This Man Makes More Than I Do

And he lives in a place with a comparable cost of living. Yet he’s struggling.

It makes me wonder what we are all doing differently.

He can barely afford a one-room apartment with a roommate. I bought a house. Granted, it’s a small house, but it’s still brick and on a small bit of land.

He works 60 hours a week, so do I.

He can’t save money, yet I was able to send my children to college (debt-free), to donate to charity, save enough to have a comfortable retirement, and indulge in a rather costly hobby.

I don’t know what his total bills are, but mine average (with mortgage, gas, electric, water, internet, and phone) about $900 a month – or just over 2 weeks’ pay. Food, gasoline, insurance, vet bills, pet food, and other expenses round out the third week’s pay, leaving one week’s pay to bank and play with (now, anyway – before, it was used to pay college expenses for my kids and to bankroll my daughter when she wanted to start her own business). Not a lot, I grant you, but over time, it does add up. Any bonus money (gift money, windfalls, garage sale money, collecting and selling aluminum and recyclables, selling stuff on craigslist, etc.) gets banked with it.

If he’s splitting expenses, he should actually be in better financial shape than I am.

So what are we doing differently that he’s struggling on the same wages I’m comfortable on?

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Noddy
    Dec 16, 2013 @ 14:24:33

    OK, I know the prices in Kansas City, and they are really, really close to the prices where I live. I know people who live there, and it’s only a 4 hour drive away, so I visit often enough to know the cost of living there.

    60 hours a week of work is not so much, even with transportation time thrown in, that there’s no time left for home cooking and home meal prep – he’s not homeless. Every apartment in KC (even the cheapest, meanest ones) have a refrigerator and stove.

    His housing and utility expenses are probably half mine because he has a roommate with whom he shares those expenses, plus he doesn’t have children and an ex-spouse that he occasionally has to help out. Add in the fact that at least one of his jobs is at a restaurant where he presumably gets to eat at a discount (or sometimes for free), and even with his education loan, he should be doing far, far better than he is, financially speaking.

    If he’s paying $450 a month rent (half of that maximum $900 rent you quoted), he’s paying less than I am for the mortgage I have. If he and his roommate are sharing a cheaper apartment, then he’s paying less, maybe as little as $150 a month for rent (the cheapest 2 bedroom apartment I know of is in a decent area and rents for $300 a month – I have a friend living there with her 3 daughters), so if he’s in a similar apartment, he’s paying less than half a week’s pay for rent.

    I’m sorry, but he doesn’t get to play the “poor” card if he makes more money than me and lives in an area that is comparable for cost of living with a roommate splitting expenses and he’s never married and is child-free with a less-than-$10,000 education debt.

    He can play the “I don’t know how to manage my money” card, and I’d sympathize and empathize with him on that – way too many people don’t know how to manage their finances (raises hand – I do OK, but I know I could be doing so much better if I knew more of the tricks of handling money).

  2. ssgt leslie
    Dec 13, 2013 @ 14:19:25

    some people just like to complain and looking for a handout, instead of a handup. also. we as a society are spoiled. thanks for posting and you are doing an amazing job with all you do. keep smiling.

  3. dianawelsh13
    Dec 12, 2013 @ 22:10:05

    Some of it may depend on where in Kansas City he’s living. I can find apartments there for $500 a month for a one bedroom but also for $900 per month. Does he cook? Does his room mate cook? With 4 jobs does he have time to cook or do any home meal prep at all? He may spend all his time working and travelling between with an hour or two between shifts (and about 6 hours a night for sleep). It doesn’t say if he drives a car or uses public transportation either. Sometimes if you’re working too many jobs your food costs sky rocket because you pretty much have to eat out twice a day.

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