Blogging in Service: Jin Kim, The Struggle of Service

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Blogging in Service: Jin Kim, The Struggle of Service

On February 25, 2016, Posted by , In VISTA Blog, With No Comments

[Jin Kim is a VISTA at SALT, with the title of Schoharie Creek Trail Study Coordinator. This means she plans public meetings, talks with stakeholders, acquires data, and in the future will work with GIS mapping to further plans for recreational trails in Schoharie County.]


I started my AmeriCorps VISTA service in November 2015. For those who may not know, AmeriCorps VISTA members live off of a modest living allowance. Before my service I was living and working in Baltimore City. I was able to pay my bills, spend on entertainment, and save up without any outside assistance. Since starting my service I have had to budget my every move. I refuse to accept help from my parents so that I can prove to them and myself that I am self-sufficient. My budgeting goes like this:

        1. Make sure my calendar reflects my bill due dates, pay days, laundry days, gas fill up days, etc

        2. Compare my expenditures to my income, making sure I don’t spend more than I have coming in

        3. No unnecessary foods/dining out, clothing, or accessories

        4. Keep the heat as low as possible

        5. Turn off any unnecessary lights

        6. Take back returnables for the deposit

        7. No wasting food

        8. Go on SNAP

      9. Change my repayment plan for student loans

These are basic steps that I take in order to budget and save up on a VISTA stipend.  Even with budgeting it’s always on my mind and I am constantly worried, but this is why being an AmeriCorps VISTA is important. VISTAs support non-profit organizations that help struggling communities in their time of need. There are about 14.8% of people in America who are constantly worried, so let’s do something about it.

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