Posted in Florida life everyday

Long blog post warning! See the sunset? Look at the sunset and read what I wrote. Now that the hurricane is gone I need to talk very open and frankly about how much it cost to live here in Tampa Bay Florida USA… this post is not for the easily offended…

I’m sitting here on my couch tonight and I’m thinking what in the world do people think about how much we make here? Another words how much do you think it cost to live here? I will put it honestly and frankly: you cannot afford it no matter what the chambers of commerce say or how much the real estate people think they can take advantage of you!

Before you think that you’re going to live on the beach all throughout Florida, take a look at what a category five hurricane did to the Bahamas and they all live on the beach! That’s less than 400 miles away from my house. That’s why I was going on and on all week long about a hurricane in the Atlantic when it’s two hours across the state and five hours to Miami and six hours away it was a category five hurricane Dorian right near my house!

Everything they owned is gone. A couple of their relatives are gone to the wind and the water blew that away — dead. It was just like 10 tornadoes hit their house , their island, and their country all at once. Not only that, their islands are not that big. of those islands over there as big as 20 city blocks or smaller. And the wind and the water just came up to second and third floor houses and apartments.

Sirius point is this we take hurricanes very seriously here because well we don’t have blizzards, it’s serious. Take a look at the pictures!

Here’s my point. I have a point in saying this is that everybody outside of here thinks this is paradise ! “Oh, we can live on the beach and it’ll be pretty if I get married on the beach.” And for Catholics, most of you all think every single marriage is a marriage Sacramental. I’m sorry but you think I don’t know my faith, you don’t know your faith.

Sorry, it’s not. It’s why we can do Civil divorces because many of those marriages or not what the Catholic Church considers valid or Sacremental. Look up that word that’s your research project for today. For the slow people who read this, look up the word sacramental. read it about 10 times and maybe you’ll comprehend it.

Consider the concept of a Catholic Cadillac marriage with all the Fixin’s and God’s blessing. The Cadillac thing in the marriage, it’s not something I talk about too much because it’s deeply ultra personal and not for the general basket of the human population. It should be for me to talk about, but it isn’t! I don’t expect everybody to understand this because if you’re not on same stairs where we can have a decent conversation and the same step or the nearest step we can have this conversation, I would expect you to understand it and that you had an interest to understand that subject.

And yes, I have gay friends outside the church in civil marriages. To my Catholic friends, they are not married in the Catholic Church. Go put your head in the trashcan Where there’s a large echo and you can hear yourself talk to yourself and your argument is moot. You can rent and rave all you want about what I just said but your head is still in the trashcan and will be when I get near you. Go bone up on your faith in a real way before I hit you with the trashcan. Would you get your head out of the trashcan I’ve got a hit you upside the head up your nose with the Catholic catechism that you’re so wanna hit me on the nose with= you lost that one.

A side point, people get very upset when they find out in my Catholic Church that my husband does civil divorces. But what they don’t realize is that many people are civilly married or married outside the Catholic Church or married and something that we we would not consider churchy valid. It may be lawfully and civilly valid, but not blessed by the church. Another words they didn’t get married in a Catholic Church or a Piscopo church or orthodox church or an ultra evangelical church that we recognize. There is a difference. And to go on here a little bit side further, many of them act that way too. Many of them had big emotional problems and that’s why the church wouldn’t marry them.

I’m gonna have a guest columnist if they’re willing, explain what an Catholic annulment is. I promise to do this in the next year. Stay tuned on that one.

Now, circling back to my point back about how much it cost to live here. Money is the root of all bad marriages. It costs a lot to keep one here and stay married and stay persevering and other stuff like that. Most people are not willing to do that. I have some experience in that matter — married 21 years of the same guy never married before and never engaged and never lived with anybody before I was married like a guy. I was never a hook up person and never a bed hopper either. I did not go clubbing.

It’s not cheap. I will say it again : it is not cheap to live in the state of Florida, particularly in the Tampa Bay Area.

We just paid the rent this week and it was $1061 for a one bedroom One bath apartment in a working class side of town between Clearwater and Saint Petersburg Florida, where we live. House rent around here for a whole gigantic need to be holy Catholic family will go for about $ 3000 or more a month.

To the mommies who are so idealistic about their Catholic or evangelical faith or anything like that, when the rest of the population goes to work and works their ass off. Don’t think you’re going to be a stay at home mommy here in Florida and survive everything financial that comes at you. You’re going to need serious money to live and work and be able to retire. Northern good holy Catholic women who want to be like that or are delusional to stay home with their children every day. Cannot sit here and pray all day with a kid under your arm or even three kids under your arms like in the Midwest or Podunk or sugar ditch in Florida. Your family is not gonna last longer than 90 days.

In my humble opinion, they are delusional and stupid to not keep working or keep pursuing their career or finish their degree in Florida. Many of them have self image problems to take second-best.

