Little by Little
Sunday, May 30, 2010
I am in a tough financial situation these days due to an unemployed spouse. He has been laid off before, it's not uncommon with his position (Quality Engineering Manager-Quality always seems to get cut first). We are in a situation that we have never been in because of the recession. In the past, we always had lots and lots of credit to fall back on, and our house WAS worth way more than our debt. We have no credit this time, just debt. Our house still might be worth as much as our debt, but there really isn't much equity above what we owe. There is nothing to fall back on, and the job market isn't great.
So, I have a part time school job as a para-educator, and I have a second job as behavior therapist, both working with children with autism. I am working late hours. I am bit stressed out because I am working a lot of hours and not making enough money to pay for everything. I am making enough to pay the necessities, but even then my parents have helped out a bit with things like my COBRA payments. I haven't really lost anything lately because I keep eating too much when I am tired, but I figure as long as I can kind of maintain that is okay. I will be fine. I am riding it out.
Then there is summer.
My first job, as a para-educator, is a 10 month position, and I did not get picked up for summer school. Oh geez!!! Now what do I do? Well, I am going to look at my money the same way I would look at calories and exercise. It all adds up. I started yesterday by counting all the spare change I could find, and we had plenty. I counted the change in the coffee can which gave me $65. Then I counted all the change my husband throws in the drawers (which put me at $190). Then I found little containers that I had emptied change in. I even found some in old purses and on the floor. I think I am at $230 now. The coffee can is full of pennies that I have not gotten to. That is probably at least another $40. So that gives me about 1/4 of what I bring in during a month at my school job (yes, I know I don't make much, especially since I have a college degree). I know in this messy cluttered house there is a Cosco sized pickle jar full of change that I haven't gotten to either. We have things in our garage that we could sell and they would not be missed. For example, my husband has had a VW engine in our garage since we married in 1997 (he's had it longer than that). We don't own a VW. He had a very cute yellow Carmen Ghia when we met. I bet he could get a few hundred for that engine (which would put us near $500-almost half of my missing income). Maybe I could have a garage sale (de-clutter and make a little money). I told my parents that we wanted their recycling (I figure it could add another $20 or so). I just got a $1 an hour raise at my school job, so my last check should be about $80 more than usual. I am hoping to get a few more hours at my second job too, and perhaps that will make up some of the difference. I think I might put up a babysitting ad at my local college for moms going to summer session. My coworkers suggested some silly things like being a surrogate, but I hated pregnancy. I am sure I can float us through the summer somehow. Who knows, maybe my husband will be employed before the end of June, but just incase I am gathering my acorns.
I use the "10 minutes here and 10 minutes there" for exercise all the time. It's done me well with weight loss. Every calorie burned adds up. I know a handful of this and one of those, adds up fast in terms of calories. Each and every pound has added up to 160 over the course of 2 years. That change added up quickly too. So little by little I will find a way to make it through summer too.