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Old 01-23-2010, 08:43 PM
 
7 posts, read 15,142 times
Reputation: 10
Default Salary in Delta Junction, Alaska

Hi. I would love to know what a family of 3 needs to earn a year before living can be comfortable in Delta Junction. By comfortable, I only mean it in the truest sense of the word...nothing lavish, nothing fine....we only need to pay the bills, have (2) vehicles that will crank, have cable, the internet, some type of phone, we'd like to eat more than berries but could live in a very small place. My husband hunts and just as soon as the state will allow it we would love to fill our freezer with moose. I would love to be able to travel across the country to see my family once a year (cost around $3,000.00 for a family of 3).

I can find lots of information about the increased cost of living in Delta Junction and Alaska in general, but nothing that specifically says how much we need to survive, comfortably. Any help would be GREATLY appreciated.
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Old 01-23-2010, 08:59 PM
 
Location: Anchorage
4,043 posts, read 4,808,853 times
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The food in Delta is pricy so most people drive to Fairbanks to shop, a 200 mile round-trip. There is no cable, you would need to buy a satellite system. The internet is dial-up still in Delta. Fuel has to be trucked to your house and is around 2-3 dollars a gallon and a small place can run through 5 gallons a day. There really aren't any jobs unless you work for the government or a government contractor on Ft. Greely. Cell phone coverage is really spotty if you aren't right in town. I would say you need to be making 75K per year just for a simple life, the cost of living estimates for Anchorage say to just afford a basic two-bedroom apt and pay very basic expenses you need to make 43K and everything in Delta is more expensive and harder to get.
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Old 01-24-2010, 12:15 AM
 
Location: Boise, Idaho
123 posts, read 145,457 times
Reputation: 67
HMMM...this is an interesting reality check for me. I've played around some with the cost of living comparison calculator Cost of Living comparison calculator but it only seems to list larger cities. I'll be moving from a TINY podunk town in eastern Oregon to Wasilla. I know my rent will triple (at least). My guess is that my food costs will not quite double. I've done the best I could to write out a budget of what I am spending on things per month now and then compare that to there.

I looked here for gas prices: Wasilla Gas Prices - Find the Lowest Gas Prices in Wasilla, Alaska

I was disappointed that the City of Wasilla cost of living chart has not been updated since 2007. Maybe they don't want to scare people off?

I was VERY HAPPY to find they do have high speed internet (http://www.mta-telco.com/Internet/index.php - broken link) available in the Mat-Su Valley. This is essential to me since in addition to my full time job I plan to continue with my online teaching I do for a college in Idaho. However, it's going to cost me big time.

So piece by piece I'm putting together an idea of what my budget will be like if I move to Alaska. I jokingly say it will be ok cause we'll live on moose meat and salmon, but the reality is that things will indeed cost more up there.

Still...I look at the pictures of those mountains and remember images of my last visit there....how can I put a price tag on that?

The most interesting exercise for me has been clarifying my own values about sorting out what are my wants and what are my needs and getting clear on what it means to me to have "enough". This is obviously different for everyone. While my sense is that in general people in Alaska are less caught up in defining their worth and life satisfaction by their material goods, people are people where ever they may be and I suppose there is some degree of relative deprivation even there... leading some folks to feel a sense of lack simply because they cannot afford what those around them typically have.

I know some folks who moved from here to Anchorage a few years ago. They say that while they still do appreciate the beauty, sometimes they feel discouraged by the fact they have to work so darn many hours to support their housing costs there is precious little time or money left over to go out and enjoy it. Here they are living in one of the most lovely places on the planet but they rarely get to go out and DO the wonderful things the area has to offer because a lot of those fun things take money they don't have. So their sense of "doing without" is NOT about missing shiny things, but rather feeling bad they can't afford a train trip to Seward or a guided moose hunt while many of their friends and family who come up on vacation from the lower 48 expect them to come with them to do those things.
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Old 01-24-2010, 12:38 AM
 
Location: Anchorage
4,043 posts, read 4,808,853 times
Reputation: 2202
Quote:
Originally Posted by malagagirl View Post
HMMM...this is an interesting reality check for me. I've played around some with the cost of living comparison calculator Cost of Living comparison calculator but it only seems to list larger cities. I'll be moving from a TINY podunk town in eastern Oregon to Wasilla. I know my rent will triple (at least). My guess is that my food costs will not quite double. I've done the best I could to write out a budget of what I am spending on things per month now and then compare that to there.

I looked here for gas prices: Wasilla Gas Prices - Find the Lowest Gas Prices in Wasilla, Alaska

I was disappointed that the City of Wasilla cost of living chart has not been updated since 2007. Maybe they don't want to scare people off?

I was VERY HAPPY to find they do have high speed internet (http://www.mta-telco.com/Internet/index.php - broken link) available in the Mat-Su Valley. This is essential to me since in addition to my full time job I plan to continue with my online teaching I do for a college in Idaho. However, it's going to cost me big time.

So piece by piece I'm putting together an idea of what my budget will be like if I move to Alaska. I jokingly say it will be ok cause we'll live on moose meat and salmon, but the reality is that things will indeed cost more up there.

