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Mar. 14th, 2016

Living on Minimum Wage

Why Do Homeless People Have Smart Phones?

One piece of advice we’re changing in the second edition of Living Single on Minimum Wage is our advice on smart phones.  Not because the old advice was bad, but because the technology and prices have changed dramatically in the past few years.  I’d certainly still advise carefully weighing your needs vs. wants and comparison shopping to choose the best phone plan for yourself, but I’m less inclined to see smart phones themselves as purely wants.

I hope none of you are homeless, but I know people who are or have been. And I’ve also heard a lot of cynical comments from people who aren’t when they see someone on the street begging for help and then using what looks like an expensive phone. So I wanted to go over some practical reasons why a homeless person might have a smart phone or feel like maintaining the phone is a good use of their limited income that aren’t just poor judgment.

How Can a Homeless Person Afford a Smart Phone?

1. They bought the phone when they were in a much better financial place. Before the jobs loss, before the medical bills piled up, before the fire that destroyed their apartment, etc.

2. Someone else gave it to them. Charity, friend, family member, kind stranger. Just because a poor person has a phone doesn’t mean they bought it.

3. A special promotion or payment plan. While paying for a smart phone upfront may cost you a few hundred dollars, many cell phone companies offer their phones for relatively low monthly payments, or at a reduced price with contract. While that can add up or even cost more over time, it’s more realistic that a poor person can scrounge up $20 per month than $200 or $300 in a single lump.

How Can a Homeless Person Afford a Dataplan?

1. They may not have one. Smart phones have gotten pretty smart. They’re really more like personal computers now. Even if a smart phone’s services gets cut off, it may still work as a camera, or connect to public wifi to check e-mail, or as a flashlight or apps that were download while the person did have a plan and still work even though the ability to make calls has been shut down.

2. They got a cheap plan. Data plans can run hundreds of dollars per month, particularly if you’re not careful about your usage. But not every phone is this expensive. Nor does every phone plan require a contract. They may be paying month by month, or have a very limited phone plan.

3. They have a job. Not everyone who is homeless is unemployed. Many homeless people are underemployed, meaning they do work but can’t get the hours or income they need to cover rent.

4. They’re part of a group plan. Many family and group plans can be significantly cheaper for the individuals splitting the plan than buying a dataplan by yourself.  Again this may be a family member helping them out.

5. They mainly use public wifi. Public wifi is less secure, but it's widely available now. Watching your data usage can help keep your phone bill low.

Why Would a Homeless Person Need a Smart Phone?

1. Weight. Imagine all your earthly possessions don’t have a safe place to stay, so you have to carry them on your back. A smart phone, aside from being a phone, can also be a flashlight, a book, a map, a level, a camera, a calendar, a notepad, a game, a calculator, alarm clock etc. Replace all those items with a single small one, and it leaves more room for important basic necessities in your bag.

2. Information. The local church may be giving away free hamburgers and winter coats, but that doesn’t do you any good if you don’t know about it. While libraries are great for getting information and internet access to the poor, they aren’t always open or close enough to walk to.

3. Job opportunities. It’s hard to get a job when you don’t have an address. Having a steady e-mail address and a phone number increases the way potential employers can contact you and you them.

4. Human connection. First and foremost, homeless people are people, and it’s a lot easier for people to get through tough times with other people to help them with advice and encouragement as well as in more tangible ways. Smart phones may help the homeless connect with distant relatives or local support groups.

The point of this post isn’t to encourage anyone to run out and get a smart phone. If you’re doing well without it, save your pennies. But I’d seen enough snide comments about homeless people using smart phone that I felt like this needed to be addressed from a practical side.

Feb. 15th, 2016

Living on Minimum Wage

The Thriftier Hamster

While some animals certainly work for their living, most pets are a luxury item.  In our book we encourage minimum wagers to invest in plants rather than pets, and I still stand by that advice.  Properly caring for an animal comes with a lot of financial expenses and time cost, and you shouldn’t get an animal unless you can properly care for it.  (We’re not suggesting you get rid of your loyal dog of ten years.  Just that it’s not wise to add another mouth to feed when you’re on edge financially.)

But I confess, I’ve always wanted a hamster.  I had promised my nephew a fish once he’d potty trained successfully.  Once we started looking at the pet store, I convinced myself a hamster would be just as cheap and easier to care for (you’re free to laugh at me now), so I talked my nephew into a different pet.

