Entry-level Salary Survival Tips

Depending on your living situation, getting by on an entry-level salary can be tough at times. With bills like rent, utilities, phone, car, student loans, and food costs, living paycheck to paycheck is more of a reality than one would think if you aren’t careful.

Lets take this scenario into consideration… you are earning $13 an hour and working 40 hours a week.. It is safe to say you can count on bringing in at least $1500 each month after taxes. Rent is around $700 a month on average for a one-bedroom apartment, $800+ after utilities. Add your phone bill, and if you have a car you are making payments on, add that too. How much is left at the end of the month? Not much.

There are ways to get by and still be comfortable, it just takes some budgeting and self-control.

Your living situation is probably the biggest factor in how your money is spent every month. If you are living with your parents or somewhere that doesn’t require you to pay rent, you are already ahead. If you own your car, then that is another expense you don’t have to worry about.

If you want to be out on your own but aren’t making a lot of money, then a roommate can be a lifesaver. Instead of paying for rent and utilities all by yourself, you have someone (or two) to split the costs with. If you have a choice, living close to your job can also help immensely. Depending on how close you live to your job, you can save enormous amounts of money on transportation – especially if you’re within walking distance.

Transportation is another key factor in your budget. Owning a car and making minimal payments for insurance and repairs is ideal, but a lot of people aren’t in that situation. When it comes down to it, you need to make the decision about what you want to do for transportation – do you want a new or used car? Do you care how it looks? Do you not want a car at all? What about a bike? All choices are viable, as long as you budget correctly. Just don’t forget about insurance, maintenance, and gas – all of that costs money, too.

When it comes to food, nothing saves you more money than cooking it your self. Eating out is costly, and it isn’t always good for you either. Eight to ten dollars a day on food really adds up – going to the grocery store once or twice a week and planning out your meals will save you a ton (especially if you are cutting coupons!). Eating out is okay, but making a habit of it will really cost you in the long run.

It is recommended that you should have enough money in savings to live off of for at least three months if you had to. Simple things like this can help you save a substantial amount of money each month, which in turn will help you build your savings.

Take these suggestions and start being financially savvy while still living comfortably.