- Posted September 17, 2008 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Wall Street crisis and you
Trying to make it until December
I am the breadwinner in my family of four right now because my husband is finishing school. He graduates in December, but right about the time he started college, they raised gas prices, so we have paid up to $450.00 a month just for him to attend school....and there is only one school that has his major around here, so we had to do it. He is working part time at the mall and that pays for his gas and our car insurance, but that' s it. I have given up doing my hair/ nails, shopping, going to the movies, eating out (we eat out MAYBE once a week), and buying drinks like Gatorade, Coke, etc. I drink alot of tea, water, and kool-aid. We don't buy snacks, junk food, cookies, etc. and I buy the cheapest groceries I can. I have been staying in our breakroom for lunch 3 days a week to save gas (it's a 20 minute ride to and from my house for lunch each day). We have been going to the park and riding bikes around the neighborhood for fun instead of costly entertainment. When we do go out to eat we drink water (saves around $8.00 on average for a family of 4 at a sit down restaurant, $4-5 at a fast food place.) we don't order appetizers or desert and we share if possible. We don't go anywhere except work, school, and church, limiting our gas usage. My husband has stopped getting snacks, gum and food at his college and is taking lunch everyday. We are trying to wear our clothes a few times until we wash them, save our loose change for occassional outings (we recently used my daughter's loose change and cashed it in for a trip to the county fair). We are trying to cut as many corners as we can. From little things to big things. Our internet got downgraded to the slower one, we don't have cable anymore, stuff like that. You have to do what you have to do. Oh yeah...and we're living in my inlaw's basement. :)
I work at a bank and make enough money for us to survive on if we were debt free, but we're not. We sold our van (in the picture) and my husband is using a car someone gave us....but we have my car payment, medical bills, credit card bills, etc. Back in July I almost had a nervous breakdown from the financial stres. I finally had to pretend like we don't have credit/card medical bills just so I could stay sane. I just decided to do what it takes to keep a roof over our head, keep our car, and put food in our mouths. I just stopped paying all the little things.Now I have almost all my accounts in collection. I don't know what I'm going to do. But we are all still alive, thank God for that. And we're healthy. I have actually thought about dropping my health insurance....that would give me $300 a month....It's really hard to bear this burden. I wish I were debt free.