Rehabilitation with a criminal record can be difficult to accomplish. Although you may be able to find employers who hire people with a criminal past, the chances of that job being a lucrative one are slim to none. Most people that have a criminal past are hired at entry-level positions that pay minimum wage at best. While you’re grateful that someone saw beyond your past, getting by financially will prove to be difficult.
While you may not be able to increase your income as quickly as you’d like, there are things you can do to manage the money you do have and set you up for future, more lucrative job opportunities. Take a look below:
- Live Within Your Means
It can be nerve-wracking to live on a smaller income than what you’re used to, but the key to keeping it from becoming a problem is to live within your means. If, at the moment all you’re receiving is $8 per hour for a 35-hour work week, then you probably shouldn’t try to live as if you have a $16 per hour job. Review your finances, see where you can cut back to save money. As you live within your means you can also check into record expungement in your area to see if you can get your past removed which would ultimately increase your potential for more income.
- Consider Downsizing
If you’ve reviewed your finances and you can’t afford to live where you’re currently living on your income, you may need to downsize for the time being. Moving into a smaller home or an apartment as opposed to staying a home that has a huge mortgage due each month and is the best way to stretch your income further. If you can, see if a family member will let you rent out a room or something so you can save money and get back on your feet.
- Look for Opportunities
While you may be low man on the totem pole at your current job that doesn’t mean you have to stay there. Many people with criminal pasts have found that if they do the hard work and apply for promotions and other opportunities, their employers are willing to move them up the ladder. Start looking for the chance to move up in the company you work for. If you need training, don’t be afraid to ask your supervisor as they may appreciate you being proactive and wanting to evolve.
- Complete Jobs that Don’t Require a Background Check
Not every job will require an extensive background check. For instance, if you decide to cut grass for a few of your neighbors to earn some extra cash chances are they’re not going to care if you’ve been convicted of a crime or have been to jail. This may not make you rich, but it will definitely add to your income as you try and manage your finances.
- Stay on Top of Debt
Everyone has some sort of debt, but when it gets out of hand it can be hard to dig yourself out. Since you’re living on a smaller income you’ll want to make sure that you stay on top of your debt so it doesn’t creep up on you. Create a budget and set up arrangements for repayment with your creditors and service providers to prevent ruining your credit. An improved credit score will only help you in the long run as you try to put your life back together.
Unfortunately, when you have a criminal record climbing back up to the top financially can be a challenge. Employers are hesitant to provide you with a high paid position and often times will offer you something well below what you’re used to. As you work to build your income and evolve as an employee be sure to use these financial management tips to live as comfortably as possible within your means.