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10 Things Only Minimum Wage Workers Understand

10 Things Only Minimum Wage Workers Understand

From the waitress always putting on a smile when you walk through the diner door, to the convenience store clerk whose occupation is fraught with low pay and dangerous work conditions, there are some things in life only minimum wage workers can understand.

If you work for minimum wage then I can imagine you will identify and understand these ten feelings. As a once minimum wage employee myself I wrote these from experience. For those of you who never have worked for minimum wage, may this give you some insight into the world of the worker.

You feel a sense of injustice among your peers

Low entry requirements usually mean trouble when it comes to the societal parts of minimum wage work. Based on seniority, you can feel as though your peers are always trying to put you in a box. From pushing your shifts around to taking your days off, it’s easy to feel left out.

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You can never get ahead financially

Since you don’t make enough money to ever really save, the slightest problem will set you back. Often the pay is so low you are barely able to provide food on the table. When something circumstantial happens, like a flat tire or a visit to the doctor, your whole finances are ruined for months.

You budget life around work

Instead of living life, you live the company’s schedule. The desperation really sets in when you work swing shifts and miss out on important family or friend meet-ups. This leads to you feeling left out of forward progress, and can make you pull away from social events altogether.

You experience the true difficulty of mobility

When you work a minimum wage job you can barely afford true transportation, like a car. This culture is created via government regulation, like property taxes on cars and high gas prices. It takes work just to get to the low paying job. A lot of mass transit systems in the United States just aren’t adequate.

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You are crushed by corporate pencil-pushing delays

When you work for a low wage, a two-week pay schedule can be devastating. Employers need to understand that the people they are hiring are relying on that paycheck week to week. It’s unfair to pay so little and still expect workers to wait out a one week hold, plus a two week pay schedule.

You feel stuck in one location

Want to smell the ocean air or climb the tops of the Blue Ridge Mountains? Not a chance for many who work low paying jobs. You can’t afford to take a vacation, nor whimsically move into a new location where the same minimum wage jobs are your future.

You can work hard and still go unnoticed

Ever feel like you go the extra mile, but management never notices? You aren’t alone! A lot of people that work a minimum wage job feel like no matter what they do they will never see an advancement within the company they work for thanks to pedigree.

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You rarely feel any benefit for working as much as you do

We can all feel like we are going nowhere at times, but it’s especially true for those who are working minimum wage jobs. Day after day you go into work, and by the end of the week you aren’t any better off than you were the month before. It’s a sinking feeling.

You make less money, even when you make more

The tax code is set against those rising up from the bottom. You pay an employment tax, not an investment tax. So when you finally do get a leg up and make some decent money, you lose it to Uncle Sam. Working more for less breaks the spirits of those who want to achieve.

You feel pressure from your dependents

They love you and you surely love them. One reason you work long hours, swing shifts, and put up with low wages is due to people counting on what little money you do make. It feels impossible to make a transition towards a better career when you constantly have to produce bread for the family.

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It’s important to remember that even though it feels like the wind of life is against you, you can still improve your skill set and gain better positions of employment. Often we have to take five steps forward and two steps back to go forward at all.

At the end of the day we have to persevere, gain power through knowledge, and apply ourselves. Once you decide to be something in life, you can truly be it!

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Joseph Mongan

Journalist

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Last Updated on April 3, 2019

How to Nix Your Credit Card Debt in Less Than 3 Years

How to Nix Your Credit Card Debt in Less Than 3 Years

Debt is never a fun thing to be in. But, there are many actions that you can take that will help you rid yourself of the burden of debt once and for all.

By coming up with a set plan, eliminating your debt can feel much easier than constantly thinking about it.

This post will provide some tips on how you can do this to help you nix your credit card debt in less than 3 years.

Hint: there are ways that are easier than you think.

1. Consider Consolidating Multiple Credit Cards If Possible

This may not be applicable to you, but if you have multiple cards – it is something to consider. Keeping up with multiple bills is time consuming.

It will depend on the balance you have on each. Consolidate ones you can but do not do it to the point that you get too close to the maximum limit. Also, it is ideal to pick the card with the lower interest rate.

Consider if there are any fees or alternatively, rewards, with transferring a balance to another card. Watch out for fees. Note that some cards offer rewards for transferring a balance to them. This is extra cash that can help go towards paying off your debt.

