How to Budget a $30,000 Annual Income

Retiring on a $30,000 income can be difficult but not impossible. There are many ways to budget your life now so that you have a decent cushion for the future. It may seem like an impossible task, but with the right amount of financial planning and proper investments, it can be done.

According to the 2017 United States Income Centile, if you made between $30,000 to $30,001 a year then you’re in the 40th percentile. It’s not a lot of money and unfortunately, many honest positions only pay that much. The average salary for a security guard, for instance, is about $30,000 a year, according to the US Department of Labor. That isn’t terrible if you can make it work, but the cost of living can really be a burden.

There are primarily two options, although they’re not mutually exclusive. You can really either live with relative comfort now or save enough to retire later. You can do both if you manage to master your budget or somehow minimize your cost of living, although that might cut into your standard of living. The ideal situation is to find that perfect line in between saving and spending where you have what you need without dipping into your retirement fund.

The first and foremost aspect to look at is where you live. Unfortunately, there are some places that are just much too expensive to manage on a $30,000 salary. You can probably find a decent spot, but won’t have too much in the way of furniture or food. You should find a house or apartment that costs “no more than $750” a month in order to retain at least three-fourths of your budget. Find areas that support local jobs or offer means of low-cost commuting.

You’ll also want to pay attention to luxury spending. In today’s society, it can be hard to realize what is needed and what isn’t. Take your cellphone for instance; if you have the latest smartphone with the unlimited plan then you have a luxury item. Find out what you absolutely cannot live without and then get rid of the rest. The same thing goes for finding a car. You can find a reliable car for under $200 a month if you look hard enough and stay away from the big dealerships.

Once you have minimized your spending without compromising too much of your soul, you can start to build your retirement fund. Financial options such as a 401k can be potential retirement saving opportunities that you can take advantage of.

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