Mortgages —average mortgage is about 2500 to 3000 a month. House insurance a month is about 500 to $600 a month because we live near the water. This is not including the flood insurance. Our last hurricane was Irma & it made our flood insurance skyrocket in some of places to $1000 a month.

Electric bill to keep the lights on and going for Duke energy is about $190 in the summer. This is only for the one bedroom apartment. If you have a house ,consider it $400 a month. For those mommies want to have a pretty house, that’s most of their pay for the week. do they pay for the pretty house where they like to stay home all day with their children to look holy and pretty, is $450 a month to keep their large house air-conditioned in the summer.

It’s cheaper in the winter because you don’t have to pay for heat in the place. I never run my heat during the winter. If I do it’s 2 to 3 weeks after Christmas where it gets about 20 to 30° for four days. That’s it. There is no snow there’s frost and maybe ice warning but that’s it. It’s an even trade for sweating all summer long.

Sidenote, I run my air about 24 /seven In the summer. There’s no rest from the heat. It’s 80° and sometimes 85° at night. We never open the windows in the summer from April until about late October, and the AC is usually at 70° or as low as 65°F at night. . I like it chilly and cold and it’s a break a from outside with the humidity at 100% in the shade. Cable bill full throttle —cable , phone, & Internet is about 135 bucks a month. Food bill for two married people in eating out & twice a month movies out is about $450 a month. Total cost bare-bones minimum you need to live here is about almost $4500 a month. Car, if you have a car and you do need one to get around here because the bus service is crap, is about 400 a month for a car payment plus insurance which is about 200 a month comprehensive covering everything. Don’t even talk to me how much it costs to close, feed, and send children to school and keep up with everything you need about 6500 to 7000 a month to deal with a large family. Add another thousand a month to put away for savings. you need to have savings because of the hurricane hits need to have at least a month to two months and about 3000 bucks put away as a contingency fund if you have to evacuate.

If you don’t have this, you’re living on a bad side of town and collecting food stamps or EBT public assistance.

See what I mean? It’s not cheap. This is an every day life in Florida blog and that’s why I do this. And if you’re looking on the road all these nice houses with their mortgage up to their butts I could barely afford to keep their houses. Don’t even talk to me about the retiree women who lose their husbands and are and are eating dirt and Ramen noodles every night just to get by or pay the bills. They were stay at home moms who now have hardly any money.

Oh yeah, don’t think even though you inherit a house that taxes are not expensive also. I’m living in an apartment as the end to the means because of this. My father-in-law when he died, left at the house that was $12,000 behind in the taxes. This is why we sold the house and moved out. Nice part about this I will add it’s not having to mow the lawn.

I started this blog particularly because I don’t think people have an understanding of how much it really cost to live here, and live here adequately and buy everything they need. Those who move here and think that’s its going to get rich quick cannot thrive. What is it to thrive? Look that word up in the dictionary too.

My husband and I have five college degrees between the two of us, and we’re just getting by a lot of times and I mean getting by with some quiet savings potential every month. I would say were very close to thriving in this state. He’s a Family law and general practice with our office practice we operate out of the house and we go to the clients. I assist him in as a legal clerk marketing and business development with his legal practice and I also teach part time at our local school system. I also write and edit for people on the side. I have a bachelors degree in English mass communications journalism in a master of science in education. Add that to almost over 30 years of work experience and I never took off because I had a child. I have been working since 1980. Last check my Social Security was about almost 3000 a month.

Like I said not giving the inns and the outs of our private legal client matters you need a lot of money to live here. Don’t come here if you don’t have the money to live here and don’t try to show up the next person because if you don’t have that money and don’t have a job skills or the education to live. You don’t even show up at the state line. Don’t move down because your friend asked you to be her or his roommate in Florida.

And for those women who think that they can make ends meet by working in a doctors office, many of them are collecting child support and living In or what their children should get and that’s how they’re paying their rent plus their job plus their night job plus the weekend job. And yes, that’s why our children are in free VPK school and day care and home with babysitters they’re barely making ends meet.

This is why am telling it like it is. I’m tying this point to the fact that the Bahamas was totally flattened by a category five hurricane. I went to Freeport six years ago on vacation and it was the last time I left the state of Florida. I feel heartbroken about what happened. I wanna help the people in Freeport because they experienced 10 tornadoes for two days nonstop. That is what a category five hurricane is like.

And I really want to emphasize this: do not come here and think you can make a fresh start without an education. Do not think you can make it here at all without a college degree. If you have a trade you better have connections and you better have it in writing. I had also better be established financially before you get here. No con jobs allowed because that’s how it people end up in jail with injunction’s which means that if you see them or talk about them or social media with them they will go to court and keep you from being with them. In other words, don’t be a redneck and think you can just make it make do without an education here. You cannot and you will will not be given to you —because it’s not owed to you.

I see so many of these crazy young women and young men on Facebook with their hair all up and their work in these menial jobs where they could be get getting an education. But they go work in restaurants and they go to to bartending and think “why am I not making ends meet?”

