Nowhere in the United States can you afford to rent a two-bedroom apartment on a minimum wage salary. While there is some debate about who minimum wage jobs are meant for, it doesn’t change this absurd reality. A lot of hard-working people live off of only $7.25 an hour. Some states do have higher minimum wages, but that only cancels out the increased cost of living in those areas. These numbers are discouraging, to say the least.

Is Rent Really That Expensive?

Anyone who’s ever apartment-hunted knows that there are a variety of price ranges. So, you may be thinking that minimum wage will earn you enough to purchase something on the cheaper side. Unfortunately, that is not the case.

For example, the average cost of a two-bedroom apartment in Texas is $1,240 per month. Even the cheapest apartments in safe neighborhoods cost $835 per month. If you earn minimum wage, the most you could realistically afford would be $345.

I’ll Need To Make A Lot Then, Right?

Depending on where you live and your living situation, you will need to make a lot more than minimum wage. In places like California and New York, you’ll have to get paid over $30 an hour. On the other hand, you’d only need to make $13.84 to afford a two-bedroom in Arkansas.

The good news is some states do have increased minimum wages. Washington, D.C has the highest at $12.50 per hour. The bad news is that living costs are generally greater in these places. You’d need to make almost three times that to afford a two-bedroom in the city.

What Can I Do About It?

There are several ways you can help yourself while waiting for legislation to pass. If you get a roommate, you’ll only have to cover half the rent. Doing this in a state like Oklahoma or New Mexico means that 30% of your income would be just enough.

If you live in a high-cost state, moving may be an option. If not, you can always try to climb the managerial ladder. Even the tiniest pay raise can help.