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Author Topic: Can You Survive on $9 An Hour?  (Read 6322 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: October 05, 2011, 05:00:08 AM »

http://playspent.org/

Play the game.
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« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2011, 07:40:17 AM »

I remember this!

Reminds me of living off of my first paychecks. :-/

I only got through it a few times, and just barely.
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« Reply #2 on: October 05, 2011, 09:28:57 AM »

I didn't make $9 an hour until I first moved out, then got $10 an hour soon thereafter.  But I had less bills in those days.  Today, probably not.
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« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2011, 09:53:17 AM »

I ran out of money in 9 days.
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« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2011, 10:07:40 AM »

$35 bucks left at the end.

Difficult due to lots of curveballs in a single month, plus no information for creating a budget. Taking a conservative route of 'worst case' situations, favoring reliability, and prioritizing family was the only way I made it.
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« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2011, 10:15:04 AM »

I made it through the month answering the questions the way I often have to in real life.

I had $300 left at the end of the month
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« Reply #6 on: October 05, 2011, 10:32:26 AM »

What a bunch of nonsense. I made it through Day 21 before I just exited the questionnaire. After about Day 10, it starts hitting you with facebook ads.

It's also intellectually dishonest: it falsely offers only two choices on some questions, when--in fact--logical alternatives exist. For example: "You have a bill. What do you do? Pay it or Ignore it?" The correct answer is that you talk to the company you owe and work something out. They'll almost always let you pay over time. The worst thing you can do is ignore them.

This quiz is a set-up. The question is not 'can you live on $9 a month?'; the question is 'can you live on $9/ a month without some sense of entitlement or resentment'?

I've been poor---I mean poor like you can't eat for 4 days in a row poor. I mean poor like you have to borrow a dime to make bus fare so you can go to work in the morning poor. Everyone who's single ought to try it some time; it's good for the soul. It's like a near-death experience that makes you appreciate life.

You'd be surprised how self-sacrificing and creative you can be when you don't have the resources. I've known single people who lived well on $12,000 a year ($6/hr). (I'm not talking about those with families.) Here's an old artist's trick: you can live on a bag of potatoes a month.

If the financial analysts are correct, we'll all be getting experience in poverty over the next ten years. Start living simply now.

For fun, I wen back and finished and ended up with $258 left. In real life, I would have had more.
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« Reply #7 on: October 05, 2011, 11:03:39 AM »

For fun, I went back and finished and ended up with $258 left. In real life, I would have had more.
« Last Edit: October 05, 2011, 11:04:43 AM by sainthieu » Logged
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« Reply #8 on: October 05, 2011, 11:10:08 AM »

I think I had $308 left. But I did not let my kid play football, and I doubt the food that I purchased would have lasted the month. But anyway...
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« Reply #9 on: October 05, 2011, 11:18:52 AM »

What a bunch of nonsense. I made it through Day 21 before I just exited the questionnaire. After about Day 10, it starts hitting you with facebook ads.

It's also intellectually dishonest: it falsely offers only two choices on some questions, when--in fact--logical alternatives exist. For example: "You have a bill. What do you do? Pay it or Ignore it?" The correct answer is that you talk to the company you owe and work something out. They'll almost always let you pay over time. The worst thing you can do is ignore them.

This quiz is a set-up. The question is not 'can you live on $9 a month?'; the question is 'can you live on $9/ a month without some sense of entitlement or resentment'?

I've been poor---I mean poor like you can't eat for 4 days in a row poor. I mean poor like you have to borrow a dime to make bus fare so you can go to work in the morning poor. Everyone who's single ought to try it some time; it's good for the soul. It's like a near-death experience that makes you appreciate life.

You'd be surprised how self-sacrificing and creative you can be when you don't have the resources. I've known single people who lived well on $12,000 a year ($6/hr). (I'm not talking about those with families.) Here's an old artist's trick: you can live on a bag of potatoes a month.

If the financial analysts are correct, we'll all be getting experience in poverty over the next ten years. Start living simply now.

For fun, I wen back and finished and ended up with $258 left. In real life, I would have had more.

