Have you noticed how gas has gone up in the last couple of weeks? Or how much it costs to buy food?

I have to “schiat’” (Neapolitan dialect for "implode") every time the Discover bill comes to the house.

Because it goes to serve the fact that getting by here is a bitch, in plain English.

Our property tax just went up, after having stayed stable for a good while. And while the tax didn’t go up much, fact is that’s a few dollars less that pays a bill, or maybe even denies us a dinner out or a night to go to the movies.

I blogged about this recently and asked the question that if the cost of living is going up at such a prohibitive rate, do you plan on leaving soon.

For those of us who plan on staying, there really doesn’t seem to be any monetary inducement to stay.

Lost in all the bluster about raising New Jersey’s minimum wage, from $7.25 an hour to $8.25, is that neither is enough to live on. Today, two adults working full-time, minimum-wage jobs earn $30,000 a year. A new study, by the Economic Policy Institute, estimates the cost of “getting by” for a New Jersey family of four is around $80,000. That’s equal to two full-time jobs, each paying at least $19 an hour.

It’s the difference between a wage and a living wage. In New Jersey, many employers are fighting the minimum-wage hike. In Washington, Wal-Mart threatened to boycott the city if it passed a law requiring big retailers pay a “living wage” — $12.50 an hour. Meanwhile, a Gallup poll found 19 percent of two-adult households struggled to buy food during the past year.

Reachers found that just getting by means, as I like to call it, “living from hand to mouth?” No savings, just the basics. And forget about setting up a separate fund for college or retirement.

They also found that for a family of 4 to get by, you’d need a yearly income of 80 grand. I can tell you from first hand experience, unless I’m doing something wrong, 80 grand pretty much scratches the surface.

Are you able to get living in New Jersey by with what you make?