A Week In Indianapolis on
$0/Hour And $0k Monthly
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Paycheck Amount (Weekly): $0, plus $0-0 every one to two weeks for sitting on my ass.
Additional Income: On top of my lack of salary, my parents don’t give me shit (Also, I am an adult), and my grandpa wires me $0 hundred every month (#blessed).
Monthly Expenses: I live in a two-bedroom house/ house. The total rent is $894. My share is $894 (I pay) and my roommate’s is I don’t have one.
Student Loan Payment: $1,000,000 (I’m still in school, but last time I looked it was about a billion dollars a month.)
Health Insurance: $0 (I don’t have any. God, I hope I don’t get injured.)
Gas: $99 (I haven’t paid it this month.)
Power: $160 (It has been hot.)
Netflix, YouTube: $20
Credit Cards: $180 (I haven’t paid these in months. I’m in so much debt.)
10:30a – It is the first of the month and the rent is due. I haven’t had a job in months. I have sold everything already. I wonder how much longer I can survive like this.
12:00p – I applied for loans online, but since my credit score is 423, I am denied. I am having a panic attack about how I will make the rent this time. I have been to job fair after job fair and interview after interview. Still no job.
12:10p – The panic attack has worsened. I start to negatively self reflect. Is it my aggressive tattoos that are causing me to not get the job? It’s my hair, isn’t it? Maybe it’s the way I talk. Maybe I smell funny. Maybe I am just stupid. Shit, I need a cigarette.
12:11p – Smoking is bad for you. But it feels amazing. Damn, that’s like $6 a day I could have in my pocket. Maybe that’s why I can’t pay the rent. If I quit, I will be even more stressed. Now’s not a good time, maybe when I feel better.
12:15p – I have self appraised my belongings. If I sell my car it will get me through for another month. The exhaust has fallen off and I can’t afford to replace it. No one will buy it like that, but if I fixed it I would keep it. I will sell it for $1000. That will pay some of the bills. First, I have to remove the exhaust that is hanging.
1:00p – I borrow a power cutting tool from my grandfather. I begin to cut through the rusted metal. While the sparks were flying, I missed the exhaust and cut my finger badly. I rush inside to rinse it off and bandage it up the best I can. I head back out to finish.
2:00p – Navient has called for the fifth time today. They left an aggressive voicemail suggesting I pay them now or else. Good luck Navient, let me know when you figure out how the fuck I can do that.
2:30p – I call the gas company and ask if they could please not shut my gas off while I work on finding the funds to pay them. They agree to extend it, and say it’s okay if I can’t make it then, I can just pay double next month. Hot water survives!!
5:00p – My fiancé is off work. We ride our bikes because it is free and cheap. We work on trying to figure a way out of this mess.
8:30p – I pick up a six pack of some strong beer. I need it to help me feel numb to all the madness that is my life.
10:00p – I am drunk and I post something stupid on social media. I lose a few more of the friends I already don’t have.
1:15a – I stumble to the bed and sleep like a baby.
Daily Total: $0
10:30a – The cut I got on my finger looks infected. I wash it off and wrap it up again. Navient left another voicemail.
12:00p – The landlord asks what is taking so long on the rent. I tell him I will have it soon.
12:30p – I post my car for sale online.
1:00p – In a camping chair that is substituting for a couch, I work on some of my Master’s project.
2:00p – I take some of my electronics to the pawn shop. It is depressing to discover how little the stuff I care about is worth.
2:30p – My finger is really hurting. I take some ibuprofen to help with the pain.
3:15p – I sell some of my household items for $20. I paid way more for them. The people that came to my house to purchase them were very judgy about my stuff.
5:00p – My fiancé comes home and we eat the dinner that we have meal prepped. We discuss how the hell we can make it through another month like this.
8:30p – We watch some of our favorite shows while trying to relax away a bad day.
10:00p – My finger has swollen and is a very odd color.
Daily Total: $+20
9:00a – I have an interview with a company. During the interview, they say I will not see my family at all for the next thirty days. The job pays $19 an hour so I am ecstatic either way.
10:00a – I arrive home and make my fiancé her breakfast and coffee. I am excited to tell her that I may have finally found a job.
11:00a – My finger is really bad. I am contemplating going to see someone about it.