Exactly. I haven't been that poor but I have lived on $9/hour since working for churches and non-profits, while it may be personally rewarding, is not very financially rewarding. My husband works with homeless veterans and doesn't make a whole lot more than that now.
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« Reply #10 on: October 05, 2011, 02:13:00 PM »

I've lived on $6 an hour and supported 3 children.  Lessons?  It's easier to lose what you really don't need in life and slowly build back than it is to try to hold on to those things that really don't matter.  My car was re-possessed, I took the bus and met some really wonderful humble people.  We very carefully ate on $25 a month - and had absolutely no frills.  I agree with sainthieu - it was absolutely hands down the best experience I've ever been through.  I recently told a friend of mine who is struggling that it was the best thing that ever happened to me.  Hands down.  It was hard and emotionally painful and draining - but I learned to thrive relying on Him.  It's amazing the provision that comes when you trust.
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« Reply #11 on: October 05, 2011, 02:15:56 PM »

I've lived on $6 an hour and supported 3 children.  Lessons?  It's easier to lose what you really don't need in life and slowly build back than it is to try to hold on to those things that really don't matter.  My car was re-possessed, I took the bus and met some really wonderful humble people.  We very carefully ate on $25 a month - and had absolutely no frills.  I agree with sainthieu - it was absolutely hands down the best experience I've ever been through.  I recently told a friend of mine who is struggling that it was the best thing that ever happened to me.  Hands down.  It was hard and emotionally painful and draining - but I learned to thrive relying on Him.  It's amazing the provision that comes when you trust.

How with any nutrient quality? Unless you were seriously gardening as well . . .

I grew up almost cashless, but with government help and 3/4 acre "garden" and chickens, rabbits, etc. we ate very healthily.

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« Reply #12 on: October 05, 2011, 02:18:02 PM »

$9 an hour? Try living on $3 an hour. Even with food stamps, rent, and utilities, that's a dirty S.O.B! Roll Eyes
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« Reply #13 on: October 05, 2011, 02:19:04 PM »

$9 an hour? Try living on $3 an hour. Even with food stamps, rent, and utilities, that's a dirty S.O.B! Roll Eyes

I don't understand? Is this sarcasm about something.
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« Reply #14 on: October 05, 2011, 02:25:10 PM »

I've lived on $6 an hour and supported 3 children.  Lessons?  It's easier to lose what you really don't need in life and slowly build back than it is to try to hold on to those things that really don't matter.  My car was re-possessed, I took the bus and met some really wonderful humble people.  We very carefully ate on $25 a month - and had absolutely no frills.  I agree with sainthieu - it was absolutely hands down the best experience I've ever been through.  I recently told a friend of mine who is struggling that it was the best thing that ever happened to me.  Hands down.  It was hard and emotionally painful and draining - but I learned to thrive relying on Him.  It's amazing the provision that comes when you trust.

How with any nutrient quality? Unless you were seriously gardening as well . . .

I grew up almost cashless, but with government help and 3/4 acre "garden" and chickens, rabbits, etc. we ate very healthily.



We had a very specific diet - protein: eggs, peanut butter, rice and pinto beans and beef liver.  I'd buy canned vegies when they went on a 25 cent can sale and stock up - bread was from the thrift store, and Corn flakes and oatmeal were cheap cheap.  The things that were hard to come by was milk and fruit - both were always expensive - and rare.  We often went without those.  There was times when I didn't eat so that my children could eat, and then there were many many times when we were short and someone out of the blue knocked on the door with a meal or can goods.  I shopped the scratch and dent baskets often and got canned and boxed goods at very good prices.  It's amazing what you can do when you put your mind to it.
« Last Edit: October 05, 2011, 02:26:50 PM by quietmorning » Logged

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« Reply #15 on: October 05, 2011, 02:31:47 PM »

I've lived on $6 an hour and supported 3 children.  Lessons?  It's easier to lose what you really don't need in life and slowly build back than it is to try to hold on to those things that really don't matter.  My car was re-possessed, I took the bus and met some really wonderful humble people.  We very carefully ate on $25 a month - and had absolutely no frills.  I agree with sainthieu - it was absolutely hands down the best experience I've ever been through.  I recently told a friend of mine who is struggling that it was the best thing that ever happened to me.  Hands down.  It was hard and emotionally painful and draining - but I learned to thrive relying on Him.  It's amazing the provision that comes when you trust.

How with any nutrient quality? Unless you were seriously gardening as well . . .

I grew up almost cashless, but with government help and 3/4 acre "garden" and chickens, rabbits, etc. we ate very healthily.



We had a very specific diet - protein: eggs, peanut butter, rice and pinto beans and beef liver.  I'd buy canned vegies when they went on a 25 cent can sale and stock up - bread was from the thrift store, and Corn flakes and oatmeal were cheap cheap.  The things that were hard to come by was milk and fruit - both were always expensive - and rare.  We often went without those.  There was times when I didn't eat so that my children could eat, and then there were many many times when we were short and someone out of the blue knocked on the door with a meal or can goods.  I shopped the scratch and dent baskets often and got canned and boxed goods at very good prices.  It's amazing what you can do when you put your mind to it.


