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Old 09-03-2011, 01:49 AM
 
Location: New Hope, MN
2,030 posts, read 4,192,094 times
Reputation: 812

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Quote:
Originally Posted by GBCommenter View Post
I really have to speak up as once again Golfgal is going beyond having pride in the part of MN she lives and highly skewing the picture.
Thank you for providing a different perspective.
Quote:
Originally Posted by GBCommenter View Post
I won't go so far as to say GG was specifically calling me a 19-year-old, but I find it generally a pretty offensive comment to snidely characterize most regular commenters on this forum as "19-year-olds". I personally am a little over twice that and given most of the regular commenters speak about the houses they own I'm willing to bet they are not "19-year-olds".
Even though she said "Take it from someone older then 19 like a lot of people here, move to a small town until your husband finishes his degree." I think she was referring to just me, because I am 19 and have been here for a few years and a lot of the regulars here probably know im only 19.


Quote:
Originally Posted by GBCommenter View Post
The part GG seems to forget is there are plenty of people who do it everyday and live just fine...
This is what I tried to say earlier

Quote:
Originally Posted by Radical_Car View Post
Lots of people with very little money survive in big cities everywhere, it's possible to make it work.
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Old 09-03-2011, 07:31 AM
 
Location: Lacey, WA
291 posts, read 896,039 times
Reputation: 103
Awesome, thanks so much for that run down!!
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Old 09-03-2011, 08:20 AM
 
20,793 posts, read 52,433,355 times
Reputation: 10476
Quote:
Originally Posted by GBCommenter View Post
I really have to speak up as once again Golfgal is going beyond having pride in the part of MN she lives and highly skewing the picture. She is not doing a service to the OP and her questions.



In previous threads and posts, Golfgal has had a highly skewed description of Minneapolis neighborhoods. She lives in a suburb called Rosemount, which is a fine suburb. There is no problem having pride in where you choose to live or even to defend another city such as Marshall. However, in those previous posts, GG seems bent on depicting every block of Minneapolis as crime-ridden ghettos. It's simply not true and I wouldn't even bother to speak on this other than I don't want the OP to have a skewed impression of Minneapolis. For the record, I don't live in Minneapolis - I live in a suburb called Roseville by choice. However, I have previously lived in Minneapolis and lived quite safely.

Of course there are neighborhoods that are not particularly attractive or safe, but on whole there are many good neighborhood that whether GG wants to believe or not you can find a good basic apartment you could afford (again assuming both your husband and you are working - I'll get to that in a moment).

As far as the bus, a monthly pass that will cover most fares is $85/month (Home - Metro Transit). Furthermore, many schools have arrangements with Metrotransit for reduced fares your husband could check out. There is information on their website.

I will defend GG and say $600/month is not an entirely unreasonable amount to pay for rent. You can find that in a basic apartment in neighborhoods in Minneapolis that may not be the sexiest neighborhoods in Minneapolis but safe and functional. Some ideas for a more objective look is look up the crime maps on City's website and compare them to the neighborhood map also on their website. When you find a neighborhood that appears safe, start a craigslist search for those neighborhoods. You will find apartments in that area.



I won't go so far as to say GG was specifically calling me a 19-year-old, but I find it generally a pretty offensive comment to snidely characterize most regular commenters on this forum as "19-year-olds". I personally am a little over twice that and given most of the regular commenters speak about the houses they own I'm willing to bet they are not "19-year-olds".

I will say, however, you should consider carefully about debt taken on for school expenses and have a conversation with your husband about whether it is better to have him go to school and work less now (and go without some items in the present) to have more financial stability and wherewithal later. To that point, GG is giving you valuable advice and you will have to decide if you want to live in a smaller town with lower rents so you can pay cash for school versus take on loans (though it is possible to pay cash).. That said, depending on his level of discipline it is very conceivable to finish a degree in less than 8 years and work - plenty of people do it. I achieved my general college credits while working basically fulltime in the "normal" two years at Minneapolis Community and Technical College in downtown. I had a roommate and my father didn't pay my way.



Again, it's fine to be biased or have pride in where you live, and it is also fine to raise points that OP may not have considered. However, it is unbecoming of yourself and of a moderator to make outlandish statements that are not giving the OP a fair and reasonable picture or speaking to her particular situation she's shared with us.

