When you’re on minimum wage, life is hard. The chances are your struggling, and are wondering how to get out of debt, but are stuck in a cycle where you are living pay check to pay check.

Right now our minimum wage is $585.90 a week after tax. How are you meant to survive on such a small amount? Many people turn to credit cards, personal loans and pay day loans to get by, but this causes more problems then what it solves.

How do I get out of debt on minimum wage?

Step 1: Acknowledgement

This will likely be one of the hardest steps in your journey to getting out of debt, but it is also one of the most crucial. You need to sit down and have a cold hard look at your finances. The chances are it is not going to be a pretty picture, but it is a realistic picture of what your finances really look like. It allows you to see what has to be done.

Step 2: Explore your entitlements

As a society we are taught to be self-sufficient, and to try and do everything on our own, but you should never be ashamed to get the help you need. Check out centrelinks website and make sure you are claiming everything you are entitled to.

Step 3: Get a plan together

Once you have worked out your financial situation, it’s time to create a plan to get out of debt. You can download a free budget spreadsheet we created for the New Year here. We’ve also created a step by step guide on how to use this spreadsheet which you can access here.

It may look like you can only spare $10 a month, but $10 a month off a $4,000 credit card could save you $6,886 in interest and will pay off your card in 6 years.

If you’re after more tips on budgeting check out some of our previous posts below:

Three simple steps to develop a budget to reduce debt

Budgeting is not about being trapped it’s about choosing your freedoms

10 budgeting mistakes you need to fix now
Step 4: Play the long game

It’s important when you are exploring how to get out of debt you play the long game. The road to debt freedom when you’re on minimum wage is a long one, but it is still a worthwhile one.

Take your time and chip away at your debt one payment at a time.

Step 5: Get help

If you are in debt, it may be time to get help.

There are professional debt negotiation companies out there who can help you on your journey to get out of debt.

They have a number of solutions available to help you out such as:

Informal Arrangements
Part 9 Debt Agreements
Debt Payment Plans

It’s important when speaking to any debt negotiation company you ask them the following questions:

  • What are your upfront fees and charges?
  • What is the administration fee wrapped into your agreement?
  • What is the amount of debt you offer to my creditors?
  • What is the term of my arrangement or agreement?
  • Will this affect my financial future in any way?

If the company is not willing to give these answers – MOVE ON! The chances are they are not telling you something crucial, and you may be paying more for the service in the long run.

When you’re on minimum wage you are often asking yourself the question of how to get out of debt. It’s a hard journey, but by getting your finances back on the path you want them to be, it will free you, allowing you focus on the stuff that really matters.


Elise Bentley
Brand & Communications Manager

Elise is passionate about finance, and is on a mission to explore and share different tactics for tackling the everyday financial challenges in realistic and achievable ways. With a background in communications, digital marketing, and public relations, Elise uses her skills to generate new ideas and content to help make finance fun.