Along with the veggies and eggs we had we bought pretty only organ meat from the butcher. Not to beat an OC.net chat drum but brains, liver, stomach, intestine, etc. Everything was game, including what I shot.

Milk was a premium. I could eat all day long, so lard and tallow were common foods I ate.

Wow, Quiet. I need to really reflect more on this stuff. As I know I can get by on less. Not not without my CO2 tank.

Thanks for sharing.
« Last Edit: October 05, 2011, 02:32:09 PM by orthonorm » Logged

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« Reply #16 on: October 05, 2011, 02:39:11 PM »

$9 an hour? Try living on $3 an hour. Even with food stamps, rent, and utilities, that's a dirty S.O.B! Roll Eyes

I don't understand? Is this sarcasm about something.
No. It's just me b****ing about my life on unemployment. I was supposed to start work on a new job today, until I got a call yesterday from the staffing agency that hired me for this job that their client put my start date on hold. Angry (Hence my reference to Lucy van Pelt, Charlie Brown, and the football on the Video of the Day thread)
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« Reply #17 on: October 05, 2011, 03:01:02 PM »

$9 an hour? Try living on $3 an hour. Even with food stamps, rent, and utilities, that's a dirty S.O.B! Roll Eyes

I don't understand? Is this sarcasm about something.
No. It's just me b****ing about my life on unemployment. I was supposed to start work on a new job today, until I got a call yesterday from the staffing agency that hired me for this job that their client put my start date on hold. Angry (Hence my reference to Lucy van Pelt, Charlie Brown, and the football on the Video of the Day thread)

Sorry to hear that. It does seem this economy ain't really picking up. I hope you are able to hang in there. Seems to be getting rough for more and more on this board.

Lord have mercy!
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« Reply #18 on: October 05, 2011, 03:07:40 PM »

Quietmorning, thank you for your posts. It is definitely sobering yet amazing that you were able to raise your children and live frugally.
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« Reply #19 on: October 05, 2011, 03:50:33 PM »

I made it easily. Living on almost nothing is pretty much what I have done my entire life. Most of my time living "at home" with my parents we crashed on the floor at family/friends houses. I gave my parents 50% of my income once I started working part time at 14, then when dropped out of school at 15 I started working full time. (I earned my GED in my spare time). We would make a big pot of beans each week and pretty much eat it every night. Free school lunches helped A LOT since my parents didn't have to work out lunch for all of us most of the year. I have no ill will to my parents for requiring that we contribute. I started going door to door doing chores/yardwork starting at 8 to earn money to buy my own clothes. I know the value of what I have and will never forget it. Food is necessary, but that doesn't mean you get to eat things you like, or that you need any real variety. Clothing is great, but if you don't take care of it you won't have any. One pair of shoes is more than enough. A coat is great, but with layering you can do without. Our Christmas gifts consisted of "family" gifts like toasters, waffle irons and blow dryers. These were things that would make life easier and everyone would benefit from them. I will say that living in the NW I always liked the fact that we had a Christmas tree every year because trees are so abundant. I associate Christmas with Christmas trees more than I do with gifts.


Although I think quiet makes a great point- we do need to factor in when she was living on $25 a month for food and if she supplemented with food stamps or food banks. $25 a month now would not buy the same amount of food as it did in the 1980's. A basket of food in 1980 that cost $25 would cost $91 in 2010. That is still a great feat, but it does put things in perspective a bit. In the 90's my husband and I lived on about $1,000 a month (In Seattle, which isn't a cheap place to live) and had several hundred dollars left over each month.
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« Reply #20 on: October 05, 2011, 03:54:55 PM »

The typical salary for the lowest paid jobs in Poland is $2.43 per hour.
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« Reply #21 on: October 05, 2011, 03:56:44 PM »

The typical salary for the lowest paid jobs in Poland is $2.43 per hour.

You do realize a Big Mac costs like $20 here?
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« Reply #22 on: October 05, 2011, 03:58:16 PM »

The typical salary for the lowest paid jobs in Poland is $2.43 per hour.

You do realize a Big Mac costs like $20 here?

What?
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« Reply #23 on: October 05, 2011, 04:02:03 PM »

The biggest key to living frugally is to be debt free. It is also less expensive (for the most part) to make things yourself. I can make all the bread we eat in a week for all 6 of us at a cost of about fifty cents. Flour, water, salt and yeast are very inexpensive compared to bread at the bread outlet at $2 a loaf. If I shopped there for bread we would be spending closer to $10 a week on bread.

If we were on food stamps we would be given three times the amount of money we currently spend on food.
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« Reply #24 on: October 05, 2011, 04:03:27 PM »

The typical salary for the lowest paid jobs in Poland is $2.43 per hour.

