How To Save Money On Low Income | Minimum Wage

How to save money fast on a low income. By the end of this video, if you keep watching,
you will know exactly how to save $500 a month, every month–that is $6,000 a year–while
making $9 to $10 dollars an hour. If you don’t know me already, my name is Annie
Yang and for the first few years after high school, I worked shitty low-wage jobs. I’m talking $3 an hour, under the table, because
my boss didn’t want to pay me more and he knew I wasn’t qualified for other jobs out
there. To up to just $10 an hour, which I thought
was like… I was so grateful for $10 an hour, because
at one point I was making $3 an hour. Alright, but even then every month regardless
of how much I made, I set aside $500 a month and in two years, I had $10,000 saved up. I was living in New York City and I moved
out of my parents’ place. So I’m going to show you exactly how I did
it, exactly what my lifestyle looked like, so that you can replicate my process and do
the same thing for yourself. Now before I get started, I want you to think
about what your life would be like if you had $10,000 in your bank account two years
from now. Imagine what that would be like. How would you feel? And I can guarantee that you will feel a sense
of peace, a sense of security, and a sense of freedom. Freedom from things that were holding you
back before. Freedom from everything that you felt limited
you. Freedom from the stress that came with working
a low-wage job and not be not knowing for sure whether you could afford to pay the bills. Freedom to know that even if you work a shitty
job that doesn’t pay very well, with a mean boss that’s counting every second of your
bathroom break, that doesn’t give you any benefits, no sick pay, no holiday, and no
flexible time for you to even come in a bit late one day so that you could go to the doctor
and check on your health. Freedom to know that you don’t have to work
a job like that, that you have options in life. Okay? That’s what I want you to know. Two years from now! $10,000! Freedom fund! So let’s get started. First things first, housing. Housing is the most expensive thing you will
pay for every month and chances are if you are low-income, you are a renter. If you are still young enough, if you still
live in the same city as your parents, and if your parents are okay with it, move back
in with your parents. There’s absolutely no shame in living with
your parents. Apparently, 30% of adults under 30 years old
are still living with their parents. So this is considered normal. No shame whatsoever. But I don’t want you to move back in just
so that you could have more spending money for yourself. What you should be doing is paying your parents
a reasonable amount of money in rent. It depends on where you live and the cost
of living of that area. Okay? But $100 $200, whatever… Make your parents feel like they’re at least
getting some money for the fact that you are living under their roof again. Therefore, you’re using up some utilities. You’re using up some of their food if they’re
cooking for you. Things like that… pay them a bit of money. But in the meantime, while living with your
parents, save up the money. Save up your money so that you can move out
and become a financially free adult and so that you don’t have to rely on your parents
anymore. Don’t just use the extra money that you have
to spend on whatever. Set all that money aside. Set like 50% of your income aside. This is actually what I did in my first full-time
job. I was being paid a salary of $120 a week in
cash. And if you did the math, I made $3 an hour. I gave nine massages a week and I got to keep
the tip, but I think in a whole month, I brought in $1,000 and I was working full-time. I brought in $1,000 a month because my boss
underpaid me, thinking that I couldn’t get a job anywhere else, so I just stuck with
it. But $1,000. So what I did was, I was living with my parents
but I saved $500 every month into a savings account, into my freedom fund and then the
other $500, I think I spent less than $100 of it toward my public transportation and
I spent some money on food. I would pay for my own lunch ingredients and
I paid for my own phone bill and then the rest of that was spending money for myself. Make sure if you’re living with your parents
to have a game plan to move out. Have a game plan. Have a target date and work toward it. Now if you don’t have that luxury of living
with your parents and you are a low wage earner, you can still do it. You can live in an apartment with roommates. You can rent out a single room. And if possible, you can even have a roommate
in your room so that you can split the rent for that room in half. It depends on where you live though, because
I think in New York City, the landlords are a bit more strict. In Boston, the landlords are bit more strict. But in other parts of the country, like in
Florida or in Texas, people are more lenient. So long as you pay the rent on time, it’s
okay. So if you’re young enough to still do this,
have a roommate in your room–not just the rest of the apartment, but in your room. Another thing to consider is to rent the cheapest
room possible. Yeah, I know, like… what? But you can’t afford it. Okay, you’re a low wage earner. You can’t afford to have a fancy apartment. You can’t afford to have a gigantic room. Chances are the cheapest room is going to
