Our View From Here

Perspectives of Five Women

This belt is too tight

on September 29, 2010

The money thing is always there. 

There’s never enough of it, no matter how much there is.  Just as we expand to fit the space we have–if you have a large apartment, you buy things to fill it, so when you move, you need an apartment at least as large as the one you’re leaving–we spend to match the money we’re making.  Well…at least I do. 

When it comes to money, some people are good at saving; I’m good at spending.  Some people are prudent; I’m impulsive.  Some people plan; I fly by the seat of my pants. 

To make matters worse, now there’s less money than there was before.  I was pretty smug while the whole “economic meltdown” was happening.  I had a steady job, I was working hard, and I didn’t see any danger of a layoff in my future.  Then we were asked to take a pay cut, or to eliminate staff, or to close one of our projects (which was de facto staff elimination, just more structured).  We were given a few days to consider these (objectionable) options.  To no one’s surprise, everyone on staff offered to take a pay cut, rather than see our colleagues (or ourselves, but we didn’t want to think that way) dismissed.

Now I’m making 5% less than I was.  After taxes, it doesn’t amount to much of a change, but I still feel it.  I’m tightening my belt and trying to change some of my money habits.  (I started with a yarn diet, which actually makes a huge difference)  Because of the unique structure of my job, taking a part-time second job to make more money won’t work.  I’m doing a little free-lance work at home, but not enough to make a significant difference in my bank balance. 

But, like everyone else, I’m weathering the storm.  I’m hunkering down and doing a little less and trying to be a little wiser. 

It feels like personal growth.  Or something equally painful.

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