making this work...?
ive posted about this before, "living expenses vs. wages", but i am still in wonder.
heres the deal: i am expecting my living expenses to be around $1000/month.
$600- minimum per month for place to live. (STX)
this leaves me $400 for everything else... bills, food, and gas. also- HEALTH INSURANCE. i heard that's expensive there.
i would need to work 40 hrs/week (no problem) and earn at least $8/hr (problem?)
so my question will be, "can i expect to find a job paying this and offering full time?" i realize 8/hr is not a high standard, but i have read how the average wage there is much lower than in the states.
i know some questions will be thrown back at me, so here are some answers: i plan on moving to STX. i plan on doing this in sept. so i will have at least a couple of months before season begins. i have worked in construction, restaurants, sales and child care. i have no specific profession. so i will be looking to do ANYTHING available.
with this in mind, can i make it? by the way, does the season begin in mid november or more around december on STX. i have read and heard different things.
You can find a job paying $8.00/hour but I wouldn't want to live here on that. Are you forgetting deposits on utilities, how much food costs, transportation? You'd be existing & that's it with no wiggle room for anything unexpected. Also, you'd be paying at least a portion of your health insurance IF your employer offered it. If not, then you can't afford it.
that is why i said "at least" 8/hr. no i'm not forgetting other expenses. i wrote food and gas. i'll bring enough money to make deposits and buy a vehicle. i'm not showing up broke.
ok. can i find something paying 10, 12, 15 $/hr? i wrote what experience i have. it's not as if i can walk into a specialized industry and find work. i will be looking for typical jobs a newcomer without a degree would. i.e.- working in a restaurant, on a boat, as a bartender, maybe a resort doing something, maybe the golf course. hell, i don't know.
i guess the bottom line would be this: can someone who has no idea what they want to do and no real qualifications other than previous part-time jobs come down with three months worth of money and expect to find something to do in order to make a decent living.
In my opinion, I would not want to live like that. You will probably have to find a roommate. And you will certainly have to have more than one job, more than 40 hours a week..
If you were coming down with a significant other or friend, it would be easier.
you had better take another look. I think you would need about 16.00 a hour to just live down here! As indicated on the board there are MANY MANY more things you will need to pay.
You have asked the right questions and have been given proper and sound advice. However the world is full of should have, would have , and could have people. You say your not going to make the move until September 2008, that's plenty of time to save for a 3 month excursion, ( Your anticipated arrival time isn't the best, "Off Season and Hurricane Season"). If you decide to take this Venture, buy a round trip ticket, that's your insurance.
At a $8:00 an hour job, is not enough to live or survive here (real world). But you could fall into something that pays more "right time/right place"! Good Luck on whatever you decide to do.
IN RESPONSE TO: "can someone who has no idea what they want to do and no real qualifications other than previous part-time jobs come down with three months worth of money and expect to find something to do in order to make a decent living."
A good number of statesiders are down here making and living off of $8 an hour or less (fulltime). They are in their early twenties mainly, without education or experience, and will not likely stay because it is hard to work your way up from that here, and paycheck to paycheck is frustrating.
One of my friend's fathers used to say, "It's hard living off $100 an hour in D.C." He wasn't joking, either. His standard of living required that amount and more. Yours may be different, so unless you want to define what you mean by decent, its hard to say.
I have a couple of friends living here, and living fairly considering the condition of the world, off $8 an hour, albeit without health insurance. They certainly run out of money for extras fairly often.
Arriving in September will not likely result in immediate employment. End of October/November is when hirings seem to start up.
I think a lot depends on how good you are at managing your money, what your priorities are and how determined you are to make things work. I know people here in the Los Angeles area that can't get by on $150,000 a year, and others that do just fine on $30,000.
At $8.00 Dollars per hour for 40 hours is $16,640.00 before tax's. St Croix Cost of living is approx 30% higher than Los Angeles.
As I don't live on the island yet, a little common since comes to mind for me.
