Budgeting for immediate needs

Living on minimum wage is not fun. But it is possible to live on a low wage income. While there are two basic categories that most expenses go into, basic needs and basic wants; there are also ways to still save a penny a day to keep from being trapped at a low wage income.

Basic Needs

There are a ton of articles around today which tell people how to cut down to the basics. The problem with this information is that people who are living on minimum wage are already there. To people with a low wage income the basics come down to the following:

  • Keeping a roof over their head
  • Keeping food in the kitchen
  • Keeping the utilities turned on for another month

This is the reason people continue to head out each day to work for a low wage income.

Basic Wants

Outside of the basic needs, there are some basic wants. These are the things that can provide for the simple happiness or joy that comes with life.

  • The family or pets are satisfied with the effort you put forth each week.
  • Various methods of relaxing - cable TV, fishing or other sport, small hobbies.
  • The occasional splurge - a night of fast food, a night out or something new in the house

Most people living on minimum wage have very little to consider extra resources and find themselves lucky to have the life they do have some days.

Goals And Dreams

While living on a low wage income it may seem impossible to see a path out of the low wage job. But there are some methods to help this along.

  • Setting goals - setting huge goals will lead to disappointment; but setting small goals after achieving other small goals will move anyone forward.
  • Pay yourself - put something aside somehow; even the spare change each month can add up to a good emergency fund when you really need it.
  • Go back to cash - stop paying for the use of payments. Using cash cuts out all interest payments, bank fees or other additional charges that creep into our lives.
  • Early payments to possible savings - see if there is a way to reduce rent by paying on time or a few days early; substitute security deposits for work; pay a half month ahead on utilities in warmer months to avoid late charges in winter.
Find disappearing money
The minor things taking pennies can add up over time
  • Make your favorite foods for lunch at work
  • Buying canned pet food instead of dry,
  • Having more cable TV than you watch,
  • Not buying items such as meat or cereals in bulk
  • Using the cell phone instead of writing email or old fashioned letters

There are many ways to increase the value of the income you bring in. If you take all of the extra pennies over time, you can save your way to your goal and out of living on minimum wage.