1. Anything keeping you here (non-sentimental)? Not sure if you do something for work that you can do, well not here. This area is brutal if you’re not making a sizable income.

  2. Seems like this is a very common occurrence amongst NOVA residents currently. My friends and I are also going through it. You’re not alone! We’ll get through it.

  3. It should be enough to organize a political front if we worked together to lower the cost of housing, and those knocking out the largest portion of COL.

  4. Don’t give up! It can and will get better. Trust - I was in your shoes a few years back. Some things to consider:

  5. To tack on to their point about your mental health, there are also groups in the area like the Vienna Women’s Center (your gender doesn’t matter, that’s just the name) that provide therapy on a sliding pay scale so if your insurance is inadequate—in my experience, most are by ways of mental health—you can receive counseling at little to no cost.

  6. Yes, housing can be cheaper as well as rent, but the payroll taxes will get you. I moved from PG County YEARS ago, into Prince William. I was making only $40K at the time and I got an immediate $75 per pay period “tax" raise in my paycheck due to shedding the Maryland and county tax. They are high. Imagine my tax break had I been making a lot more money. My personal property tax has never been that high but I do drive average cars.

  7. State taxes and car insurance rates are higher in Maryland (esp. PGC), my rate nearly doubled when I moved to PGC (temporarily, while I’m waiting for my condo on PWC to be completed).

  8. I feel you. This breaks my heart. It’s so hard with inflation on top of living in this area. What kind of work do you do? Have you considered other career paths?

  9. I'm trying to figure out how Nova has decreasing population and at the same time everything continues to get more expensive.

  10. Very sorry to know what you're going through bud. If you don't mind me asking, what's the annual income (or range) and are you staying with any dependents? There's a subreddit "MoneyDiariesActive" or something. Consider sharing your financial story there and people might be able to give you some solid advice.

  11. OP, I know this is a rant and you weren't necessarily looking to come here to dig into it, but there are so many posts on this forum about "can I afford to live here" that you post could be helpful to others.

  12. To be honest my daughters would be in your situation or worse if they don't live with us. Pay is miniscule while cost of living is astronomical. I seriously don't know how can young people now would make it.

  13. People forget that fighting to "maintain housing values" "keep the character of the neighborhood" and trying to "keep those people from moving here" it has a real, human cost.

  14. Also if they have a state certification or registration these are not generally transferable and making moving financially devastating

  15. I don’t mean to victim blame because a lot of what you’re saying is correct- the cost of living in Nova is quite high and the cost of many things has gone up considerably in recent months. Also, no one should have to choose between using their heat in the winter or risk financial catastrophe.

  16. Ngl I would just avoid paying anything and save everything for chapter 7 bankruptcy. Don't do the payment plan bankruptcy, it is cheaper initially but it robs you of a chance to truly start over and you may end up in same situation with no relief. Hope you find a way boss (disclaimer like always not a financial advisor)

  17. It could be overwhelming. You need to prioritize. Don't stress about long term debt such as student loan and credit card for a month or two. Also think about debt consolidation.

  18. FWIW, I never once had my heat turned off in 2 years of non payment. I owe $900 and it’s in collections now - snug as a bug and I will pay it when I no longer have literal mouths to feed.

  19. Something I have noticed at Safeway (not sure if other grocery stores are doing this) is in their meat section, there is a corner of discounted meat (varies by day) that is about to expire and the discount is usually half off. I have saved quite a bit by buying things there.

  20. This is why unions are important. If we don't collectively bargain for living wages, employers will continue to keep us as close to poverty as they can.

  21. If you’re living on or near Columbia Pike as the tag suggests, you’re living in one of the most expensive counties in the United States.

  22. Who will take OP's place? Who's doing the <$50k jobs in these expensive counties if the advice we offer people struggling in them is to move away?

  23. You don't say what you do for a living. Is it a field where you can move to a less expensive area and do the same thing? I know so many who HAVE to to live in NOVA yet they complain to me the cost is killing them. The jobs keep some there of course but one old friend is in the HVAC business and can fix anything. I've told him he could land a good job in pretty much anywhere he goes and make a good salary for the area. Would be nice if you were in the same boat.

  24. I do not know your specifics and I am in no real situation to give you advice but this is why I prefer to pay in cash. I know it is not possible to avoid credit cards all of the time but I try to limit it and make sure to try to never carry a balance.

  25. I agree, I have a decent job right now but the actual amount of money that I see on grocery store purchases, on things like clothes, home goods, etc. it’s absurd. I went to the mall on the weekend and bought nothing. Even regular pants cost $80. Shoes were $100+.

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