"this leaves me $400 for everything else... bills, food, and gas. also- HEALTH INSURANCE"
There is no way you could meet your bills with $400 a month, just your food/necessities will come close to $400 a month if not more.
Health Insurance alone will be at least $200 a month for a single person.
Gas, electricity, cable, internet, car insurance, etc...will be easy a couple hundred a month if not more.
You will also need a big chunk of money in your pocket when you first arrive, as anywhere you stay will need first month +deposit.
I would have a hard time living on the mainland for $8 an hour.
Good luck in your adventure and anyone like me that is planning on a move of this magnitude needs to be very prepared mentally and financially.
I wasn't really addressing the $8/hr issue or comparing cost of lving in different areas. I was suggesting that attitude/lifestyle/spending habits plays a big part in how much you'll need to survive. Lots of people live way beyond their means, and if someone has trouble managing their money (lack of personal disapline) that should be taken into consideration before making this type of move.
"St Croix Cost of living is approx 30% higher than Los Angeles."
Where is this figure from? I would be interested to look at the cost of living analysis for the V.I. or St. Croix in particular.
STX is NOT more expensive than LA. That's just not true.
Letahl & Nugblazer,
Go to the top of this page, Click on Home and than center of page in blue click on cost of living.
Rentals in Southern California are definately more costly than in St. Croix!
Given the pointer that Lizard provided it appears that he is basing his claim "St Croix Cost of living is approx 30% higher than Los Angeles" on the following statement on the Virgin Islands Moving Center website: "Recent documents published by the Virgin Islands Legislature estimated that the cost of living in the Virgin Islands is on average 33% higher then most US jurisdictions."
The phrase "most U.S. jurisdictions" suggests that some expensive places to live stateside are more expensive than the USVI, and LA may be one of those places because it frequently shows up on lists of expensive places to live. In any case, the Virgin Islands Legislature isn't a reputable source of factual information.
"Recent documents published by the Virgin Islands Legislature estimated that the cost of living in the Virgin Islands is on average 33% higher then most US jurisdictions."
If the V.I. Legislature said it in unspecified documents then it must be true.
The composite COL index of L.A. is 153, which is by definition 53% higher than the average stateside locale... Even if the COL index of the V.I. were 133, using these stats it'd be substantially cheaper to live here than there.
OH, and my L.A. stat was from the ACCRA Cost of Living Index, which is the one the Census Bureau uses.
(Lest I forget my cites!) 🙂
I think maybe you should bring your complaint to Islander for publishing non reputable source of factual information.
I based my statement on the source supplied. If its wrong I'll retract without a problem. However what is the cola stat from ACCRA on ST Croix USVI your source.
I don't object to Islander citing disreputable sources; this is, after all, Islander's website. Islander did not try to apply the sweeping generalizations made by those disreputable sources to a specific city-to-island comparison. Islander wouldn't do something like that so there is no need to "complain" to Islander.
I wouldn't care to try to live in either place on $8.00 an hour which is the original post. Since the OP has a year before moving, maybe that time would be well spent learning a trade which will up his income. That would be helpful even if he changes his mind about coming here.
Islander published this information on the website with the source. You have called the source of information disreputable, one would think as a poster with such allegations, you would notify the publisher of such.
Also how do you think this nonsense plays with the OP questions, this is another stretch for you.
ACCRA cost of Living Index, Published by the Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER). Has a manual with a formula they use to compute the index numbers quarterly. the Number you gave 153 does not compute to 53% Higher than other areas. Also the figures for Los Angeles, are based on A married couple with one child, both working in the $70,000-$80,000 salary range, both are college Grads and in mid level mgt or higher. This information is protected by copyright. Stats can be skewed very often. Oh, and the US Gov References ACCRA only. Guess What they rely on "the USVI Gov for their numbers". Read the numbers do the formula and your going to be surprised.
So I'M still going to rely on the numbers from the VI Moving Center!
In any case, a single person, moving down and taking an $8 an hour job is going to have a problem surviving -- That is a fact, although I don't have any cites.