I’ll also confess that I’ve probably spent at least $700 on this Hasmter so far.  So no, I haven’t changed my mind about pets being a bad idea for someone on a tight budget.  Some of those expenses were necessary, some weren’t.  I failed to do proper research before purchasing my pet.  If I had, it probably would have saved me a good portion of that money.  However, in the meantime, I’ve learned things that have helped bring the cost of hamster care down, so I figured I’d do a post about those since there’s a fair chance many of you either have a pet already or ignored our advice on this subject.

This is Gryffin.  (He’s a Gryffindor.)  He’s a Syrian hamster and large for his breed.  He’s also apparently smarter than average and recognizes certain words and commands.

Tip One: Start off by buying the large, nicer cage.

I bought a Hamster Kit which included the cage, a wheel, a bowl, a water bottle, removable bedding tray and bedding.  In concept this was a good thrifty starter kit.  Except it was not a well designed kit.  The wheel was too small, the bowl was too large, the water bottle was huge and took up too much space inside the cage (online reviews said it leaked, but mine wasn’t too bad in that regard).  The bedding tray is actually a good feature since it protects the bottom of the cage from wear and tear, but the instructions weren’t clear that by “recycle” they meant wash and re-use, not put in with normal plastic recycling.

While hamsters like cozy places to sleep, they also have a lot of energy that needs to be burned off.  So space to move is important for keeping a happy hamster.  (Unhappy hamsters bite or chew through their cages.)

I ran up a lot of my costs by replacing various components of the kit with better made ones.  New bowl, new water bottle, new wheel, and then adding tubes to expand my hamster’s space to move.  If I’d taken a little more time to research and read reviews, I could have bought him a much cooler habitat for the same amount of money.  (The tubes are all additions, all that's left from the initial kit is the cage at the bottom.)

Tip Two: Figure Out What You’re Going to Do With Him While Cleaning

Properly cleaning out all my hamster’s tubes takes thirty minutes to an hour.  Apparently no one told him animals go in the corner.  Dishwashing liquid seems sufficient for cleaning the cage and tubes, but the hamster can’t just run loose while I clean.  I have a travel cage for him where I keep his dust bath and an aquarium where I’ve set up a hamster retreat where everything is edible or gnawable, even the straw bedding.  He also has a ball, which he will happily run around in for 20-minutes solid, but after that he gets hungry and needs to take care of hamster business.  (P.S. I don’t recommend hamster balls on carpet.)

Tip Three: Supplement with backyard greens and fresh scraps.

Dumping any old scrap into your hamster’s bowl is not good care.  But there are a number of foods you can share with your hamster or pick from your yard (or any place you’re reasonably sure hasn’t been sprayed with chemicals.)

I did buy Gryffin a $16 bag of “gourmet” hamster food, which is probably varied enough to sustain him by itself.  But I managed to make that bag last for 6-months by ignoring bag instructions and supplementing his diet with fresh greens from the yard and scraps.  The bag suggested giving him 2 tbsp per day and tossing out the remainder.  My large Syrian almost never eats that much.  Usually I give him 1 to ½ tbsp of the mix, and place some vegetables on top.  He loves Zucchini, carrots, most any leaf, and apple cores (no seeds).  Since my nephew won’t eat apple core or skins, feeding them to the hamster makes good use of those scraps.  He’ll eat the zucchini stalk and rind that my mom trims off.

I don’t toss out the remainder unless there’s some sign he’s pooped or urinated in it (which he normally only does when it’s down to the pellets.  He doesn’t like those.)

Gryffin also loves dandelion leaves and wild violet leaves (both of which are safe for humans as well) and those grow plentifully in this area.  This may take some additional research, but it’s not a bad idea to acquaint yourself with backyard edibles.

Not every scrap or wild growing thing is good for hamsters.  Here’s a couple lists to get you started.


Tip Four:  Buy Bedding in Bulk

For the first few months of hamster ownership, I bought 3-packs of bedding trays because it seemed easier and looked like as much as I would be getting in the bulk pack.  I didn’t realize how densely the bulk bags were packed.  The paper bedding in plastic trays came out to about $3.33 per week.  Whereas $7 bulk bag of wood curls lasted about 4 months.  One pack of the trays was probably a good investment.  I now clean and reuse those to help protect the bottom of the cage, but in general, the bulk bedding is much thriftier.

Unscented and unbleached toilet paper, ripped or shredded, might be acceptable cheap bedding, but not newspaper (ink is not good for them).  I’ve played it safe with the store bedding.  But toilet paper might be cheaper.

