How to live off $16.34 an hour in Utah
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics the median hourly wage in the state of Utah is $16.34. According to another website, Numbeo.com, 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
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.
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