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Home : 2004 : Jan : 31

    pay - cost of living
    By Doni

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    Exactly! The person who wrote she lives comfortably is very fortunate. In our state, and even in the Metro Atlanta area salaries for teachers vary tremendously. I make $34,000 (before taxes, teacher retirement, healthcare) a year, but the cost of living here in Metro Atlanta is very high. The teachers I know in my school who are single all have a second job. A typical one bedroom apartment in our area runs about $700 a month. Add the cost of utilities, car payment, paying off student loans, etc., and one can easily see why these teachers need the second income.

    My husband makes $40,000 a year. We don't have a fancy house (small 3 bedroom 2 bath house), we have one car note (my car died last year, so we bought a used car), we have no credit cards, but we have my student loans and his. We do have car insurance and very high electrical and gas costs (we have an EMC and it's sky high,) telephone service, water, garbage pickup, medical co-pays, daycare ($400 a month), groceries, etc. Add gasoline costs for my husband's huge commute (we could not possibly afford a house near his office where a house our size would run $200,000), and car repairs (his old clunker breaks down constantly) and we get get by - paycheck to paycheck. We have three children, and we still have not been able to get ahead enough to save for their college. We have enough left over after bills and paying for daycare to buy groceries, clothes, and go on vacation to my parent's beach house twice a year. We live with no extras.

    Most the people I know make combined salaries of at least $90,000 a year. They are able to add a few more frills, like a larger house, two decent cars, and real vacations where you pay to stay somewhere. We are not that well off. We get by, and I am thankful for that. I know many teachers who do not.

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