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Old 08-09-2013, 12:55 PM
 
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Is it possible? For a person to to start off with a m.wage job in the San Jose area and be able to not only survive, but gradually thrive?

I ask because on another thread in the San Fran page, many people were adamant that you can't make it in SF on less than 40k/50k/60k, let alone minimum wage. I think that's nonsense and is simply indicative of people who are used to the creature comforts of a (upper)middle-class upbringing/lifestyle and simply want to replicate that in the Bay area.

But I'm talking about: young person(<35), no dependents, no loans/debts, no health concerns, renting a room.

Can a person like that make it on minimum wage in SJ and build a life(by going to school, learning a skill, etc)?

Again, I'm using minimum wage as a worst-case scenario, let's say you can't find any other job except flippin' hamburgers. But even flippin' hamburgers in SJ pays at least $9.00/10.00 per hour, if not more.

But for the sake of argument, let's assume worst case scenario, minimum wage job @ $8.00/hr.

8*40*4 = $1200

Plenty of rooms in downtown SJ on Craigslist renting at $600-$700
phone bill: 50/month
transportation: 70/month
food: $180/month

Total = $1000, leaving you $200 to play with, save or spend.

So even on worst case, based on evidence, it seems doable. Then, there other ways of earning: from freelancing, to tutoring, to sales/selling, and many other avenues that I'm neglecting to mention that one can use to supplement their income, even if they start from rock-bottom.

It seems to me that the age-old universal virtues of courage, bootstrapping & initiative are on the decline and many people are giving into fear(of the unknown, of new opportunity, of risk).

Fortune favors the bold....................um, right?
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Old 08-09-2013, 12:58 PM
 
Location: California
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The biggest problem is that most minimum wage "hamburger flipper" jobs will NOT be full time. And where would the time/money for schooling come from?

I'm not saying it can't be done, anything CAN be done, but most people who do what you suggest in a super high COL area have a support system in place consisting of family, friends, contacts... and some money.
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Old 08-09-2013, 01:02 PM
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Ceece is right in that most of these minimum wage jobs will not give you 40 hours a week. I actually moved to LA seeking one of these jobs, but I ended up finding a full-time job doing something like this that paid over 10 bucks an hour, and I have gotten a promotion since then.

Unfortunately this is just the way it is for many people these days. It can be done, but you need everything to go right.
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Old 08-09-2013, 01:11 PM
 
46 posts, read 58,632 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ceece View Post
The biggest problem is that most minimum wage "hamburger flipper" jobs will NOT be full time. And where would the time/money for schooling come from?

I'm not saying it can't be done, anything CAN be done, but most people who do what you suggest in a super high COL area have a support system in place consisting of family, friends, contacts... and some money.
Time = you take a good chunk(almost all) of the 1st 2 years of college online(SJCC, De Anza) no class attendance required. If you do have to take some classes in person, you work them around your work schedule. Also, there are some reputable wholly online Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts programs as well.

Money = Financial aid. Grants are enough to cover ALL tuition, books(i checked, trust me). And if a person want to take student loans, they can borrow up to $13k a year from federally-guaranteed loans with very low interest rates. A good portion of the loans(more than a third), you don't even have to pay interest on, the government pays the interest.

I was only using a flippin hamburgers as a worst-case...aren't there other basic, entry level jobs? If they don't offer full-time work, you can combine two part-time jobs. Stressful, yes, but that's how many successful people started off with no support-system except that of Providence and by the sweat of their brow.

So, can a enterprising young striver make it in SJ starting off at minimum wage with no support-system(no family, etc)?
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Old 08-09-2013, 01:49 PM
 
Location: the illegal immigrant state
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Quote:
I was only using a flippin hamburgers as a worst-case...aren't there other basic, entry level jobs? If they don't offer full-time work, you can combine two part-time jobs. Stressful, yes, but that's how many successful people started off with no support-system except that of Providence and by the sweat of their brow.
Those jobs are generally monopolized by illegal aliens who get those jobs through their own (social) networks. They are self-favoring, ethnocentric and bear antipathy toward white and black people who they work with. There is undeniable friction between themselves and their white and black coworkers which manifests itself in their antagonization of those white and black coworkers. This, of course, works to their (illegal alien) advantage because the illegal aliens are typically the majority of workers in such workplaces.

So why am I making all this up? Why am I misinforming others? Probably because I'm not. I've worked in food service with Central American Indigenous American/Amerindians who speak no or minimal English. I've seen what they are like, how they regard white and blacks and how they interact with whites and blacks.

