Victor Yang has worked on Capitol Hill for three years, presently as legislative assistant to Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), and previously as a staff assistant to Rep. Charlies Crist (D-Fla.) and an intern for Rep. Juan Vargas, another California Democrat.
Even if you’ve never met Victor, he may look familiar to you because he appeared on CNBC last week in the cable outlet’s “Millennial Money” series of profiles.
He talked at length about how he lives in one of the most expensive cities in America on a salary that is well below the median national household income of $55,880.28 (for 2018, the most recent available full year).
Victor may get some flak for being so transparent about himself and how he manages his income, but I believe he’s done every individual who works on Capitol Hill a great favor by doing so.
The reason is he gives Americans outside of the nation’s capitol a realistic look at what working for Congress and living in the nation’s capitol on a comparatively low salary can be like.
“As a congressional staffer with three years experience, Yang earns $45,000 a year,” CNBC reported. “It’s not an easy job, either: He typically works more than 40 hours a week and sometimes ends up staying at the office until 9 or 10 p.m.”
Odds are that everybody who is an LA, press secretary, chief of staff or any of countless other Hill jobs knows what it’s like to have to put in 12 or 13 hours on a regular basis.
“But for Yang, it’s worthwhile. ‘I’m a big proponent of public service,’ he says. ‘I believe it’s important to give back to the country that you love.’ Additionally, he’s passionate about seeing more Asian-American representation in politics and government.
The CNBC profile includes a multitude of revealing details about how Victor makes ends meet, including one way to save money that is familiar to every person who ever worked on the Hill:
“One small perk of his job is that he attends numerous catered events each month. If he ends up eating dinner at an event, it saves him on grocery costs for the week,” CNBC reported.
And there’s this: Victor told CNBC he absolutely refuses to buy coffee because “it’s a complete waste. The coffee costs 5 cents to make and someone’s selling it for $2.”
He also told CNBC that “I don’t budget heavily, I just try to make sure that my expenses don’t go over a certain level.” Actually, he keeps a close eye on every dollar.
I think he’s just being modest in saying that. Come to think of it, maybe he should consider becoming a financial consultant to other Hill aides! Go here for the full scoop on Victor Yang’s money management.