This is fascinating. No debt, and having trouble making ends meet on 30,000 a year? Does this young girl have children or outrageous medical bills she forgot to mention? I only make 30K a year and I live pretty comfortably…. What is she squandering her money on that is causing this failure to “make ends meet”?
I am 25 years old.
Very lucky to have a college degree and no debt.
But my career is in progressive politics — working for labor unions, campaigns and nonprofits — and I can’t afford to make ends meet in a Big City, on the $30,000 average salaries these jobs pay. Now I’m 1000s in credit card debt.
How can young people like me change the world, stand up for what we believe in, and still get ahead?
I am the 99%. #occupywallstreet
Look at your life. Look at your choices.
True story: there was a time when my family of 4 lived on about 13,000 US. Honey, please.
“How can I change the world and get ahead in life?!”
I think this is what is called #whitepeopleproblems and ‘I should have taken a class in finance or at least learned how to balance a checkbook while I was in college getting my totally useless degree’.
So let’s ignore the fact that this girl obviously doesn’t realize that non-profit means, um, ‘not for profit’, nor are labour union, campaign, and nonprofit jobs really consistent in goals or necessarily positively affecting the world, and look at that $30,000/yr salary.
First off, ‘these jobs’ is so insanely vague I cannot even begin to understand how she came up with an across-the-board figure.I used to work for a non-profit in high school, earning $8/hr (that’s above minimum wage in Texas; holla’ for skilled labour!) and in recent years looking into for-profit charity, I’ve read that a reasonable salary for CEOs of nonprofits is $100,000-200,000 (not that I think this is reasonable if you want to attract talent, but that goes back to the many reasons I’m for for-profit charity). So that’s a relatively large spectrum.
Working for campaigns. Well. The salaries for this range from $0 (volunteer) to hundreds of thousands, probably even millions for ones running high-profile, well-funded campaigns. That is a huge spectrum.
I don’t know much about the inner-workings of labour unions, because it makes me nauseated, but unions are insanely wealthy and are virtually hemorrhaging money which they extort from unwilling workers in non-right-to-work states (ahem Massachusetts).
If you know anything about mean (average) salary, you probably know that it can be extremely skewed in some cases, and that median salary might be a better reflection of earning potential (not that this girl clarifies whether this is average overall or average starting salary—the latter is pretty much always deceptively low, in most industries, because, uh, you have no experience and are therefore pretty useless). You should also know that there are far more people at the bottom than the top. Obviously, you can’t be the manager of half of a person. That means that the lower salaries drag down the mean, because they ‘count’ more than the higher salaries. This relates to what is called a ‘spread’ blah blah statistics blah blah percentile blah blah di-blah. So yeah, this girl is vague to the point of irrelevance.
I mean, if you want a $50,000/yr starting salary, get a degree in finance, engineering, computer programming, or some related field. But that’s a want, not a need—my dad used to give me that lecture all the time when I was younger, but maybe it takes a MA in Finance to prepare your kids for the real world. When I was considering selling my soul to work on Wall Street for a six figure starting salary, it was because I was planning on being $80,000+ in debt, not because that level of income is at all necessary for financial well-being—I would know, I’m an Economics major (a.k.a. a glorified Finance major with a slightly higher mean starting salary and more Indians/fewer white people).
To put this in perspective, my mother’s income is $12,000/yr, all from the rental income of one apartment (because my mother cannot afford to support me, I have become financially independent at 19). My mother needs several surgeries, including a knee replacement, correction of a herniated disk in her lower back, and a brain tumor. Her insurance costs alone take up about half of her income. I am a full-time student earning $0/yr and pay all of my own bills, including insurance ($1,200/yr), which I cannot go without because my ADHD (and its comorbid OCD and depression) is too severe for me to forgo my otherwise $2,000/yr Adderall and my chronic (daily) migraines are too debilitating and frequent for me to forgo my otherwise $1,600/yr migraine medication. My rent is $525/mo +electricity. I am living relatively comfortably on the money I’ve saved since high school and while I worry sometimes, I am not complaining. People like the girl in this picture exemplify what is wrong with America; she probably wouldn’t know austerity or actual financial hardship if it hit her in the face.
One last thing: SHE NEVER MENTIONS THE FIELD IN WHICH SHE RECEIVED HER DEGREE. IF IT IS ZOOLOGY, MEDIEVAL WEAPONRY, OR GEOLOGY, SHE PROBABLY SHOULDN’T BE EARNING VERY MUCH IN POLITICS. Not all degrees are created equal. You are not entitled to not being laughed out of an employer’s office.
I just thought I’d point out that my mother makes less than $20,000, we lease a townhouse, I go to a private school, we have two cars, and I regularly indulge in Starbucks coffee.
If you’re not able to live on $30,000 with absolutely no debt, then you’re doing it wrong.
You’re. doing. it. wrong.