Financial Factors…

Jacob often tells me I am a snob, and I am inclined to agree.  I grew up in the suburbs in a nice middle class town.  We, my sisters and I went to school with doctor’s kids, and lawyer’s kids, as well as blue collar kids.  Jacob however grew up in the city, so our paths couldn’t have been more divergent.  How we came to be a couple who ultimately married is where fate intervened, but that is a story for another day. 


At any rate, I obtained the job that I interviewed for.   Right before accepting the position, Tom, my interviewer says “This job pays minimum wage” I shrugged my shoulders and said “OK” after all this is my “fun money” job.  We shook hands and agreed on my start date of Sunday, and I walked out of the theater with a smile.  I called Jacob on my cell phone that has a bill of $67 a month, or the equivalent of almost 10 hours of working at this job.  I then pressed the button to disengage the alarm on our 2008 Cobalt Sport which has a car payment of $330 a month, and at that time held a little under a ½ of a tank of gas.  Following that, I stopped at McDonalds I ordered 2 value meals and whipped out a credit card that I am sure has a balance of at least $300 on it to pay before driving past the Get Go that was showing regular gas at a cost of $3.68 a gallon.


It was only then that it occurred to me.  $7.15 is minimum wage which is just shy of two gallons of gas.  Here I am “excited” to make $7.15 an hour for “fun” yet that same amount of money is what someone makes as their full time job.  These aren’t people who complain that their darn SUV with a payment of $450 a month now costs them $100 a week to fill.  No, these are people that Jacob would accuse me of being “snobby” with.  People who are making in a 40 hour week $286 before taxes!  Let’s not even talk about the cost of their health care, no wait, let’s talk about it.   $286 a week comes out to:  $1239 a month, or a little over $13,000 a year, and this is before taxes.  Let’s assume for a second that they loose 15% of their wage that now equals a take home pay of $1053.15.  $100 a month for health insurance is CHEAP for a family, but lest just say that theirs costs $100 a month.  They are now down to $953.15 to pay for gas, rent, food, and other necessities. 


I feel guilty for complaining that IVF is inaccessible to Jacob or I given our current budget.  I feel guilty for not being more concerned for the price of gas.  I take for granted that it’s “nothing” to whip out the Sunoco card, or ATM card to throw $40 into the tank once a week.  Or that when I go to Giant Eagle tonight and slap down $200 for a cart full of groceries tonight that I do so without having to utilize food stamps just to get by.  I feel even guiltier for judging the parent who has missed 5 of their last 6 appointments with the clinic, and then calls telling me it’s an emergency and that their child needs to be seen immediately.  Especially when I judge more harshly when I find out they hold Gateway or Unison.   For perhaps this mom isn’t lazy, but instead was told—“if you take May 13th off you will be fired”  When you realize that unemployment is only 80% of 7.15 I think I would send my child to school or day care too.


There really is no solution that can be had at this level.  It’s more just a simple observation, that yes I am a snob and that yes, I should be more grateful.  For there was once a time when I had more to worry about than the fact that $10,000 for IVF is out of my grasp.  No, there was a time when like those who now make $7.15 an hour that I had to worry not about just keep the car full of gas….but just keeping the car at all.  Boy, how times change…but my how the leopard never does…


4 responses to “Financial Factors…

  1. It is interesting when you start doing the math on what the government thinks people can live on. Especially with the price of gas the way it is. Then because of gas, groceries are going up and let’s face it utilities are not necessarily going down either.

    Congratulations on getting your job. So will you have a set schedule or different days every week. Do you have to work weekends too? Maybe I will come visit when we finally venture out to the movies again.

  2. I’ve come to realize everyone is on a budget. My hubby and I lived in IL our entire lives and our biggest tax return ever was about 52,xxx. I budgeted every month between gas, groc, dog food, etc. We now live in CO and turned in a tax return of 165,xxx. BUT our house payment that was 250 per month is now 1600 per month. The vehicles that used to equal 400 per month are now 1500 per month (although I must say I do get spoiled by my hubby). I stopped feeling guilty as far as looking at the checking account and thinking why can’t we save more when we are making soooo much but then I realized the saying was true. You see, I always thought that if we could just make a little more money in IL then we would be able to put some in savings, but it isn’t true. We would have found something else to spend it on. The more you make the more you spend. I do think minimum wage should be raised because I don’t see how it is possible to live on that much money, but on the other hand, we left our entire family and basically our entire life to better ourselves so sometimes I wonder why others aren’t willing to make sacrifices in order to get off of welfare. I could go on and on, but I won’t. Bottom line…we still don’t have the money for IVF either. (BTW we live in an area where the median home price is 200,xxx so we aren’t living in an extravagant mansion. It is a 15oo sq ft. home. :))

  3. My mother use to say to put away as little as 2.00 away each pay. She was a waitress at the time. She actually had a passbook saving account that she put her tips into. each year when we went on vacation as children her account had enough for new clothes and dinner as resturants while dad paid for the hotel and all other necessary things. Mom’s tips were the play money.

    So I know it is possible for it to be done however it is very difficult to see how to do this if you do not take the time to plan carefully.

    Sometime because we have cash readily available to us we spend without thinking. If we take the time to plan it out we can acheive whatever goal we may have.

  4. When things are tough it’s easy to say “Why me?” It’s much harder to look past our own issues and say “Why them?” It’s a sign of maturity. Kudos.

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