How To Save 50% Of Your Income (25 Simple Tips)

By Zach Buchenau

Last Updated: January 4, 2021

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How to save 50% of your income | Be The Budget

Do you want to save 50% of your income? In this post I am going to give you 25 simple tips and tactics to help you save at least half your income.

In my experience, most people would love to save more money each month. However, when it actually comes down to it, very few people are willing to make the sacrifices and do what it takes to increase their savings.

But I’m going to go ahead and assume you aren’t one of those people. I mean, just the fact that you are reading this article instead of online shopping tells me that you are ready to put in the work it takes to save such a large portion of your income.

In fact, it’s for go-getters like you that I am writing this post.

So, if you’re ready to transform into a money-saving machine, keep reading. The following 25 tips might just be the final push to help you reach that elusive 50% savings rate you’ve been dreaming about.

Let’s get to it!

1. Live On A Tight Budget

If you want to save 50% of your income, then the first thing you need to do is plan your finances down to the penny. In other words, you need to get on a specific, ultra-tight budget. I mean, you aren’t just going to stumble your way into saving such a larger portion of your income. You need to do everything on purpose, and on-paper (or within a spreadsheet or app).

It’s not going to work if you try to maintain a budget in your head.

Rather, you need to calculate your monthly income, lay out every single expense, and figure out the exact path you need to take in order to achieve this lofty savings goal.

When you live on a budget, everything in your financial life will be as clear and transparent as it can be. So, you won’t have any expenses slip through the cracks and mess up your savings goal.

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2. Get Completely Out Of Debt

Debt is the enemy of every savings goal you ever set for yourself. I know that might sound a little harsh, but it’s the truth.

Think about it, every time you make a payment towards credit card debt, student loans, your mortgage, car payments, or anything else, you are missing out on money that could have gone towards savings.

So, if you want to save half of your income, one of your highest priorities should be to eliminate every debt you have to your name.

Now, just to be clear, I’m not just some guy telling you to get out of debt when I have tons of monthly payments of my own. If you’re new to this blog, it’s important for you to know that my wife and I live a completely debt-free lifestyle. That’s right, we don’t use credit cards and we don’t take out loans. But it wasn’t always like that. At one point, we had over $34K of debt, toward which we were spending about $1,000 per month on monthly payments. Ouch, right?

But guess what, 6 months after we decided to get completely out of debt, me made our final payment, and in that moment, we increased our annual savings by $12,000. So, when I say getting out of debt will play a significant role in increasing your savings to income ratio, I’m speaking from personal experience.

To put it simply, if you want to save 50% of your income, kick all your debt to the curb.

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3. Pay Yourself First

One of the best parts about living on a tight, written budget, is that at the start of every month, you know exactly how much money you can put into savings. And that’s exactly what you should do.

This is known as the ‘pay yourself first’ method, or ‘saving before you spend’, and it takes the normal way that people operate their finances, and flips it around.

You see, most people save money at the end of the month, after paying all their expenses and spending money on things they want. The problem with this method is that your savings depends on how much you decide to spend. So, if you spend too much, you hurt your savings.

Meanwhile, if you pay yourself first, (i.e. move money into your savings account before you spend a dime on anything else) you force yourself to live off the remaining amount of money.

So basically, if you want to save 50% of your income, then every time you get paid, move half the money into savings. Then, using your budget, figure out a way to live off of what’s leftover.

It’s really that simple.

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4. Work Your Way Up To 50%

The thing about savings goals, is that the bigger they are, the more you have to work your way up to them. And let’s be honest, saving 50% of your income is a pretty big goal. So, it might be a little unrealistic to expect to achieve it in your first month.

Rather, you should figure out what you are currently saving each month, and try to increase it incrementally over the course of a few months.

For example, if you are currently saving 25% of your income each month, if you increase your savings rate by 5% every month, then it will take you 5 months to achieve your goal. That will give you time to cut expenses, pay off debt, and maybe even increase your income.

5. Get A Second Job

Cutting expenses can only get you so far. If you want to save 50% of your income, then one of the best things you can do is increase the amount of money you make. And one of the quickest ways to do that is by getting a second job.

With such an abundance of part time, or even virtual jobs out there, these days that it is easier than ever to get a second job. Think about it like this, if you were able to make an extra $1,000 – $2,000 every month, and save 100% of it, then you would be well on your way to saving half your income.

