Many people think it is impossible to save any money on low income, especially on minimum wage. It is definitely doable by adjusting your lifestyle and in this video, I share how I saved $6,000 per year without ever making more than $10/hour and I did this in New York City. New York City is the most expensive city in the United States. If you live in a lower cost of living city and make $10/hour, you can save even more than I did.
Edit: I think some people don't think my advice works. Here are the actual numbers. You can't argue with numbers.
FAQ: How did you have $1000 to spend if you made only $120/week? I worked at massage parlor for 60 hours a week answering phones and cleaning the place. Owner paid me $120/week cash. Keep in mind, a massage costs $60/hour. I made $10-$20 cash tips each on 9 massages weekly.
FAQ: Since you're a tipped worker, isn't your boss allowed to pay you $3/hour? No. I made like $250/week after I include tips. At 60 hours, that's like $4.17/hour.
MY $3/HOUR BUDGET AND LIVING WITH MY PARENTS
$1,000 income every 4 weeks from $480 salary ($3/hr @ 60-hour workweeks) and $520 from tips
$116.50 for public transportation
$40 for brown bagged lunch
$343.50 on gifts for my emotionally manipulative ex-boyfriend, my unhealthy chocolate addiction to cope with the general unhappiness of how my life was turning out, slow accumulation of household items I knew I needed to have to move out without any problems.
$500 for savings
MY $10/HOUR BUDGET, NOT LIVING WITH MY PARENTS
$1800 income every 4 weeks from working more than standard 40 hours, but boss did not me for overtime "time and a half" as required because I was paid under the table.
Room-for-rent in 4bd 2br apt in Brooklyn: $750
Utilities & Internet: $50 after splitting with roommates
Phone bill : $25 From LycaMobile
Smartphone: $0 on a monthly basis because I bought a refurbished iPhone for $95 back then and paid in full (see my other video on brand name smartphones on a budget). An expense like this would come out of my hobbies & miscellaneous category.
Groceries: $180 because I ate vegetarian (lots of beans to fill my stomach), shopped almost everything on sale, and cooked everything from scratch
Public transportation: $0 because I biked everywhere and because I'm getting paid minimum wage, I refuse to work anywhere past a 2-mile radius. I bought the bike using money I saved up from when I still lived with parents.
Toiletries and household supplies from my local 99c store: ~$40 and sales tax free if I paid in cash
Health insurance (Medicaid): $0 but if I didn't have Medicaid, I would just go without health insurance, which is what I did when I moved to Texas and couldn't afford it. You are exempt from Obamacare penalty if you're so low income that you can't afford it.
Restaurant/Cafes: $0 because I never ate out. If a meal cost $20 and it took me 2 hours of minimum wage work just to eat, it's not financially smart.
Spending money on hobbies, miscellaneous: $255 for things like my $90 annual Toastmasters dues, used books that weren't available at the library, $15 weekly pole dancing classes with the early bird special, second hand clothes from eBay, shoes from Payless, $20 haircuts every two months, getting to and from volunteering activities, self-serve laundry, etc. On some months, I would scrimp on dance classes and other stuff just so I could buy bus tickets to visit other cities along the east coast like Philadelphia, Boston, and Washington D.C., couch surf for free, and spend $150 for EVERYTHING on a 2-day trip on the weekend. As you can see, I filled my time with cheap, fulfilling activities that did not involve watching TV (I've never owned a TV).
Savings: $500 give or take. $500 is the average. It fluctuated every month by $50, depending on the miscellaneous category.
If you think this budget doesn't work, it's probably because you have car loan, student loans, or credit card debt. I have been living on a budget since the $3/hr job I worked fresh out of high school when I was 18. I didn't go straight to college--that story is for another video. To this day, I have never accumulated ANY debt, though my significant other has debt from before we met, and I have agreed to help him pay it off. The ONLY debt I would ever take on is a mortgage, because if I'm going to pay rent for shelter, I might as well buy my own place and build my net worth.
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