Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Lost City Of Refuge

I'm so sick of seeing listings for low-income housing. And I don't care if I'm being stereotypical here, but low-income housing often makes a person think 'shit-hole'. Please, correct me if I'm wrong. Like, with examples and address and phone numbers and maybe even an application to rent. And another thing, do they really need to rub it in that seniors have some really nice places to live that don't cost arms and legs in rent?

And another thing, is there a money tree around I don't know about? Yesterday I 'crunched some numbers' to try to figure out some possible living situations. I started with my "real" job and then added in what I can make at Barnes and Noble. Then I subtracted my expenses (car payment, dad loan payment, student loan payment, GASOLINEKILLME, etc.) and got to a rough estimate of what I would have leftover each month. But wait a second, where is that money now? Ever since I had to pay taxes back in April I've been off.

ANYWAY, my point is, how do people afford to live in NOVA? Because, I know I don't make some huge amount of money, but I have known people who worked retail full-time and still lived up there. Are they just in crazy debt or something? Do people not have car payments anymore? I do not understand. When I first moved back from the magical land of cheap rent that is Richmond, I had an interview up in Chantilly at a contractor type place. I was really excited at the thought of making, get this, $12 and hour. Like, I thought I'd be ROLLING in the dough with that. (Remember, in Richmond I worked at an athletic center and Barnes and Noble...I was in school part of it, too.) But now that I make more than that (thank goodness), I can't imagine how a person could live in that area making $12/hour. And that's before taxes.

Someone explain this to me. And also tell me somewhere cheap to live in NOVA near GMU;)


rooroo said...

i don't know that much about the area you live in, but i hear you barking, dawg. (i think) i make decent money and still struggle with rent and bills, and i don't even have a car payment (just student loans and a small credit card payment). i don't know how people who make less or have children do it... i guess it's a trade off, paying for things with credit, living without cable, and hardcore budgeting.

Anonymous said...

ROOMMATES. It's the only way to go. Rena has a SUPER good job, but she says all the time that as long as she's single she'll always have to have a roommate to make it up there. Right now she's living in a house with three other people and still pays $500 a month in rent. It's rediculous.

And I'm willing to bet that the people who live in NOVA working retail fulltime probably had the following things going on (as my former rommate was in this exact situation, and ALL of the following were true for her):
1. No car payment...parents bought it for them.
2. No car insurance...parents pay for it.
3. No cell phone bill...still on their parent's plan.
4. Either no student loan payments, or payments deferred and aren't paying them off yet.
5. Totally living off their credit card and spending money they don't have.

Miss Scarlet said...

Rooroo- OMG the thought of supporting children baffles and scares me. Awwww but BABIES! HAHA!

Cindy- Oh yeah, you are so right. I'm not even going to lie that I'm not helped out by being on my parents car insurance (although I pay it) and having my dad loan me the money for my bassoon interest free, but there are definitely some people who have it HELLA good. What I wonder is how people can afford to go out to bars all the time. That shits expensive! Water for me=/

Anonymous said...

In Richmond we started going to this place that had $1 drinks from 3-7 every Friday night. The only bad part was that unless you wanted to start shelling out the real money, your night was over at 7!

Anonymous said...

Also, have you checked Craig's List? That's where Rena found her place...

KassyK said...

Think its bad in NOVA?!...Try nice areas in DC where I live...its obscene. I don't have a car (getting one back soon and luckily its been paid off) but btwn insurance and parking spot I am already freaking out. I live alone in a studio bc the idea of sharing a house with other people after living alone for 6 years is horribly disturbing (I am super super independent).

If I had to share a home-I'd move home to Jers and live for free in my parents big, pretty house for free. BUT that's just me. :-) Or I'd get a big enough place where I had my own space with a friend I trusted to not bring home random guys or let out my precious kitty onto the street.

I don't get how they do it either. For me I racked up CC bills at 24 and now I am paying the price 3 years later so maybe when you are younger sharing a place does make more sense.

Yikes-Rant. :-)

Cheryl said...

Maybe they all have side businesses, possibly illegal ones. I have been there on budgets. I agree with the roommate suggestions.

Dizzie said...

I balance my checkbook. Don't have a clue where money goes, still. And heck, I've got a MSBA in business - how sad is that? :)

What gets to me is, 'low-income' (quotation marks, because not everybody, but yeah, there are some that claim they are low income when they so apparently are not) people afford houses with pools, and over here, 'middle-income' live in rented apartments and have loans up to their nostrils (were that water, they'd drown), and still think they are well off! Perspective, people!!!!

Unknown said...

Sing it, sister! I'm so over the cost of living in this area and the fact that I have to have a part-time job just to have some extra money just to have fun.

Miss Scarlet said...


I've been checking CL, but get bored and end up looking up apartments in CT.

Kassyk- I actually do live with the 'rents...Shhhh!!!! They're cool though and I live in between work and school so it works out. What blows my mind is that apartments out HERE cost almost as much as NOVA. SICK!!!!!

Cheryl- Yeah, I've been patient about getting another apt bc I don't want a roommate. My sister would be different though.

Heart of Darkness- I KNOW! I want a pool!

Flameon- I understand high rent in cities. I'm fine with that. But Centreville? Manassas? BEALETON? WTF?!

Anonymous said...

I have no idea how I afforded to live before actually getting a decent salary. I had the full deal - car payment, apartment, insurance, student loans. Maybe that's why I never had a girlfriend - I WAS POOR! Of course it helps to live in the Philly area which when compared to DC/Nova is dirt cheap.

Dizzie said...

I want a pool as well! I just don't have any place to put it... my balcony? :)