How to Live Off the Median Wage

How to live off $16.34 an hour in Utah

utah median wageAccording to the Bureau of Labor Statistics the median hourly wage in the state of Utah is $16.34. According to another website,, the cost of living in Salt Lake City is 32.39% lower than in New York City.

What does that mean?

Well, they estimate that monthly expenses for a single person, not including rent and transportation, are about $750. For a family of four the cost jumps to $2700. A 1-bedroom apartment in the City Centre is on average $1065 a month. For a 3-bedroom apartment in the City Centre it jumps to $1746.

Crunching the numbers of a single person living in Salt Lake City with a full-time job would bring home $31,387.18 per year after taxes. That’s $2615.60 per month. Considering the average monthly expenses and housing costs of $1815, that single person would have $800.60 left over. This does not include transportation, with transportation, food, entertainment, shopping, eating, etc. I estimate this single person would have less than $300 left over.

If someone gave me $300 I can think of a dozen things that I could spend it on. What I’m getting at is that someone making an average wage, living in Salt Lake can easily spend more than they are making. When this happens, some people will use a credit card or pull money from their savings account to make it until the next pay check. It doesn’t take long to exhaust savings accounts and max out credit cards which in turn bring stress and doom.

The one piece of advice I wish to give is:

live within your means salt lake cityLive Within Your Means

How do you live within your means?

There are one thousand and one different ways to manage money but none of them matter. What matters is that you are simply managing it. Do you know where every dollar you make is going? If the answer is yes, then I bet you are less stressed then the guy in the back that said no.

Some say that money is the root of evil. I’m not a priest, but if you can manage your money effectively and don’t obtain it illegally I believe money can actually bring some happiness. Being debt free and knowing that all of your hard-earned money is being put to good use is almost guaranteed to induce happy thoughts and lower stress levels. In return it will be easier to find joy in other aspects of life.

Managing your money means that you have a plan for all of it. I highly recommend the money managing suggestions of Dave Ramsey. He doesn’t claim to be new or groundbreaking and yet his plan works. The steps are simple, easy to understand, and execute. There are many other plans to choose from, do your research and pick one that best aligns with your needs. Remember, sometimes less is more.

For most people money doesn’t come easily. It requires hard work, sacrifice, and determination. For every second that we work we get something in return. Don’t let that return be spent on something meaningless that will be forgotten and worthless five minutes after it is purchased. When you spend money consider how long it took you to earn that money and determine if what you want to spend it on is worthwhile.

Trevor Hansen
Finance Manager
Your Employment Solutions

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Budgets and Paycheck Management

Budgets Basics and Planning Ahead

budgetingTax season recently came to a close and one problem in most people's lives is money. It’s a big stress when there isn’t enough and can cause big problems at home. One big fix to this is coming up with a sensible budget.

Here at YES we always do our best to find jobs for people that they will enjoy, we try to get each employee the best pay possible. That doesn’t mean we will find the job to make you a millionaire. It is each employee’s job to manage their own money so that they can reduce stress and enjoy life a bit more.

A big problem we often run into is some companies want to pay weekly, while others want to pay every other week. For some every two weeks can get tough. Whether you are paid every week or every two weeks, you are still making the same money it’s just a matter of making a plan or a budget to survive that extra week.

Dave Ramsey is a Budgeting Ninja

A big name in the budget, and money saving field is Dave Ramsey. The way he suggests doing a budget can really help you see where you can do better.

dave ramsey budgetI highly recommend you check out his guide to budgeting. Click the link!

His first step is to list out all your sources of income. This would be your paycheck, if you have a spouse, include their paycheck, any side jobs or residual income, and anything else coming in, put on the list.

After this is done, you need to put a list together of what is going out. This will include house payment (or rent), phones, car, debt, food, and all bills on the other side.

Once both are written down you need to see if there is any where that you may be over spending, eating out for example, then make plans to cut that down. For the next couple months, for every dollar spent a note should be made of where it goes. This will help you see exactly where the money is going and allow you cut out the fat.

By following those steps you will be able to make little changes and save a bit more money. Dave suggests saving up $1000 for an emergency fund. If the car unexpectedly breaks down, you can use it for that type of stuff, then you are not out a car and now relying on public transportation to get you to work. By being prepared for any situation, this will help you be more confident and stress-free in life, which can potentially help you become a more reliable employee, which is what every company is looking for!

Success in life all begins with a plan. If you just go through life hoping things will work out, they wont. A famous saying by Alan Lakein goes, “Failing to plan is planning to fail.” If you don’t have a plan for your money, it doesn’t matter if you are paid every two weeks, every week, or even every day, without a plan you will always be short and never have enough.

Riley Smith
Account Manager | North Salt Lake, Utah Office
Your Employment Solutions

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Don’t Go Broke This Holiday Season… Budget!