Tip Five: Dog Biscuits

I probably dropped $20-$30 on hamster treats before discovering that dog biscuits were hamster friendly.  (Here’s some guidelines on which ones are and aren’t: https://youtu.be/bRsBXSEYyiM.)  I purchased a $1 bag of dog treats at Dollar Tree with 5 different flavored treats, and my hamster loves them.  Since he only gets 1-per-week, this one bag should last for several months.

Tip Six: Make Use of Loyalty Programs

I bought my hamster and a lot of my hamster gear at Petco mainly because it’s the closest pet store to my house.  They have a great return policy, which was very helpful when my hamster escaped his new play pen in less than 10 minutes.  (The product would probably be great for most hamsters, but Gyrffin is larger than average and smart.)  I replaced it with a glass aquarium, bought during a sale, and set up a “play pen” for him, because I needed a secondary space where my nephew could pet him and clean him.

Comparison shopping is helpful too, but my Pet Pals card has given me rewards and access to relevant coupons.  There’s no rule saying you have to buy all your pets supplies at the same store, but if there is a store that’s reasonably priced and convenient, consider signing up for their loyalty program.

Tip Seven: Hamster Potties and Dust Baths

You can buy hamster potties.  I’ve bought two, one with a cover and the other for the corner of his cage.  But I haven’t been able to train him to use it as a potty.  I think they’re a worthwhile attempt, but the litter is probably more expensive than the bedding.  He loves the variation in texture, but I haven’t managed to convince him of the advantages of using the toilet in one spot.

I did see a suggestion recently to use toilet paper instead of litter, and may attempt that, since it’ll be easier to spot when he’s used it and cheaper to replace.

His first potty has been transitioned into a dust bath.  I bought a spray shampoo, but Gryffin hates it.  The dust bath and a brush is probably sufficient since hamsters groom themselves regularly and don’t need soap and water baths in the same way some other pets do.

Do you have any thrifty pet tips?  If so, please leave a comment below.


Feb. 7th, 2016

Living on Minimum Wage

Tax Time is Now, Not April

Happy leap year, everyone.  Use that extra day in February to get your taxes done.  All your paperwork should come in this month and getting your taxes done early will help you get your refund earlier, or give you more time to plan and/or double check if you have to pay.

I’d also suggest checking out the freefile option on irs.gov.  For most of us, a paid tax preparer is an unnecessary expense(, but it's okay to use one if you've had a complicated year).  Most of the freefile websites will walk you through the process step by step.

When you free file, I recommend taking the direct deposit option to get your refund more quickly.

Remember our 5 priorities for unexpected income.

Priority 1: Needs
Priority 2: Small Debts

Priority 3: Emergency Fund
Priority 4: Large Debts
Priority 5: Big Dreams and Entertainment

For me this year, most of my refund will be going to a phone upgrade, which is a situational necessity for my business (Priority 1 & 2…I already have the phone and this will allow me to pay it off early).  I need a better camera and a video camera for projects, and means to use a square reader so I can take credit cards at events.  The rest will go towards rebuilding my emergency fund.

Do you have a plan for your refund?

Jan. 6th, 2016

Living on Minimum Wage

Crowdfunding for 2016

I had a brilliant plan for 2015, a reasonable time line set up for all my projects. And then a huge wrench got thrown into the plan, so a big project that should have been released and generating income in August had to start almost from scratch in September, which means the fall schedule got condensed into December, and I had to change my book release strategy and move some of it over to this year. And the new edition of Living Single on Minimum Wage that I had hoped to release last year is getting pushed to later this year.

Now, I get it. This isn't the blog for people with tons of excess cash, but I have ways for you to help which includes you getting free stuff (or cheap). If you have Kindle Unlimited, please go download, read, and review (negative reviews help just as much a flattering ones do, just be honest) my new fantasy novel Horse Feathers. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B019YWBE2W

You don't need a Kindle Device to read Kindle books, they have apps that will work on most computers, tablets, or phones.  And if you want, you can use a Kindle Unlimited free trial to borrow the book for free (This will work for the current edition of Living Single on Minimum Wage too).  Click here for a Kindle Unlimited Free Trial.  If you want to download the book on a more permanent basis, it's only $2.99.

You can also help by sharing the campaign on various social media (facebook, twitter, Tumblr, etc.) or sharing individual products from the company with people who you think would like them.  Along with books, Amoeba Ink does design work for Print on Demand items like T-shirts, journals, cards, phone covers, rugs, shower curtains, bedsheets, etc. through Cafepress and Zazzle.

