Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Tips for Saving When On a Low Income

If you are on a low income, you may be struggling just to pay your monthly bills and have not even considered starting to save. As difficult as it may seem in your specific situation to start saving money, it can be done, even if it is a little at a time. Having a savings account set aside can reduce your financial stress level and help you be prepared for emergency money situation. There are several great tips listed below to help you get started on your own savings plan.

Set Up a Budget

The first step to saving money is to set up a monthly budget for your household. This will quickly let you see if you have enough income coming in each month to cover the costs of your bills. A budget may also alert you to any areas where you may be spending more money than you realized. It will also help you monitor your spending habits. Try to incorporate a savings category in your budget, even if it is a small amount because it will add up over time.

Seek Out Government Benefits

The government offers a wide selection of benefits to low-income families and seniors. Some of these benefits include a Baby Bonus and Parental Leave Pay for after the birth of a child or an adoption, childcare rebates and benefits, Single Income Family Supplement, and Parenting Payments. These payments are made through Centrelink through the Department of Human Services. To find out what benefits your family may be eligible for, you should go to the Department of Human Services’ website. Obtaining some of these benefits will take some of the financial pressure off of you and free up some money in your budget for savings. 

Take Out a Low or No Interest Loan

The government offers no interest loans through the No Interest Loans Scheme that allows qualified people to borrow up to $1,200. The also offer the StepUP low interest loan that provides loans up to $3,000 to eligible people. Depending on your specific situation, taking out one of these no or low interest loans may help you pay off some outstanding bills or loans, so you do not have to keep paying interest fees each month. It can also consolidate all of your unpaid bills into one low monthly payment and can help save you money each month. This is also a better option that a standard bank loan that comes with higher interest rates. 

Set Up a Savings Plan

Setting an account up that is just for your savings is a great idea. This allows you to keep your savings separate from your disposable money and may make it easier not to spend. The government also has several savings plans that will match your savings dollar for dollar up to a set amount. This can help you save twice as much money in a shorter period of time. The AddsUp savings plan is designed for those who have successfully paid of a StepUp loan or a No Interest Loans Scheme loan. Once you are able to save $300 they will match your savings up to $500. The Saver Plus plan allows you to set a financial goal and once that goal is met they will match your savings up to $500.

If you are trying to find ways to save money to secure your future, you should try all of the suggested tips listed above. Combined a few of these savings tips will provide you with more disposable income each month. You can then use a portion of this income to set aside into a savings plan. When setting up your savings account, be sure to look for matching funds from the government, this will help you save faster and make more money available to you in case of an emergency.

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