How do you do it?

Groundpounder

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How do you new hires that make $20k a year survive? I have a chance to get on with an airline and make around that level, but have no idea how I'd make ends meet. I have a nice car and a decent place to live, but I sure don't live like a king. I could get rid of the car and get some crapmobile, but thats not going to make a huge difference. How do you do it???
 

Flyer1015

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Try male stripping. Easiest $200 bucks an hour you'll ever make. :D

Or, you can be the next Kit Darby, and run a busiiness to convince everyone that there indeed IS a pilot shortage, and airlines will hire elventy billion pilots in the next 15 years! :rolleyes:










J/K !
 

Socalplt

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Rich parents or a working wife. Hopefully, you'll have good second year pay so you can work a lot of extra hours to pay off the debt your gonna build up. (It is possible in your second year to make 40k+, if your pay rate is $30+hr)

Working wife in my case.
 

doug_or

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As a flight instructor I definately made less than 20k.

Lived in cheap places, always had roomates. Don't eat out at nice places, and don't buy expensive food for cooking at home. Alchohol is expensive.... so I drank grocery strore brand whiskey when I absolutely had to get drunk. Have a small car and didn't live too far from the airport, so gas hasn't been killing me. My student loans are backloaded, so the payments aren't too bad yet.
 

viper548

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second job. If you have a flexable second job, you could work it while sitting reserve at the airline.
 
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Nindiri

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The same way anyone gets by their first year at any job paying 20K. Be prepared; either have some money in the bank or plan to skip a lot of meals.
 

pianoman

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Don't do anything out. Eat at home, drink at home, rent DVD's instead of going to the movies. Don't go crazy on the overnights at the bar. Get a cheap ass 4-cylinder car. It sucks but it is definitely possible, especially if you have roommates or a wife/gf with a job. It sucks, but later on when you have money I think you definitely appreciate it more.
 

dhc8fo

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The other half brings home the bacon. I bring home the toast....otherwise, you could always live in a tent and eat Ramen noodles for a few years.
 

dh82dvr

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Or, you can be the next Kit Darby, and run a busiiness to convince everyone that there indeed IS a pilot shortage, and airlines will hire elventy billion pilots in the next 15 years!

Damn, I thought it was over the next 5 years.
 

flyer172r

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Try to bring food with you, (snacks and stuff) to get you through so you don't have to buy overpriced airport food. Get used to animal crackers and pop-tarts for dinner.
 

Full of LUV

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Later On?

pianoman said:
Don't do anything out. Eat at home, drink at home, rent DVD's instead of going to the movies. Don't go crazy on the overnights at the bar. Get a cheap ass 4-cylinder car. It sucks but it is definitely possible, especially if you have roommates or a wife/gf with a job. It sucks, but later on when you have money I think you definitely appreciate it more.

Later on when you get on with the majors, oh wait..... Look at it this way, it's an easy weight loss plan. We need to start new hire pilot communes to cut down on living expenses, that way we can effectively compete with the chinese. No worrys about cabotage once were up an running.
Ciao!
 

Earl Williams

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I'm not sure about your situation (married, kids, mortgage, etc?) but it's certainly do-able as a single person with a frugal mindset. I just finished up my first year at Mesa (obviously not one of the best paying regionals) and don't have a problem with making ends meet. However, I also caveat that with having no debt...car has been paid off for years, live with a roommate to cut costs, and limit my spending habits to a need basis. Also, I made sure back in my days training to always be able to pay for a lesson before I took it (thus ensuring, through two jobs nonetheless, that I'd at least not owe anything when I started starving as an instructor). Instructing was a challenge as we all know, but I just tightened the belt even more.

Just to give you a realistic snapshot of what first year pay is like (again, this is specific to Mesa): Normal line is around 85-90 hours per month...take away a few cancellations (no cancellation pay here...urrrrghh!!) and it usually comes out to around 80 or so. Assume 80 X $20.88 and generally around $350 for per diem (tax exempt!). So, a little over $2000 a month gross. Not a lot, for sure, but liveable if one's frugal with their spending. I try to avoid a lot of "going out" on overnights...beer and meals can add up in a hurry. Of course, every now and then I'll reward myself, but you really need to exercise self discipline (especially on first year pay!). I'm sure others (ExpressJet, etc with far better contracts) pull down better than that, so consider my example a "below average" indication.