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6. Start A Blog

If the idea of getting a second job doesn’t get you fired-up, and you have more of an entrepreneurial streak, then you might want to consider starting your own side gig. And one of the best side gigs you can start, is a blog. With how little it costs to start a blog, and the income potential it provides, this might just be the best choice you ever make.

I personally follow a few bloggers that make 7-figures. That’s right, they make over $1 million every year. Beyond that, I follow all sorts of other bloggers that make multiple six-figures every year. Now, let’s get something straight, blogging isn’t a short-term kind of deal. In fact, every one of those bloggers took years to achieve that kind of income. That said, if you ask me, that’s well worth the effort.

The best part about a blog, is that it allows you to make passive income. So, unlike a normal job where you only get paid when you are actually working, blogging allows you to make money 24 hours per day, 365 days per year. So, every bit of effort you put in can continue to pay you for years to come.

If starting a blog is something you’ve been dreaming about doing, don’t let anything stand in your way. The sooner you start a blog, the sooner you can start generating revenue from it!

For more on starting a blog to earn extra income, be sure to read our other related posts:

7. Become A Freelancer

If blogging and getting a second job aren’t high on your list, then you might want to consider freelancing for some extra income.

Freelancing is a great way to increase your income and add to your savings, and all you need to have is a marketable skill. For example, if you are a good writer, then you could offer to write blog posts or for local businesses. Or, if you’re good with social media, then you could offer social media management to companies that need some help in that arena.

If writing and social media don’t sound like you, then you here are a few other freelancing ideas you could use for a side gig:

  • Photography Or Photoshop
  • Graphic Design
  • Web Development
  • Videography
  • Teaching Music Lessons
  • Virtual Assistant

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8. Use Cashback Apps

When you want to save 50% of your income, every bit of savings you can find is important. That’s why you should use cashback apps like Rakuten and Dosh when purchasing things you would normally buy anyway.

These are my two favorite cashback apps, but there are quite a few other options out there.

Now, just so we’re clear, you shouldn’t expect to save hundreds of dollars every month with cashback apps. But, if you manage to save a couple extra bucks on every purchase, it can be a nice little bonus for your savings.

9. Cancel Unnecessary Subscriptions

These days, between all the various apps we use, it’s likely you are paying for a subscription or two that you don’t really need. And honestly, if you haven’t been closely monitoring your bank account every month, you might not even remember some of the subscriptions you are shelling out money for every month.

When you are trying to save half of your income, you don’t have much room (if any) for wasteful spending. So, take some time to go through your expenses, and really assess all your subscriptions. If there are any that you can live without, get rid of them.

25 tips to save 50% of your income | Be The Budget

10. Stop Paying For Cable

To this day, one of the best decisions my wife and I ever made was to stop paying for cable. From a strictly financial perspective, it saved us a nice little chunk of change every month, but beyond that, it freed up a lot of time that I didn’t realize I was wasting up until that point.

Now, instead of watching tv, I read a lot of books, write blog posts, or pursue a number of other passions I have. Meanwhile, my wife, being the artist that she is, spends a lot of time painting, or working on fun diy projects.

Additionally, if you decide to start a side hustle of any kind (i.e. a blog or freelancing), then cutting cable will help you find more hours in the day to grow your income.

Related Post: 21 Simple Ways To Reduce Your Cost Of Living

11. Cut Your Food Budget

Overspending on food is one of the most common ways people blow their budget, and by extension, their savings goals. Trust me, I know how hard it is to say ‘no’ to a juicy burger, or a big burrito on your way home from work. But, if you want to save 50% of your income, then you need to have the discipline to shop for groceries, cook your meals, and eat leftovers instead.

Cutting your food budget is one of the best ways to increase your monthly savings. In fact, when my wife and I first started budgeting, this single strategy allowed us to increase our monthly savings by hundreds of dollars.

Seriously, it’s amazing how much money a weekly grocery trip, and a few hours of cooking can save you every month.

It’s easy savings. You just have to be disciplined.

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12. Shop For Cheaper Insurance

Car insurance is a necessary expense if you have a car, but that doesn’t mean you have to pay through the nose for it. With so many different car insurance companies competing for your business, it’s important for you to spend some time researching and shopping around.

You know all those commercials that talk about people saving hundreds of dollars per year on car insurance? Well, you should make it your goal to be one of those people. If you spend less money on car insurance, you can add more to your savings.

Side note: be sure to get a car insurance plan that provides you with good coverage. The goal is to find a cheaper car insurance plan that still protects you in the event of an accident. Saving $20 per month isn’t worth sacrificing good coverage. The goal when shopping for car insurance, is to find a plan with the same, or even better coverage, with a lower monthly premium.

