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How do you get by? I must vent.. :/

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by CharlesAFerg, Oct 3, 2011.

  1. CharlesAFerg

    CharlesAFerg Beaverton Active Member

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    I'm a student, but I currently work full time between my second and third year in school. I work, and I work, and did I mention that I work? I'm getting into sales, working in various corporate offices, typically high-tech, doing work in/around the sales profession. I have been finding great jobs with great experience, but I'm concerned about the future..

    I save my money quite efficiently. I buy very little for myself and others, I rarely eat out, I sold my car, (I am fortunate enough to borrow a siblings old car if I fix it), and my rent is very low. I have no student debt so far, and I hope to have none by the time I finish.

    With that said, I don't know how anyone can live for under, say.. $12-$15 an hour. How do people get by? What do you all do to save a buck? How do you keep yourself feeling financially sound?

    I'm so sick of feeling uneasy. I understood when I was in school for my first few years, things would be tough and I got through it without any debt. Still, I've been working for a while now and nothing feels better, worse, even. There comes a point where politics don't matter to me. The hardest thing for me, honestly, is that I FEEL like I have no future, like I have made no progress. I KNOW that I will do well, as I have succeeded in many things that I put my mind to, including both working for others and working for myself. The jobs I have worked look great on my resume, but this feeling of insecurity is just stabbing at me. I feel like I have to justify buying a new dress shirt for work, so I've been repairing the shirts I do have. Also, every time I go to the grocery store to buy food. Food! I shouldn't have to worry about buying food when I am working full time at relatively high paying jobs for my age/college level. (I recently had somebody buy me those boxes of canned beans from Costco, which I can eat for lunch mixed with some healthy carbs, veggies, etc.) Is this normal to feel this way?

    I feel like everyone in my age group is working for nothing. I feel like the economy will get even worse and my money will be worth even less, faster than I can earn and/or save it.

    If nobody has any money, who the **** is going to buy anything? I went shooting today for the first time in a year. I shot about 50 rounds total, about 30 of those were my own, fired out of my friend's rifle. I just can't afford it.
    Ugh, I don't know what to do. Should I try to get food from a food bank? I just don't know..

    My post is jumbled, yes, but I just need to speak with people I trust about this.
     
  2. trainsktg

    trainsktg Portland OR Well-Known Member

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    You can get by on that kind of money by renting an apartment with roommates, buying basics like beans and rice at Costco, etc. I doubt you could be independent on that kind of money, though.

    While I won't disagree with your perceived concept of 'working for nothing', the best remedy for that is to get out of that wage class by doing something a little better than the next guy and making yourself 'valuable' to someone, whether its your employer, your customers, your business, etc. 'Minimum wage' (or close to it) was never meant to support a family.

    When I got out of the military, my wife and I moved to Portland with no job, no contacts, no friends and no prospects. We lived in a hotel and argued over buying $1 or $0.50 loaves of bread. Still we hung in there and we do pretty good today.

    Hang in there. You'll make it.

    Keith
     
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  3. CaughtSteelin

    CaughtSteelin Oregon Member

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    I have kinda been there. I went fresh out of high school to working full time. I ended up dropping out b/c if I didn't work at least 60 hrs a week then I couldn't survive off of min wage. I then ended up getting a really good job then leaving it for a fun but not high paying job. It soon came apparent once again that the wage you had posted was really hard to live with. Especially when you like to have fun with your days off.

    So I ended up figuring what I wanted to do for a living that made me happy. Went to trade school for it, now I spend 10-11months a year on a ship somewhere. I don't make the big bucks. But what I do get is not having to pay for a place to live (well until I have 2 years so I can buy a house), no fuel/food, or the extra expenses that the "land dwellers" have. And that is how I make a living under the range of hour you had listed. But any job I do, if possible, is not to just get by but to get ahead in one way or another. Meaning money or experience in some sort.

    As long as you keep motivated and don't give up. You will get to where you want to be eventually! It sounds like you are still young and most people now a days don't have their "career" until around 30 or so. With that in mind right now you just have to get by and gain the experience to get a job later down the road that will support you and a family.

