- In high school I worked at Scout Camp, in a hardware store, and in a comic book store.
- When my dad was laid off in the 80’s, the money my parents had set aside to put me through college was instead used to keep us fed and a roof over our heads. I went into debt to pay for college.
- During college, I worked part-time at various jobs; selling cell phones, doing shoe and leather repair, other retail jobs, and then working for an ambulance service.
- After 3 years where I performed poorly, I quit college to deal with personal issues.
- I have worked full-time ever since, as an EMT, an EMS dispatcher, phone tech support, a used-car salesman (I was too honest to be any good at that one), and now as a paralegal.
- I am currently paying my own way through college for an associates degree. No grants or loans, one class at a time as I can afford it, while still working full time.
- At the same time, I am still paying back my original school loans.
- I own my own home. I bought within my current means, and chose a home with a mortgage that is actually less per month than I could get an apartment for.
- I drive a 17 year old car that I own outright, with 220,000 miles on the original engine, and by taking care of it I will probably have it for another 2 or 3 years.
- I make just over $25k a year. After taxes, I take home about $1,500 a month.
- Out of that $1500, $600 goes towards my mortgage and another $500-$600 goes towards utilities, my school loans, and other bills. I have, on average, a total of $350 a month left for food, gas, and other expenses. That works out to about $11 a day.
- I am single, I live alone, and I work full-time. That means any home maintenance, including cleaning, has to be done either after work or on weekends. If I cook, I am the only one there to clean it up. If I cook when I get home, it’s too dark to do outside house work. If I do the work first, it may be 9:00 before I get to eat. Somehow, I manage to balance this, even when the weather forces me to do the outside housework during the week, but I eat a lot more fast food than I should.
- My computer is 4 years old, and is only that new because my previous computer stopped working and I had to have a computer for my classes.
- I don’t whine about how I deserve more. I don’t expect anyone to jump in and just give me anything.
- I work for my money, and I pay my taxes. I volunteer 8 hours a week minimum as an EMT.
I am the 53%
(h/t Weird and Pissed Off)