Living on a Budget, Saving Money/Renting


QUESTION: I would like to finally have some space of my own but it doesn't seem possible unless sometime soon my bosses decide to double my income. I figure on a typical week I make $150. That would be $600 a month, which is pretty much the lowest rent I can find in my local area and don't know if utilities are included. I read somewhere that 30% of ones income going to rent is normal, but in my case is clearly impossible. What can I do? Find a third job? lol.

ANSWER: Hi James:

I do apologize for this late reply. No excuses, it will not happen again. Thank you so much for choosing me to assist you on your financial journey. If I understand you correctly it seems your dreams of being more independent are being delayed because of your low income. The previous advice of keeping your rent at 30% or less of your net income is great advice.

My first recommendation is for to realize the power to double your income comes from you. It does not come from your Boss. I want you to make yourself so valuable in your current position through your work ethic and expertise that you become known as the “go to” guy.

My second recommendation is for you study those in your company who make a lot more money.  Decide which ones are more approaching and become friendly. This will allow an environment to be created in which they may give you advice from their position on how directly to increase your income in the company.
It sounds like you have to be patience just for a little while longer until you can increase your income.

Thank you for being proactive, I hope this helps.

E.B. Joseph

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Well I'll be 35 this year and have two college degrees so I've only been able to conclude that certain technical degrees or medical are the key to livable incomes. The jobs I have don't have upward mobility. In fact one of them has two owners and the higher paid primary owner rarely comes in to work. Doesn't seem the real world cost of rental property should be far lower? I have a friend in Paris that pays about 60% of her income to live at her apartment albeit this is Paris, but still a small apartment is an empty shell. I don't need much. Shelter and quiet are my main interests.

Hi James:

Thanks for the follow-up question.  If I understand you correctly, you sound determined to change the quality of your living situation on a small income. You are faced with two decisions-to either rent at 30% income and have a less-than desirable place or find something like your friend in Paris and have very little money to live on after rent is paid.

My first recommendation is you to read or listen to the podcast of the #1 career coach Dan Miller. His focus is on helping people increase their income through finding work that is a good fit for them.

My second recommendation is until change can happen, take a look on Groupon or Amazon Local and find a local hotel deal. Treat yourself 1x a month to a different high quality environment.It sounds like your living situation is bothering you and you are ready for a change.

Thank you for being proactive, I hope this helps.

E.B. Joseph

Living on a Budget, Saving Money

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Ericka Joseph


The budget is a guaranteed way to track your money and develop money discipline. I am open to answering any questions which concern customization of a budget and using tools to help you stay discipline. I will also answer about creating and maintaining an emergency fund. Although I can speak about long-term financial planning and investing, I will choose to only focus on the fundamentals I use for my financial success, at this time.


I have achieved every financial goal I have set in the last 14 years to include being debt free in the last eight years. I teach my budget class online on Udemy.


I am a retired U.S. Marine of over 20 years. I am the CEO of Plan2Win Solutions, LLC and currently a Homeschool Mom. I hold a BA in Psychology from Chapman University of Orange, CA and AA in Business Administration from Strayer University of Washington, DC.

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