Around here, entry-level jobs for people with just a high school education pay about $7 per hour. So if you land a fulltime job, you can make about $1,100 a month.
You can rent an apartment for as little as $350 a month. Tack on another $100 for electricity and water and you are at $450. If you don't worry too much about what you eat, you can probably get by on $10 a day -- so another $300 a month.
That leaves $310 "mad money" for things like:
-- Transportation. Even taking the bus to and from work five days a week will run you $60 a month. Down to $250
-- Clothing. Nothing too nice or too often. Maybe an average of $30 a month. Down to $220.
-- Cigarettes. Don't even tell me you smoke! Can you get by on one carton a month? Cough up $20, leaving you $230 or $7 per day extra.
Suppose you needed a car for your job? How much would your payments be? How about insurance?
Suppose you got sick. You paying for health insurance?
We are often asked why the homeless don't just "get a job" instead of begging on streetcorners and living in tents or cardboard boxes.
To those of us sitting at the top of the hill, it looks like a pretty easy climb.
My son knows the bottom of that cliff well. Having become very ill the last seven weeks prior to college graduation, the diploma never quite reached his hands. So he's stuck, at the bottom of that cliff. Though he was four units away, to return now, to any school, would be a minimum of two more full years of classes. And there's that $$$$ issue again. Minimum wage living is a tough place to live, but I've seen it done with a smile on the face and a joy in the heart that you won't find in those bringing home 100 grand a year. When God is our light, joy abounds in His presence. Thank you for the great reminder, Al, of how different life looks when we take the time to walk in another's shoes.