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    Posted September 17, 2008 by
    renegademom
    Location
    Santa Fe, New Mexico
    Assignment
    Assignment
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Wall Street crisis and you

    Down to the Bone

     

    I am a single mother, with three children, ages 10, 11, and 13. I work a full-time job, plus two part-time jobs. I have joint custody with my ex, so on the weeks the kids are not with me, I work my other two part-time jobs.

     

    We lived pretty close to the bone already. Now, we have given up:

     

    1. Cable TV.

     

     

    2. Land line telephone. I don't allow texting or internet on cell phones. Had them blocked.

     

     

    3. Allowances.

     

     

    4. Music downloads.

     

     

    5. Quality of food I can purchase has gone down. I am unable to even shop at Trader Joe's much. I peruse coupons. Need to limit weekly food budget for all 4 of us to $150 for a week.

     

     

    6. No meals out at all.

     

     

    7. No movies.

     

     

    8. We shop at goodwill most of the time. Luckily, we live in a "destination" city, and the "rich folk" here donate a lot of good stuff.

     

     

    9. No more manicures or pedicures. That may seem trivial, but for me, who works upwards of 70 hours per week, it was a big deal.

     

     

    10. Dropped renter's insurance.

     

     

    11. Cut up credit cards. If I can't pay cash, we don't get it.

     

     

    It's not all bad. We are very grateful for our home, which we RENT, that I do have a stable job, and that I have such wonderful children who understand.

     

     

    One of the things we've started doing instead of tv is volunteering Wednesday nights at "Mamas for Obama" nights at campaign headquarters. It rocks, and the whole family feels invested in the election.

     

     

    I should add that I am white, and my kids (adopted) are all black. This year has been quite the eye-opener for them.

     

     

    I feel better just saying this stuff in writing. A lot of the time I feel like a failure for my inability to give my children all the "things" I'd like. But we all love each other, and I guess Love is All You Need.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Kathleen

     

     

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