18 March 2014

American Dream?

Been going through the hassle of looking for a new apartment. My other two room mates are moving out and I can’t afford to live there on my own. I am finding, however, that living anywhere on my income is difficult at best. I’m making about $36k a year before taxes yet there are few places I can really afford to live. I’m looking for something in the less-than-$800-per-month range, and most of them are either too small, utilities would be too much, there’s no where to park, and/or it’s a run-down sack of poo.

Although my girlfriend will be living with me, she’ll be attending college full-time, so any income she gets will be negligible. It’s kind of a rude awakening when you’re brought up being told: “Do well in school so you can get a good job and a house and a car etc etc.” Here I am, with a Bachelors of Biology, a full-time job (granted, people with less education are making more here),  I did good in school, all that stuff. I can’t afford a house. Barely afford an apartment. Can’t afford a new or even pre-owned car. Can’t afford to get a smart phone with data plan. Some American dream, eh?

Now, perhaps if I was better at making a budget and sticking to it, I could eek by with all that stuff. Sadly, trigonometry and calculus classes don’t make for good financial planning lessons. It doesn’t help, that while I supposedly make $36,050 a year on paper, after taxes and benefits, it’s a lot less. My most recent paycheck was 966.xx. Get two paychecks a month, that’s  $1,932. Times that by twelve months: $23,184. Now there some other factors; yearly bonus, tax return, the odd month with three pay periods, et al. Still, I feel I had more spare cash when I worked part-time at Home de Pot and lived at home. mint.com tells me I made $26,910 in 2013. So that’s about ten thousand dollars less than I technically earn. 

It doesn’t help matters that although I work the glorious third shift, there’s no shift differential. Also, even though I have a bachelors degree, I make the same amount a high school graduate would if they got hired there. Yip. Eee.

1 comment:

  1. Hang in there bro, it has to get better. I agree, the dream is nearly dead. I'm sorry this happened to you, just wish I was closer so I could help you out. At least you are getting experience with that job, and hate to say it, maybe apply elsewhere? Too bad you hate Western PA, it's cheaper out here =P Miss you big bro, here if you need me ~ Your favorite tiny Viking Ragna =P