Struggling to save money is a problem for 47 percent of Americans. With the rising costs of food, rent, and utilities, saving money can become an exercise in creativity. Take heart: there are ways to save money even on a limited income.

Strict Budgeting

The first thing financial experts advise is making a household budget, both for the long term and week-to-week. After sitting down and calculating how much is spent on food, utilities, and extras (dining out, going to the movies, etc.), it can be easier to see where there's "money leakage".

Budgets aren't always easy to adhere to, and emergency situations--car repairs, medical bills, or home repairs--are always a possibility. However, budgeting provides the opportunity to begin saving for life's little surprises and may reduce reliance on credit cards and going deep into debt.

Lower Bills

Lowering bills is the next step to saving more money. While some monthly bills may be set at a fixed rate, others can be reduced or eliminated completely.

Swapping out an expensive smartphone contract for a simple pre-paid phone may seem inconvenient, but could save hundreds of dollars a year. Likewise, shopping around for cheaper car insurance may mean a few extra dollars to put in savings every month. Turning down a thermostat or air conditioner, selling a high-payment car for a lower-priced used vehicle, and eliminating non-essential costs (cable television, gym memberships, and premium online services) are other ways to reduce month-by-month costs by a good margin. It’s a good idea to pay attention to any subscriptions/services you can easily live without.

Coupons and Bulk Buying
Coupons have long been a way for consumers to cut spending on staple products and household goods. Online coupon shopping is becoming increasingly popular. Numerous retailers offer deep discounts, website-exclusive sales, and online coupon codes to help attract buyers. There are even apps out there like Joinesty that help you find coupon codes for every website you visit. Shopping online can also help reduce gas costs significantly.

For those who prefer brick-and-mortar stores, buying in bulk is an excellent option. While the cost of buying bulk is more expensive up-front, the cost-per-unit is typically much lower, and allows consumers to buy less often. Buying in bulk also requires some careful planning, which is a great way to cut costs.

Transfer Debt
While not always as easy as some of the other options available, transferring the high-interest debt to a lower-interest loan or credit card saves money. Payments may be higher up-front, but the upshot is getting out of debt faster and having a larger percent of each payment going toward the principal amount owed.

It may take months to build a nest egg, especially for those on a fixed or low-income. However, these tips will work for almost anyone given time and a little effort.

Author's Bio: 

Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most her time hiking, biking, and gardening. For more information contact Brooke via Twitter @BrookeChaplan.