Getting started in the Grinding 20’s

When Charity and I got married in 1997 we rented a 900sf apartment in the lower-middle class part of our town. We paid $345/month for that out of date, but tidy apartment. Rent was our biggest expense, but it wasn’t onerous. We didn’t believe the rent was too much.

Next, we moved into a duplex. More privacy, a yard for a garden. I don’t think it was any, or much bigger. The rent was $405. I was a little worried about what that extra $60/month would do to our budget. It was ok though. At that time I think we were both making around $8/hour. We paid for college, rents, cars, food, everything. I had a small business running that made some extra for us, but wasn’t full-time yet. I reckon we brought home about $1800/month. Going to school and all, we didn’t always get 40 hours/week.

I don’t think there are many opportunities like that any more. Rents are extravagant. There may be some economical rents, but not in any neighborhood reasonable people would want to live in. I’m seeing rents for efficiency apartments in Tulsa, OK are around $1,000 per month. Wages are pretty much unchanged since 1997.

What’s a young person to do? NOT DROP OUT. Form relationships, find true religion (sorry protties), get married, have kids. We are descended from folks who had kids when times were tough. It’s your duty.

You’re going to have to find a way. The way people have done it since 1968 won’t work. You probably aren’t going to be able to buy a 1800-2200 square foot house in a quiet neighborhood. The days when people did that over the last 50 years were an anomaly.

I look to what people did in the distant past. Maybe not-so-distant past. I reckon that means living in a rural shotgun shack you rent for CHEAP, or in an RV you park on family or friend’s land. WORK. STACK YOUR SHEKELS. SAVE RELENTLESSLY. You won’t be able to save much, but save you must.

The small savings are your lifeline. From savings you’ll fund your small business, the small house you are going to build, or the small house you buy that others think is a tear down.

Move the RV on the house site and start restoring that old shack or building that 1,100 square foot house.

You’ll get it done. It’ll take time. Persist.

I don’t know if what i wrote above is the right way, but I know that the turn of the 21st century way no longer works. We all have to swallow our pride, shed our expectations, and get very practical.

Welcome to the “Grinding 20’s.”

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