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So, first and foremost it's me asking for input. Second it's me spouting (possibly) ridiculous ideas, that might be helpful for someone in a similar position.
ME:
I'm male, 19, I'm tough,smart, strong willed, a survivor, and unlike many 19 year olds, have ambition and a work ethic. I work at starbucks getting around 30 hours a week at CA min wage, living in LA it's surviving money, and I want to thrive, I was thinking in about a year or so, when I have more experience at the store I'm working at, transferring (I can work at any starbucks in the free 50) to a North Dakota boom town, where I'd work most likely 40 hours a week, (from what I've heard almost every store in the region is giving full schedules to everyone who can take them)
And maybe getting a part time job to add another 10-20,
From what I hear "Minimum wage" is around 14-17 dollars in those towns.
I'd suspend any real quality of life, perhaps I'd make sure I had one day off a week, to decompress.
I'd Eat cheap, live in my car, save all the money I could, and then when I've saved up enough of a nest egg I'd move on wherever I'd be going next.

The problems I'd see for the situation I described are:
Showers, "eating cheap" in my car in an inflated boom town, discomfort, cold, being away from home for a long period of time in a very different setting, isolation...?

What would you guys recommend? Anyone in ND have any thoughts?
Anyone NOT in ND?
 

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I agree, do not plan to live in your car in the winter there. We live in a 33 ft rv in a very cold and wintery area of Wyoming. Good wages. We will be comfortable....but....we have spent alot of money on insulation, propane and blue board. Plan ahead.
 

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North central Pa is booming too. Winters are a bit less harsh than ND and the housing situation is far more affordable. Many old coal/steel towns up around the shale that emptied out in the 70s and 80s. It'll take a bit to fill them up again.

West Virginia, Oklahoma, even Louisiana have some boom spots forming for oil/gas.
 

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I was in Midland not long ago. There was a handwritten sign in the front window of the McDonalds on the loop that said, "Need Counter Help. Starting $15 an Hour"......So, yes, there are high paying jobs in the oil field even for people who don't work in the oil field per se. That's the good news.

As others have alluded to though there are "issues" as well. Housing is the biggest one. You can pay $300 a night for a hotel room. People are putting trailers in their back yards and charging $1200 a month for them- and getting it. There is a large "man camp" in Pecos right across I20 from the Flying J....the men are living in those little fake log and tin "vacation" cabins you see for sale alongside the road....600 men in that camp.....I have a friend who lives down that way, says it takes nearly 3 hours to get a haircut because there are that many roughnecks in town most days. Everything is expensive and service is difficult for most of life's necessities.

Here is the "tip of the iceberg"--

http://bigstory.ap.org/article/teen-opens-mobile-shower-grimy-nd-oil-workers
 

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Or just go to work for the oil fields...and make some actual money...why go work in the area to not make the big bucks?

Starbucks is not a career....
 

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Or just go to work for the oil fields...and make some actual money...why go work in the area to not make the big bucks?

Starbucks is not a career....
It's an option but not everyone is made for 85 hour work weeks of extremely physical labor in bad weather (meth helps or so I hear) that involve getting run over by oil field trucks (they kill at least one a week down in the basin) or hit on the head by falling pipe.....
 

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Just because salaries are high doesn't mean that everything else is normal prices.

The only way I can see this working is if you work lots of hours, have zero paid entertainment and hook up with food/living sources that are cheap.

I think there was someone on here who goes out works for like two weeks solid and then goes home for two weeks. He brings all the food he will eat with him so he isn't paying 2 or 3 times normal prices because they have to pay McD's staff $15+ an hour.

^^^ that pretty much makes the case for raising minimum wage doesn't it?
 

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A similar thread is going on elsewhere here. Again, I suggest you check Zillow for home/apartment prices. When I looked at Williston, ND, in response to that thread I saw 1 bedroom apartments renting at $2,100/month!

This is shaping up to a Grapes of Wrath thing, so be very, very cautious. You won't survive in your car. Most likely you'll be working hard, spending most of it on housing, and not enjoying the winters.

Reminds me when Google last contacted me. I checked the cost of housing in Mountain View and surrounding communities. Lenders hesitate to give you a mortgage more than 3x your annual income, so I told Google I'd need $250K/year to consider moving there.

Re: Minimum wage jobs. I think who's really pushing for hiking the minimum wage are the slumlords and huge rental corporations. Their low-income tenants will have a few more bucks, so they'll simply raise rent. I saw the literature of some $15/hour "activists" earlier this year, and that pretty much convinced me. The literature itself talked about having troubles meeting rent. Theirs is not a message about owning your own property, business, etc. But ponying up more money to the landlord, who'll be happy to raise rates to whatever the market will bear -- and maybe a little more. So a higher minimum wage simply means more $$$ to the slumlords.

So if you had investment or rental property in parts of North Dakota maybe 15 years ago, I'm sure it's worth 3x or more its value now, and probably never suffered during the real estate crash either. But it's alot dicier now. If the oil work slows down or people quit coming, those property values will drop to normalcy again.
 
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