The minimum wage for New York State was just increased from $7.25 to $15.00 per hour. That’s pretty incredible considering the cost of living in my city requires a living was of at least $26.00. This begs the question, how are we doing it?
How do I support myself for a paycheck that falls under $15.00 per hour? Am I delusional and going into bankruptcy? I decided to break down my finances and see where my money goes. If you’re ready for some numbers, continue to Think Out Loud with me.
Where does my money go?
This is a huge chunk of money each month. Not only does the apartment I live in cost money, not included are utilities and internet that make living here pretty nice. I could steal internet from the coffee shop nearby, but it doesn’t reach my roommate’s room, so we opted to get our own.
I have a car. It is a huge blessing in the winter time for getting groceries and not being house bound. However, in the summer I hardly drive at all so the cost of insurance seems a lot more than I would like it to be.
I am paying off two big student loans right now at $40 each per month. I probably could pay more, but I don’t because you never know when something might happen and I may need money.
3.) Fitness membership
Forty dollars a month for a gym pass might seem like a lot. However, this expense has been so worth it just because I can continue to cross train through running injuries or to take a break from pounding.
Food is the last thing on my list because I get a lot from work. The only real things I buy are fresh fruit (not including bananas) and nut butters. I am trying to use up all the ingredients in my fridge now so when I finish and try doing Raw Till 4 stronger, I don’t need to buy much.
Writing this out feels so crippling. I hate the thought of being controlled by money. I have decided not to go back to college right now because I feel it is a waste of money. I am a saver big time so looking at how much I spend, I feel so helpless. That is not how I want to end this post. Therefore, I am going to make a list of how I save a lot of money.
1.) I don’t go out to eat anymore
It’s hard to eat raw out and it’s expensive. I also do not have a work schedule conducive to going out. When I get out of work at 9 tonight, I will be sweaty and craving a big bowl of bananas, not a beer or a long restaurant wait. Big savings.
2.) I don’t buy new clothes
I have a new policy that the only new clothes I will buy must support a vegan cause and even then only if I desperately need something. These things include underwear and socks. I have enough clothes to last me through a zombie apocalypse.
3.) I get all my food from work
This is something I have tried before, but is much easier on a Raw Till 4 diet. I take all the salad bar stuff that gets thrown away (like rice and fresh veggies) and use them for my meals throughout the week. I also take all the brown bananas (I get like two bunches per day) and eat those. When I am more fully raw, I see my banana consumption increasing greatly.
Things I still buy:
Laundry ($4 each cycle)
Dates, berries and the occasional mango (trying to get them wholesale)
Toiletries (I am now buying them at Aldis, I forgot how much I love that store)
I think I should start a program that has coupons for fresh produce.
Who is with me?