What do you do when it costs more to ...

What do you do when it costs more to have a job than it does to stay home?

Posted in the Big Rapids Forum

Since: Oct 08

Big Rapids, MI

#1 Oct 6, 2008
By my calculations, the cost of employment for a job in West Michigan is around $11 per hour. This takes in account childcare, gas, vehicle maintenance and incidental expenses. With considerations to taxes, insurance, and the cost of employment an $18 per hour position will bring home between $.70 and $5.20 per hour contingent on the factors that influence the cost of the job. A single parent of two is on the lower end of this scale while a two-parent household working opposing shifts is on the higher.
As our cost of living is rising, many of us are finding it very difficult to maintain a productive household on our current income. With little to no assistance available from the government to those families that earn a modest income, where can regular people who are working to improve their situations turn for support and assistance? The government is pushing those with employment issues to seek education. The elephant in the room is the income for a position that requires a degree is significantly decreasing while the cost of that degree is rising. While out society, government and culture is promoting debt as the logical solution to get things like an education, these vary entities seemingly turn their back when a downturn of events financially consumes the households that have made strides for better employment and self-improvement..
As a stay at home parent of two young children and a handful of credits remaining until the completion of my bachelor’s degree, I am trying to answer the most difficult question that has ever been posed to me and probably many of you. While my wife is our primary breadwinner holding down a good job, her income alone is no longer sufficient to support our family. What are we to do?
Our income is just over the food stamp cut off and well past the limits for welfare and other similar programs. Sick to death with debt and up to our eyebrows in finance charges we are looking for some type of means to help overcome and cope with these issues. With our college loans equal to that of our mortgage while relying on our credit cards to bridge the gap between paychecks, the recent spike in West Michigan’s cost of living has only added insult to injury.
As with most of you, my family is working to escape the clutches of the economic depravity that is sweeping through Michigan like a virus. I cannot afford to stay at home and I cannot afford to get a job, what options do I have?
To those of you who are in a similar situation, trying to answer the question,“What do you do when it costs more to have a job than it does to stay home?” I say follow your passions, reach for your dream and realize that there is more to life than the pursuit and accumulation of money. I as ponder and pray about this question day-after-day, I have come to realize that helping others is my passion and reaching out to those who have no one else to turn to is my dream.
Understanding that good intentions do not pay the bills, I am also reaching out to my community for help while encouraging you to do the same. In starting my individual benevolence drive, I have come to realize that there is a desperate need for aid in our community amongst those who have a home, job, cars and degrees. There is no shame in reaching out and if you have found yourself in a similar situation, search for help and do not let your pride slow you down.
I am endorsing a push for the rebirth of community support. For more information about my quest or for help developing your own please feel free to contact me at [email protected] I ask every one of you as you ponder my request to keep in mind that despite the letters that follow someone’s name, BA, MBA, JD, DO, the fact stands that we all have been in need of a little help.

Brian Douglas

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