Sunday, October 12, 2008

Times Are Tough!!

Is anyone else tightening their belt, trimming the fat, trying to make the budget a little bit more lean in these financially trying times? I started a few months ago as a result of my hours at work having been cut by about 75% and simultaneously taking a cut in pay. My work as an ecologist is driven by how much new development is going on, and when the housing market crumbled, so did my income. Thankfully Steve still brings in a good salary and we aren't really hurting. Watching your hard-earned savings draining away in the stock market certainly motivates me to make some changes in my spending though.

Things I've done already include getting my hair cut and colored half as often (helllooo dark roots), and making the decision that Weston no longer needs guitar lessons. I'm also grocery shopping with greater care, focusing on making items that can be reheated for lunch the next day, and trying to avoid expensive ingredients. When I was about 6 months pregnant with Garrett, I started having someone come to clean my house every two weeks, and when I went back to work full time, it made sense for her to continue coming. Now that I'm hardly working, I'm going to have to let her go. I feel badly about it, not only because she has always done a great job for me, but also because I feel like I'm causing someone else just a bit more financial hardship.

Of course I'm looking for a job too. I started looking seriously around the beginning of this year, and was pretty picky about the kind of job, and salary I was willing to accept. As unemployment figures become increasingly grim and my hours at my current job keep dropping, I've grown less and less picky. Maybe a nice job as a secretary, or bagging groceries, or waitressing for minimum wage would work. I haven't actually reached that point yet, but it no longer seems as far-fetched scenario as it used to.


Anonymous said...

Sad to say I'm having to do the the same thing. I no longer buy whatever takes my fancy and I actually look at prices in the supermarket. When your husband informes you that you have lost over half your life savings in the stock market debacle, it sharpens your mind a bit. Not to feel too bad though --- yet. Our house is paid for and we're debt free. Young people still have their lives ahead of them and a good chance to reverse all the losses. You'll be fine . Now if only Obama wins!!

Steve said...

We've always been rather conservative investors which means we get burned less by market busts. It also means we occasionally have to watch others act irrationally exuberant, but that's a small price to pay for maintaining a stable lifestyle. We'll definitely be fine.