Another sidenote here a lot of my close friends from high school still talk to each other. We make fun of people like this. Those people do jobs we did Part time out in high school and take their jobs. It’s aimlessness— it’s deeply disturbing that they’re over the age of 30 and still doing the jobs we did as high school students. We moved on and went to college and now have a life

Then, I see these fruit tarts with these ultra conservative religious bones on their shoulder come down here with their white pasty Non tan faces with no social sense to think they’re gonna make it too. They end up leaving Florida with their tail between their legs and negative comments about how they couldn’t make it here. That is all because they’re not practical about working your butts off and common sense way of making it here with an education. Florida people have heat on their brain and they don’t like it when people micromanage them and tell them what to do . I had to think in a regular secular social situation. In other words keep religion and politics out of topics when you’re in business. Shut up and live by example it’s too hot to talk about it. You can get fired for having religious and political arguments in business. Don’t do it.

I’m very against the sense of aimlessness when you come here you should know your purpose. Have an education or two not even show up at the stateline front door. There is not a job for you. That may be a Walmart job but you’ll be walking & will be barely able to pay your rent. They have to work 3 1/2 jobs just to make basic rent. O yeah, you’re gonna have to have two or three roommates in a one bedroom apartment.

I’m just saying you deserve better. I don’t want to go on and on about this person very frustrating to see humankind not do as well as they could and they choose to second best because of a low self image.

And then the dumb tarts use the excuse that college is not for everyone because they’re lazy as hell ass and they don’t want to do what we have had to do to get to where we are.

I am also talking to other people who think I can’t do four years of college. I hate to tell him this but I had a 2.3 grade point average in high school and hated school with a passion, but I took one look around Florida and saw the only way to get ahead is to have an education. The only way to get ahead is to have a college education with the skills to make money.

Only that, but many and most of my friends in high school who were in the advanced classes where I was, actually make fun of people who did not go to college behind their backs. And most of my Facebook friends who didn’t go to college are now seriously still struggling beyond the beyonds. I’m sorry for their plight but many of them had higher GPAs than I did I could’ve got scholarships and could’ve tweaked their way socially to get where they needed to be.

First of all, most of them don’t understand that if even if you had a bad GPA like I did take a bunch of classes at a college that will let you in, do well, and transferred to a better college. I did.

And the big question is this: how in the hell did I afford for college back in the 80s? I had student loans that was about $10-$15,000 of student loans back then. I worked a job and barely afford to make a car payment. But I found out there was a program where there was a teacher shortage for special needs students and I had a semiinternship where I cleaned change diapers of students with special needs and worked with them and they paid for my college. And it was a lot cheaper than having to pay a full-time teacher at the time. Why? Why did I take government money that you say? Instead of paying for my health insurance paying off my BA student loan was cheaper. If you’re up for less government it was a lot cheaper to pay me & pay off my student loan and everybody was happy.

Add this to when I graduated I had a $275 a month car payment that turned into about $400 for the time I paid for insurance. In other words, I struggled for many many years and a lot of journalism jobs where I was barely scraping the dirt into my nostrils just to keep the air in my lungs. But, I hung in there and got the experience. When many people would have just given up because when I still see in my heart as their lazy ass ways and they didn’t have any endurance and they just give up I don’t have the social know how in the brains to stay in there. A lot of times I did temp jobs along with that to make ends meet. I hung in there to stay in Florida.

To my non college educated high school friends: now you know what I really think of you. Granted, there are no frumpys in my high school crew —thank God. Save the floppy’s for my college crew second round and junior and senior year. There were too many of them there at Franciscan University in Steubenville , Ohio back in the 80s.

But then again, I could write a kiss and tell book about that one.

Really folks, I could go on and on about this but my point is this it is not cheap to live in Florida and you better work your ass off with your education or with your skill like air conditioning, or construction with Real serious connections to to make at least $5000 a month. If you think you’re going to sell water heaters to people and make a get rich quick scheme, you are not . They are dime a dozen here . Most need to have some social commonsense before you walk past the state line or get on an airplane and come in here. I see many people from the Midwest have no common sense I’ve seen many people from like Michigan absolutely no common sense. Western upstate New York is the worst .Parts of Tennessee that are real backwoods redneck, they need to stay where they are. There are plenty of homeless people from Appalachia coming down here to think that they can get sand in their shoes and make a fortune & well they end up homeless. Many of the women have a fight with the men and they end up divorced because they think they can do better and are stubborn as #%^*.

One more time: it is not cheap to live here. So if you want that sunset 24 seven you better have worked before coming down here. Or be like me grow up here and actually choose to work your butt off and get an education and then make your way.

Got that? I pray you do. I really pray you do and hope you have common sense if and when you decide to come here and live.


I’m a 58-year-old lady married to gorgeous Atty in Clearwater Florida. We have been married happily for 23 years.we have a beagle named alfie who is almost 11 years old.