As far as my math, I will stress that my numbers are based on both of you working FT and at $12/hour. If you husband does not work at all, then obviously your takehome pay is halved to about $1200/month. I would agree that will stretch the budget pretty thin. However, as I mentioned about myself I worked and went to school (and, BTW, I have no student debt).

I would agree parking the car and busing it will help - again a month pass is $85/month. Even with two of them it would be less than a car (most likely). I'm not sure where GG is coming up with $150/month on utilities, however. I pay about $30 for electricity (and that's with the AC which will likely be ending soon). There is no gas bill, no water or sewer as it's included in my rent (and in most rents, though not completely assured). You don't HAVE to have cable (and I don't as I don't watch enough TV to justify the expense). You don't HAVE to have internet (husband could use school's or either of you could use library - not as convenient but saves you $40/month minimum), phone - do you HAVE to have a cell phone? AT&T or Verizon may want you to think so but the world turned just fine without it and you can too if necessary. I'm also not sure where GG is picking the "$800/month" number.
For auto insurance, I pay half that and again if the OP needed could park the car and take the bus. For medical, you presume she buys it and it is $200/month. Her husband may well get it from his school and there is no legal compulsion to buy health insurance (I'll save my off-topic comments on that issue).

For the OP - let me offer a potential reasonable budget for Minneapolis:

Rent - $600
Groceries for 2 - $400
Electricity - $30
Phone (you could get a basic landline) -$40
Auto insurance - $100
Gas for auto (based on $3.85/gal, 1000 miles driven a month, 22 mpg) - $175
Personal items such as T.P., soap, etc - $100
Bus pass - $85
$ towards school expenses (let's average it out for our purposes) - $200
Entertainment - $ 150 (not extensive, but gets you to the movies once in a while, and there's plenty of free stuff to do)
Let's say you purchase health insurance (which isn't yet required by law) - $200
Miscellaneous fund for unusual expenses such as a car repair - $100
Total = $2180.00

That is below the $2500 monthly income I suggested the two of you could make on those $12/hour jobs (and on my take home number I took 1/3 of gross pay to try to factor in some insurance premiums). Therefore, your hubby could work less than FT if he desired, or you could have extra income now to save or otherwise spend. Furthermore, play around with these numbers and you could reduce your expenses (i.e. park the car and buy another bus pass, would reduce your expenses about $190, or spend less than $150/month for entertainment)

Furthermore, what is to say you couldn't find a roommate to split expenses and rent? Perhaps not ideal, but could reduce your rent if desired.

My point is this: GG is correct you'll likely have lower expenses in a smaller city or town, and you could find jobs if desired. This would allow you to do what you want and perhaps have more cash. However, if you want to live in Minneapolis it is possible and you could achieve what you want without taking on lots of loans that will straddle you later.

The part GG seems to forget is there are plenty of people who do it everyday and live just fine...
And after this tirade you have STILL totally missed the point--WHY live paycheck to paycheck if you don't have to???? Minneapolis is NOT the be all/end all either, which you seem to think it is. Again, $600/month in rent in Minneapolis is NOT going to land you in a nice neighborhood no matter WHAT you think. Just by NOT living in Minneapolis they will save over $200/MONTH or more. Why not live where it is the least expensive while you are going to school THEN move to the major metro area? I guess I just don't get WHY you would want to have to scrimp and save when you don't have to??? It's a means to an end... Substitute Morris, Bemidji, Crookston for Marshall if you want-I can't comment about those places specifically for jobs, etc. because I haven't lived there. What is so hard to understand about that?
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Old 09-03-2011, 08:57 AM
 
Location: Home in NOMI
1,635 posts, read 2,052,116 times
Reputation: 740
Quote:
Originally Posted by golfgal View Post
When we were in the "young adult" age we had plenty to do with other people our same age.
Of course, back then they didn't have AIDS...

Kids these days! When I was a young adult, we'd find our fun in Des Moines by hiking down to the rail yard bridge and watching them unload the trucks at the Stop & Shop.

