17 Tips for Surviving on Minimum Wage

What is Considered Minimum Wage?

The federal minimum wage, created by Congress in 1938 under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), establishes a base hourly rate at which employers are required to pay their employees. The current federal minimum wage is $7.25, and as noted earlier, that’s an amount that’s remained the same since 2009.

Tips for Living on Minimum Wage

So, how to live on minimum wage?  Here are 17 ways that can make it easier to survive on a minimum wage salary and even set aside some money for savings.

Evaluate Your Overall Spending

A first step to getting a hold on your finances is to know how much you’re bringing in per month versus how much is going out. One way to do this is to record all of your expenses. Begin tracking your spending for 30 days. Include everything, including the change you put in the tip jar at a coffee shop.

Create and Stick to a Budget

Having a budget provides you with a structure so you can organize your finances and live better within your means. When you’re not bringing home a lot of bacon, it’s vital to make sure you know exactly where your money is being spent each month.

Put Some Money Towards Savings

The thought of saving when you’re barely scraping by can seem impossible. But if you’re making minimum wage, even putting $5, $10, or $20 a paycheck towards savings can add up over time. 

Work Towards Reducing Your Debt

When you’re not bringing in a lot of money, it’s easy to accumulate debt, especially by using credit cards to get by till the next paycheck. This can leave you with high credit card bills due at the end of the month and increase the chance of a minimum payment you can’t afford.

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