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Having one or two cards can make nixing your debt much simpler than keeping up with the balance of a bunch of cards. Keeping track of paying the minimum towards a bunch of cards is time consuming. Spend the time to consolidate instead to make the overall process simpler going forward.

My tip: Have one main credit card. Have a second one that you use for necessities – such as groceries or gas – that offers rewards for those purchases (a lot of cards do) and set the second one on auto-pay. You should be able to pay off a smaller amount on auto-pay if it is a necessity. If you think you cannot, then you may need to cut down a lot on expenses.

Why do I suggest doing this? Having one thing set to auto-pay is one less thing to think about. One less thing to waste time on. Same idea with consolidating to one main card. Tracking down too many is a hassle.

2. Try to Pay the Full Balance You Spent Each Month at the Very Least

You need to pay off the amount you are spending each month when that bill comes in. This is the amount you spent THAT month.

Do not let the debt keep accruing while you work on paying any unpaid debt that has accrued. It will become a never-ending battle. Try as best as you can to be current on paying for each month’s expenses when that month’s bill comes out.

If this is a strain, consider why. You may need to cut expenses. Or you may need to consider other cards. Or look at where this money is going.

3. Pay Extra When You Can – Every Small Amount Counts

This cannot be emphasized enough. If you are looking at a lot of credit card debt, it can look daunting, but each extra amount that you can put towards the debt will really add up – no matter how small it is.

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It does not just reduce the principal amount that you have left to pay off, but it reduces the amount that is collecting interest. You will always save money with that reduced interest.

4. Create a Plan on How to Pay Extra

Back to the main point, having this plan is giving you one less thing to think about.

This plan should be a plan that works for you. If it does not work for you, your spending habits, and your views on debt, then it will not be an effective plan.

For instance, if a set plan of an extra $50 (or another amount that you know you can afford) works for you, then do that. Set that aside every month and pay that extra amount. Treat it like a bill. Choose an amount that works for you and pay it like clockwork as though it was a bill you had to pay each month.

Little amounts will not nix it entirely, but they will help tackle it and having a set plan can make it less of a chore. Creating a new plan of how much to put towards it each month is an unnecessary added stress.

5. Cut out Costs for Services You Do Not Use

If you are signed up for subscriptions that you do not use because of some free trial or for some other reason, cut it out. Your overall financial position will look better.

In turn, that will make cutting your credit card debt easier. Look at your statements to find these expenses. If you do not use them, you may forget you are paying some unnecessary amount each month. Cutting it out can really add up in savings that you can put towards other needed expenses.

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6. Get Aggressive About It

Consider these points:

Depending on the interest and the level of debt, you may need to give up a few indulgences. For example, instead of ordering delivery or going out to eat, cook at home. Everything adds up.

Other things may be more of a sacrifice. It may be a trip you wanted to go on, or a daily latte habit you’ve picked up. In these instances, consider how important it is to you and if it’s worth the sacrifice. And if it is a costly expense, think whether you can wait to indulge.

Cutting an extravagant expense can really help make a dent in your overall debt. Try not to add to debt when you are trying to pay it off. It will be a never-ending battle. Make it less of a battle with these tips and it will feel easier.

Bottom line: Do what you can to make this process easier for you. Implement steps that do this. It takes time now, but will help overall. Also, keep track of your spending and paying down of your debts. Which is the next point.

7. Reevaluate Your Progress at Set Intervals

Doing a regular check-in can help you see your efforts pay off or maybe indicate that you need to give this a bit more effort. If you check every 3-6 months, it will not feel so much like a chore or feel so daunting.

By doing this, you will be able to better understand your progress and perhaps readjust your plan. Bonus: if you see it pay off, it will feel great to do this check-in. You will get there.

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Finally (and most importantly)…

8. Keep Trying

Do not get discouraged. Pushing it off will make it worse. Just keep trying.

Once your debt becomes lower, each monthly payment will reduce the balance more. Why? You are paying less towards interest. It will be a snowball effect eventually and it will become much easier to manage. Just get to that point. And know once you do, it will feel easier and motivating.

Start Knocking out Your Debt Today

The best way to eliminate debt is to get started right away. Begin by implementing the above steps and watch your debt just melt away. Try out some of the above strategies and see what works best for you. Soon you’ll be on your way to a debt free life.

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Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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