For millions in the United States, minimum wage is the only way they can make ends meet. Originally started in New Zealand in 1894, minimum wage has been looked down upon by many who would rather go unemployed than take a job as a retail worker or a dishwasher. Others who would rather take a bad job and earn their own way and hope for something better to come up. But for all minimum wage employees, there are some hard truths that they just can’t get away from. 20 minimum wage workers dished on some of their true thoughts on the struggles of life with a small gross income.
15) Feeling Lost
Many people reaching the age of 30 feel as if they have nothing to show whenever they see people younger than them having greater success. Roughly 45% of workers under the age of 30 receive minimum wage from their jobs. There’s always the saying that nobody takes you seriously until you’re in your 30s.
14) In Debt
Being in debt is one of the worst feelings when you’re struggling with your minimum wage job. While a minimum wage hike could help things, it can also pose a burden to customers, who will have to deal with a spike in prices to help offset labor costs. Those looking to get out of debt can either find another job, get rid of costly expenses, or apply for a debt consolidation loan.
13) Minimum Wage With A Degree
Having a college degree is something worth pursuing, but it doesn’t always result in having a better job in the end. In 2010, 327,000 people with at least a bachelor’s degree to their name were taking minimum wage jobs because of the rough economy. If you add student loans to the mix, many of these college graduates will be dealing with financial burdens for a long time.
12) Switching Tags
Some people will do desperate things when they’re in debt. Tag switching is a popular method for those looking to save less on an item they want. Unfortunately for those individuals, it’s also a form of shoplifting, which can lead to paying a fine and/or possible time in jail.
11) Wasting Time At Work
For many, earning $6.50 a hour for an unfulfilling service job really doesn’t sit well. Some will waste their time or simply do things at a slower pace since they’re not getting the kind of payment they think they deserve. This kind of behavior can lead to possible termination or hours cut if the boss catches them in action.
10) A Job To Enjoy
While some people would rather go to sleep at their minimum wage job, others just want to have a job that they enjoy. Some people out there would rather work at a minimum wage job they love than work at a six figure job that causes them a ton of aggravation.
9) Post-High School Blues
High school is a critical point in life where memories are made and the foundations of a future are built. But there will come a time when that prom dance or that game winning shot will fade into obscurity and reality sets in hard. Unfortunately, many high school graduates aren’t really aware of the trials and tribulations of the real world.
8) Living With Parents
Trying to find a decent place to live while making minimum wage can be hard. While some people can pay for a cheap apartment, others will still be living at home with their parents. This isn’t anything to be ashamed of, though. In 2015, it was revealed that 26% of folks ages 18 to 34 still live at home.
7) Fingers Pointing
When it comes to social outings, the question “What do you do for a living?” will probably rear its ugly head. Publicly admitting that you have a minimum wage job can seriously make or break the conversation, and it might lead to some people talking about you behind your back.
6) Lying To Their Faces
With the small amount of money in the bank account due to bills, holding a minimum wage job can be a stressful thing. Sometimes, you don’t want to let those close to you know that you’re going through some rough times. It’s always important to know that you shouldn’t be ashamed to ask for help.
5) Relationship Problems
Being in a relationship means helping each other out when things are rough. If you’re on minimum wage, your significant other might be kind enough to pay some bills for you. Always doing this, however, may cause a strain in the relationship. In the dating world, many people turned down dates with those making minimum wage or less.
4) Retail Woes
Depending on the time of year, working retail can be a blast or a constant ride through hell. You shouldn’t feel less than human for taking up the job, though. There are other retail opportunities for those looking to better themselves and earn more money such as retail field management, supply chain management, and loss prevention.
3) Stealing From Work
Regardless of how you feel at your job, stealing from work is never okay. Roughly 42% of inventory shrinkage in retail is caused by employee theft, and 1 in 30 workers were arrested for their crimes. This will easily get you fired from work and wind up on your permanent record, which will make it even harder for folks to hire you.
2) Welfare Troubles
Some people working minimum wage jobs look at those on welfare and see that they might have it easier in the money category. The rise in minimum wage won’t make a dent in making welfare a smaller problem in this country. In fact, it will hurt the poor due to limited job creation.
1) Work Too Hard
As with any job, you’ll often feel as if you work your hands to the bone for peanuts. There have been several instances at minimum wage jobs where the employees will work overtime without pay. Luckily, an attorney can help out in situations such as filing a claim for back pay for any off the clock work.
While minimum wage has been the subject of debate and controversy for quite some time, there have been some changes in various states. On June 2, 2014, Seattle voted on having a citywide minimum wage increase to $15 an hour, which will be fully established by 2021. Seattle isn’t the only city going for the $15 an hour increase; Baltimore and New York City are looking to move forward with the raise in the future. Even with a possible nationwide increase, the thought of holding a minimum wage job might be iffy for people striving to not feel some sort of embarrassment. For others, this is a stepping stone to a brighter career.