I need to back up GG by saying a $600/mo apartment in Mpls is likely going to involve roaches and bedbugs. But the bus service is OK, and if you rent near the light rail it's a breeze to get into town.
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Old 09-03-2011, 08:57 AM
 
Location: Lacey, WA
291 posts, read 896,039 times
Reputation: 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by golfgal View Post
And after this tirade you have STILL totally missed the point--WHY live paycheck to paycheck if you don't have to???? Minneapolis is NOT the be all/end all either, which you seem to think it is. Again, $600/month in rent in Minneapolis is NOT going to land you in a nice neighborhood no matter WHAT you think. Just by NOT living in Minneapolis they will save over $200/MONTH or more. Why not live where it is the least expensive while you are going to school THEN move to the major metro area? I guess I just don't get WHY you would want to have to scrimp and save when you don't have to??? It's a means to an end... Substitute Morris, Bemidji, Crookston for Marshall if you want-I can't comment about those places specifically for jobs, etc. because I haven't lived there. What is so hard to understand about that?
My point is that rent may be cheaper in a small city but I worry about the job prospects compared to a larger city.
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Old 09-03-2011, 10:13 AM
 
91 posts, read 217,424 times
Reputation: 103
If he goes to school full time in the cities the housing allowance here is around $1400/mo (E-5 w/dep for the Us zip). That only applies to the months he is in school. If you work as well you guys will do fine where ever you decide on. If he wants to work part time as well that gives you more of a cushion. Make sure that you save for the partial months of classes since you dont get the full amount for those months. Tuition at UMN or anyof the MNSCU schools is fully covered. If he is doing sciences or math you may need to save extra for books. He will get a stipend depending on how many credits he takes, I found it wasnt always enough since books for some of those classes are beyond outrageous.

MCTC has some good programs for vets returning to school. He would probably want to start at community college no matter where you go as they will offer more preparatory classes. Tuition differences wont matter as long as he is not going to a private school since he wont have to pay them.
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Old 09-03-2011, 10:57 AM
 
20,793 posts, read 52,433,355 times
Reputation: 10476
Quote:
Originally Posted by Melissa82 View Post
My point is that rent may be cheaper in a small city but I worry about the job prospects compared to a larger city.
Again, not an issue in Marshall. I would be shocked with your experience if you didn't have at least 2 offers within days of interviewing. Also, I know for a fact that the major employers offer tuition assistance as well, so that is nice. It's a smaller town but it is the regional shopping/employment center and the population during the day swells to close to 60,000 people. There is a lot more to do there and more places to work then then most towns with similar populations. Because so many people THINK there is nothing to do there, they do have a hard time finding enough people to move to town to take jobs. It's worth looking into. If your DH does want to get into computer programming, he is almost guaranteed a job in Marshall when he graduates--and a very nice salary too. Again, life experiences tell me that you will be better off in the long run living in a cheep place while he is taking classes. Why add financial stress to your situation when you don't have to?
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Old 09-03-2011, 11:07 AM
 
Location: Lacey, WA
291 posts, read 896,039 times
Reputation: 103
Thanks again, everyone!

My husband said he would prefer to start at a community college for 2 years then move up to a university, depending on what he decides to get into. I've been looking at job opportunities in Marshall and Rochester and it seems pretty promising.

I really don't want to leave my job here, it's great but the pay isn't. I think moving to MN may be the thing for us.

Now, taking a look at the BAH rates, we would get $1400 in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area and $1014 in the Rochester area. Based on everything I've been describing, I'd think Minneapolis would be better since we get more money for him going to school unless you guys really think the $400 difference is worth going to say Rochester. Marshall is even less, it's $921.
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Old 09-03-2011, 12:01 PM
 
989 posts, read 1,439,574 times
Reputation: 928
Quote:
Originally Posted by golfgal View Post
And after this tirade you have STILL totally missed the point--WHY live paycheck to paycheck if you don't have to???? Minneapolis is NOT the be all/end all either, which you seem to think it is. Again, $600/month in rent in Minneapolis is NOT going to land you in a nice neighborhood no matter WHAT you think. Just by NOT living in Minneapolis they will save over $200/MONTH or more. Why not live where it is the least expensive while you are going to school THEN move to the major metro area? I guess I just don't get WHY you would want to have to scrimp and save when you don't have to??? It's a means to an end... Substitute Morris, Bemidji, Crookston for Marshall if you want-I can't comment about those places specifically for jobs, etc. because I haven't lived there. What is so hard to understand about that?
If I thought Minneapolis was the "be all/end all", why do I live in Roseville, especially when I work in downtown/University area?

