Having lived for a time on about $500 a month, I don’t quite understand all this fuss about raising minimum wage. How did I live on so little? It’s easy.
• I uninsured my vehicle and relied upon public transportation and a bicycle.
• I got a tiny, cheap apartment for $550 a month, and split the cost with my significant other. If you don’t have a significant other, get a roommate.
• I ate well, but not at restaurants, and relied heavily upon grocery store sales.
• I bought everything I could pre-owned, at thrift stores.
• I got the internet, but no cable. I also used a land line phone with a cheap plan.
There’s not much more to it than that. Although it was a bit of an adjustment at first, I got not only used to my situation, but happy with it. I’d still be in this situation, if my savings hadn’t run out (an additional cost I didn’t factor into this column is the cost of running a magazine in a deficit) and the stress of spending a ridiculous number hours a week running a magazine, holding a part-time job, and freelancing articles, didn’t ware me down.
My point in sharing this is that people can, quite easily, live on less. But, society dictates that we need to spoil ourselves on the riches of Western society. You’re not successful unless you have a large house, or a nice car, now are you?
And if these things are important to you, show some ambition, and earn a job that pays better. You’re not entitled to these luxuries. They’re earned.
An exemption to this rant about living on a mere $500 a month are single-parent households. But, in most situations, I maintain that $1,000/month is plenty.