Thank you in advance for any help with the 2016 kickoff.  I hope to get back to regular posting soon.

Dec. 14th, 2015

Living on Minimum Wage

Healthcare Marketplace Reminder

Just a reminder that December 15th deadline for 2016 Insurance coverage through the government marketplace is tomorrow.


Particularly if you don't already have insurance, you should fill out the application and see if you qualify for a stipend.  But even if you do, it may be worth a look.

My project pile for December is high.  I'll try to get some things off my plate and back into regular posting in January.

Nov. 17th, 2015

Living on Minimum Wage

Sometimes Getting Your Finances in Order Does Mean Fewer Lattees

At some point, I may seek out Suze Orman’s “Young, Broke, and Fabulous” and do a proper book review, but when I read the back cover a few years ago, the summary turned me off rather strongly.  One thing I felt was an outright lie was the book claiming that getting your finances in order didn’t mean fewer lattees, because sometimes that’s exactly what it means.

But before you think I’m just randomly picking on Suze Orman again, this is really a self check.  I have not been very thrifty this summer.  To a degree this is okay.  I took on a part time job, which has given me some extra cash and allowed me to make a lot of purchases that I had been holding off on for the past few years (I’ve been making significantly less than minimumwage).  Some were altruistic; I filled four shoe boxes with gifts for Operation Christmas and bought my brother a couple pieces of furniture.  Some were practical; I bought new shoes and a couple outfits for interviews.  Some were bucket list splurges; restaurants I wanted to try, places to go (Dollywood and that big pyramid in Memphis), and I bought a hamster (which I’ll cover in more detail in another post).  And some of it was a lot little splurges, eating out with the nephew and/or friends, buying snacks, sodas, and knick knacks, etc.

My spending spree was not a complete loss of reason.  I made a list and prioritized it.  I bargain hunted.  One of the furniture pieces was a large display cabinet I found for less than $20 at a thrift store.  I got the new clothes off Goodwill’s dollar rack.  We used a coupon for the Dollywood admission.  And the stop in Memphis was part of a business trip.

But I have hit a point where I realized I’ve been spending too much and need to reel in the spending and focus more on savings.  I don’t have any guilt about my bigger, planned purchases.  They were things that significantly improved my life or someone else’s.  But I regret letting my spending on small items start to build.

Lattees specifically aren’t my weakness.  But sodas and snacks, little after school dates with my nephew and the occasional restaurant, individually were not big purchases, but they were adding up and burning through money that should have been directed to my savings account.  I am going to use lattees as an example of how these little purchases can eat through your income.

Let’s say your lattee of choice is a $4 drink at your favorite coffee shop.  You could probably duplicate a similar drink at home for 50 cents, so let’s look at the price difference over time.

Cost Per Year 5 per week 2 per week 1 per week 1 per month
$4 Dollar Lattee $1040 $416 $208 $48
$0.50 Home Version $130 $52 $26 $6
Skip it $0 $0 $0 $0

As you can see cutting back or finding a cheaper substitute can make a huge difference in your spending and saving power.

And I know I've done some similar examples in previous blog post, but it helps me to see it like this and be reminded.  I hope it helps you too.

P.S. If you'd like to support my new creative project I'm editing, check out the Tomato Slices facebook page.

Nov. 11th, 2015

Living on Minimum Wage

Go Easy on Caffeine, and It's now time to Enroll at Healthcare.gov

My grand plans for steady blogging have yet to pan out, but we took my brother to the ER this past weekend so I felt like talking about a health issue.

First off, it's good to have insurance.  If you don't, head over to https://www.healthcare.gov/ and see if you qualify for an insurance subsidy.  The Open Enrollment and Reenrollment deadline is December 15th, but I recommend enrolling this month and avoid the site crashes that may happen in December.

Second, please take some time to educate yourself about caffeine, both about the general symptoms and conflicts it may have with certain conditions and about how much you're taking in with particular drinks.

My brother is ok now, but he went to the ER with a heart rate almost double what his resting heart rate should be.  Combined with other symptoms, dehydration was probably his main problem, but that was likely kicked off by too much caffeine and too little of other fluids.  Caffeine can contribute to dehydration (as can sugar which is another part of your diet to track).

Caffeine is not all bad.  In moderate doses (like the natural amount in tea) it may have health benefits.  However it may also aggravate certain medical and psychological conditions.  For me (and others I've known), it brings relief to my bouts of depression, but for someone with anxiety or bipolar, it could make their symptoms worse.