    As for the food thing. Try going to buying bulk and cutting/freezing the extras. Like costco (tuna), cash in carry(meat), winco(kinda like costco I suppose).

    Hope I didn't ramble to much...
     
  4. MA Duce

    MA Duce Central Oregon Well-Known Member

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    I find it hard to express my feelings about your situation. It could be the new reality of America today. I grew up in a time where the American Dream was still viable, and while there were times my wife and I did not have two dimes to rub together, we managed to build a life and raise a family and today we pretty much do as we please. You seem to be doing the one thing that will stand you in good stead no matter what transpires.....educating yourself. By living simply and avoiding debt like the plague it is you have a good chance to ride this period out. Best of luck.
     
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  5. PBinWA

    PBinWA Clark County Well-Known Member

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    Life sucks at that stage of life. I juggled 2-3 part-time jobs during my last two years of undergraduate work. I tended bar and bounced night clubs Thurs-Saturday nights and did Security guard work on the weekends. I may have slept a bit on the security guard jobs but it was getting paid for sleeping so it was better than not getting paid.

    I didn't get the best of grades and had terrible credit by the time I got that degree but I kept working and looking for better paying opportunities. You do have to hussle and the jobs don't come easy but that is just the way it was.

    It sounds to me that you are doing the right stuff. Find ways to have fun within your means and keep plodding along it will get better in time.
     
  6. brianjronk

    brianjronk Marysville, WA Active Member

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    Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University. It changed my wife's and my lives financially in a dramatic way.
     
  7. JGRuby

    JGRuby Portland Oregon New Member

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    Things have changed from our parents generation - my dad bough a brand new Oldsmobile Delta 88 in 1978 ( nice car ) - the cost of that car was around 3600$ - it was one tenth of his wage - the farm I grew up my dad bought in 1961 for 13000 - it was around half a years wage. Now step forward - I make a decent wage working doing disaster recovery work in IT. The house I live in costed 150,000$ ( rough house ) but that is well over one year wage for me and the truck I bought used (F150 Screw) 40K miles costed about 25% of my yearly wage. In short the cost of everything has gone up greatly in price - this all occurs as we slip to a 2nd world status. Ask yourself why this is occurring - the standard wage is not keeping up with the cost of the goods being sold. My hypothesis is that we are all living off credit - as credit becomes easier the cost of items can go up - when credit is not paid back the companies have to reclaim thier funds and hence makes the next product more exspensive. The government is not the only entity that survives like this. This world is based on credit and if you really want to hurt a country you do it via financial methods today. Ther are two predictions I will make; 1) I feel there will be a financial collapse in my time. 2) I will never be able to retire in my life time at least not comfortably - not rich, just comfortable. You do not choose the time you live in you can only determine how you will live it.

    James Ruby
     
  8. nubus

    nubus Guest

    Well Ferg, let me tell you...

    You are absolutely on the right track! I would trade places with you in a heartbeat. I am unemployed, in a lawsuit, buried in debt and unsure if I see a way out right now. I truly wish I would have avoided the debt, bought more cautiously and saved like a fiend. But as we all seem to spend what we make, I too was a "victim" of the good times back in 2003-2007. I earned well and I spent well. Unfortunately my spending outweighed my earning! But the very things you describe, staying debt free, fixing what you have, spending cautiously, will pay you huge dividends in the long run. Whatever you do keep your mind open to new opportunities. The best jobs I've ever had were ones I was not trained for and did not apply for. I simply had the right connections or was in the right place at the right time. So although you may feel uneasy, you are actually in a good position. And if you qualify for food stamps or assistance you should take advantage of those programs. Make sure you apply for financial aid for school every year as well. I got several unexpected Pell Grants because no one else applied for them. Good luck to you, you are already miles ahead of most of the masses right now!
     
  9. jvp

    jvp oregon Member

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    as for how you make it on $12-$15 hr. my son still lives at home because finding descent room mates is difficult. had to do lots of skimping to the bone myself in years past. there was no this is how it is done you just keep push forward. i have no answers for you but you are going about it the right way from what you posted.
     
  10. HappyRoman

    HappyRoman Sherwood Forest Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Wow..wow...Woooooo

    Having a job is important, Having an education is important...

    Having the will and temperment to seceed is everything..!!!!!!!!
     