be the smallest room, but that’s okay because that will also encourage you to buy less stuff. If you have a small room, you don’t have that
much room to put your stuff, right? Chances are you’re not going to spend money
on stuff anymore. In regards to housing, I want you to let go. Let go and release the idea that you deserve
to have more, that you deserve to have more privacy from people and you deserve to have
your own space. Probably because you’re thinking, well, I’m
25 already. By now, I should have my own my own place. Or I’m 40, I shouldn’t be having roommates
anymore. Let go of the idea. Or even, I’m married… I shouldn’t be having roommates anymore. You could be married and could still have
a roommate. It’s completely okay. In fact, next year, my significant other and
I… we’re gonna buy a condo and I plan to buy maybe a 2 bedroom and I plan to rent out
the other bedroom so I could get help paying my mortgage. There is no shame regardless of your circumstance
in having a roommate. I think one time, I was at the subway station
waiting for the train to come, and I was overhearing this conversation between two teachers and
they’re both Millennials and one of the teachers said, “Oh my God, I feel like it’s so hard
to keep up. I pay like 50% of my income in rent.” And then the other one said, “Oh my God, I
just moved in with my boyfriend and I just got into a ton of credit card debt because
I wasn’t ready for the amount of money that was about to spend.” Listen. Your housing, ideally, your housing expense
should be less than 25% of your gross income. And if you have to go up a bit, maximum 30%. 50% and you’re pushing it. I went up to that teacher and ask him, Why
are you spending 50% of your income in rent?” And he said, “Well, I really want my own place. I don’t want to have roommates. I really like my privacy.” This guy was willing to spend $1,600 a month
for a 1-bedroom apartment so that he could live alone, instead of renting out an $800
room-for-rent and then saving $800 for his future. The next thing that you have to save money
on is utilities. Utilities… you’re always going to have to
pay for it. You don’t have to hate paying utilities. I meet a lot of people and they hate paying
their bills. Even when I was low-income, I loved to pay
my utilities. You know why? Because I made sure my utilities were so low,
that it’s guaranteed that I can definitely afford to pay on time every month. I love to pay my bills. So how can you lower your bills? I think the biggest way to lower your bills
is to control the heating and cooling of your apartment. In the winter, set the heat to 68 degrees
Fahrenheit, and in the summer, set your AC to 78 degrees Fahrenheit. And you might be complaining to me… “Oh my God. That is way too cold for the winter. And that is way too hot for the summer.” But you know, honestly, if you’re low income
and you’re going to make it your goal to save money–to save $500 a month–there are sacrifices
to make. So what you have to do, is you have to find
other ways to keep warm in the winter and find other ways to keep cool in the summer. You might not even stay in your apartment
during the summer. You might choose to go out everyday, choose
to hang out at the library or the cafe rather than staying at home. It could mean in the winter, you’re going
to have to bundle up. You have to wear socks. You’ve got to wear your scarf. You’ve got to put on your hoodie so you can
keep your head warm. One easy method I use to keep my heating and
cooling bills low every month is in the winter, I cover up my windows with window insulation
because I read that 10% of the heat in your home escapes through the windows and through
your doors. So if you could keep that properly insulated,
then you could save a lot of money. I also installed door sweeps on the bottom
of my doors to make sure that wind doesn’t come in from under the door. Because that also contributes to how cold
my apartment will feel. And in the summer, I like to keep my curtains
closed during the peak sunlight hours because it’s the sun that comes into the apartment
that really adds to just how hot it feels. So if you could block out as much sunlight
as possible, then it definitely helps. And then for electricity, another way to save
money is to switch out your light bulbs. If you have those old incandescent light bulbs,
what you could do is you could buy CFL or LED light bulbs because they’re more energy
efficient. So this is an upfront cost, but in the long
run, its going to save you more money. And when you leave the room, please make sure
that you turn off the lights. Even if you’re out of the room for just a
minute, every minute that you do not have to turn on the lights definitely adds up and
you will have more money in your savings. And lastly, to save money on electricity,
I like to turn off my electronics when I’m not using them. And on top of that, not just turn them off,
but also unplug them because even when an electronic is not in use, it’s still sucking
phantom energy. Now, if you find it too inconvenient to do
that every day, then what you could do is you could buy a power strip and then when
it’s nighttime and you’re not using your computer anymore, yada yada, your TV, then what you
could do is you could just flip the switch. And then in the morning, flip the switch back
on. Next up is cell phone bills. Did you know that the average American pays
