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How to Save When You’re Barely Making It Through the Month

For individuals grappling with financial challenges, the idea of saving money can seem like an unattainable luxury. However, neglecting your savings when the going gets tough can make things even more difficult down the line. Here is why you should continue saving through financially challenging times and practical steps for making it happen.


Be prepared for emergencies.
Life is a roller coaster ride, and you never know what is waiting for you just around the bend. Having a financial safety net will help you weather any eventuality with your finances intact.

Build financial discipline.
If money is tight now, chances are you can stand to be a bit more disciplined with how you spend it. Setting aside money for savings each month, even if it is just a tiny bit, can help foster financial discipline and cultivate a mindset of planning for the future. 

How to Save When You’re Barely Making It Through the Month

Practice reaching financial goals.
When there is barely enough money to get through the month, saving up for something big can seem ridiculously out of reach. However, setting and reaching small financial goals can be a powerful motivator for fiscal responsibility. 


Start small.
Experts recommend putting upward of 20% of one’s monthly income into savings,
but if you are struggling just to make it through the month, you can ignore this advice. Instead, start small, with as much as you can manage a month, and work your way up from there. Consider stashing away your pocket change.

Look for ways to trim discretionary and non-discretionary expenses.
If you feel like you have already exhausted all opportunities to trim the fat, think again. Look for unnecessary subscriptions, swap expensive products for cheaper generics, and DIY options instead of paying for services and products. Review your DoverPhila member benefits for exclusive discounts on everyday products and services.

Next, review your non-discretionary expenses. Reach out to your insurance companies to negotiate for a lower premium or shop for a new, cheaper plan, and do the same with your phone and internet service providers. Look for ways to conserve energy and try to carpool or move more and drive less to decrease fuel costs.

Boost your income.
Another obvious way to improve your financial circumstances is to make a sincere effort to bring in more money.
You may be working a full-time job but devoting even a few hours a week to a side hustle can make a significant difference to your monthly budget. Consider freelancing for hire, working for a ride-sharing company over the weekend, or hiring yourself out as a consultant in your chosen field.

Explore assistance.
In times of financial hardship, it is essential to be aware of assistance and support programs, such as programs through your local health department, United Way, and government. These programs may provide temporary relief, enabling you to allocate a portion of your income to savings.

Seek financial guidance.
If you find yourself struggling to make ends meet, consider seeking professional financial guidance. DoverPhila Federal Credit Union offers free financial counseling to its members. Counselors can help you create a realistic budget, explore options for debt management, and provide personalized strategies for saving.

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