How to Save Money on a Tight Budget

Has your wallet been tightening it’s belt lately? Are you looking for ways to save money so you have more to spend for the holidays? Saving money is possible and even easier than you would think. All it takes is a little planning and diligence. With the holiday season coming up, you want to know the best ways to save money on a tight budget in order to celebrate the Christmas season properly.

This guide will give you 10 ways to save money on a tight budget so you have cash to spend on loved ones this holiday season.

1) Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

One of the easiest ways to cut cost is to pay attention to your food expenses. Are you constantly eating out with friends or getting your morning Starbucks? Try to kick the eating out habit and switch to preparing foods at home. If you buy all your food for the week on a Sunday, you’ll be less tempted to swing my a fast food restaurant on the way home. Cooking your own fresh foods is better for your wallet and your health.

2) Keep the Change

Start an adult piggy bank in your living room. Every time you get change or find change while you’re out and about put it in the piggy bank. You might think this won’t amount to much but it could add up to hundreds of dollars a year. Many people neglect change and treat it as if it’s not real money. Prove them wrong.

3) Look for Free Events

When you’re on a tight budget you may feel like you can never go out and enjoy yourself. This is simply not the case. If you live in a mid-sized or large city, there are constantly free events you can get involved in. Whether it’s a free yoga in the park class or a free trivia night at a local bar, there are activities you can go to without breaking the bank. Walking and biking around the park is a fun and free activity you can always take advantage of.

4) Switch to Netflix

There is no need to be spending a lot of money on cable and movie channels. Netflix has all the movies and tv shows you could need for $10 a month. If you get rid of cable you could save lots of money on channels you don’t even watch. You can get your news for free online rather than watching news channels to save money.

5) Create a Budget

In order to start saving money you need to create a budget for yourself. Decide before the month even starts how much you’re going to spend. A good rule of thumb is to spend 50% of your income on necessities, 30% on things you want, and save 20%. When you know you only have a certain amount to spend each month on “wants” you’ll think more carefully about what’s really important to you.

6) Be Prompt with Payments

One of the easy ways to save money on a tight budget is to pay your bills on time. Once you’ve cut unnecessary spending and are down to only your important bills, it’s important you pay them on time. When you don’t pay your bills on time you’ll be charged late fees that can start to stack up and get you in trouble. Avoid this by setting aside enough money each month to pay your bills and allocate a time to pay for them. If you’re routinely forgetful, you can set up an automatic payment method online for many companies.

7) Embrace the Sharing Economy

If you haven’t already, it’s time to embrace the “sharing” or “gig” economy. With the sharing economy, there are plenty of ways you can save and earn money. If you need a repair on your house, don’t hire an expensive repairman from a company, instead hire an independent person off Task Rabbit. With sites like TaskRabbit, Uber, Rover, and more you can hire one person for one task and be done with them. You won’t be surprised by a colossal fee at the end of the job because they’ll tell you up front how expensive it will be. You can also earn money in the Sharing economy by offering your skills or your property. Put your extra room up on Airbnb to make money without having to do anything except let someone sleep in your room that wasn’t being used anyway.

8) Get a Roommate

Sure, roommates can be annoying and you may still be scarred by your college roommates’ messy antics, but roommates can also save you a ton of money. Getting a roommate is one of the best ways to save money on a budget. If you’re currently paying $1,000 for rent and you get a roommate that’s $500 you could be saving every month. Which adds up to $6000 a year! Just think of all the holiday gifts you could buy with that.

9) Workout at Home

If you’re trying to cut corners in your spending you may want to start with your gym membership. There are plenty of workouts you can do from the comfort of your home with little to no equipment. Fitness Blender is a website that offers hundreds of workouts that target different muscle groups that are proven effective.

10) Know When to Splurge

It’s important to think of ways to save money on a tight budget, but it’s also important to know when to splurge. There are certain items that it’s ok to spend more money on initially. Kitchen utensils, computers, and pillows are things you use every single day and it’s better to have quality items than items that are constantly breaking. If you spend more money initially buying a high-quality item you won’t have to continuously pay to repair it.

This guide has given you smart ways to save money on a tight budget and now it’s your turn to implement them into your life.

Saving money from month to month is very satisfying as you won’t have to endure the stress of not being able to pay for the necessities in life.

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Disclaimer: Please be aware that Cigno Loans’ articles do not replace advice from an accountant or financial advisor. All information provided is intended to be used as a guide only, as it does not take into account your personal financial situation or needs. If you require assistance, it is recommended that you consult a licensed financial or tax advisor.


Ordered by the Federal Court of Australia

The Federal Court of Australia has found that Cigno Australia Pty Ltd (Cigno Australia) and BSF Solutions Pty Ltd (BSF Solutions) have breached the law by engaging in unlicensed credit activity and charging prohibited fees.

In the period from July 2022 to 3 October 2023, over 100,000 consumers have been lent a total of $34 million, and charged fees of over $70 million, under the ‘No Upfront Charge Loan Model’ operated by BSF Solutions and Cigno Australia. At no time has either BSF Solutions or Cigno Australia held an Australian Credit Licence.

The Court also found that Mark Swanepoel (director of Cigno Australia) and Brenton James Harrison (director of BSF Solutions) were involved in these breaches of the law.

With effect from 24 May 2024, the Court has granted permanent injunctions preventing Cigno Australia and BSF Solutions from:

  • demanding, receiving or accepting fees or charges, including amounts of loan principal, from consumers in relation to credit provided under the ‘No Upfront Charge Model’; and
  • engaging in further credit activity pursuant to the ‘No Upfront Charge Loan Model’, including by entering into new agreements with consumers, for so long as they do not hold an Australian Credit Licence.

Cigno Australia was ordered by the Court to, by 5th July 2024, send written communications to consumers who between July 2022 and December 2022 entered into agreements with Cigno Australia and BSF Solutions under the ‘No Upfront Charge Loan Model’.

The Court will later determine whether (among other things) Cigno Australia and Mark Swanepoel ought to pay a pecuniary penalty in respect of this conduct, and whether Mark Swanepoel should be restrained from carrying on a business engaging in credit activity.

Cigno Australia, BSF Solutions, Mr Swanepoel and Mr Harrison intend to appeal the decision of the Court and have filed an application for leave to appeal. If the appeal is successful, some or all of the orders of the Federal Court of Australia may be set aside.

Where can you get more information?

Where to go for further support

You can access legal advice in your state at: Free legal advice –

If you are experiencing trouble with debt, or money worries in general, contact:

  • the National Debt Helpline on 1800 007 007 or online chat (9:30am to 4.30pm, Monday to Friday).

If you need someone to talk to, contact:

  • Lifeline on 13 11 14 (24 hours) or their crisis support online chat or
  • Beyond Blue on 1300 22 46 36 (24 hours) or their webchat