$80 a month for their cell phone bill? Wow, that’s a lot of money. I have never had a cell phone bill that was
more than $24 a month in my life. When I was a teenager, my cell phone bill
was $10. Then a few years ago, my cell phone bill was
$19 to $24. And right now today my cell phone bill is
only $15 a month. And how do I manage to do that? Well, I’ve never gone with the traditional
big four companies. I don’t go with T-Mobile. I don’t go with Sprint, AT&T, and Verizon. They’re very expensive and they lock you into
this two-year contract that you’re gonna overpay for. Instead, I always went with a prepaid plan. And I’ve told people to switch to a prepaid
plan to save money, but some people are resistant to this idea because they’re afraid that the
reliability of the service isn’t as good and that their calls are going to drop, but come
on guys, it’s like 2019. Probably your calls would have dropped back
in 2009. But nowadays there’s so many cell phone towers
and service is very reliable with prepaid plans. So you might want to consider that. And I also love the idea of prepaid plans
because if I find a better deal, I’m not locked into a contract right now. I’m free to switch to another plan with another
provider next month if I’m not happy with the price I’m paying. Next up is internet how to save money on internet. If you’re one of those lucky folks and you
live in an area, a neighborhood, where you can pick from more than one internet service
provider, shop around! Look at all the plans that are available and
get the best plan for you. If you’re not so lucky, you’re limited to
one, and there’s a monopoly where you live–just like where I live. There’s a freaking Monopoly. Then you have the option of looking at the
different plans and getting the cheapest one. That’s what we did. We pay $40 a month for our internet bill and
it is definitely enough for what we need. If you want to be even more extreme, you might
even consider not paying for internet at all. I’ve read some stories. Some people are very extreme. So what people do instead is they go to the
library or they go to a cafe for Internet. You know nowadays, especially if you live
in a big city, there’s Internet available everywhere. You don’t necessarily need to have internet
at home. The next thing you have to do is keep your
transportation expense as low as possible. Here’s the deal. If you’re working a low-wage job that pays
$9 an hour… $10 an hour or you know, I think nowadays
the minimum wage in some cities in the United States is $15 an hour. If you’re getting paid that little, why work
so far away? I know some people who make $15 an hour and
they work a job that has a one hour commute each way. Why? If you’re gonna be paid like that, you might
as well work or start looking for a company that’s much closer… that pays you the same. Yeah. Sure. I know you probably enjoy your job. But honestly, if you’re in this kind of situation,
what I would do is I would just try to find a job that’s closer because you’re not getting
paid to commute. While it’s not as easy for you to control
how much your boss pays you–you could just ask for a raise, but your boss might say “no”–what
you could do is change location. When I worked these low-wage jobs, I always
chose to work within a walking distance. Look. If I’m going to get paid $9 an hour, I’m not
going to commute more than 10 minutes each way. Let’s face it. It’s just not worth my time. My time is very important too. If not walking, if it was two miles away…
biking. If I can’t bike and this job was three miles
away, then I would take the train. If I had to take the train, then I would probably
take the train in the morning when I’m really in a rush to get to work. So instead of taking a train to get home after
work, I would walk home or I would ride my kick scooter to get home because both were
free. If you’re not lucky enough to live in a city
or town that has good, reliable public transportation and it’s just also not pedestrian-friendly,
not bike-friendly, then you live in a car city and you just have to own a car. But you don’t have to buy a new car. You don’t have to buy the most expensive car. And you don’t have to lease your car. You don’t have to buy a pickup truck. Because a pickup truck wastes a lot of fuel. What you could do instead is you could buy
a cheap, used car that’s been maintained well throughout its lifetime and it’s also fuel
efficient. And I recommend you buy this car with cash
outright. If you really don’t have the funds to buy
a car with cash, then you’re going to have to finance. Otherwise, how else are you going to get to
work? But try to get the best interest rate possible
and try to negotiate the price of the car down as much as possible too. And lastly, you’ve got to save money on food
because you need to eat food in order to live. Here’s the thing. If you’re low wage, you honestly cannot afford
to eat out–ever! When I was making very little money, I think
the most I ever ate out was once a month. It was like a special date with me and my
boyfriend and expensive to me was $25 for a meal. Because honestly, when you’re making that
little and you do the math, you’re just thinking to yourself, “Oh my God, it took me three
hours of work just to make this money so that I could eat this lunch. It’s not worth it.” So what you could do instead is cook every
meal and cook every meal from scratch because that’s cheaper than buying processed.. packaged..