Melissa - GG will have the opinions of Minneapolis she will have and I'm not going to change that opinion. However, let me share a few thoughts to hopefully be helpful to you

Here is one example of what $600/month will buy you:
(sorry, I couldn't get a full picture of this...I saved it on my computer though)
http://minneapolis.craigslist.org/hnp/apa/2577346957.html (broken link)


And, the Minneapolis Police Department crime report for July:
http://www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/poli...me_Reports.PDF Seems the pic only shows the first page...go to the link and look for St. Anthony East)



330 Monroe is in St. Anthony East...not absolutely crime-free but well on the lower end. St. Anthony East is not the coolest and trendiest; rather a blue-collar feel about it. However, within about a 15 minute walk of downtown or the #10 line is about 2 blocks away (which runs about every 10 minutes most of the day). There are some neighborhood bars if you're interested in that, other neighborhood shops, a Lunds grocery store nearby (though Lunds is not known to be particularly cheap, you might want to look to another store), there is a large strip mall probably about a 5-10 minute drive with a Target, Rainbow Grocery (less expensive than Lunds), Home Depot, and other shops.

As far as constantly scrimping, I suspect you are smart enough to look at the proposed budget I suggested, tailor it to your needs/wants on expenses and/or time, and decide how much you will need to "scrimp". However, on the budget of $2500 take-home between two jobs and expenses of $2200 you would seem to have about $300 of unallocated cash to save or spend differently.

As I mentioned before, GG's suggestion of living in a smaller "big city" such as St. Cloud, Rochester, Mankato or Duluth or a small town such as Marshall will likely save you some cash. You, of course, give up living in Minneapolis (which you said you might prefer) for a few years to have that cash, which may or may not be important to you; only your hubby and you can decide that. Do note, while the rent will be cheaper, you might drive less, and auto insurance will likely be cheaper, groceries and gas per gallon is not going to be significantly cheaper in a small city or town. Tuition may not be significantly different, either. In other words, yes - you will have some extra cash but you're not likely to be living in a 3000 square foot palace with granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, pool out back while you're eating shrimp cocktail every night and sipping bubbly.

Out of all this debate, may you decide the option that will work best overall for your hubby and you - be it Minneapolis, Rochester, Marshall, or some city entirely outside of MN. Feel free to let us or me know of any specific questions...
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Old 09-03-2011, 12:11 PM
 
20,793 posts, read 52,433,355 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Melissa82 View Post
Thanks again, everyone!

My husband said he would prefer to start at a community college for 2 years then move up to a university, depending on what he decides to get into. I've been looking at job opportunities in Marshall and Rochester and it seems pretty promising.

I really don't want to leave my job here, it's great but the pay isn't. I think moving to MN may be the thing for us.

Now, taking a look at the BAH rates, we would get $1400 in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area and $1014 in the Rochester area. Based on everything I've been describing, I'd think Minneapolis would be better since we get more money for him going to school unless you guys really think the $400 difference is worth going to say Rochester. Marshall is even less, it's $921.
It's all going to be relative--Minneapolis is going to cost you more to live, period, thus the higher BAH. In Marshall you can BUY a VERY nice house and have a house payment less than $900/month. For $900/month you could rent a VERY nice HOUSE. A nice apartment is going to cost you half of that rate. Rochester is going to a lot less than $400/month to live in vs Minneapolis. Drawback to Rochester, the 4 year campus of the U of MN is pretty new and VERY small (300 students small) so he may or may not have a program to transfer into in Rochester.

If he wants to go to a community college then transfer to a 4 year school, I would look into the Bemidji area. They have a VERY nice cooperative program with the community college and the university there. Rent there is even less then Marshall and the community is similar in that it is the regional shopping/medical center so there is a lot more there then the town population suggests--now, it is NORTHERN MN so it gets COLD in the winter there.

Again, it isn't just rent that is less expensive, pretty much EVERYTHING is less expensive in places like Marshall, Mankato, Rochester, Bemidji--utilities, car insurance, cable tv, etc., etc. etc.


GB Communter--that apartment in Bemidji, Marshall, etc. would run between $250-300/month, maybe. For $600/month in outstate you are going to get at LEAST 2 bedrooms, high end kitchen with granite, etc. with a garage, etc. That is the point.
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