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  11. Nwcid

    Nwcid Yakima and N of Spokane Well-Known Member

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    It is not an easy task. Everyday I have a job I am thankful, but also work to keep it that way. I have a good job that is as secure as it can get and I am still getting raises and I thank my boss every time. The last couple years have been getting much better for me financially and I am 35 now.

    When I was younger I bounced back and forth between my parents house and out on my own. While I was in school I was a resident at a fire station. Once I got out of school I lived with my parents for a bit. After the first few months I ended up with 2 full time jobs for almost 2 years cause pay sucked at both. Since they were both 24hr/day jobs I only ended up having about 1 day a week off if I was lucky sometimes 2 in a row. That will burn a guy out fast.

    I worked hard and have improved myself and my skills. Now about 10 years I am in a position that people want me. I have a good full time job and looks like soon I will have the option of another one I really want.

    Just remember it does not happen over night. I keep looking back asking myself why I didnt so some of the things back then that I am doing now. It was cause I had to work more. I was using that time to make my future better.
     
  12. jbett98

    jbett98 NW Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Charles, my advice, maintain your health and keep a positive attitude.

    I just lost a longtime good friend that chose to ignore all the early warning signs of colon cancer, because he was too busy spending a large inheritance.
    He was just like the rest us, working hard and trying to make ends meet, but he always knew he would someday come into money and that would make him the happiest guy on earth, he talked about it all the time, and I was somewhat jealous thinking about what it would be like never having to work again.

    We had a lot of long talks while I was driving him back and forth to the chemo ward, and his biggest regret "besides not seeing a doctor about the warning signs" was not enjoying every day, whether it was a good day or bad.

    If you ever feel like life is not fair or just feeling sorry for yourself "we all do at one time or another" walk into a hospital cancer ward and look at the patients after receiving treatment.
    Every one of them would trade places with you in a heartbeat.

    I was given a sound piece of advice years ago that has helped me with my career and marriage. "Promise less and deliver more"
     
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  13. jordanvraptor

    jordanvraptor Oregon City, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    I think you have the right attitude to make it. My only advice is to be cautious about going into debt. It pays off when you do need to have credit like when you get a house or when you feel comfortable in buying a car etc.
     
  14. Rascals

    Rascals Portland Or Active Member

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    By working 85 to 95 hour weeks helps. You figure I can get 2 months worth of money in 1 week. It really helps pay for all the lazy people out there when we work more. But If thing continue I might just back it down to 40 and take a break. Why not others do and dont work at all.
     
  15. jbett98

    jbett98 NW Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Is it possible to stay on track here, and not hijack Charles post.
     
  16. jib

    jib Central OR Active Member

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    Sorry, I will put this a different way.

    I am a independent contractor (residential construction) In Central Oregon new construction has slowed down considerably. So the only hope is remodel work, well the EPA has thrown a bucket of water on this prospect with the new lead based paint mandate. If I follow the EPA mandates enforced by the CCB I price my self beyond what a pre 1979 home owner is willing to pay. So while the Government has created new jobs with this mandate it has lost many more, along with my taxed dollars.
     
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  17. JGRuby

    JGRuby Portland Oregon New Member

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    Why are my posts going away?

    James Ruby
     
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  18. FMJ 911

    FMJ 911 Snohomish, Washington Active Member

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    I'm just looking for a job so I can get some income, then get my FFL and make a side business off of that.
     
  19. civilian75

    civilian75 Hillsboro, OR Well-Known Member

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    Back on topic:

    Chuck,
    From what you said I can see you are on the right track. Be patient. College years are tough for pretty much everyone, that is, unless your parents bankroll your education. Had a friend in college who was so broke all he could afford for days and weeks in a row was corn flakes w/o milk!

    Even though you did not ask for advice, here is a couple "free" ones:
    1. If you qualify, don't be embarrassed to get food stamps. This is what they are for. You'll know when to wean yourself out of them.
    2. Out of the little you have, Give. No matter how broke you are, there is always a ton of people worst off than you.
     
  20. civilian75

    civilian75 Hillsboro, OR Well-Known Member

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    +1 highly recommended, no matter what your financial situation is.