I’d like to remain anonymous, but would like to share my story because I believe it is very telling when it comes to state employees in NH.
I moved here from across the country because I fell in love w/ NH when I was here visiting a friend. I could see myself raising a family and growing old here. I was offered a job with the state and although I already had a good job with the state that I moved from, I was lured by the promise of a quality life style, good benefits, no state income tax, etc.
Unfortunately, no matter how much I love NH, I have been flat broke since moving here and am seriously contemplating moving back. The cost of living in NH is astronomically high. I literally haven’t put a dime into savings since I’ve been here. On the contrary, I find myself pulling from my savings account just to buy groceries until the next payday. I can’t help but feel like I made a huge mistake. I have no funds to enjoy the beauty of the state and rely heavily upon friends to get me around so I don’t have to pay for gas if I just want to get out for a hike. This is no way to live, especially for a college-educated professional.
I graduated 8 years ago and have been working as a state employee for about 7 of those years and I’ve never been faced with this kind of financial hardship. I pay $850/month for a 1 bedroom apt. in Concord… that amount of money will get you a two bedroom house where I’m from. I have lost all hope of my dreams coming thru here.
I am faced with either finding a second job just to make ends meet or moving back to my home state. Both of these options make me sad because I truly love it here and just want to be able to enjoy my life without constantly worrying about money.
Thank you for considering what we’re faced with as public employees, especially those that are just at the beginning of their careers. NH needs people like me to stick around… I hope that our elected leaders will take my story to heart and give us our raise. The state is going to be in serious trouble if it can’t attract and retain young professionals – who else will pay for the aging population of the state?