Setting a Budget Now Could Make For A Rewarding Holiday Season!

Iholiday-budgett’s that time of year again! You know… the time for giving gifts, hosting holiday parties, entertaining friends and family. For many people this leads to overspending and financial stress. But for you it could mean a more affordable and less stressful season if you start now by setting a realistic holiday budget and making sure to stick to it throughout the holiday season.

The best way to start making a budget is to take a look at what you spent last year during this time. If you didn’t save your receipts or don’t have that information on hand, you’ll be okay, but it would be wise to begin tracking that this year so you can make a better game plan in the years to come.

Start by asking yourself the following questions:

  1. What areas did I spend more on last year than I had planned?
  2. Are there any purchases I would have done differently if I could go back in time?
  3. Was there anything I bought that went to waste or wasn’t necessary?

holiday-budgetingContinue on by making a list of the holiday purchases and events you plan to spend money on this year. Consider all major items including gifts, meals, travel, entertainment, etc. and then estimate how much you can afford to spend in each category. What usually helps me is setting spending limits for each person I plan to buy a gift(s) for.

I also like to consider taking advantage of sales and coupons to get the best deals on the items I plan to buy (which works for gifts or food, etc.). I have a huge knack for homemade gifts too, which saves money and increases the value of the gift, in my opinion!

Receipts add up quick, so have a game plan before heading out to do any holiday shopping this year! Setting realistic goals for your budget ahead of time helps make sure you don’t spend money you don’t have or don’t spend more than you feel comfortable with. Each of us has different ideas on what an appropriate holiday budget is, but many financial advisors say to not spend more than 1.5% of your annual income on holiday expenses.

I think all too often people aren’t considering what they spent in previous years, what went to waste, and how they could do things differently and so they are making the same mistakes year after year. I also believe that some people get caught up in the material aspects of the holidays and become less appreciative of the gift of time spent with loved ones.

Try to remember that the holidays are about love, gratitude, and appreciation, not the latest iPhone or smart TV. It’s okay to not spend your entire paycheck on a material item someone in your life has a desire for. If you spend within your means, you’ll have more to spend later on other things that also matter to you and your family (like more time spent together at the movies, dinner dates, vacations, etc).

At the end of the day, your budget is your very own and it is whatever you make of it. Now go make a budget, get out there, and have a stress-free, fun, and safe holiday season!

Alison Evans
Human Resources Manager
Your Employment Solutions

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Less is More

less is more

A Financial Philosophy That Buys a Good Life: Less is More

Life has always been something that I want to enjoy and I base all my decisions on that goal. When I say, “enjoy,” I mean spending quality time with my family and friends, spending time doing anything outdoors, and just plain relaxing.

Ask anyone else and they will have a different definition of the word “enjoy.”

Regardless of whether or not your definition differs from mine, typically there is one thing that stands in the way of us enjoying life the way that we want to.

This one thing can save disease ridden countries in Africa or South American, it can construct the world's tallest building, it can send the first person to Mars, it can even start a war, or kill millions of people.

If you haven’t guessed by now, I am talking about money.

You work hard for money. We all take jobs for money. It's the main driving factor in most people's career path.

When you get some of it you want more and when you have more you still want more.

So when is enough, enough?

Will there ever come a time in your life when you will say, “alright, I have enough money.”?

I hope I can say that right before I retire but in the mean time we all just have to keep working and try to enjoy life.

Why is Less More?

Now that we are back to enjoying life, I have come up with a simple guideline to follow in life and that is “less is more.” When this guideline is applied to money it can do wonders! Before I buy anything I stop and think one more time, do I really NEED this?

For example, I drive a 14-year-old car with close to 200k miles. Would I love to have a newer car? Yes! Can I afford a newer car? Probably. The reason I am happy with the car I drive is because I own it, meaning I don’t make payments to anyone.

Less is more!

Now that I don’t have a car payment I have more money to do other things. I could use that money to have fun and spend time with my family or I could use that money to pay off other debts, mortgage, and student loans. I can also use that money to save for the future.

The Financial 4-Letter Word that Starts With ‘S'

If you didn’t notice I used a 4-letter word in that last sentence. Trust me, the word I am talking about is not bad at all. It is actually very good believe it or not.

The word is SAVE.

Why do we save?

Emergencies, peace of mind, to help our children with college, and most importantly retirement.

save money

If you have ever listened to Dave Ramsey he has a saying that sums up the point I am trying to get across. Dave says, “if you will live like no one else, later you can live like no one else.” Meaning your penny pinching and less is more attitude now will enable you to truly enjoy your later years. Imagine being retired and not thinking twice about the cost to fly across country to see the birth of your grandchild, or taking the vacation you have always wanted in that remote part of the world!

So remember, when it comes to smart money management, “Less is More.”

Trevor Hansen

Finance Manager at Your Employment Solutions
Your Employment Solutions

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