Managing Your Money
11:29:25 2023-11-28 283

1- Pay off any outstanding loans. If you have any debt at all, pay it off as soon as you can. You cannot afford to be in debt if you're making minimum wage or less.

  • Getting debt-free should be your top priority.
  • Credit card debt is arguably the worst kind of debt. Sometimes the interest rates are as high as 25%. Try to pay those back first and, if possible, change to a 0% credit card, which is going to charge you 0% interest for some time. This might help you get debt-free sooner.

2- Look into banking alternatives. Some banks charge fees if you don't have a minimum amount in your account. This can make it difficult to save money. However, there are banking alternatives that may help you get on your feet.

  • Services such as American Express Bluebird are almost completely free. While Bluebird does not help you build credit, it does prevent you from paying any fees for not carrying a minimum balance.

3- Start a budget. Without a budget it can be hard to keep track of your expenses. You're more likely to overspend, and less likely to set aside money for savings.

  • Examine your income, your bills, and how you spend any extra money you may have. Make goals and keep track of your spending. The sooner you learn how to budget, the quicker you can reach financial independence.
  • Make a list of your needs and your wants. Needs are things like food, clothing, shelter, and medicine. Wants are things like pets, entertainment, computers, and TV. Some things may be harder to give up than others, but it's important to determine what you can and can't live without.
  • As soon as you pay your debts, try to save enough to cover your expenses for three to six months just to deal with any emergencies.

4- Shop for used goods. There is no reason to buy everything new. If you have a little extra money, it can be tempting to splurge and treat yourself to something nice. However, if you do this too often, you run the risk of creating bad spending habits. If you can find it used, take that route and save yourself some money.

  • Clothes, tools, books, and even fitness equipment are all easy to find used. Buying your large appliances and cars used can also help you save some money.


5- Find ways to pay for health insurance. Health insurance is not always affordable, but there are ways to get coverage if you are living in poverty. Maintaining your health is important, especially if you are living in poverty. People living in poverty are more susceptible to health problems, and medical bills can be devastating.

  • If you have health insurance through the federal or state government, you may be eligible for a subsidy. The requirements for eligibility are usually based on household income and family size.
  • If you have outstanding medical bills, try to negotiate with the hospital. Review your bills and look for any charges that don't belong. Sometimes errors will slip through the cracks and you may find yourself overcharged.
  • If you can't pay any of your medical bills, and you've talked with your doctor, try looking online for support. There are plenty of crowdfunding resources available for people living in poverty.


6- Save your change. Starting a change jar isn't going to make you rich overnight, but it will help you save small amounts that you can add to your savings account.

  • Put your loose coins into a jar at the end of each day. When you fill the jar, roll your coins and put them into a savings account.


7- Learn to barter. You can barter for goods or services. If you have a particular skill set that you feel comfortable advertising, try using it to barter for things you need.

  • To start bartering, decide what good or service you need. Then, think about what goods and services you can offer. You may be able to trade an hour of housekeeping, or a small household repair, for example. Find a partner you're willing to trade with, and negotiate the terms of the agreement.
  • Don't feel pressured into taking goods or services that you do not need. You can always walk away from a barter if you don't like the terms of the agreement.

8- Save as much as you can. You may not have a lot of extra money if you're making minimum wage. Even with a second job, most of your money is probably going towards paying bills, or paying down your debt. Still, if you have any extra money at all, put it aside.

  • Find small ways to save money by cutting back on your utilities expenses. Turn off the lights when you aren't in a room. Seal any leaks you can find in your doors and windows. Rather than turn the heat up when it gets cold at night, throw on an extra blanket. These tricks may only save a little at a time, but it could add up.
  • Any extra money you get, whether it's through a tax refund or a gift, is money you should save. It will be tempting to spend it on something new, but until you're in a better financial position, avoid the temptation.
  • Avoid the temptation to spend by thinking through the purchase. Is it something you can live without? Do you only want it because it's on sale? Depending on how you answer these questions, you may be considering an impulse buy. Don't give in to impulse purchases.
  • Consider waiting 24 hours before making the purchase. If you wake up the next day and your first thought is about buying the item in question, wait a little longer. See how long you can go without the item.


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