refer to the attached document for details.
(Monica) A summary of my decision-making process starts with flipping through ads to find a job, I was concerned with what companies offered for pay, the type of work I would be doing, and how long would the job last. There were a few companies that were only looking to hire temporarily and again not an ideal situation if I am already concerned with having a steady income. Between the three ads, Office temp, a server at a restaurant making $2.13hr plus tips with hours varying, and a warehouse position, starting at $14Hr with hours from 12 pm to 7 pm. I chose to pick the warehouse position since it offers the most money and a set schedule. Continuing with the simulation, my monthly take-home pay after taxes is $1,224, making my weekly pay only $306. Ideally $1,224 is not enough funds to help sustain a family, barely one person. During this time, I have to pick my insurance, which is a requirement through the Affordable Care Act. Luckily my child is covered and I picked the cheapest plan that I could afford, the bronze plan and it costs $303 a month, which averages to almost $76 a paycheck. I have to ensure I have a place to live, paying rent over $720 and traveling puts my monthly rental and traveling costs at more than 800 dollars a month. The results of me living further away from my job, so that my rent is lower also increased gas costs. According to the simulation, every working household that saves a dollar spends 77 cents on transportation. My balance jumps from $1000 to $192 after paying rent only to find out my apartment is too small for my things, so I chose to have a yard sale. I only made $150 from the yard sale and made the decision to get paid by the piece, since I am barely making a living wage on an hourly paycheck, and in doing so my paycheck decreased by 25cents. I skipped my grandfathers memorial service because I can not afford to travel, I paid $25 to replace a broken item I fixed, even though considered hiding the evidence. Grocery shopping is next on my to-do list, spending only 30 for things I needed, I felt was hardly enough food, but could not really afford to splurge and spend on extra things. During this time my stress levels are at an all-time high, but I turn the offer for a cigarette down because I do not want to get addicted. As a result, the simulation states there is a misconception that smoking relieves stress during difficult situations in life.
Now that I have come to payday, I decided to start my fitness journey by asking a friend to be my running partner. On the way to work, something blew in the car and needed to get fixed, and asking a friend to look at the issue saved money. The landlord decided to raise rent and $150 had to be paid or I could spend more on legal fees fighting it in court. On the way out to work, someone stole my gas from my car, so I had to make the decision to take the bus and the result where it took me three buses and fives times longer to get there, making me miss a few hours of pay. A friend of a friend needed a place to stay, and I needed more income, which I accepted. The results conclude as Barbara Ehrenreich discovered in Nickel and Dimed, the high cost of rent often forces people to share housing. My child has come down with the flu, so instead of sending them to school sick or leaving them home alone, I decided to take a day off work, which deducts a day of pay and gives me a second strike at work. My roommate is finally giving me problems with staying up and partying all the time, I made the decision to put up with it because it would be a greater cost to try and evict him. The results state many people are forced into complicated situations because they are unable to afford better options.
I made it through the simulation with only $257 dollars. Most of my decisions were made to save money and maximize any earnings or opportunities. The idea of living paycheck to paycheck to simply make ends meet is certainly no ideal situation for any individual. And going through the simulation brought about many questions and concerns if I were in such a situation. Even though that was indeed a simulation, it should hit home for everyone because any individual could be faced with extreme circumstances that would change ones situation or status. Simply draining ones savings to save their home, going broke to look for a job, or spending savings to pay for a major operation health insurance denied paying for are prime examples of Ehrenreichs meaning of Its expensive to be poor.
McKinney and Urban Ministries of Durham. (2011, February). Spent. SPENT. Retrieved March 28, 2022, from https://playspent.org/ (Links to an external site.)
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