frozen foods. It really is. If you buy all the ingredients whole and you
chop them up and you cook them yourself, you’re going to save so much money. And another way to save money is by eating
vegetarian because let’s face it. It’s much cheaper. I think a lot of people claim that eating
vegetarian is too expensive, but honestly, if you look at the math, the price per pound
for vegetables is much cheaper. Chicken is like $4 a pound. Beef is $8, $9, $10 a pound, sometimes $13
a pound depending on the cut. But vegetables in general are between $1 and
$4 a pound. It’s much cheaper. So when I was low income, I only ate vegetarian. It’s only now that I stopped eating vegetarian
because I found out that I was iron deficient, so I have to eat beef in order to get enough
iron in my diet. But even then, I don’t eat that much meat
in a given week. I think in a given week I eat about half a
pound of beef and half a pound of salmon and that’s it. The average American eats half a pound of
meat a day. A day! Think of how much money you could save if
you stopped eating so much meat. And I know it’s a very controversial opinion,
but if saving money were so important to you that you were willing to change your diet
for it, please give it a try. In this entire video, I only talked about
how to cut necessities. But how do you save money on everything else? Let’s be honest here. When I was making $10 an hour, I cut those
expenses as low as possible and I saved $500 a month. What else did I do? Well, I didn’t buy anything. I lived like I was broke because I really
couldn’t afford to buy anything. And if I had to buy something, everything
I bought was either used from eBay or from Craigslist. I rarely bought anything new. All the clothes I bought were secondhand. All the furniture I got was secondhand. Almost everything I owned was secondhand. And I didn’t even own that much stuff. I think all my stuff at that time in my life
could fit into two suitcases. Rather than spending money on stuff, I made
sure to have cheap hobbies. And whenever I wanted to hang out with my
friends, I would have to find either free or cheap events that we could go to and we
would have to eat at cheap restaurants. Honestly, if I had to do everything all over
again, I would do it exactly the same way. I have no regrets in living this very cheap,
frugal lifestyle. And after a while, it actually felt very comfortable
because I got used to it. The human psychology is very interesting because
regardless of the situation you’re in, it can help you by adapting to a certain form
of lifestyle. And you know, after a few weeks you get used
to it and actually ends up being very comfortable and you learn to be grateful and content with
everything that you have. This is why when people progressively earn
more money throughout their career, they tend to buy more stuff and they adapt. Their brain adapt to this new lifestyle and
all of a sudden eating out for lunch every day becomes a norm. It’s because your brain adapts to whatever
situation and environment you’re put in. So there you go. That is how I saved $500 a month every month
on a low income. If you want to learn more ways to save money,
I am a published author and I did write this book, 1001 Ways To Save Money: Quit Flushing
Your Hard-Earned Money Down The Toilet. You can check out this book on Amazon, and
you can buy it for $19.95. But if you wanted to save money, you can buy
the Kindle version for only $9.99. If you like this video, please be sure to
give me a thumbs up. Leave me a comment about how you plan to save
money today. What is one thing that you can cut back on
this month? And please be sure to share this with your
friends if you know that they’re working at a very low wage job. Also do subscribe to my YouTube channel because
I do plan to produce more content like this in the future if this is what you like, and
I will see you next time. Bye.

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