620 Lewis Street

Wenatchee, WA 98801

oliviam@cdcac.org

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Tel: 509-662-6156

© 2018 Intermountain AmeriCorps

Living on a Stipend

 

One of the concerns you might have with committing to a year of service is if you can live on a monthly stipend. Many members are able to do it successfully each year. You are the best judge of your own financial responsibilities.

Here are a few cost estimates to help you judge if service is financially feasible for you.

 

Income- 40 hours a week

 

  • Around $1300-$1400 per month for 40 hour a week members: estimated amount of your stipend check after taxes (varies according to exemptions claimed on a W-4). The amount, before taxes, is $1,500 per month. This is divided in two and paid twice monthly (the 5th and 20th).

  • $190: amount of money in food benefits per month for a single person (if you qualify; most members do)

  • $6,095: your education award after completing your service term. Pay down student loans or go to school!

Income- 20 hours a week

 

  • Around $650-$700 per month for 40 hour a week members: estimated amount of your stipend check after taxes (varies according to exemptions claimed on a W-4). The amount, before taxes, is $750 per month. This is divided in two and paid twice monthly (the 5th and 20th).

  • $190: amount of money in food benefits per month for a single person (if you qualify; most members do)

  • $3,047: your education award after completing your service term. Pay down student loans or go to school!

 

Housing

 

  • $300-500: cost of renting a room in a shared housing arrangement

  • $500-800: cost of a studio or one-bedroom apartment for yourself

  • $600-900: cost of a two-bedroom apartment to share with another member

  • $800-1200: cost of a three-bedroom apartment to share with other members

 

Miscellaneous

 

  • $20-$100: electric bill for two people in one apartment (includes heating and cooking; most buildings do not use natural gas at all). Apartments will usually be on the lower end of that range. Power is hydroelectric and among the cheapest in the nation!

  • $0: student loan payments (you can request forbearance on federal loans)

  • $0: state income tax (Washington does not have an income tax system)

 

Initial expenses

 

  • Relocation: These costs will vary according to how far you need to travel to relocate.

  • Apartment Deposit: Most apartments will require a deposit equal to one month's rent. If you are bringing a pet, a non-refundable pet deposit is also commonly required.

  • First Month: The first stipend check is issued three weeks after starting your term; consider this in your planning.

Relocation

About half of our members relocate to North Central Washington for their service year, and moving to the area is a challenge that they successfully overcome each year.

Moving Expenses

Like most AmeriCorps programs, we are unfortunately not able to reimburse members for their relocation.

Housing Search

We want to do everything we can to make the process of finding a place to live as easy as possible. Sometimes we do hear of people interested in renting specifically to AmeriCorps members, and we will be happy to pass this information along. Unfortunately, we do not have the capacity to provide housing for all of our relocating members. It is up to each individual member to find a place that meets his or her needs in terms of cost, location, and desired living environment.

Housing and Apartment Resources

Below are a few links you may find useful in your search for finding housing in your new local community.

Craigslist

Area Local Paper Websites:
Wenatchee World 
Leavenworth Echo
Omak Chronicle

Property / Rental Management Information:
Still Properties
Huber Real Estate 
Herring & Associates 
Platinum Property Management 
A&M Properties

 

If you do the following, we think you'll have a successful housing search:

  • Wait until you are placed to start your housing search; it will save you time during the year to live close to your service site.

  • Do some research on housing before arriving in the area. Finding a place during your first busy days of service can be challenging.

  • If you're interested in living with an AmeriCorps roommate, let us know. Every year, we put together a "roommate list" of everyone interested in sharing housing to cut costs.

  • Use the short list of housing research resources below. If you will be serving in a small, rural town, try checking with your new Site Supervisor to see if he or she has ideas on what housing might be available in your service community.

  • Feel free to ask us what we think of a particular location. We would be happy to make sure it's in a safe neighborhood for you. Alternately, arrange for one roommate to make the trip to our area and do a housing search.

  • Arrive a week early if you would prefer to make in-person housing arrangements. A whole week will give you time to look at several different places.

  • Bringing a pet with you can make finding a suitable place to live a bit harder, though not impossible. Keep in mind that some places will not accept pets, or may accept cats but not dogs.

  • We generate a letter for members to help explain to potential landlords that you will have consistent employment and income, even though your income will be low.

  • To save moving hassle, wait until you arrive to find second-hand furniture at garage sales and several thrift stores. Generally, finding enough decent and affordable furniture is not a hard thing in this area.