The minimum wage in Massachusetts is rising. It's currently at $ 13.50 but will be moving again next year. It's an important step in the right direction, but will it be enough?
Minimum wage on the rise
In the blue hills of this great state, those who worked in minimum wage positions received a 75 cents increase to $ 13.50 on January 1st. It's the third straight year that hourly rates have risen, but it won't be before 2023 for the state to cross its $ 15 finish line. It's a positive step in the right direction, but according to MIT's wage calculations, an adult without a partner or children would need $ 17.74 to meet their basic needs. An adult with a child would need $ 36.88. The numbers don't always tell the full story, however.
Service employees are viewed differently
Interestingly, there is another minimum wage to consider. Service reps currently earn $ 5.55 an hour for tips exceeding $ 20 a month. However, in areas like hospitality, workers don't have to worry about inequality. Instead, employers must ensure that their employees are at least $ 13.50 per hour. Receive an hourly rate and tips.
If employers can't achieve this, the company must pay employees the difference to bring the hourly rate up to the Massachusetts minimum wage. It's also important to note that there are rules in place on how to deal with tips. Tips must either be withheld by the employee or administered via a valid tip pool in accordance with MGL c.149-152A. That wage will also be increased by $ 6.15 and $ 6.75, respectively, on January 1st for the next two years.
Ways To Stretch Your Dollar
Despite the difference between your current hourly wage and your actual cost of living, there is always room for creativity trying to make ends meet. One of the easiest ways to get started is by tracking your expenses. While it sounds obvious, you might be surprised to find out that you've spent $ 400 a year on streaming services. Get a free money tracking app like Intuits Mint to get those dollars in shape.
If you're more of a money mover and shaker, a side gig is always an excellent way to make a little extra cash. You can sign up with the TaskRabbit app if you want to take on odd jobs to get by – think gardening and IKEA furniture assembly. However, if you're looking for something a little more formal, Flexjobs, the specialist in remote and adaptable jobs, is the place for you. Most jobs are geared towards less conventional employment and could be exactly what you are looking for in a side job.
How to make a difference
If you are not satisfied with what your elected officials are doing in the area of minimum wages, there are several ways you can make your voice heard. RaiseUp Massachusetts, for example, was launched in 2013 after individual coalitions came together to promote better wages. They have managed to enforce new laws such as minimum wage increases and paid sick leave, but the work continues. Contact them if you want to get involved.
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Photo by Jessie McCall on Unsplash
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