13. Reduce Your Rent / Mortgage

If you are struggling to meet your 50% savings goal, then you might be spending too much on your rent or mortgage. This is honestly one of the biggest reasons many people struggle to save money. But, because people are so attached to their homes, they are unwilling to admit that they are in over their head.

As a good rule of thumb, your rent or mortgage should be no more than 25% of your monthly take-home pay. That leaves another 25% of your income for utilities, food, and other expenses, before you interfere with your savings.

14. Find A Cheaper Cell Phone Plan

On a similar note, if you feel like your monthly cell phone bill is a little high, then it probably is. So, if you want to increase your savings, then take some time to shop for a new cell phone plan.

Though, if your cell phone bill is high due to usage, then some other ways to reduce it are by using wifi whenever possible, and limiting your background data usage. Also, if you are paying to insure your phone, you could cut that from your monthly budget.

Finally, while it isn’t technically your cell phone plan, you should take great care of your phone, and use it for as long as possible without getting an upgrade. There is no reason you need to upgrade your phone every couple years. If your phone works, don’t replace it.

15. Invest Your Money

As I have mentioned multiple times in this article, one of the best ways to help you save 50% of your income is to increase your income. And investing is one of the best ways to do that.

Now, I know this isn’t a short-term kind of solution to increase your monthly rate of savings, but if you get in the habit of investing a significant portion of your income month after month for the rest of your life, you will end up making a ton of money through compound interest.

Seriously, over time, the majority of your income will probably come from the interest you earn on your investments alone. Whatsmore, compound interest is completely passive income, so you will be making money in your sleep. Cha-ching!

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16. Reduce Your Transportation Costs

Transportation costs like gas and automotive maintenance can really add up. So, if you can figure out a way to reduce the amount of money you spend on these things, you could add a nice chunk of change to your monthly savings.

Think about it, if you figure out a way to cut one tank of gas per month from your expenses, that could save you anywhere between $200 and $500 per year. Plus, when you drive fewer miles, you decrease the number of oil changes, tire rotations, and other maintenance costs you have to pay for throughout the year. All that adds up to more savings.

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17. Buy Generic

If you are the kind of person that likes to buy name brand items, especially in the form of groceries and medicine, then you are spending an unnecessary amount of money. And when you’re trying to save half your income, name brand items are a luxury you just can’t afford.

So, when you go to buy over the counter medicine, just check the ingredients on the name brand items, and compare them with the generic. If they are the same, then opt for the generic brand. In many cases, the generic option will cost you less than 50%. When you buy groceries, do the same thing.

This one little action could help you save a nice chunk of change in your monthly budget. And all that money you didn’t have to spend can go right to your savings account.

18. Unsubscribe From Tempting Email Lists

If saving money is your main financial goal, then the less temptation you have to spend money, the better off you’ll be. With that in mind, if every time you check your inbox, you see emails from your favorite stores advertising great deals on all your favorite products, then you are increasing your likelihood of spending money that would otherwise go toward savings.

That’s why, whenever you’re trying to increase your savings, it’s a great idea to unsubscribe from tempting email lists.

19. Reduce Your Energy Bills

In order to increase your savings to 50% of your income, you need to eliminate a little bit of spending from a lot of different areas. That’s why reducing your utility consumption is a great strategy.

Think about it, if you reduce your water consumption by $10 per month, your electricity by $25 per month, your heat bill by $15, then you just added $50 to your monthly savings.

Truthfully, reducing your energy bills isn’t that hard, and it can pay off big time if you commit to it.

20. Use The ‘Debit Card Only’ Rule

This is one of my all-time favorite financial tips, because it has helped my wife and I simplify our budgeting process, reduce our spending, stay out of debt, and maintain organization in our financial life. That said, for some reason, this little tip has the weird tendency to upset people who read it for the first time. So, before you get angry, just hear me out.

If you want to save money, then spending money from your debit card alone, is one of the best strategies you can use. First of all, you only have to log into one account in order to assess your financial situation, and track your expenses. This reduces the amount of time you spend logging expenses into your budget, which makes you more likely to do it on a daily basis. Seriously, it only takes about one or two minutes to reconcile your budget when you only have to log into one bank account.

On top of that, when you only spend from your checking account, it is much easier to maintain organization in your financial life. In contrast, if you spend money on 5 different credit cards that each require multiple days for transactions to post, it is much easier to lose control of your money and let expenses slip through the cracks.

