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For the last year I have been living paycheck to paycheck. Although, in the beginning, it was easy because I did not have much to pay for. Just the usual rent and food to get me through the next two weeks.
It started to get tough around ten days before my birthday. My car had given up on me (well I on it) and I was in a position to make a decision. There were two options for me, either buy a new car or stick with my car and keep paying mechanic fees. I chose to buy a new car.
Thats when it all started.
I went to the dealership not expecting to leave with a car. Being twenty-one living paycheck to paycheck you become accustomed to having nothing. That day I drove off with a new car, a new bill, and a headache for three days. The payments are not bad at all, it is just that I don't have money to even put gas in my own car. Each and everyday it seemed to become harder for me. My paychecks stayed the same, but my finances increased. When a person does not have a way to pay bills and get food for themselves it becomes hard to survive on minimum wage.
On top of all of these new responsibilities, heartache hit my family. My oldest niece was diagnosed with cancer. At this time I was going back and forth between two states. Staying at the hospital when I could and putting mileage on my car. I was very thankful for getting my car but these finances did not disappear.
After a few months of going back and forth to spend time with my niece, my bills became a rollercoaster. I would pay them off then have to use them again. This went on for longer than it should have, and my minimum wage job did not help anything really. Thankfully my niece did great with her treatment and now she is cancer free. I am still living paycheck to paycheck and do not know how to handle the stress.
As a finally graduated college student, you would think that I would have a job and make better money. That is one thing that colleges do not tell you. You are not guaranteed a job after college. Some days I regret going to college as well because now I have another bill to pay each month. Mind you the college bill is more expensive than my car! Yet I am suppose to pay rent, feed my animals, feed myself, have gas for two weeks and pay all the bills on time.
One day I will understand being an adult, but for right now I want to say how does anyone survive on minimum wage? How are we expected to go to college for two to four years learn everything we need to know and still have to compete for jobs and money? I want to know how much sense it makes, that a person like me does not have enough money left over to buy food after bills are payed, but still can not be considered for food stamps. I would like to know how this generation is suppose to survive and make a living. I question everyday if I will ever be able to buy a house, have kids, and settle down. I do not want worry where my next meal will come from or if it will ever come. I know I am not the only twenty-one year old out here struggling to get by. I appreciate the tools we are given to plan and conquer our futures, but why are we given these tools if they do not apply to an average life?
I believe in money management but you can not survive on a minimum wage paycheck, end of story!