If you are making minimum wage or something close to that, you might think that there’s no way that you can save money. The following article from credit.com shows 10 ways to save money, even if you are earning minimum wage.
The information below is both valid and useful. The biggest surprise from the list to me was the amount of money that you can make just by being a sonographer or a hygienist.
1. Get Out of Debt
If you’re making only minimum wage, you can’t afford to be sending money to a car financing company, Visa, MasterCard or Discover. If you had no house payment, no car payment and no credit card payment, what’s left? The only bills you may need to pay would be utilities, taxes, insurance, gasoline for your car and food for yourself. In many areas of the country, you could do that on $15,000 a year.
2. Hoard Cash Gifts, Tax Refunds and Other Windfalls
To get out of debt and build up your savings, you need to make smart use of all those times you come into a little extra cash. If you make minimum wage and have children, chances are you’re entitled to the Earned Income Tax Credit. That could mean you get thousands of dollars from Uncle Sam each year. What are you going to do with it?
You might be eyeing the ripped couch in the living room and thinking it would be nice to have it replaced. Or maybe you’d like to buy the kids new bikes or even take a trip. Until you get on firm financial ground, resist the urge to spend those windfalls. Put a couple hundred in the bank as an emergency fund and ship the rest off to your creditors. If you’re debt-free, bank at least half of it before you think about spending a cent..
3. Save Your Pennies
Literally. Start a change jar and put your coins into it every night. At the end of the month, roll up the coins and put them in a savings account. You won’t retire rich off the money you collect, but you could end up with $10 or $20 a month. That’s not much, but when you’re making $7.25 an hour, every little bit helps.
4. Skip Processed Food
Although I have never lived on minimum wage, I know all too well the feeling of barely scraping by. It may be tempting, but you’ll feel better and save money on health care costs in the long run if you say goodbye to the canned, boxed and frozen meals.
5. Park the Car
Your car is probably your second biggest money pit. You need to pay for insurance, registration and gas, plus you might even have a monthly payment on it. You’ll free up tons of money in your budget if you can get rid of your car or at least drive it less often.
6. Rethink Child Care
Child care is crazy expensive. If you have two income earners in your house and you are both making minimum wage, you might actually come out ahead if one adult stays home with the kids.
7. Sell What You Can
You could have a yard sale to sell your clothes, furnishings, electronics.
8. Find a Roommate
If you can’t find a place with cheap rent, the next best thing may be to get a roommate. Another option might be to rent out a room if you are in a house. Either way, you get a break on your monthly payment as well as on the utilities.
9. Move Somewhere Cheaper
Maybe despite your best efforts, you simply can’t find an inexpensive place to live. In that case, it may be time to do something radical. You may want to move to a new city or a state with a lower cost of living.
10. Make More Money
Finally, if none of these suggestions sound like much fun, it’s because it’s really hard to get by on very little income. You know that.
To make more money, you could work harder or you could work smarter. Choose the second option. Rather than spending your life working two or even three jobs to get by, get the right education and training for a career that will let you live comfortably.
Look at these jobs that require only a two-year associate degree. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, these are some of the fastest growing jobs in the country. The incomes listed are the median wages earned by workers in these occupations in 2012.
- Dental hygienists — $70,210.
- Diagnostic medical sonographers — $65,860.
- Web developers — $62,500.
- Occupational therapy assistants — $53,240.
- Physical therapy assistants — $52,160.
Wouldn’t it be nice to be making $50,000 or $60,000 two years from now? It’s not a pipe dream. You can do this.