Still...I look at the pictures of those mountains and remember images of my last visit there....how can I put a price tag on that?

The most interesting exercise for me has been clarifying my own values about sorting out what are my wants and what are my needs and getting clear on what it means to me to have "enough". This is obviously different for everyone. While my sense is that in general people in Alaska are less caught up in defining their worth and life satisfaction by their material goods, people are people where ever they may be and I suppose there is some degree of relative deprivation even there... leading some folks to feel a sense of lack simply because they cannot afford what those around them typically have.

I know some folks who moved from here to Anchorage a few years ago. They say that while they still do appreciate the beauty, sometimes they feel discouraged by the fact they have to work so darn many hours to support their housing costs there is precious little time or money left over to go out and enjoy it. Here they are living in one of the most lovely places on the planet but they rarely get to go out and DO the wonderful things the area has to offer because a lot of those fun things take money they don't have. So their sense of "doing without" is NOT about missing shiny things, but rather feeling bad they can't afford a train trip to Seward or a guided moose hunt while many of their friends and family who come up on vacation from the lower 48 expect them to come with them to do those things.

I feel frustrated that while I am earning more than I ever have, my standard of living has dropped so low in comparison. I used to rent fairly nice houses in ok neighborhoods, it was a struggle but it was doable. And that was when I was making less than $10 per hour! There is no way that I could afford to rent a house in Alaska, as a single woman. I can't even afford a 3 bedroom apartment, and I have a college education and a good job. I may have over-stated how much you need in Delta Junction, I'm sure many people are earning less. I don't know how happy they are though. There is a lot of alcohol and drug use and frequent burglaries in town. It can be a great place to be, especially in the summer, but you really have to be cut out for that kind of atmosphere. Wasilla at least has plenty of access to different grocery stores with more competitive prices.
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Old 01-24-2010, 01:31 AM
 
Location: Anchorage
1,929 posts, read 2,273,373 times
Reputation: 823
Is Delta your town of choice? Or do you have a job lined up there?

I lived in Delta for 8 years. We have lived there with as little as $700 a month. While we most certainly not living large we were very happy.

We moved out of town just after the Missile Base was finished and I know that during the construction boom of 2002-2005, things changed a LOT! People suddenly raised their rents 3 fold. A place that rented for $350 was now going for at least $900. Housing prices skyrocketed in hopes of selling it to the people working for the government making $30 - $50 a hour.

I'm not sure what things are like now that the construction has died down there. Did they go back to "normal"? I doubt it. There are still enough locals that have work on the base and make decent money for the area. ($17 a hour as a security guard or housekeeping)

The good thing about Delta though is that you can live very cheaply there is you want. It really depends on what type of lifestyle you want to lead. Are you going to be happy living in a dry cabin with a generator? Do you have to drive the newest car or will a paid for oldie-but-goodie work for you? Do you shop at REI for your outdoor gear of will Carharts and Walmart satisfy your needs?

If I were to guess an income that would let a family of 3 get by in Delta I'd have to say $36,000.
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Old 01-24-2010, 08:02 AM
 
7 posts, read 15,142 times
Reputation: 10
Default Delta Junction?

Quote:
Originally Posted by gobrien View Post
The food in Delta is pricy so most people drive to Fairbanks to shop, a 200 mile round-trip. There is no cable, you would need to buy a satellite system. The internet is dial-up still in Delta. Fuel has to be trucked to your house and is around 2-3 dollars a gallon and a small place can run through 5 gallons a day. There really aren't any jobs unless you work for the government or a government contractor on Ft. Greely. Cell phone coverage is really spotty if you aren't right in town. I would say you need to be making 75K per year just for a simple life, the cost of living estimates for Anchorage say to just afford a basic two-bedroom apt and pay very basic expenses you need to make 43K and everything in Delta is more expensive and harder to get.

Are you from or living in Delta Junction? Thanks for the information.
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Old 01-24-2010, 08:04 AM
 
7 posts, read 15,142 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by roadfamily6now View Post
Is Delta your town of choice? Or do you have a job lined up there?

I lived in Delta for 8 years. We have lived there with as little as $700 a month. While we most certainly not living large we were very happy.

We moved out of town just after the Missile Base was finished and I know that during the construction boom of 2002-2005, things changed a LOT! People suddenly raised their rents 3 fold. A place that rented for $350 was now going for at least $900. Housing prices skyrocketed in hopes of selling it to the people working for the government making $30 - $50 a hour.

I'm not sure what things are like now that the construction has died down there. Did they go back to "normal"? I doubt it. There are still enough locals that have work on the base and make decent money for the area. ($17 a hour as a security guard or housekeeping)

The good thing about Delta though is that you can live very cheaply there is you want. It really depends on what type of lifestyle you want to lead. Are you going to be happy living in a dry cabin with a generator? Do you have to drive the newest car or will a paid for oldie-but-goodie work for you? Do you shop at REI for your outdoor gear of will Carharts and Walmart satisfy your needs?