Thus, if you're a Central American Amerindian, you'll fit right in. Otherwise, maybe not. You decide.

Generally speaking to living in San Jose on a shoestring budget, though, I'll first talk about the converse; the reason why most child-bearing middle-class Americans leave the SFBA or consider moving here and decide not to is their demand to have particular living circumstances and the higher QOL those circumstances entail.

Now, as for actually living on a shoestring budget, SJ is filled with the afore-mentioned illegal aliens, many of whom are raising large numbers of children on such a budget, so, yes, it can be done. The deciding factor is what living conditions and general compromises to your QOL you are willing to accept if you choose to live here.
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Old 08-09-2013, 02:05 PM
 
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Sjnative,

I want to move to SJ for a particular purpose: to obtain an education in computer science at a affordable cost, and then, through the contacts and network I build through internships/professors, work as a software engineer in Silicon Valley.

Quality of life at this juncture in my life has minimal consideration. If living "rough" is what will further my goal, then living rough all the way baby.

Given the deluge of "you can't live on 30k in the Bay area" stories, I was just wondering whether it was feasible for a young, tech-literate person to make it on his/her own in SJ without family or friends.

For example, besides fast-food industry.....aren't there other entry-level jobs that don't require a college degree or certificate? Say, for instance, the hospitality industry...hotels and the like. I'm sure they would need a articulate, polished, professional appearance person to work their front desk. I could work a overnight shift and go to class during the day.

Thoughts anyone?

Last edited by JoeSV; 08-09-2013 at 02:06 PM.. Reason: spelling
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Old 08-09-2013, 02:09 PM
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Originally Posted by JoeSV View Post
Sjnative,

I want to move to SJ for a particular purpose: to obtain an education in computer science at a affordable cost, and then, through the contacts and network I build through internships/professors, work as a software engineer in Silicon Valley.

Quality of life at this juncture in my life has minimal consideration. If living "rough" is what will further my goal, then living rough all the way baby.

Given the deluge of "you can't live on 30k in the Bay area" stories, I was just wondering whether it was feasible for a young, tech-literate person to make it on his/her own in SJ without family or friends.

For example, besides fast-food industry.....aren't there other entry-level jobs that don't require a college degree or certificate? Say, for instance, the hospitality industry...hotels and the like. I'm sure they would need a articulate, polished, professional appearance person to work their front desk. I could work a overnight shift and go to class during the day.

Thoughts anyone?
I work in the grocery business. I would recommend that. You don't need experience, and they always need full-time people, or at least start you out around 30 hours or so. You can also move up quickly.

For what it's worth, I worked at a grocery store in Florida. Back in the winter I moved to LA in the exact situation you are describing here, with no support group or knowing a single soul. I started out at $10.20 an hour working 40 hours a week, and have since got a promotion.
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Old 08-09-2013, 02:17 PM
 
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Well, once you factor in various welfare benefits, probably is manageable.
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Old 08-09-2013, 02:30 PM
 
46 posts, read 58,632 times
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Thanks, PDF. Great suggestion and I'll look into it.

Zoombocom,

I'm a big believer in a strong saftey net for the disadvantaged, but for personal reasons(mostly pride), welfare/benefits is not an option. Which is a bit irrational because financial aid(grants, subsidized loans) is a form of welfare. And so is the massive tax cuts/breaks/refunds that corporations receive. But apparently it's only shameful for the poor to live on welfare.

but yeah, I don't see myself applying for food stamps or housing vouchers, even if it means living off ramen noodles and water.
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Old 08-09-2013, 03:23 PM
 
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You sound goal oriented and focused. With this you could absolutely make it in San Jose on a minimum wage budget (min wage here is $10). Assuming you were renting a room, were centrally located or lived near your school/work thus eliminating need for a car or spending too much on transport, and you were indeed willing to do without the "creature comforts" then yes I don't see why not. It would be tight, as you know even rooms here are not cheap, but it's still doable. There are also many other job ops besides having to go for a min wage job, like you mentioned a night auditor at a hotel and other hotel jobs like bell attendant where you would make tips etc. People like to scare people away from places based on budget and expenses, I'm totally guilty of it I was giving my friend the whole anti-SF talk this morning, but the reality is you can make the Bay Area work out for you, or anywhere for that matter especially with discipline. A plus to living on a tight budget in SJ is that the weather is near perfect and there is a lot of recreational opportunities to take advantage of that won't cost you anything. Having a bike here also goes a long way, contrary to what the baby boomer suburbanites like to say otherwise.
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