The 10 Ways to Save When You’re Making Minimum Wage

Are you struggling with typical money-saving methods due to low income? These ideas take cost-cutting to a whole new level.

Are you squeaking by on minimum wage? If so, it might seem like there is little hope for you to get money into savings. After all, working full time on the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour brings in a whopping $15,080 a year before any taxes.

But even if your budget is down to the bare bones, there still are things you can do to build your savings. Here are 10 ideas worth considering:

1. Get out of debt

If you’re only making minimum wage, you can’t afford to be sending money to a car financing company or credit card company.

Think about it this way: If you had no house payment, no car payment and no credit card payment, what’s left? The only monthly expenses you might need to cover would be utilities, insurance, gasoline and food. In many areas of the country, you could do that on $15,000 a year.

We’ll talk a little more about affordable housing options in a minute, but for everything else in your life, make living debt-free a priority.

2. Hoard gifts of money, tax refunds and other windfalls

Start a change jar and put your coins into it every night. At the end of the month, roll up the coins and put them in a savings account.

You won’t retire rich off the money you collect, but you could end up with $10 or $20 a month to pad your savings account. That’s not much, but when you’re making $7.25 an hour, every little bit helps.

4. Skip processed food

Processed food often is unhealthful. You will feel better and save money on health care in the long run if you say goodbye to boxed foods and frozen meals.

If you need some menu inspiration, check out budget cookbooks from your local library.

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