WebMD has a good over view of safe verses unsafe caffeine uses, and that may help you recognize potential side effects and make the personal decision as to whether or not you should cut back.  Or at least how to balance your caffeinated beverages with other fluids like water, milk, and juice to avoid dehydration.


I wish the FDA required caffeine milligrams to be listed on beverage bottles along with calories and sodium, but there are websites where you can look up your drink's caffeine content.  For example:


My brother didn't realize that by changing Mt. Dew flavors he was drinking more caffeine.  For a regular 12oz Mt. Dew has 54mg, Berry Lime Game Fuel has 68mg, and the Game Fuel Citrus Cherry flavor has 73mg.   All of those are still less than a cup of coffee, so I'm not trying to sound too dire, but knowing these numbers can help you decide how to space out your drinks.  I don't think caffeine alone caused his symptom, but combined with sugar and not enough fluid in the rest of his diet made him feel pretty icky.  Based on his symptoms, the doctor asked if he had drunk 6 energy drinks one after another, but my bro wasn't that excessive, more like 1 or 2 per day over a series of days.  But it was more than he was used to.

Redbull may have 80mg or 114mg depending on the flavor.  Kickstart has 92mg per 16oz can.  Energy shots are popular at the store where I've been working, but they're more dangerous because the caffeine is concentrated.  For example,

5 Hour Energy has 200mg of caffeine

10 Hour Time Release Energy Shot made by Eternal Energy has 422mg

Chameleon Cold Brew Coffee has 2160mg per 32oz bottle... so if you follow their 4oz recommended serving size, you'll probably be fine at 270mg per serving, but it's not a bottle to chug down one in a single sitting.

Jun. 29th, 2015

Living on Minimum Wage

20 Top Food Picks at Dollar Tree

I had attempted to get back into the habit of regular blogging, even set up a schedule for the year and mapped out a few topics. Then things got busy, and the blog got pushed to the side again. But I have been doing research and made head way on the 2nd Edition. On to the topic at hand…

The Dollar Tree (a store where everything is $1 or less) in our area opened a new larger store with a freezer section and expanded food selection. As a single, one of the things I like about shopping dollar stores is they often have smaller versions of many food items, which can be ideal for dorm rooms and tiny kitchens. While still not a source for fresh fruit and vegetables, I thought it might be helpful to point out some of the healthier options. So I took a few shots of what I consider to be healthier items with good bang for your buck.

1. Bread

This is a national brand and wheat bread is generally recommended over white. They also had Wonderbread and some other national brands. Not too bad for $1.

2. Cheese

You need to label read on this one. The sliced “cheese” was soy rather than milk based, but there was some real shredded cheese, string cheese, and crumbled feta in the cooler.

3. Eggs and Turkey Bacon

So only 8 eggs rather than a full dozen, but that’s more than enough for most singles. Eggs are very versatile and a good nutrient source. Turkey Bacon is not your leanest meat option, but fine on occasion.

4. Frozen vegetables

Fresh is better, but frozen is a close second. Mixed bags will probably given you a better range of nutrients, but there were single veggie bags too for picky eaters like me.

5. Frozen Fish

My grocery store carried these single portion packs for a while, and I like them, eager to try these out. It’s a good size for one or two.  (Update: I've tried the Flounder and the Salmon and think this fish is excellent.)

6. Soups / Dumplings

This is my favorite type of Progresso, and $1 is a very good price for it. While you do need to keep your eye on the sodium level with canned goods, some sodium is necessary. So just balance out canned food with low sodium options. There’s some good protein to be had in these.

7. Canned Veggies

Many of the canned vegetables were 79 cents. While frozen is generally a better option, canned is acceptable when freezer storage isn’t available.

8. Baking Supplies

Having a few staples on hand like flour, oil, vinegar, sugar, salt, baking soda, lemon juice, etc. can help you create more meal variety. Go easy on the salt and sugar, but cooking your own food helps you have more direct control over what you eat.

9. Tea

Many herbal teas have supplemental or medicinal qualities, and they’re generally good low calorie options for when you’re tired of drinking plain water.

10. Guava Nectar

They had small bottles of Orange Juice as well, but you get more ounces with Guava Nectar. It’s high fiber and full of vitamin C.

11. Herbs and Spices

Most herbs and spices also have good nutritional value and can help improve the vitamin content as well as the taste of your meals and provide a good alternative to adding salt.