Finally, when you only ever spend money on your debit card, you eliminate the possibility of credit card debt, and the crushing interest that comes with it. Plus, you don’t ever have to worry about paying off a credit card balance in full before you get hit with interest. The moment you make a purchase, the transaction is over. That’s about as simple as it gets.

I know that the idea of only spending money on a debit card might go against the grain, but it is one of the best ways to maintain order in your financial life, and help you achieve your savings goals. So, don’t knock it til’ you try it.

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21. Cancel Your Gym Membership

Gym memberships can get pretty expensive these days. And, while I am all for hitting the gym and making sure you stay fit, if your gym membership is hindering your savings goal, then you might want to consider finding a cheaper place to work out. Or, if you like the idea of working out for free, you could cut your gym membership entirely and just work out from home.

22. Get Better At Couponing

With the introduction of coupon websites like,, and, couponing has never been easier. All you have to do is check a few websites whenever you want to make a purchase, and you can find some big savings.

Also, if you do most of your shopping online, then you can use a coupon aggregator like Honey. I absolutely love this app, because it scours the web for the best coupons, and automatically applies them to checkout whenever you go to make a purchase. It is unbelievable, and I can’t recommend it enough!

To be honest, you can find a coupon for just about any store these days. All you have to do is spend a few seconds searching the web.

23. Use The Envelope System

The envelope system is a cash budgeting method where you actually pull your money out of the bank and group it into envelopes. So, for example, whenever you want to go to the store, you have to physically pull money out of your grocery envelope and work within that cash amount.

This is a great budgeting method to employ if you constantly find yourself overspending, and can help keep you from touching your savings.

24. Learn To Say ‘no’

If you want to save 50% of your income, then you have to say ‘no’ to anything that will put your savings goal in jeopardy. And, the hard part about this, is that most of the time, you will be saying ‘no’ to something fun.

For instance, if you have $50 left in spending money for the month, and your friends want you to come to a concert that costs $60 per ticket, then it is in your best interest to turn them down. Remember, by saying ‘no’ to one thing, you are saying ‘yes’ to something better.

So, when you are presented with a choice between saying ‘no’ and meeting your savings goal, or saying ‘yes’ and dipping into savings, then make the responsible choice, and say ‘no’.

25. Stop Over-withholding Taxes From Your Paycheck

Whenever you get a tax refund, it just means you allowed the government to hold your money instead of keeping it for yourself. And that is about the worst thing you can do, because you just sacrificed the ability to earn interest on that money.

Plus, you needlessly reduced your monthly income, and restricted your ability to meet your 50% savings goal.

Therefore, if you are over-withholding, you need to increase your deductions to the point where you are receiving as much of your paycheck as possible, without under-withholding. While a tax refund might sound fun, it is actually a bad way to manage your money.

If you are giving the government a penny more than you owe for taxes, then you are hurting your ability to save and build wealth.

Final Thoughts

Saving 50% of your income is a phenomenal goal. But, like anything worth pursuing, it can be difficult to achieve. But, with the right tips, and a disciplined approach, it is more than possible.

In this article, we discussed things like: cutting expenses, using cashback apps, and even increasing your income by getting a second job, starting a blog, freelancing, and investing. Now, the only thing stopping you from saving 50% of your income is actually implementing these tips in your own life.

Are you trying to save half of your income? If so, what are you doing to achieve your goal? Be sure to comment below.

25 tips to save 50% of your income | Be The Budget

Zach Buchenau

About The Author:

Zach Buchenau is a self-proclaimed personal finance nerd. When he isn't writing about budgeting, getting out of debt, making extra money, and living a frugal life, you can find him building furniture, fly fishing, or developing websites. He is the co-founder of BeTheBudget, and Chipotle's most loyal customer.

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  1. Hello Zach. Thanks for the information. It is very helpful. I do have some questions about mybaroth IRA.

    I have about 30k in it fro my last job and disnt want to transfer it to my new 403b. With your knowledge, what would be the bestvstrategy to cash out without paying a penalty? Can i giftbit tobmy mother’s 403b who 65+? Would it be better to use it towards an investment condo?

    My other question is if ibam not investing/woeking my Roth IRA and the market goes down…would i lose my money?

    Thank you for your time in responding.

    Blessings and Good Health.

    1. Hi Jose-Manuel,

      I think you should consider speaking with a financial professional. Since it’s hard to give technical financial advice through the comments section of a blog, I would do a search on Google for financial advisors in your area, and discuss all your options with them.

      Thanks for the comment!

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