You do realize a Big Mac costs like $20 here?

What?

Just saying the cost of living can be a tad higher for the lowest paid workers in America than in Poland.
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« Reply #25 on: October 05, 2011, 04:10:15 PM »

Very good point, Quinault, about $25 now versus the '80s. I thought about that, and like you said, still found it impressive. Smiley

When Mr. Ismi and I had a pretty low budget, we were spending about that much every two weeks. I'm ashamed to see how much we spend now. We are trying to save money for some other things and our grocery bill is astronomical. He is thinking about buying a CSA share with some friends and oh, boy. That is not going to help our bill very much.

I have horrible spending habits and your stories are putting me to shame. Keep them coming. We do need to learn how to live a bit more simply and at the very least, within our means.
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« Reply #26 on: October 05, 2011, 04:14:00 PM »

And just a note; the federal minimum wage in 1985 was $3.35 an hour. Most states actually had a higher minimum wage than the federal minimum though. WA state is going to have a $9 minimum wage starting in January.

I remember babysitting for $1 a kid per hour as a teenager! Now I have to pay a minimum of $10 an hour!!!! Which is why Bear and I rarely ever get to go on dates Cry


What I didn't like is that they didn't offer a choice to walk/bike to work in the game. If you live within 5 miles of work walking/biking is really the best/cheapest option. It should only take you about an hour to walk 5 miles. An hour commute each way (for free!) is nothing to sneeze at. My husband walks about 3 miles to/from work and that means even with our huge SUV we spend about $100 a month on gas at the max.
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« Reply #27 on: October 05, 2011, 04:24:02 PM »

As an add on, even if you compare 1990 $25 with today you end up with about $42 in goods. And $6 an hour in 1990 is more akin to $10 an hour now. Inflation right now is absolutely out of control.

http://www.usinflationcalculator.com/
http://www.aier.org/research/worksheets-and-tools/cost-of-living-calculator



This isn't to say that quietmorning raising 3 kids on less than 1k a month isn't impressive. I am just pointing out that 1k even 20 years ago isn't akin to 1k today.
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« Reply #28 on: October 05, 2011, 04:33:15 PM »

I think I am going to print out this thread and post it on my refrigerator.

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« Reply #29 on: October 05, 2011, 04:38:04 PM »

They gave a budget based on $1224, which seems accurate (usually I paid about 15% of my pay in taxes/etc.). However, that doesn't apply to me currently, not because of my student status (which doesn't really figure in), but because I'm on SSI. I get about $700 a month from that... about $525 less than what the website gave you to work with. So yeah, I could live on $9 an hour... that'd actually have an upper-middle-class feel to me (relatively speaking) Smiley
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« Reply #30 on: October 05, 2011, 04:43:49 PM »

Obviously a game like this is limited. It's just a way for the ministry to plug in some statistics, get some ads in there, and get people to pay attention. Of course I have bought food from the "sale" areas, didn't own a car at all and walked where I needed to go, don't HAVE a pet in the first place, etc. etc.

With the advent of online shopping, if you have access to a laptop and good eye for sales, it can be possible to purchase things for a fraction of the money. A website was changing the design of its cosmetic packaging, and I was able to purchase $70 worth of makeup for $12. I compared the formulas of the new versus the old stuff. Still the same.

Etc. Etc.

But of course we can't expect such a simulation set up for that purpose to be THAT realistic.
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« Reply #31 on: October 05, 2011, 04:48:12 PM »

The typical salary for the lowest paid jobs in Poland is $2.43 per hour.

You do realize a Big Mac costs like $20 here?

A Big Mac costs $20? Is it true? Or how much?
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« Reply #32 on: October 05, 2011, 04:49:54 PM »

No, a Big Mac is closer to $5 I think (I don't eat at McDonalds much). I do recall that when my husband and I were first married a Big mac was closer to $2 I think.
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« Reply #33 on: October 05, 2011, 04:55:21 PM »

No, a Big Mac is closer to $5 I think (I don't eat at McDonalds much). I do recall that when my husband and I were first married a Big mac was closer to $2 I think.

I don't know either. I just grab a breakfast sandwich there or a drink when waiting for vespers after work sometimes. The McDonald's near my parish is quite nice and is an ad hoc homeless shelter. They totally let people hang around all day if they mind their business.

Quite the site really.

I was just making the point about of cost of living.
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« Reply #34 on: October 05, 2011, 05:04:56 PM »

I think a Big Mac is often more expensive overseas. But I understand the point you are trying to make. Cost of living in the US is pretty high.
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« Reply #35 on: October 05, 2011, 05:07:51 PM »

No, a Big Mac is closer to $5 I think (I don't eat at McDonalds much). I do recall that when my husband and I were first married a Big mac was closer to $2 I think.

