Sharon Zanders-Ackiss: Live the Wage

Sharon Zanders-Ackiss 

“People, who live in glass houses, shouldn’t throw stones.”  I’m sure most of us have heard this saying and I would say it’s true.   This is how I Sharonfeel about my experience of trying to live off $77 for one week.

It’s easy to say what a person can do to better their situation, but when you don’t understand all the challenges that go along with earning  low-wages and high expenses, the math doesn’t add up.  It didn’t for me and I took this challenge, in the beginning, very seriously. By mid-week, I knew I was losing, in fact, I was already defeated!  I wanted to just give up and I have to admit, by day four, I did.  I couldn’t do it.

We say this is the land of opportunity. I don’t know how anyone can see opportunity in making a minimum wage.  And although this challenge was based on a forty hour week, the reality is that most minimum wage workers are not getting 40 hours a week in pay.

This challenge took me back to a time I’d rather forget where decisions had to be made like:

  • Car /housing repairs versus eating for a week
  • Gas to get to work versus furnace getting fixed
  • Eating versus medications needed daily
  • Do without all the above and not borrow any money
  • Borrow money to help ends meet and that you can’t afford to pay back, because you’ll always be indebted to someone or something.

Now, throw in the added expense of having children in the equation and see how far you can stretch $77. If you think minimum wage is enough for any person raising a family, then you probably have lived your life in a glass house.  But watch for those stones, sometimes they randomly hit.  I dare anyone to take this challenge.