If I were to guess an income that would let a family of 3 get by in Delta I'd have to say $36,000.
I think we have a job lined up in Delta Junction. We have been struggling over the weekend whether to accept the offer (Monday is swiftly approaching!!!). The thing is, we really want to go! BUT, we are scared. I hear people need anywhere from 10,000.00 - 89,000.00. I realize it varies since their are so many different types of people in the world.

We do not want to live in a dry cabin. We would happy to drive
an "oldie-but-goodie". Walmarts and Carharts would be great! Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts. We welcome more!
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Old 01-24-2010, 12:43 PM
 
Location: Not far from Fairbanks, AK
12,616 posts, read 12,785,117 times
Reputation: 7514
Quote:
Originally Posted by malagagirl View Post
HMMM...this is an interesting reality check for me. I've played around some with the cost of living comparison calculator Cost of Living comparison calculator but it only seems to list larger cities. I'll be moving from a TINY podunk town in eastern Oregon to Wasilla. I know my rent will triple (at least). My guess is that my food costs will not quite double. I've done the best I could to write out a budget of what I am spending on things per month now and then compare that to there.

I looked here for gas prices: Wasilla Gas Prices - Find the Lowest Gas Prices in Wasilla, Alaska

I was disappointed that the City of Wasilla cost of living chart has not been updated since 2007. Maybe they don't want to scare people off?

I was VERY HAPPY to find they do have high speed internet (http://www.mta-telco.com/Internet/index.php - broken link) available in the Mat-Su Valley. This is essential to me since in addition to my full time job I plan to continue with my online teaching I do for a college in Idaho. However, it's going to cost me big time.

So piece by piece I'm putting together an idea of what my budget will be like if I move to Alaska. I jokingly say it will be ok cause we'll live on moose meat and salmon, but the reality is that things will indeed cost more up there.

Still...I look at the pictures of those mountains and remember images of my last visit there....how can I put a price tag on that?

The most interesting exercise for me has been clarifying my own values about sorting out what are my wants and what are my needs and getting clear on what it means to me to have "enough". This is obviously different for everyone. While my sense is that in general people in Alaska are less caught up in defining their worth and life satisfaction by their material goods, people are people where ever they may be and I suppose there is some degree of relative deprivation even there... leading some folks to feel a sense of lack simply because they cannot afford what those around them typically have.

I know some folks who moved from here to Anchorage a few years ago. They say that while they still do appreciate the beauty, sometimes they feel discouraged by the fact they have to work so darn many hours to support their housing costs there is precious little time or money left over to go out and enjoy it. Here they are living in one of the most lovely places on the planet but they rarely get to go out and DO the wonderful things the area has to offer because a lot of those fun things take money they don't have. So their sense of "doing without" is NOT about missing shiny things, but rather feeling bad they can't afford a train trip to Seward or a guided moose hunt while many of their friends and family who come up on vacation from the lower 48 expect them to come with them to do those things.
The cost of living expenses shown on the internet fail to tell you a few realities of living in Alaska. For example, one has to have a vehicle in good driving condition, and winterized, in order to go back and forth to work. Work requires a lot of driving, and so going to the grocery store, mall, and even the gas station. The vehicle uses a lot more gasoline during the winter months, and all the driving around adds a lot of mileage and wear to the vehicle and tires each year.

Another big expense are the utilities bills one must pay each month. Winters are long and cold, and to stay warm mostly boilers and furnaces that run on heating fuel, natural gas, and propane are used. However, while there is natural gas available to Anchorage residents, it's not available in the interior (Fairbanks and vicinity). Heating fuel is used in the interior, and sometimes it's quite expensive. While a small home in Anchorage can be heated for around $200.00 per month, sometimes it costs twice as much in the interior. Most homes in the interior have a buried heating-fuel tank in the backyard (500-gal. tank). Some winters when fuel is around $2.00 per gallon, it takes around $1,000 to fill the tank, but we have had winters where it cost nearly $4.00 per gallon. Depending on the price of heating fuel, it could take from $350.00 to $550.00 per month to heat a small home in the interior.

On top of that, add the high property tax (around $3,000 per year for small home), around $300.00 a year for pumping the septic tank, and over $200.00 for electricity per month year around.
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Old 01-24-2010, 02:33 PM
 
Location: Boise, Idaho
123 posts, read 145,457 times
Reputation: 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by RayinAK View Post
The cost of living expenses shown on the internet fail to tell you a few realities of living in Alaska. For example...
This is EXACTLY the sort of info I need to know as I prepare to head north. Thank you so much for the specifics.

It seems to me the only cost I'm really going to have much control over will be housing - how big and what type of house I buy is going to determine how much pie is left of my income and savings nestegg. My mantra these days is downsize, downsize. Still, I've been reminded that a MORE expensive house may be better in the long run if it is more energy efficient. Lots to consider!
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Old 01-24-2010, 03:23 PM
 
Location: Anchorage
4,043 posts, read 4,808,853 times
Reputation: 2202
Quote:
Originally Posted by jillyjames View Post
Are you from or living in Delta Junction? Thanks for the information.
Yes, born and raised , but I don't live there now, my adult kids are still residents, however. Who is your job offer with?
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