12. Oatmeal

Great for breakfast and making cookies.

13. Raisin Bran

The store had several cereal options, but this one seemed to have the best nutrition balance.

14. Boxed Milk / Soy Milk

In general boxed milk is as good for you as the refrigerated version. Basically the milk is boiled at a higher temperature which kills more pathogens and allows it to be stored at room temperature. It's more popular than refrigerated milk in many other countries.

15. Raisins and Apple Sauce

In the old days before processed sugar, fruit was often used to sweeten recipes. The store also had cranberries, dried pineapple, and banana chips. But the raisins are probably the best bang for your buck option with the least amount of iffy preservatives.

16. Brown Rice


17. Dried Beans

18. Egg Noodles / Pasta

Beans are good for you, lots of protein and fiber. While they shouldn’t be your entire diet rice and pasta can be a healthy part of it.

19. Tomato Sauce

Lots of varieties from plain to mushroom to meat flavored.

20. Canned Meats

Again, frozen is probably better for you and will get more mileage for your dollar, but canned meats work better in certain recipes.
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May. 20th, 2015

Living on Minimum Wage

Understanding the Emergency Fund Part II

In our last post on this topic, we tried to establish the idea that the emergency fund was a flexible, living thing to help you deal with emergencies.

In this post, we want to address the reasons for the 6 months living expenses goal.

One of the biggest and most common financial difficulties you may face is job loss. You certainly reduce your chance of job loss by being punctual, polite, productive, knowledgeable, and having other good work habits, but even the best employee may fall victim to bad bosses, company cut backs, or economic downturns. Six months is usually enough time to find new employment (particularly at the minimum wage level), but not always.

So why not 8 or 12 or 24 months?

Emergency fund money should take no more than 24-hours to access and allow for penalty free withdrawals. These kinds of accounts are readily available, but they don’t generally earn as much interest as other types of accounts and investments. But that’s okay. Emergency funds are about taking care of your immediate needs, not your long term ones.

If you are in a particularly unstable career field, like the arts, then a 12-month emergency fund is not a bad idea, and when the economy hit a rough patch Suze Orman recommended extending that 6-month fund to 8. When the economy is doing well, you may hear financial gurus recommend as little as 3 months. But it’s important to understand that this goal is not about a point at which you can stop saving, but about balancing your savings between short-term and long-term (liquid verses investment).

Or balancing between savings and debt reduction.

If you have debts and are ready to start paying them off, you need to strike a balance between taking care of the past and taking care of the present. Dave Ramsey’s debt snowball is a pretty good approach. He encourages setting up a smaller emergency fund to help you stabilize financially before attacking old debts full force.

Once the debt is managed and the present stabilized, then it’s time to balance between now and the future. As an example, let’s say your current living expenses are $1000 per month, so your Emergency fund goal is $6000.

Between overtime, thrift, and your tax refund, you eventually make your goal. Does this mean you should stop saving? Of course not. You have plans and goals and dreams, and you will some day reach an age where you need to stop or reduce working. The 6-month line is simply to let you know that you are now reasonably stable (the present is covered) and can divert your savings to other (future) goals. An excessive amount of money in your emergency fund isn’t the worse thing that could happen to you, but it may mean you are losing out on investment revenue.

It may also give you a distorted idea of your purchasing power.

A $20,000 emergency fund, when you only spend $1,000 per month, might mean you have $14,000 that could be better invested in a small home or education to increase your earning power. Or on a smaller scale, if you had a $10,000 emergency fund, it may be wiser to pay $3500 cash for a used car than to take out a loan to pay for it. Or an excess may mean that you can afford airfare to visit your mother.

On the bleaker side, if your unemployment lasts longer than six months, the emergency fund buys you time to liquidate other assets or make other changes to help you survive longer. It is fine to take unemployment or use food stamps and other available aids to help stretch your emergency fund out longer. That’s not cheating. Once you’re employed again, you will be paying back into the system.

Ultimately the 6-month Emergency Fund goal is about creating financial balance; not too little, not too much.

May. 13th, 2015

Living on Minimum Wage

Free Downloads

Sorry about that, didn't mean to go MIA for so long.  To make up for it, please enjoy a free download of Living Single on Minimum Wage (May 25th-29th).  If you read or have read, please review!  Your thoughts help other readers know if the book will be relevant to them.

The Living Single on Minimum Wage Facebook Page has posted a bunch of interesting articles. Please go like us (and feel free to like and share any of the articles that catch your eye) and share with any friends who might be interested.

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