When you’re limited to a fixed monthly paycheck, it truly is challenging to save money. Especially if you don’t have a very high salary, it is quite understandable if you live from paycheck to paycheck. Do you ever wonder how that one colleague manages to have a fat savings account while you don’t even have more than a few dollars left before payday? Perhaps he or she’s doing something right. Unless you’re earning over 5 digits each month, then perhaps you can make use of these 7 easy and simple money-saving tips for employees.

1.Spend within your means.

The first and foremost problem of those who usually find themselves out of money even before payday is when they spend more than what they actually have. It’s about time you cut that credit card into two or hide it somewhere until you actually need it for emergency purposes. Determine those emergencies so you won’t get tempted — a car repair or ER admission are considered emergencies, a comfortable new bed you saw online isn’t. Don’t spend money that you don’t have yet. Here’s a simple tip: if you can’t pay in cash, you can’t afford it.

2. Bring packed lunch.

Instead of eating out with your colleagues all the time, why not bring packed lunch instead? Last night’s leftovers will still be good enough for lunch or you can cook more for breakfast so you can have some of those for lunch. Grind some fresh coffee beans and make yourself a nice cup of coffee to go. Your own coffee often tastes just as good. You can easily spend a few dollars per days and as we all know, a few dollars over several days will be equal to hundreds of savings.

3. Have breakfast and coffee at home.

classic_espresso_machine.jpg Running to Starbucks or some café in the morning to grab your daily dose of caffeine and a sandwich is such a waste. Why not invest in a nice espresso machine instead? Espresso Gusto gives you great examples and options. Have a shot of freshly brewed espresso when you’re at home and bring one in a covered cup so you can have more warm coffee while in the office.

4. Ride a bike to work.

Gas costs money. Parking costs money. If you can walk or ride a bike to work, you will definitely save at least a couple of thousand dollars in a year. If your place of work is just too far away, probably carpooling is a better option.

5. Have an automatic-debit savings account linked to your payroll account.

Even before you start spending the money on your paycheck, set aside money for your savings first. However, it gets really tempting to spend the money you have in your hands so the best way to handle this is by setting up an auto debit on your payroll account that goes directly to your savings account. Ask your bank if they can help you out with this.

6. Write down your goals.

What exactly are your goals? How much money do you want to save by the end of the year? What does your dream house and car look like? If you have a definite vision of your dreams and goals, you will be more motivated to make it happen and you will definitely spend less and save more.

6. Reward yourself.

You might be surprised why rewarding yourself is on this list when you want to save money and not spend it. By setting an allowance to reward yourself, you can have a “fixed price” to spend on entertainment, leisure and basically just self-reward such as a new phone or a game for your PlayStation. As much as you deserve to reward yourself, make sure you limit it though. Spend within your means!