Should you pay off debt or save money? It almost seems impossible to save money while burdened by debt. One of the biggest obstacles people face when overcoming a poor financial situation is the inability to save while juggling large debt obligations.

I’m going to let you know right now, you have to make temporary sacrifices. This is often the hardest part about kicking your finances in gear. But you have to let some things go, not necessarily forever, but at least until you get ahead of your finances.

Now let’s discuss 4 ways to save money while in debt.

Tip #1: Start with a small amount
No matter how you look at it, saving money is saving money!

Whether you save $10 or $1,000, it’s still money you are giving to yourself! Click To Tweet

While we suggest that you prioritize saving over debt repayment, outstanding debts that are priority must be addressed first. Any past due bills should be brought current. . Once you are current on your priority bills, start small and work your way up as your debt decreases. I suggest starting with a small percentage of your pay. For example, if you get paid $3,000 a month and decide to save 1%, that would just be $30 or $360 for the year.

Tip #2 : Put your savings on autopilot
Take the pressure off yourself by automating your savings. Using the example from above, have the 1% automatically taken out of your paycheck and transferred to a savings account that is not linked to your checking. This ensures that your savings is funded before you can use it on anything else. You will create a debt payoff plan and budget based on the amount of money left after you’ve paid yourself.

You can also kick the automation into high gear with Digit.

Tip #3: Save your change
I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “every penny counts.” Well, it really does! One way to easily save money is to use cash for your purchases and save all of your change. Then every quarter or once a year cash it in and put the money in your savings account. This can be very effective if you follow the envelope system or cash flow everything while paying off debt. If you don’t like to use cash, another option would be to keep your checking account at an even balance and transfer all of the change to a savings account that is not linked as overdraft protection for your checking.

Tip #4: Look for budget gaps
Scan your budget and look for items that can be eliminated. Auto-transfer that money into your savings each month. You’ll also want to look for ways to save money while shopping and eliminate hidden expenses that could be eating up your extra cash.

Remember, plans and tips only work if you do. You have to be willing to invest the time in your personal finances, and work at improving your system. Time and extra work; two things that are hard to come by these days, but are necessities to achieve results.

Saving money can be difficult, especially when you’re trying to pay off debt, but with a few small tricks you can find yourself not only paying off debt, but paying yourself!

Remember to start small. It all matters in the long run.