Earning a minimum monthly income is fine, as long as you can manage to stay out of debt. At this rate, you cannot afford the taste of monthly interest rate fees piling up on top of your other regular expenses.
To have a little sense of breathing space each month, there are a couple of things that you can do to stay on budget and build your wealth as you save money.
While you can still enjoy life and experience comfort each month (for instance, going on vacation and eating out), keeping track of your expenses can be a good start. Here are five tips to stay out of debt while earning a minimum wage.
Keep Your Spending to a Minimum
The starting point for staying out of debt is to limit your expenses each month. The only problem here is if you can't learn to be consistent. Sometimes, when bills aren’t piling up and you have extra money, you can get comfortable and spend it right away.
Try to keep everything in moderation, and cut the costs you don’t necessarily need, like streaming service subscriptions and eating out. If you do this, you might be surprised by how much money you can save each month.
Assess Your Housing Expenses
The rule of thumb is, your housing expenses shouldn’t be more than 30% of your monthly income. Consider looking for another apartment if you are paying about half of your salary for housing alone. This isn’t practical and will make saving impossible for you.
The extra money you can save on housing can help you in the long run, especially if you consider living with someone to cut the cost into two.
Invest 10% of Your Income
According to Ellevest CEO Sallie Krawcheck, the worst thing that a financial adviser has ever said to her is that she can always start later. Krawcheck countered the advice and said, “Don’t wait to invest in your future self.”
The 10 percent investment rule might seem an aggressive move for some, but according to experts, the more you invest, the higher returns you can get, especially when you retire. If 10 percent of your take-home pay is big for you, consider starting at a smaller chunk of about two to five percent, then gradually increase over time.
If you have an employer-sponsored 401k, you can put a certain percentage of your monthly income into this. Moreover, you can also explore your options and look for other avenues for investment.
Limit Credit Card Use
Not a lot of people can manage using credit cards. It would help to just use cash instead of credit cards to avoid accumulating interest for unpaid balances. Plus, you might get tempted to use the card for large purchases and resort to installments.
Having more savings means that you don’t need to borrow money from lenders. Therefore, try to save more each month, even if it means keeping only an extra $100 per paycheck. Starting small is not a bad thing, but make sure to be consistent.
Follow these tips to achieve financial freedom upon retirement. Sit down, and assess how much is going out and coming in to create a financial plan that will work for you. Even if you are only earning minimum wage, remember that you can still save and invest in your future.