This morning I was browsing local newspaper article when this section made me choke on my breakfast.
United Way of Northern New Jersey recently reported that nearly one in three Sussex County households is ALICE, an acronym for "asset-limited, income-constrained, but employed," otherwise known as the working poor. ALICE represents individuals and families earning between $20,000 and $60,000 annually.
This is something that really makes me think hard about about area where I live - it's not just about salaries and such but the actual cost of living. It's simply unreasonable and unsustainable. Considering that every job description that I've seen in past year only advertises $12-15 an hour it's not reasonable to expect people to live decently with such high costs of everything else around us. And it's likely to keep rising every year. It's another reason why I really want to keep my garden expanding and full of every variety of veggies and fruit that I can cram into it. Yes, there is upfront cost when you're building it but once that's done you can keep going with minimal cost afterwards. It also helps to plant extras so I can save some of the produce for winter time - canned tomato sauces; my own potatoes, garlic and onions; salsa; home made jams from starwberries and raspberries; frozen chopped veggies that I can use for stir-fry - they will all bring COL price down. And I intend to plant as much as my little garden can handle!