrift shopping are like hidden gems in the world of budgeting, offering clever ways for you to manage expenses. Imagine fixing that leaky faucet or creating your own natural beauty products – not only are you saving money, but you're also tapping into your creativity and resourcefulness.

By embracing these DIY solutions, you're not just tightening up your budget; you're also taking steps toward achieving those bigger financial dreams.

Now, let's talk about thrift shopping. It's like treasure hunting for clothes, furniture, and household items. Think of all the unique finds waiting to be discovered!

From vintage dresses to gently-used furniture, thrift stores are full of hidden gems at prices that won't break the bank. But here's the trick – finding the good stuff can sometimes feel like finding a needle in a haystack.

That's where knowing the insider tips comes in handy. With a bit of savvy searching and a keen eye for quality, you'll be scoring amazing deals left and right, all while making strides towards your financial goals.

Maximizing Income

Maximizing your income is a game-changer when it comes to making ends meet and securing your financial future. Let's discuss finding the best interest rate on savings accounts – because every penny counts, right? So, first things first, let's explore different ways to boost that income.

Have you ever thought about picking up a part-time gig, trying your hand at freelancing, or even diving into the world of online gigs? These side hustles not only bring in extra cash but also offer flexibility to fit around your schedule.

Now, what about your current job? Have you ever considered asking for a raise or going for that promotion you've been eyeing? It's not just about the paycheck; it's about recognizing your worth and taking steps to secure your financial future. Remember, keeping valuable employees happy and motivated is in your employer's best interest.

Lastly, let's tap into your talents and passions. Whether you're a whiz at tutoring, have a knack for crafting, or can teach others something about your hobbies, money can be made. By turning your skills and interests into income-generating ventures, you not only boost your bank balance with extra money but also add a sprinkle of joy to your work.

Avoiding Impulse Purchases

Let's delve into the art of mastering your spending habits and overcoming the allure of impulse purchases. Did you know that retailers use all sorts of sneaky tactics to nudge us toward making those impulse purchases?

From flashy displays to limited-time offers, they know just how to push our buttons. Understanding these tricks can help us become more mindful shoppers and resist the urge to splurge unnecessarily.

Let's talk strategies for reigning in those impulse buying tendencies, especially when you're up for a no-spend challenge. One powerful tactic is to create a shopping list and stick to it religiously.

Planning out your purchases ahead of time makes you less likely to be swayed by those shiny distractions. Another trick is to set a budget and allocate specific amounts for different spending categories. This helps you stay on track financially and forces you to prioritize your purchases based on what's truly important to you.

And speaking of impulse, let's not forget the importance of having a dedicated savings account. This financial fortress serves as a safe haven for your hard-earned dollars, shielding them from the temptations of impulse spending. By funnelling a portion of your income into this account regularly, you're not only building a financial safety net but also reinforcing positive savings goals.

Investing in Yourself and Your Future

Let's talk about the incredible value of investing in yourself and your future. First off, investing in education and skills development is of vital importance. Think of it as planting seeds of knowledge and expertise that will bloom into long-term financial stability.

By continuously honing your skills and expanding your knowledge base, you're not just opening doors to new opportunities but also future-proofing your career and financial well-being.

Now, onto the investment side of things, let's discuss Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSPs) and Tax-Free Savings Accounts. RRSPs provide tax advantages while helping you save for retirement, while TFSAs offer tax-free growth on your investments and flexibility for various financial goals. Understanding how to leverage these accounts effectively can turbocharge your path to financial independence.

But what about growing your wealth beyond retirement accounts? That's where low-cost investment options like index funds and robo-advisors come into play. These are like the unsung heroes of the investment world – quietly working behind the scenes to help you build wealth without breaking the bank on fees.

Index funds offer diversified exposure to the market at a low cost, while robo-advisors use algorithms to manage your investments efficiently.

Wrapping Up

Mastering the art of saving money on a tight budget is not just about penny-pinching; it's about taking control of your financial destiny. By implementing these seven simple yet powerful money-saving tips, you're not just cutting costs; you're sculpting a brighter financial future for yourself.

From reining in impulse purchases to embracing DIY solutions and exploring additional income streams, every small change adds up to significant savings over time.

Remember, it's not about depriving yourself of life's pleasures; it's about making thoughtful choices and prioritizing what truly matters. By being mindful of how you're spending money and where you can trim expenses, you're empowering yourself to reach your financial goals faster and with less stress.

Note: KOHO product information and/or features may have been updated since this blog post was published. Please refer to our KOHO Plans page for our most up to date account information!


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