Back of the envelope Pay-checking

I sometimes bemoan my paycheck in jest (though it is a lot less than if I, say, went directly into a industrial job), but I just realized that I had been underestimating my pay… So here’s the updated back of the envelope calculation.
So, I’m currently on a university fellowship that awards $5,250 per quarter.

  • This “quarter” they speak of is misleading… whereas a “semester” is, indeed, half a term, a “quarter” is apparently a third of the term. It makes more sense for grad students, since we’ll work in the summer, too– but they use this misnomer for every student. *is a tad bitter about it* Anyway, since summer is three months, each quarter is therefore 3 months.
  • In three months, there are approximately 12 weeks. Just looking at holidays and guesstimating, I’d say there is probably a net week of vacation per quarter.
    Eleven weeks, then, working five days a week, is 55 work-days per quarter.
  • Let’s assume that (as has been the case so far), that between lab work, classes, and studying, I spend a generous underestimated 9 hours a day on Graduate School.
  • That comes to 495 hours of work per quarter. Let’s round it to 500 for neatness sake.

That means: I’m earning (before tax) just about $10.50 an hour. That’s not great money to get rich on, but easily enough money to live on, especially since I’m a cheap college student.

Guess I won’t have to sell my body after all. 😀

8 Responses to “Back of the envelope Pay-checking”

Well, you could still sell it and then maybe manage to buy a few of those endless electronic gadgets (and, needless to mention books,) that you drool over so much…

Teisha - October 7th, 2004 at 10:56 am

Something else to put things in perspective:
12.1% of Americans (12.9% of Californians) fall below the poverty line. For one person living alone that level is defined as $9,573 a year. You are making more than 4 times that, not to mention your great health insurance and other benifits. I think you’ll survive. (2003 Statistics)

Laika - October 7th, 2004 at 11:34 am

He’s, er, making twice that, I think. And he’s making fifty cents an hour more than me. You dirty bastard.

Owen - October 7th, 2004 at 11:47 am

Umm.. er… Factors of 2 go in and out of a vacuum. You knew that right?

Laika - October 7th, 2004 at 12:35 pm

But Owen- I bet you pay less for housing than I do. 😛

Monthly, I pay
* Rent: $852
* Utilities: ~$60
* Phones (bastard companies): ~$60
* Internet: ~$50
* Gas, regular Car maintainence: ~$40
* Lizard Care and quality of life: ~$80

Which leaves me with ~$600/month to pay for food, entertainment, books, gadgets, and pay my taxes.

Paradoxdruid - October 7th, 2004 at 2:50 pm

Ah, Laika.. ever the theoretical physicist. (joker)

Paradoxdruid - October 7th, 2004 at 2:51 pm

Damn those factors of 2

Gilvoro - October 7th, 2004 at 6:16 pm

You forgot to mention I split all my costs with somebody else 🙂

Owen - October 7th, 2004 at 4:55 pm

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