Even though the cost of living has been progressively rising in South Florida, the minimum wage hasn’t been. It takes two working adults now to be able to survive. I say now but I’m only aware now because I’m an adult, it might’ve been like this for years.
That’s unfair because what if you’re single? It’s almost like you have to go find a significant other or roommate in order to be able to live comfortably while paying all your bills. This especially hits home with me because I am a single mother. I had to do something that I never thought I would do in a million years, I had to apply for governmental assistance.
Although being a single mother is not anyone’s fault but my own and my children’s father’s, I am thankful that the help is out there for me to even apply for. I have a good paying job but I can’t afford the basic necessities of life because there is only one income in my home. To add insult to injury, the government only gives me $100 per month in food stamps. I have two elementary aged children in my home, I spend $100 in a week to feed them and send lunches to school.
I don’t want to sound like I’m complaining because I honestly do appreciate the help but it’s could be a little more to really help. My kid’s father does not pay any child support, he doesn’t help at all but I don’t just let him get off scot free, I have a child support order in place that is enforced for the court system. He still decides not to pay so I still have to get assistance from the government. I recently heard that California raised their minimum wage to $15 an hour meanwhile Florida is still at a measly $7.
I might as well live on the beach, and invest in tree services for some space in Florida away from the palm trees. I would have had to settle and get a one bedroom apartment because I simply couldn’t afford to get anything bigger so now my kids have the bedroom and I sleep on a blow up mattress in the living room at night and move it so it still looks like a living room by day. I am a part of the working poor apparently.
I have a job and I’m still not able to make ends meet because of how expensive living is. I’ve had to apply for several grants and get funded by another state program to even be able to afford to send my kids to aftercare while I’m at work and summer camp during the summer. Although politicians try to address as many issues as possible, since they’re so out of touch with this aspect of America, I think it’s hard for them to understand the constant struggle of living paycheck to paycheck and still needing help. I would love to be able to invest and watch my money grow on the stock market or something like that but that would literally take food out of my kid’s mouths.