Hope that helps in at least giving you an example of what first year pay can be. It kind of sucks, but we all know going in what it's going to be, so just plan ahead.

-Earl
 

idoitupsidedown

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If your profile is right, your very near to getting your CFI....I also thought it would be impossible to live on <$20K a year as a junior F/O - then i became a CFI. Mom and Dad cut me off when i became a CFI (except for paying my tuition). My W2 said I made $8K last year at the airport and $2K as a university simulator instructor. Roommates. friends who are also broke. PBR. Spagetti. Apartment that is close to the airport. One night stands are cheaper than a non-working girlfriend. Girlfriend who work and refuse to let you pay for more than every other date are a god-sent. .... I think the hardest part will be making $20K and still living like i make 10. I start paying my student loans in Dec. and unless the Avros get 85 seats and the CRJs continue to come in, i still have no other promising leads on getting out of instructing. Budgeting 101, i guess.
 

Groundpounder

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I'm in kind of a screwed up situation, I have an apartment that is bigger than I need, but I had a girlfriend at the time and we needed a place this size. I now don't have a g/f, so this place is way more than I need. I can afford it on my present pay, but I'm stuck with it until March. I have a nice small SUV, but it doesn't get very good gas mileage, and I'd have to commute from north of Ft Lauderdale to MIA. Good thing its worth more than I owe, but I'll cry if I have to sell it.

Well, I haven't even gotten an interview, so maybe all this worrying is for nothing.......lol
 

BOHICAgain

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Earl Williams said:
I'm not sure about your situation (married, kids, mortgage, etc?) but it's certainly do-able as a single person with a frugal mindset. I just finished up my first year at Mesa (obviously not one of the best paying regionals) and don't have a problem with making ends meet. However, I also caveat that with having no debt...car has been paid off for years, live with a roommate to cut costs, and limit my spending habits to a need basis. Also, I made sure back in my days training to always be able to pay for a lesson before I took it (thus ensuring, through two jobs nonetheless, that I'd at least not owe anything when I started starving as an instructor). Instructing was a challenge as we all know, but I just tightened the belt even more.

Just to give you a realistic snapshot of what first year pay is like (again, this is specific to Mesa): Normal line is around 85-90 hours per month...take away a few cancellations (no cancellation pay here...urrrrghh!!) and it usually comes out to around 80 or so. Assume 80 X $20.88 and generally around $350 for per diem (tax exempt!). So, a little over $2000 a month gross. Not a lot, for sure, but liveable if one's frugal with their spending. I try to avoid a lot of "going out" on overnights...beer and meals can add up in a hurry. Of course, every now and then I'll reward myself, but you really need to exercise self discipline (especially on first year pay!). I'm sure others (ExpressJet, etc with far better contracts) pull down better than that, so consider my example a "below average" indication.

Hope that helps in at least giving you an example of what first year pay can be. It kind of sucks, but we all know going in what it's going to be, so just plan ahead.

-Earl

I dont fly for mesa but What he said is pretty accurate. The only thing I do is pick up open time so I avarage about 95 hours of pay.. Wont time out for the year b/c I got online late Feb..


You have to commute from north of FLL to MIA.. Why??
 

synchoff

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idoitupsidedown said:
. Girlfriend who work and refuse to let you pay for more than every other date are a god-sent. .... I think the hardest part will be making $20K and still living like i make 10. .

Oh, they're keeping track of this. It's an investment for them. Marry them, and you'll be paying it back for the rest of your life, with lots and lots of interest.

(trust me on this one)
 

~~~^~~~

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Maybe the question should be, WHY do you do it?

Knowing what I do now after 6 years flying for the crappy Company I work for - I wouldn't do it. Most of us keep hanging on hoping that it gets better, but it doesn't.
 

jaxpilot

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groundpounder, do you really make a lot more than 20k as a line guy? just asking cuz I've been a line guy for almost 2 years now and am just now brushing with 20k a year, I might make it this year if my calcs are correct. I guess if you are a line supervisor you could but if you are a regular line guy than Banyan must pay damn good.
 
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