My wife and I do the bills together twice a month, and it’s never fails to amaze me how nearly impossible it is to get by here.

I work a second job, and took my mother-in-law in, which helps. However, every couple of weeks, I have to hold my breath.

My wife complains that going shopping for food is almost a twice a week journey.

So what to do? Go rob a bank? (I know somebody who did that; and it didn’t turn out well!)

Since robbing a bank is out of the question, one has to wonder how much longer you can stay. As for me, family considerations keep me here; but at the price of the wolf nipping at my heals.

According to this:

More than a million workers in New Jersey can’t keep up with dramatically rising living costs despite having full-time jobs, according to a report scheduled to be released today.

About a quarter of Garden State residents employed full-time earn wages that dip below the statewide cost-of-living average, the study by Legal Services of New Jersey found.

New Jersey is usually cited among the richest states in the U.S., but Melville D. Miller Jr., president of Legal Services. noted it is also among the costliest states to live in — ranking first, for example, in housing costs.

The study shows that for those with full-time jobs to simply survive in the state in 2011, a single adult needed $28,593 and a couple with two school-aged children needed $64,238. That covers costs for basic needs such as food, adequate heating, medical care, child care, or even fixing broken appliances.

Experts say workers were dealt a double whammy: living costs were more expensive, but they made less money. The report says over the past dozen years, living costs have risen up to 28.9 percent while median wages fell 4.4 percent.

The county with the lowest average cost of living is Atlantic, at $51,392, while Bergen is the highest, at $81,212. The other counties in order are: Salem, $52,184; Hudson, $55,432; Essex, $57,095; Cape May, $58,134; Camden, $58,966; Monmouth, $58,966; Somerset, $58,966; Cumberland, $60,415; Gloucester $61,700; Warren, $62,612; Sussex, $67,386; Middlesex, $68,645; Mercer, $69,545; Ocean $69,857; Burlington, $70,224; Union, $70,483; Passaic, $71,095; Morris, $74,172; and Hunterdon, $76,349.

I don’t think the figures cited above reflect real world living for most of us. Figure car insurance which is reported to be going up for a good many companies soon, cable which never seems to stay the same, the aforementioned food; and you can see how easy it is to pile on.

I know what my monthly “nut” is. How much is yours, and how long do you plan on staying, if indeed the cost keeps going up?