Could you live on minimum wage?

Vanessa posted about what her minimum wage budget would be, and I thought it was a very interesting subject. Minimum wage varies from city to city, but it is a very low amount of money to be making per hour, and to try to survive off of it is hard.

We spend our money on a lot of things. Necessities and wants are different for each and every person. Not every person values things the same, but if I made only minimum wage, I would of course have to cut items out. There are a lot of things out there that people think they “need”, such as with me, it’s cable and my cell phones.

And our cars, dogs, fun, dancing, and the list goes on and on…
P.S. I would never get rid of my dogs.

However, I do know that sometimes things happen that are WAY out of your reach. You can’t control everything and sometimes things happen. I know this first hand from my childhood.

Anyways, I’ve posted about our budget before, and right now we spend around $2,200 a month. However, we could get this cheaper if we cut more things out.

Minimum wage where I live is $7.25 an hour. I made minimum wage when I was in high school, and I thought that was difficult to live on even though I lived at home and even though I worked full-time (and many weeks I had plenty of over-time as well).

Our monthly budget:
  • Mortgage, home insurance, property taxes: $969
  • Gas (car): $250. We could get this lower, but one of our cars is a Jeep.
  • Electricity: $75
  • Gas (house, heat, stove): $40
  • Cable: $68Just lowered this yesterday and now it’s $49! All I did was call and ask!
  • Internet: $50 $46. I called yesterday and got it lowered. At least $4 is something.
  • Car Insurance: $100 for all cars
  • Groceries: $300 a month. This hasn’t been realistic for us lately. We are working on this.
  • Eating out/Entertainment: $300
  • Cellphones: $130.
  • Sewer: $29. Can’t lower this.
  • Trash: $12. Can’t lower this.
  • Water: Around $25 a month

 

Our total budget right now is right around $2,200.  This is a lot lower than most people’s budgets (especially those with mortgages), but it could be even lower.

If me and the boy each had minimum wage jobs, we would be bringing in around $1,900 after taxes. This is if we both received exactly 40 hours a week and after around 15% in taxes.

Obviously this would not be enough for the both of us. There would be many things that we would have to cut. We would definitely find a minimum wage job that was closer and then hopefully save at least $50 in gas. I would also eliminate cable ($68) and all eating out and entertainment ($300).

It would also be hard to pay any type of debt payments. And unlike in other places in the world, we would most likely have no health care, and it would be literally impossibly for us to attend school without racking up more debt.There are no free undergraduate or graduate schools in my state.

I would love to say that I would get rid of our cell phones, but that would be difficult for us. It would be hard to give up so many things that we are accustomed to, and it would also be hard to live like this forever. We could also cut much more. In the end, if we cut everything that we could and really limited our food budget, I could probably get our budget to around $1,600. This would definitely be a very bare budget.

All work and no play definitely does not make for a healthy lifestyle.
Something would have to change. Either make more money or cut more out.

 

Of course even though we would be barely scraping by, this wouldn’t work for most people, especially those who don’t have two people who can work full-time in their household. A single parent would of course have it much more difficult.

What would you do if you all of a sudden were only
able to have a minimum wage job?
What would you cut?

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