The federal government has set the minimum wage in the United States at $7.25 per hour. Although it is meant to pay a fair income, this is not often the case. Since the late 1960s, hourly pay in the United States has lagged behind the rising cost of living. A person earning minimum wage and sustaining a family of four earns significantly less than the poverty level.
Although many states and municipalities have minimum wage rates that are significantly higher than $7.25 per hour and are continuing to raise them (26 states in the United States will raise their minimum wages in 2022), low-wage earners continue to struggle to pay bills, find housing, and support a family.
If you’re working a minimum-wage job and trying to make ends meet, you could find it challenging to pay your monthly living and food expenditures. Recently, there has been a media campaign to raise the minimum wage for the millions of people in the United States who work for less than the minimum wage.
Even though it may be difficult at first, making minor changes to your living expenses and way of life can make the problem of making ends meet on minimum wage more bearable.
Keep Your Housing Costs Low
For the vast majority of people, the most crucial component of budgeting is keeping housing costs as low as possible. However, earning minimum wage alone will make it tough to find suitable employment, especially in a heavily populated metropolitan area. With a monthly take-home pay of roughly $1,000, you may have to make some sacrifices to maintain your quality of life.
Here are some suggestions for minimizing your monthly housing costs:
Share Space With Several Other People
This is possible through sharing an apartment with a friend or, better yet, a group of friends, renting a room from someone who owns a house or finding someone who rents out a portion of their property, such as a furnished basement.
Work in Exchange for Housing
If you find a suitable alternative, you may be able to swap or reduce your rent expenses in exchange for maintenance labor or something similar.
Choose a Low-cost Neighborhood
There are many environmentally friendly and cost-effective housing options available for city inhabitants, and they are no less high-quality than their midtown counterparts.
It will not be easy to find a low-cost home, but you must be patient in your quest. Because the best options don’t last long, keep looking until you locate one that meets your requirements. Finally, don’t wait too long since someone else will if you don’t rent it immediately away.
When you’re on a tight budget, owning a car can be expensive due to maintenance, insurance, and parking fees. Sell your car and walk to work if you live close enough to the workplace to save money. Another option is to purchase a bicycle to minimize time spent commuting to and from work, particularly if you live a long distance away.
You can also get a bus pass and use public transportation. If you plan on taking the bus twice a day, five days a week, a bus pass is more cost-effective than purchasing individual bus fares.
If you have a coworker who lives nearby, look into carpooling alternatives. This will save you money and allow you to beat the traffic in the carpool lane.
If selling your car is not an option, it may be necessary to cut your monthly gasoline expenses. You can save money on gas and protect the environment by walking or riding your bike more regularly and only using your car for the most important occasions. If this is the case, a lifestyle change may be required, albeit even a 30 percent reduction in fuel usage may have a significant impact.
For people in almost any situation, there is a myriad of side hustle alternatives available. Make a list of your skills and interests depending on your current circumstances. Then look for part-time jobs that will allow you to use your skills and hobbies while earning a living. What are your thoughts on this? On alternate days, deliver pizzas in the evenings and newspapers in the mornings.
Working as a virtual assistant or freelancer for pet-owning neighbors or walking dogs for pet owners. Any extra money you make over the week will go a long way toward improving your financial status. This will make it easier to pay the bills in the future.
Recognizing when you are eligible for financial aid is important for learning how to live on a minimum wage salary. The government sponsors several projects aimed at low-income persons and vulnerable groups as part of its poverty reduction policy. They deal with a wide range of policy issues, making choosing the most relevant program easier.
You may also be eligible for further financial support to help with expenses such as daycare, energy, heating, car insurance, and phone bills.
You can also ask your friends or family for help whenever you have a financial shortcoming. For example, instead of taking your child to an expensive daycare, you can ask friends or family to babysit for you. You can also opt to take a loan to help meet some expenses; for example, you can take vacation loans for bad credit.
Just remember that you should not let your expenses overwhelm you when you have alternatives to help you.
Don’t Be Too Hard On Yourself
Is it possible to live on a minimum-wage salary? It most clearly is if you have good financial management abilities and a positive attitude. Avoid putting off important budgeting responsibilities; the sooner you create the essential habits, the easier it will be.
If you’re feeling stressed, take a step back and reevaluate your financial situation. After learning how to survive on low money, you must now develop a method that works for you. You can cut costs on your housing expenses, save on transportation, and even get a side job in your free hours.