We all know the value of a savings account. It can mean the difference between having the money for an unneeded expense or having to use a credit card and go deeper in debt. Finding the money to save can be hard when you're broke. Thankfully, there are things you can do. Whether you sell something or invest in a 401(k), you can put money in savings when you're broke.
There's a very good chance you have items around the home that you no longer use. There are many options for selling these items. You can have a yard sale, sell the items through Facebook yard sale groups, or list the items on eBay. If you have high value items, you may want to list the items in as many yard sale groups as possible to help them sell.
Earn Money Shopping for Groceries
Did you know that you can earn money from buying groceries? There are a number of apps out there that will pay you back for buying certain items. If these are items you're already buying, why not get paid? In many cases, you can find the items on sale and match coupons to those items. Some items will end up being completely free and some will be money makers. Either way, you can use the money you earn to put into savings.
Obviously, you want to look for ways to cut expenses. We all have expenses that we don't really need. You can cut something completely or just look for a less expensive alternative. For example, switch from a contract based cell phone company to a prepaid company. You'll cut your bill in half. The money saved from cutting expenses can go into savings.
Shop with Overages
There are places that will allow you to earn overages. An overage is when you have a coupon that is worth more than the item you're buying. At Walmart, you can put this overage on a gift card or apply it towards other items. This frees up money that can go into savings.
Invest in a 401(k)
Last, but not least, if your employer offers a 401(k) plan, invest in it. The amount invested will lower the amount of your paycheck that gets taxed. In some cases, you'll be bringing home the same amount of money, even though a percentage is going to a savings plan. Based on your income, you may even qualify for a Saver's Credit on the amount of money you contributed.
Just know that any money that you contribute to a retirement account (whether a 401(k) or an IRA) cannot be used until age 59 1/2 unless you pay a 10% penalty on any money you pull out.
Even if you're broke, you can still find money for savings if you just get a little bit creative.