U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Virginia > Northern Virginia
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
Old 06-14-2012, 03:24 PM
Location: South South Jersey
1,652 posts, read 3,409,845 times
Reputation: 734


One of our domestic rats had surgery and a hospital visit that totalled nearly $2k a few years ago. There are so ridiculously few exotic animal vets (in other words, the kind that see birds, small fuzzies, and reptiles) in the DC area that they tend to overcharge, sometimes grossly, for their services. The situation was the exact opposite in the Chicago area (where I had my first rats) - it seemed like every suburb had its own exotic veterinary practice, plus plenty more in the city. Not that domestic/fancy rats are common pets anywhere in the US - far from it - but there's a notable, deeply incredulous "**rats**? that's what I call the extoyminator for! <nervous 'nyuk nyuk'>" attitude in the Northeast that makes anti-rat attitdes I've encountered elsewhere pale in comparison.

Last edited by Alicia Bradley; 06-14-2012 at 03:32 PM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

Old 06-14-2012, 03:37 PM
Location: Arlington, VA and Washington, DC
23,642 posts, read 33,439,851 times
Reputation: 32362
Originally Posted by Yankeesfan View Post
Most 20-year-olds with wealthy parents are in college, along with many whose parents aren't wealthy; why aren't you? Today's WaPo has an article about a student who is graduating high school on time despite having recurring episodes of leukemia throughout her life. A relative of mine who has had serious health challenges all her life graduated from college last month. You simply aren't going to get anywhere in life without a degree.
I've also read stories in the last couple of weeks about kids who were and/or are homeless but are going to colleges like Harvard and Virginia Tech. Poverty is not much of an excuse.

I'm not the brightest bulb myself and had some learning difficulties but I graduated college last month. I don't come from a rich family either and am the first male to graduate on my late father's side of the family.

Now I don't totally agree that you won't get anywhere without a degree. But in the DC area, I can agree with that argument. Here in Louisville, I have a friend who just completed a radiology program (non 4-year degree) and likely will pull down good money. I also have a friend back in Alexandria, who just had a GED and a couple of college classes but thanks to several years experience in blue-collar specialties like electrician work hooked a solid maintenance and was able to move out of his parents house and into a roommate situation. While it is possible to survive without a degree, a degree can really help.

I'm moving back to the area and taking a job which isn't much in salary (about $35k) but I figure it gets me a local address and places me in good position to score something better down the line. In the meantime, I'll get by doing a roommate situation with another friend.

You're 20 years old. You're being financially supported by your fiance, his mother, your mother, your step-mother, and your father (did I forget anyone?); you don't go to college, you don't have a job, you feel entitled to have four pets and all their expenses, and you're whining on a message board that you can't buy real estate to flip?
Real estate should be at the bottom of priorities in this case. At the top, should be job, career path, and then so on and so on.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-14-2012, 04:44 PM
95 posts, read 220,891 times
Reputation: 172
Originally Posted by Dazed&Confused View Post
Just wanted to point out that they are living with "mom" in her house. If they send a little money her way, it's not a gift. It's likely for their living expenses. Still, it's much cheaper than paying full rent and utilities.
Ah you are probably right. I was reading it as a list of reasons why they could not afford a mortgage/rent if they did move out.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-14-2012, 04:49 PM
1,287 posts, read 1,736,540 times
Reputation: 887
The investment you should worry about is in yourself. Get your health problems under control, go to school, get a job, etc.

I have to say, getting married at 20 boggles my mind, but to get married before you can stand on your own.... well, I gotta say that the odds are not in your favor of going the distance. If you love this man, don't saddle him with a dependent this early in life.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-16-2012, 01:04 AM
Location: Fairfax County, VA
3,718 posts, read 4,787,260 times
Reputation: 1454
Or they're cheating on their taxes
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-16-2012, 06:01 AM
1,638 posts, read 2,605,846 times
Reputation: 2713
I feel like the OP's idea of "afford" is most peoples definition of "getting ahead".

Also, a lot of 20-somethings don't worry about saving money, a 401k, or emergency funds. They buy buy buy. It's easy to do in a place like NoVA where everyone around you "has money" or NYC where you have all the temptation.

