Lawyer Reveals Why She Can No Longer Afford An Apartment She Had While Working As A Waitress Despite A Higher Income

The cost of living has become unbearable for many people who rent.

lawyer, rent, waitress, cost of living Gorodenkoff/ Shutterstock / Reddit 

The cost of living has certainly impacted those who rent their properties over the last few years, with many of them struggling to keep up with soaring expenses.

One 47-year-old lawyer revealed the harsh reality that she is no longer able to afford an apartment similar to the one she was renting 20 years ago when she worked as a waitress, despite earning a higher income now.

The lawyer cannot afford to rent out an apartment she once lived in while working as a waitress since the cost of living has become too high.

The woman shared her dilemma that many renters are currently facing in a tweet that was later posted to subreddit, r/antiwork.


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“20 years ago, working as a server, I lived in a corner 1 bdrm apt [one bedroom apartment] downtown with amazing water views for $700/ month,” she wrote. She now lives in a similar apartment that costs $3,600 a month, over five times as much as her original rent was two decades ago.

“As a lawyer at age 47, I am unable to afford living in the apartment I did at age 27 while waiting tables,” the woman added.

lawyer cant afford to rent apartment she once lived in while working as a waitressPhoto: Reddit


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The woman’s living situation is one that many others are all too familiar with as rent has increased significantly over the years.

“Just before 2020, I had a leased house in a suburb north of Dallas for $1,700 a month. Just two years prior [I had] a much nicer house for $1,250,” one Redditor commented. “My friend is living in a podunk town where the median wage is $21.12 and is paying $1,750 for pretty terrible 2-bedroom apartment that hasn't been updated since the 1970s.”

It is no secret that the cost of living has reached nearly impossible to payoff heights. Due to a competitive housing market and higher mortgage rates, which have increased substantially over the last couple of years and have steered more people away from buying homes and instead renting property, the median rent in the United States has gone up by 18%.

As of February 2023, the average monthly rent for a two-bedroom apartment in the country has reached $1,320, an increase from the average of $1,282 the previous year, per data from Statistica.


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Additionally, rental prices in March 2023 were by far the “largest contributor” to the rise in inflation on an annual basis, according to data collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Even with high-paying occupations, many people in the U.S. are finding it difficult to keep up with rent prices.

Other Redditors pointed this out and emphasized that even as a lawyer, the woman did not have an easy financial situation when it came to the cost of living.

“Some attorneys make barely above minimum wage. Depending on their contract with the firm, what kind of law they practice,” one user noted. “Even if she made $100k, she wouldn't be able to realistically afford that if she has literally any other non-housing related debt. Even people making $150k would have to stretch a bit to afford that.”


According to Indeed, the average salary for a lawyer in the U.S. is $97,142 annually, although it all depends on what state the lawyer is working out of.

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Others stated that the minimum wage for servers has not experienced much of a difference over the last 20 years since the woman was working as one, which in many states, still remains $2.13 an hour with tips.

The only thing that has changed was the cost of monthly rent, and based on current trends, it is only expected to get higher from here.


The woman’s story is only one of many that renters are experiencing, despite the fact that most of them earn higher salaries than they once did. Hopefully, as more people start sharing their horror stories when it comes to the cost of renting, U.S. lawmakers can strategize a solution to make housing more affordable for all, especially those who are already spending so much of their time to make a decent living.

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Megan Quinn is a writer at YourTango who covers entertainment and news, self, love, and relationships.