Most of us want to save money so we can build wealth and plan for the future. We have goals we want to reach (like traveling) or things we want to buy (like a dream home). However, this can seem impossible when you’re surviving on low income.

According to CNN, 25 million American households are living paycheck to paycheck. When money is tight, saving any amount can be the last priority on your list. You’re just trying to get by.

So how do you save more money when you’re making minimum wage? How can you reach your financial goals on a low income?

When it comes to finances, it’s important to not only think about the now but also the future. Even if you’re earning a minimum wage, you can still save little by little. Here’s how:
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Summer is prime time for superhero movies at the theater. After taking in Wonder Woman and Spiderman: Homecoming, I can’t help but think that the qualities these heroes and heroines display can be applied to managing our personal finances. While most of us don’t have the seemingly unlimited financial resources of some superheroes (like Tony Stark, Ironman or Bruce Wayne, Batman), we can model their superhero qualities by managing the money we have in “heroic” ways.

1. Developing Extraordinary Powers (or Skills)

Unlike Superman, whose abilities are inborn, superheroes like our millionaire examples Ironman and Batman are ordinary people whose extraordinary skills can be mostly attributed to intense training and practice. Even a superhero like Spiderman, who wakes up one day mysteriously gifted with abilities, still needs to go through the process of learning how to use them.

It’s the same with developing powerful financial skills.
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Have you looked at your budget lately? I took a peek at my friend’s expense tracker, and it’s scary how many items on there are totally unnecessary. Unused gym membership? Check. Triple play cable TV package? Double check. There are so many ways my friend is overspending I could run out of ink if I needed to cross out each line item on the budget with a pen.

How about your budget? Everyone overspends at least some of the time. Here are a few favorite ways people like paying more than they should.

Overpaying for Convenience

Amazon prime anybody? I’m just about the last person on planet earth to not pay for a membership, but the convenience of ordering anything whenever I want and having the product shipped to me quickly is very tempting. Then again, why do I have to pay the retailer to give my trigger happy brain an easy way to spend more money with them? Plus, shipping is still free as long as I plan a bit and group the items together to qualify for free shipping and I order ahead of time so the shipping time isn’t a concern.
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Cash tops the list of popular graduation gifts year in and year out. If it’s your turn to don a cap and gown this year, congratulations – you probably pocketed a significant amount of change along with your achievement. Based on the National Retail Federation’s 2016 Graduation Spending Survey, most people expected to spend about $53 on their grad gifts. If even 20 well-wishers gifted that amount, you’d have over $1,000.

So, what are you going to do with it?

Since we tend to view graduation gifts as a form of “extra” money (a psychological money trap known as mental accounting), it can be tempting to quickly reach for that wish list. Before you do, though, consider these four ways you can use it to both celebrate your achievement and give yourself a better financial foundation for the future.
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My friend was telling us the other day how they were extremely fortunate to have bought their million dollar home a few decades ago, because they scraped together a $3,000 down payment to buy a $15,000 home they now live in. They will never tell you they are investing geniuses, but multiplying their initial investment by at least 300 times since the home is worth north of $1 million bucks today qualifies as a legendary return in my book.

Hearing these stories always gets my juices flowing. Just like that, my off and on desire to start investing in real estate is turned on and revved up to the max.

I’ve toyed with the idea of investing in rental properties in the past few years. What makes me hesitant every time I think about the topic is the amount of work involved in managing multiple rental properties. I already have full time work here at MoneyNing.com, and I really don’t need more stress. If anything, the potential income from investments should give me more freedom and time, not less.

Plus, I live in Southern California and prices of properties in my neck of the woods are very high. I once saw a small shopping plaza for sale and the rent you could get was 1.5% of the listing price. Woah? Who would buy anything risky that pays just 1.5% a year?

Enter RealtyShares.
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A popular trend in the health community is cleansing – setting aside a week to 30-days dedicated to reigning in bad eating habits, losing weight, finding energy, or maybe just feeling better. Cleanses can help people reach short-term health goals faster, change their eating habits, and find new motivation to turn short-term discipline into a long-term lifestyle.

Imagine what could be done if more people applied this concept to purging out the bad things “feeding” their finances – a financial cleanse, if you will. Setting aside time to focus on money habits can make a huge impact on short-term financial health and provide just the motivation to kick bad habits, get your finances in order, and keep them that way. Here are a few tips you might want to try if you’re considering taking a summer financial cleanse.
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