I really don’t want to preach but if you’re reading this, you’re ready for help and that’s a great first step. Having three months salary and insurance seems like a lot but even that is not enough. Living paycheck to paycheck is not living. Everyone’s situation is different but the one commonality is, here in America, we control our own destiny.
A socialist will look at a mansion and think no one should be able to live like that. A capitalist will see that same mansion and think everyone should be able to strive towards it. My point here is, if you think the government will dig you out of poverty, you will be sorely mistaken. Look around. When has government ever solved a problem?
The answer is for each of us to be responsible for ourself. Yes, when you get on your feet, give something back to charity but we are the only ones who can dig us out of whatever hole we’re in. No matter how hopeless life seems, there are options for those who choose to pursue them.
Step 1 Assess the situation without emotion or blame. Either there’s not enough income or there’s too much outgo.
Step 2 Consider your options. This might mean getting another job or cutting a credit card in half or both. Even people who earn huge salaries can wind up broke if they don’t watch where the money goes and have a plan for the long haul.
The economy, like many things, moves in waves. When the job market is strong, leverage that to better position yourself. Staying in a dead end job leads to a dead end. If you want the government to raise the minimum wage, employers will simply raise the price of their product to pay for it. Prices will rise across the board and then the new minimum wage will not be enough. It’s a vicious cycle. The answer is to do what’s best for you and not wait for anyone else to fix your problem.
One last word on credit cards. The only credit card you should have is one where you pay the balance in full every month and pay no charges. They will even pay you a percentage of what you buy with it. Credit companies make huge profits on people who pay only the minimum. Don’t be them.
One last word on careers. It’s highly unlikely you will be hired as CEO even though you’re obviously qualified. Start at the bottom and show your new employer what you have to offer. Here’s where the magic starts. Avoid being typecast as an entry level employee. If promotions don’t come fast and furious, jump over to the competition. Companies love hiring from each other. You’ll always be valued for your experience by the other firm to a greater extent that the current one. Companies also seem to love people who are willing to relocate. If you are open to new locations, your upside potential will increase dramatically.