About $6 here for just the sandwich.
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« Reply #36 on: October 05, 2011, 05:08:37 PM »

Yes! I have, and can.  I am a nursing tech, can do a variety of things depending on what type of facility I work in, and which side of the the state line I work on.  For the a simple CNA job, that's $9/hour, when I am working for the nursing agency it ranges from 9-16/per hour depending on the job, and type of facility. When passing meds, working as a tech, in-pt psych closer to 15/hour.  Over the course of a year, between working 2 jobs, I probably average gross at a little over 9/hour.  I live in the kc metro area.
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« Reply #37 on: October 05, 2011, 05:12:00 PM »

No, a Big Mac is closer to $5 I think (I don't eat at McDonalds much). I do recall that when my husband and I were first married a Big mac was closer to $2 I think.

About $6 here for just the sandwich.

$2.7 here.
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« Reply #38 on: October 05, 2011, 05:20:16 PM »

No, a Big Mac is closer to $5 I think (I don't eat at McDonalds much). I do recall that when my husband and I were first married a Big mac was closer to $2 I think.

About $6 here for just the sandwich.

No way! I gotta check the 'hood tonight. They ain't moving those burgers if that is what they are charging around me.

Unless the XXL meal goes for less than $8.
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« Reply #39 on: October 05, 2011, 05:36:01 PM »

I made it easily. Living on almost nothing is pretty much what I have done my entire life. Most of my time living "at home" with my parents we crashed on the floor at family/friends houses. I gave my parents 50% of my income once I started working part time at 14, then when dropped out of school at 15 I started working full time. (I earned my GED in my spare time). We would make a big pot of beans each week and pretty much eat it every night. Free school lunches helped A LOT since my parents didn't have to work out lunch for all of us most of the year. I have no ill will to my parents for requiring that we contribute. I started going door to door doing chores/yardwork starting at 8 to earn money to buy my own clothes. I know the value of what I have and will never forget it. Food is necessary, but that doesn't mean you get to eat things you like, or that you need any real variety. Clothing is great, but if you don't take care of it you won't have any. One pair of shoes is more than enough. A coat is great, but with layering you can do without. Our Christmas gifts consisted of "family" gifts like toasters, waffle irons and blow dryers. These were things that would make life easier and everyone would benefit from them. I will say that living in the NW I always liked the fact that we had a Christmas tree every year because trees are so abundant. I associate Christmas with Christmas trees more than I do with gifts.


Although I think quiet makes a great point- we do need to factor in when she was living on $25 a month for food and if she supplemented with food stamps or food banks. $25 a month now would not buy the same amount of food as it did in the 1980's. A basket of food in 1980 that cost $25 would cost $91 in 2010. That is still a great feat, but it does put things in perspective a bit. In the 90's my husband and I lived on about $1,000 a month (In Seattle, which isn't a cheap place to live) and had several hundred dollars left over each month.

The time I'm talking about was the mid to late 90's.  Smiley If it had been the 80's we would have done much better, me thinks. And if it happened now?  The same job would pay twice to three times as much as what I was making then. 
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« Reply #40 on: October 05, 2011, 05:54:16 PM »

This is my life. I actually DO work a warehouse job, making not much more than $9/hr. In one month, I apparently had a wedding, a funeral, got sick a couple times, had a pet also get sick, had a car accident and my child experienced an entire semester's-worth of school activity. Plus, what was mentioned above about other logical alternatives.

I'm sure these guys are doing good work, and living on that pay isn't easy...but it's only this bad if you're having an AWFUL month! C'mon.

EDIT: And, I finished the month with $78 dollars, btw.
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« Reply #41 on: October 05, 2011, 06:15:01 PM »

Yeah, I finished the month with $1,000-$1500 the two times I played.
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« Reply #42 on: October 05, 2011, 06:17:03 PM »

I've only had a year and a half period in my life where I made over $9/hr. Even making lower than that I kept up with my bills, had plenty of groceries, lived within a mile or two of work (in Chicago at that) and still had money left over for video games. Right now I would love even $7/hr.

In the game what killed me was the question about the credit cards. I've never had a credit card.
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« Reply #43 on: October 05, 2011, 06:31:47 PM »

I wound up with close to $1000 left over, but I am frugal.
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« Reply #44 on: October 05, 2011, 08:23:27 PM »

I wound up with close to $1000 left over, but I am frugal.

wow.

I am gonna have actually try the game.
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