12:00p – Someone calls me about my car. They offer me $600. I tell them I can’t do more than half of what I am asking. I feel like cursing at them, but it would be a waste of my time.
1:00p – Some other jobs have called. They said they found my resume online. I look them up and they are a door to door sales team.
2:45p – I have applied to at least 50 different jobs. I am hoping that at least one will turn into something.
4:00p – Someone stops by to purchase some more of my items. I had it listed at $50, they offered me $20. I said yes just because I wanted them to leave.
5:00p – I am having a panic attack about my ability to come through with the rent from nothing for the fifth time this year.
6:00p – I check the mail. Navient has sent me a certified letter saying I have until the 30th to pay them or they will garnish my wages. Yea, good luck with that.
Daily Total: $+20
10:30a – I decide today is the day I call Navient. While I have learned to ignore their calls, it is still stressful seeing their number pop up. I tell them I have absolutely no income. They say oh well, not our problem, we need $80 right now so you don’t default. Even if you pay, next month we will begin to call you again and you will have to pay. Now I have to find $80.
12:00p – I post my dining room table online for $80. I can’t default.
1:00p – I go to immediate care to have my finger looked at. They give me some pain killers and an antibiotic. They say I need surgery. I just go home with what they gave me.
3:00p – I go to the pharmacy to get my prescription filled. They said it would be $300 for everything. I have to tell them I changed my mind.
4:13p – My finger is getting really bad. I know there is no way I can do anything about it.
8:32p – I spend some of that $20 on some Tequila. Cheap medicine.
10:00p – I feel amazing and I can’t even feel that half of my right index finger is missing.
Daily Total: $+3
10:30a – Shit! Half of my finger is missing. I get on my bike and ride to the hospital that is 10 miles away. Blood is every where.
12:30p – I finally get called back. The doctor stitches me up and my finger is now half as short as it was. Since I don’t have insurance, they give me my bill before I leave. The total cost is $5,000. I think to myself, “I will never pay that.”
3:00p – My finger hurts so bad. I couldn’t afford to get the prescriptions filled so I am trying to deal with the pain. There is some tequila left so I just use that.
3:00a – I must have fallen asleep. I go outside to smoke. I don’t see my car. I look at my phone to see if it might explain anything. There are some missed calls from a local number.
3:05a – I check my pocket and notice that I have $300. I looked at my texts and notice I was discussing selling my car to someone. I must have sold it for $300. Damn, now I am screwed.
3:30a – I decide to go back to sleep.
Daily Total: $+300
10:30a – I got a call back from one of the interviews. I am excited. Finally, some employment. The voice on the other line thanks me for my time and says they have selected another candidate. Well fuck you guys too.
11:30a – I try to mow the lawn, but I have no gas in the mower. I also don’t have a car. I empty out my penny jar and take my gas can on my bike. I pay the man in change while swallowing my pride. I may be broke, but damn will my yard look good. $5.00
1:00p – I am sweaty from working on my yard. My stitched up finger is not feeling good at all. It seems like it got infected again.
8:03p – I am done with the day. I am stressing about my bills and I have no idea what to do.
Daily Total: $5.00
10:30a – The landlord says I am being evicted. He says I have a week to get out.
11:00a – I ask anyone for help and no one can.
11:30a – I start to get all my stuff out of the house. I have no where to put it so I try to figure that out.
12:00p – I decide just to leave the rest of my stuff. There is no way I can get it anywhere on my bike.
3:00p – I have ridden downtown with a few changes of clothes and whatever I could fit in my backpack.
10:30p – For the first time in my life, I sleep outdoors on the cold sidewalk.
Daily Total: $- all of it.
This has been my semi-true story in relation to an article posted on Refinery29.com. In the article, a 21-year-old intern living in NYC discusses how she gets by on $25/hr. All of her expenses are paid by her parents. There has been some negative reaction to the article on social media. My version is pretty accurate. I still have my whole finger and I am not yet out on the streets though. I feel like most people my age are actually going through what I am. Being able to live in NYC while your parents pay for everything is not what most of us experience. While my experiences are not representative of the whole of my generation, they are similar in some regards. Most of us are struggling to find our way. We are doing everything we can to survive and we are failing when we are giving our best.
Link to original article: https://www.refinery29.com/money-diary-new-york-city-marketing-intern-income