Thursday, September 28, 2023

How To Live Decently On Minimum Wage.

August 31, 2016 by  
Filed under Business, Money, Opinion, Weekly Columns

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( Before you laugh at the title of this article, know that an adult can live decently on minimum wage. It will take 3 things to accomplish this. The first is discipline which many people do not have or do not want to have. The second requires you to monitor your spending which many people are too lazy to do. And the third is sacrifice which many people do not feel they should have to do. If you can conquer these three tasks, you can live decently on minimum wage and in this article I am going to show you how. I do not have to but yes I have done it and yes I could do it again. I do not suggest anyone get comfortable with minimum wage, but you never know what may happen.

Here is a bit of good news for a lot of people. Over 2 dozen states have established a minimum wage higher than the federal minimum wage. Some states such as New York and California have built in2017black-couple-budget_exclude mandatory minimum wage increase requirements to take effect automatically over the next several years, all the way up to $15 per hour. But that’s another issue with disadvantages most don’t see.

Let’s base this current plan of how to live decently on a minimum wage of $7.25 per hour for a full time employee or $290 a week (gross), a minimum gross income of $1160 per month. Out of that $1160 a month, you will need to adjust your tax status whereby you bring home (net) $220 a week or at least $880 per month. For months with 5 weeks instead of 4, you will be able to actually save money or even pay a small car note and insurance as well with the extra $220 a week (net).

Based on $880 a month, how should your money be allocated? You will need to allocate $500 a month for rent and utilities which means you will need to make the sacrifice of having 1 or 2 roommates or staying in a rooming house, at least temporarily until things change. Your grocery budget will need to be about $50 a week, unless you qualify for government assistance. You won’t have to eat hot dogs and noodles every day if you become a smart shopper. A small breakfast (like oatmeal and toast or cereal), snacks for lunch and a small dinner is very possible on this budget, believe it or not.

You now have $180 a month left which must include your transportation, cell phone bill, toiletries and washing your clothes. Hopefully you live in a major city like New York, Las Vegas, Orlando or Atlanta with a rapid transit system. If you do, your monthly transportation cost should be about $120 a month, leaving you $80. Use $40 for your cell bill, $20 for toiletries and $20 for washing your clothes. You will not likely be able to save anything but then again, minimum wage was never put in place to allow anyone to get comfortable. Now, believe it or not, you have mostly everything covered. The only two areas you have left are insurance and your emergency fund. no you won’t be able to go out each week, unless you are very creative. And yes there is a way (legally, lol) to do that to.

Every major city in this country has a “buffet” of free and low cost entertainment activities. There are even ways to barter or get free items through Craigslist, some of which can be sold to raise extra money for your entertainment budget. The more resourceful you become, the more things you will find to do. This is a good rule of thumb regardless of how much you make.

Saving money and living on a shoestring budget is a mindset that evolves into a life skill. You may not ever have to live on minimum wage, but many people do. So share this information. The big advantage for those of us who make much more is in adopting a mindset that saves more and allows us to do more for less. Most middle and lower economic class people could do better and have more if we would simply live within our means, learn to pay cash and stop overextending ourselves with things we cannot afford in order to impress those who never help us pay our bills in the first place. With sound money management, discipline and sacrifice, you would be surprised how much more you could do with what you have.

Staff Writer; Trevo Craw

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