I'll tell you how I "make it" at 22;

-I make a decent starting salary, but I'm given a sort of assistance from my company since I travel a lot for work (not much, but it really helps).
-I have under $5000 in student loans for my 4 years of school.
-I drive a brand new car, but it's a Toyota and I made a down payment with 0% interest, I also knew the dealer so I got a few grand knocked off.
-I try and eat healthy, but simple meals.
-I treat myself to eating out once every few weeks, a bit more often if it's something cheaper like a sandwich.
-I don't have any pets
-I have no kids
-No husband/live in (and If I did, he would need a job or need to contribute somehow)
-I only buy clothing if I LOVE it or need it. No impulse purchases.
-I buy the $5-$10 bottles of wine vs. the expensive ones
-I don't party too often
-I automatically transfer half of my gross wages every time I get paid to savings. If I can make it, great. If not, I make sure I try harder for next month. I've had medical bills galore lately so I've been falling behind on this.
-I keep my credit clean by paying off in full every month, and making all other payments on time
-If I need something new, I shop around a while for the best quality. For example, if I need a new leather belt, I will take the next few weeks looking for said belt. I will check out the quality at several stores (discount, banana republic, etc), and make a decision based on price and quality. Do this for most purchases if you can. Be patient (unless you need it RIGHT away)
-Don't worry about buying property in your 20's. I can't imagine buying a house now. How do I know where I'll want to live, raise a family, work? I feel like you are unstable in so many ways (not even including maturity) that buying property seems a bit careless actually
-I don't go on foreign vacations like my peers/expensive vacations. When I do, it'll be the best deal. Follow principle above of spending a lot of time looking for the best deal.
-I don't try and keep up with the Joneses. Sure, I get jealous of my friends buying new clothes and taking vacations all the time, but do they really have more than me? Are their parents helping them? Plus, once you start paying your own bills, things like clothes become less important.

I'm not all-knowing, but I am a pretty responsible 20-something with my money. Live smart. Have fun, but live smart. Most people DON'T "afford" it anywhere in this country. They look iike they do because they want ot fit in. "Afford" means different things to different people.

-I don't have a gym membership, I use the one at my complex or run outside. I know this is different for different people (as are many of the things above), but it's just one cost I was happy to cut. I also try and walk whenever i can.
-I don't buy coffee anymore, or even make my own. I drink the coffee at work. When we didn't have it at my last job, i drank it at home.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-16-2012, 06:28 AM
1,073 posts, read 1,227,017 times
Reputation: 1100
Originally Posted by Creature of the Wheel View Post
Lets see............you're both 20. You and your fiancé are living at home with his mom. Are you sure this is the man you want to spend the rest of your life with? What does he have to offer you? From the looks of it, he doesn't have jack squat to offer. Also, why are you unemployed, and what are those "other things" you've mentioned? ... How is renting throwing money away? Do you want to have to handle the repair costs for an air conditioner, heater, plumbing, roof, etc...? Forget that! That's something my landlord can handle with his own money! Renting will save you money! Why do you think a 20 year old should be making $75,000 without having to work his way up for it? If your parents brought you up through life with the belief that everything is guaranteed, as well as the tale about you being special, you were lied to!

When I was 20, I was still working at a pizza joint. My car was one of the most unpleasant things on the road, but it ran from point A to B without a problem. I was also realistic about my approach in life. I knew I wouldn't be able to afford the super spendy and trendy lifestyle, so I sat back and contemplated my next moves within the next few years. Fast forward 9 years: due to lots of patience and solid decision making, things have panned out for me. Now I can afford some of the finer things in life. However, I don't live beyond my means. I still don't own a house. I don't plan on to. When something needs repairing, I let my landlord know about it.

By the way, if you haven't figured it out by now, you'll help your fiancé out quite a bit by being employed.
I want to know what he does where he makes 50,000 at 20. I'm nearly 27, have a Masters, and I'm pushing 15,000 a year!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-16-2012, 06:45 AM
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
14,131 posts, read 27,091,992 times
Reputation: 6826
Originally Posted by VM1138 View Post
I want to know what he does where he makes 50,000 at 20. I'm nearly 27, have a Masters, and I'm pushing 15,000 a year!
More relevant question is what do you do? It must be part time. My younger kids makes $10 an hour as a lifeguard which is pretty much min wage around here. My other one your age works full time and makes about $60K which is pretty normal for this area as her friends also make about that. They don't have Masters degrees, just Bachelors. However, they've been employed since getting out of college, mainly in office jobs.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-16-2012, 07:15 AM
Location: Fairfax, VA
1,449 posts, read 2,808,746 times
Reputation: 471
I never cleared $50K in my 10 years of FT work and I had a degree from a top 25 university and a Masters that I got PT while working.

