$7.25X40X52=$15,080.00 per year. You can survive on that even after your minimal withholdings. It is just a matter of what you feel entitled to. You may have to give up your $160/month cable/internet/telephone package. You may have to drive an older car and have to be more purposeful in your errands as not to waste gas. You may have to have room mates to be able to afford a nicer apartment/house. You may have to cook at home with cheaper ingredients than going to the Olive Garden and wait until the movies you want to see are at Redbox instead of going to the theater. It is just a matter of the decisions you make once your decisions have you supporting yourself on minimum wage.