landscaping is a young man's game, not a lifetime career-- for someone to make a career out of it, doing the hard, grunt work, is exceedingly rare. without benefits, or disability insurance, one simple injury (broken ankle) can literally destroy you to the point you never catch up--picture massive medical bills and being off work for 4+ months. nobody plans for this, but the chances of having something like this happen over a 30+ year career are actually quite high. I can't give you great career advice, other than to find a higher paying job with benefits--they are out there. another option is to bust your ass and finish your college degree--use it as a foundation for something other than a physical labor job. or get a technical school degree and learn a trade. any of these are an order of magnitude better than landscaping. that being said, its not worth it to be in a job you absolutely hate. find a job you can tolerate that allows you the luxury of doing things you truly want to do. don't hold out for the job that feels like you're not actually working---its similar to passing up on great relationships because you're looking for your soulmate. the balance between money/time/work/and happiness is a whole other discussion I could go on and on with. I was definitely happier when I had more time.