If you are a low-income earner, you probably don’t have an emergency savings fund. When covering the weekly expenses and never-ending bills, it can be a challenge to put some money aside for a rainy day. However, while it might be a struggle, it is worth it to provide your family with a safety net and some peace of mind. Here are five tips that will have you watching your savings blossom:

Cut the Interest

The first step to building your savings is to eliminate debt. If you have a credit card or high-interest loan, it can be challenging to get ahead. This is because when you are paying interest on the debt, much of your payment goes towards covering the interest and not lowering the balance of the original sum you borrowed. The sooner you say goodbye to high-interest fees, the better. Do some research online into no-interest loans, and other less risky financial assistance options and try to eliminate debt from your life altogether.

Embrace Generic Brand

Brand name products in the supermarket can be two to three times more expensive than no name variety. In many cases, there is little to no difference in taste or ingredients, particularly when it comes to staples such as flour, salt, sugar and cleaning products. Make the switch to generic brand products the next time that you go to the grocery store and take note of the savings.

Start a Side Hustle

There are two secrets to financial security; spend less and make more. If you are a low-income earner, you may be already living quite frugally so it can seem nearly impossible to save money. If this is the case, then you should consider a side-hustle. If you are unfamiliar with the concept, a side-hustle is a sideline gig that brings in some extra income to supplement your main line of work. Ideally, it is something reasonably flexible that you can do from home.

There are countless options out there, from market research to freelance writing, to selling your unwanted goods on eBay. Try putting this extra money directly into a savings account so you can watch it grow. The satisfaction of seeing your savings is a big motivator!

Plant a Fruit and Vegetable Garden

Whether you have a backyard or just a small deck, consider planting your own fruit and vegetable garden. You don’t need a massive amount of space as long as you are strategic about what you sow. Different varieties will suit different climates and levels of sunlight.

Consider what your family favorites are, and what some of the more expensive items are from the grocery store. If you know that you devour blueberries at a rate of knots, planting a blueberry bush could be a savvy investment – especially if you freeze any extra fruit to use in the off-season months.

Shop Secondhand

Vintage is in vogue and for a good reason. With the clothing and footwear industries responsible for around 8% of global greenhouse gas emissions, buying second-hand clothes and furniture is excellent for both your budget and the environment. Head down to your local markets or second-hand stores, and you will be surprised at the range of unique, high quality and durable bargains to be found. You can feel good knowing that you are saving money and reducing landfill at the same time.

It may seem like a challenge to save money when you are earning a low income, but small changes to your spending habits can unearth savings opportunities within even the most modest budget.