Thursday, October 2, 2008

Money, Money, Money, MONEY

While our elected leaders continue to debate what to do over one significant facet of the economic crisis we are in, life goes on for the rest of us.

My dw G and I, like many Americans, are feeling vulnerable at this time. For us, perhaps more so than some of our friends and family. The reasons for this are:

1. Though the political focus, at least for the time, has shifted to Wall Street, and as an extension, Mall Street (a caller on an NPR show had a good point that Main Street has already had its crisis, which came about with the "Big Box Stores," and that now, Mall Street is really the next street down from Wall Street)...fossil fuels are still a *huge* issue.

For folks out west, most of you probably see this crisis primarily in terms of transportation. For many of us in New England, our homes are heated by oil and we are seeing immediate and direct effects of the crisis. In my home, oil is not only our source for home heating, but also hot water. Worse still, we live in a particularly cold and snowy region of our state. The winters here are very difficult.

It now costs well over $800 to fill up our oil tank. If we were to heat our home and use our hot water normally, we would need to refill our oil tank every two to three weeks. Obviously, this is not financially feasible even for folks securely in the middle class.

2. G became a stay-at-home mother last year. This has really held our family together on so many different levels. It has truly been a blessing. We knew when we bought our home (which was truly *cheap* for our area) that she would need to return to work at least part time. We envisioned her working two or three evenings per week, and us continuing to maintain a schedule similar to what we have now with her at home. However, now that we have been in our new home for a few months, we are really aware of how close we are teetering to financial doom. G needs to get a job and *fast,* especially before winter hits, but even sooner. It looks like she will need to work three evenings per week for sure.

Definitely time to batten down the hatches. So my next post will be my tight-wad list. What's on yours?


sf said...

We are trying to eat out less- have been somewhat successful.
No buying new stuff - but I am going to yard sales right now on Fridays for stuff we feel we do need - like a new (old) table so Colin could have one of mine for some projies he's working on. I found two at a sale, but didn't like either ALL that much when the best he would offer me was $35. I had it in mind I didn't want to spend more than $15. Then today we went to the Habitat for Humanity thrift store and I found a nice big mid-century modern drop leaf, with a top in pretty bad shape, but sandable. When the dude said $35. THERE too, I figured "Fine," but got a little lucky because everything was 20% off today, so with tax it only came to $29.04.
Buying food is hard; the things we tend to eat are no less spensie than Whole Foods at the other place.
The garden was a saving grace this year ---

Masasa said...

I totally hear you on the garden. If G. and I had any skills at all, we seriously would have tried raised bed gardens on the cement this summer LOL. That is good you found a table that works well. Even though it was $30, just think how much you might have spent for a new one. Thanks for sharing your list. Good ideas. We are definitely going to be heading out to the thrift stores more this year. Seems like most of the garage sales out here are done now because it is already getting really cold.