How to Stay Afloat When You are on Minimum Wage


Meeting all regular expenses is not easy when you are living on minimum wage, let alone put aside money for a rainy day. It is not surprising if you are badly off. There are thousands of people living from paycheque to paycheque, struggling to keep the wolf from the door.

You probably try all the harder to whittle down your discretionary expenses to ensure that you meet all recurring expenses out of cash available, still, most of the time, you end up taking out loans with direct lenders in the UK. Apart from the borrowing amount, you need to pay the interest, and hence it adds the burden to your finances.

Under such circumstances, you would like to stretch your pound, but it might not be as effective as you think, especially when your account is in the red. Surviving on minimum wage can be toilsome but not impossible. You cannot control the cost of living, but you can at least adjust your budget accordingly. Here is how you can keep afloat with minimum wage.

Find out your income and expenses

You cannot underestimate budgeting to stay in control of your expenses. Many of you have no idea how much you spend each month that results in overspending and mounting debt. When you know where your money is going, you can be heedful about your spending.

You need to create a budget to track your monthly expenses. The first thing you need to do to stay in control of expenses is a classification between needs and wants. The former requires necessities, and the latter includes unnecessary expenses.

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Needs Cost Frugal Cost Wants Cost Frugal Cost
Rent XX XX Eating out XX XX
Groceries XX XX Cinema XX XX

Buying groceries from a retail store can be more expensive than a weekly market. If you want to be a bit economical, you should prefer weekly markets in retail stores. Knowing your total expenses will let you cut back on the discretionary expenses. Try to cut down on wants so that you can use that money to pay off your debts.

Pay your bills on time

Even if you are living from hand to mouth, you cannot escape paying bills. The best way is to schedule your expenses around your paydays. It can ease meeting your obligations from utility bills to debt repayments. However, it is not possible all the time that the due date falls around your paydays. If it is at the end of the month, it is quite difficult to have enough money.

In this case, you should immediately put aside money as you receive your paycheque. This will prevent you from falling behind repayments.

Do not stop saving

The less you earn, the more important it is to save money. It is contradicting. How is it possible to set aside money when you are barely getting by? Well, do not keep yourself from saving money even if you are living with little cash.

It is not necessary that you save at least 10% or 20% of your salary. No amount is small. Whatever you save is better – at least, you are putting aside something. It will add up over time and you will develop a habit of saving money. You will be able to meet unforeseen expenses with such funds without taking out loans.

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Students generally avoid saving money and when they face a shortfall of cash, they prefer to take out bad credit student loans. It is important that you learn financial management before it is too late.

Focus on increasing your income

Finding a job with high remuneration is hard, especially if you have a full-time minimum wage job. However, it does not mean that you do not need to look for ways to increase income. If your employer does not want to hike your pay, you should try to find a job somewhere else.

If neither of the options is available to you, try to get a side gig. Many people get work as a freelancer. Of course, it will be hectic to manage both freelancing and a full-time job.

It is undoubtedly tough to stay afloat when you are living on so little income, but you can manage to do so by controlling your spending. Make a budget, cut down on discretionary expenses, save as much as you can, and focus on increasing your income

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