It is all about your field of work - I worked in non-profit world. My husband made more than me way before he even finished his bachelor's degree (although he did have military experience) because he chose a technical field.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-16-2012, 08:30 AM
Location: Northern Virginia
5,104 posts, read 5,397,398 times
Reputation: 12617
Originally Posted by JBennett View Post
Hi all. My fiancé and I are both 20 years old and finding it pretty impossible to afford to live around here. He works in DC making about 50k and I'm currently taking care of other things in my life and do not have a job.

We are living with his mom in Stafford and desperately want to move out, but I just can't see how it's possible. We stick to a very strict monthly budget, but at the end of the month we end up saving very little. Between his commuting costs, car payment, insurance, food, pet bills, giving money to his mom, and unexpected expenses that always come up we're lucky to be saving a few hundred bucks. My parents are still paying for most of my expenses until we get married, so right now we don't have to worry about those thankfully.

He should be getting paid about 25k more than he is, but because of his age employers won't hire him for that despite the fact that he is doing the exact same job as the rest of his team. How do other people deal with this?

We would really like to buy a house because in our minds renting is just throwing money away. The fact that we have four pets doesn't help much either. Although I'm not from around here and don't particularly like the area we're looking to stayin stafford because we cant even come close to affording anything farther north. Despite being so far out of the city the area is still fairly expensive and the homes that aren't either double wides or uninhabitable tend to start at about $225k. How can anyone afford to pay this after taxes and utilities if they're making under 80k? To get anything cheaper would make his commute absolutely unbearable.

There must be other people in their early twenties who've been underpaid due to their age. How do you all afford to live around here? Is there some big secret we're missing?
Most young people can afford it because they are likely single and/or their partner has a job, too. One person can comfortably live on 50k a year.

In your situation, 2 people and 4 animals are living off of one persons $50k salary. That's the problem. Even though your family is absorbing most of your expenses, some of your expenses are coming out of your fiancée's salary as well as the cost of caring for four pets.

The reality is, until you can work and start contributing financially, it's going to be super tight. You're desperate to move out but I don't see it happening with your situation as it is now.

My advice to you is pay all your bills but don't worry about saving money right now. You have a healthy savings as it is. Get your health straight and then start looking for work.

Continue to live with mom. I would not suggest using money out of savings to pay for rent on your own place because 1.) you don't know when you will be healthy enough to work and 2.) when you are healthy enough, you don't know how long it will take to get hired or how much that job is going to pay. Your savings could be depleted pretty quickly.

Renting is not throwing away money. Whether you're paying rent or a mortgage, you're paying for a roof over your head and there are advantages and disadvantages to both.

Don't buy now. Y'all are too young in your lives and too young in your careers to settle long term in one area. Due to the commutes, you would be limiting yourself to where you would look and accept new (maybe higher paying) jobs. If you buy in Stafford, you probably would not want to accept a job in Sterling or Herndon. If you rent, you're not limiting yourself.

As for your fiancee's pay situation, that's pretty typical in every career/job. There is always someone who doesn't work as hard or think as hard who's making more than someone who is working and thinking hard. I once worked for someone who had a Master's in Education who could not form a grammatically correct sentence, could not punctuate properly, could not type or send an email nor use the "world wide web" and he was pulling in roughly four times my salary.

There are options:

1.) Ask for more money. The worst they can do is say "No". There is a right way and a wrong way to do this. Don't compare yourself to your co-workers. Dont even mention them. This is about you. List what you have accomplished, what you have excelled at and where you have gone above and beyond and justify why you think those things are deserving of more money. If you have not done any of those things, you dont deserve a raise. You are doing exactly what you are paid to do.

2.) Look for another job.

Good luck!

Last edited by HokieFan; 06-16-2012 at 08:40 AM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.

Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply

Loading data...
Based on 2000-2016 data
Loading data...

Hide US histogram

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Virginia > Northern Virginia
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top