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  1. #61
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    Apr 2007
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    We're refinanced into a lower interest fixed-rate mortgage (yeah, we were one of the sub-prime ARMs). We put the insurance and taxes in escrow, which, not including the taxes, has lowered our expenses $100/moth. Fortunately (or not?) we live at the edge of the rust belt. Housing prices never really bubbled here, so our mortgage payments are only about 12% of our gross earnings each month.

    My husband isn't taking vacation time, except to make up for days lost at work, like for Thanksgiving GM (yeah, we're stuck on the GM boat, too) is shutting down longer than they usually would so my husband's company will have no parts to deliver, but he doesn't get full pay on holidays and not all of the days off will be payed. His company doesn't really make allowances for sick days, so if he gets sick, he works sick. I think he did a lot of pulling the truck over and puking one day last week.

    Food prices have really been what have hit us hardest (from puke to food - nice!). I've cut back on the prepared foods/snacks and we've cut back on eating out. If we hit a drive-thru, I'm more likely to take it home to eat so we don't have to buy drinks out. We planted a couple of fruit trees and strawberries when we bought our house two years ago. They don't produce a whole lot yet, but they will eventually. We had a garden last year and we will this year, too. I've seen chickens in town, so worse comes to worst, I'm not above raising chickens and rabbits. And I can fish. I can make soap and I know a little bit about useful plants that grow wild in these parts. Hope I don't need any of that.

    We are going to buy a shed with our tax refund, in part so that we have a place for firewood. We don't have a wood-burning stove, but we do have an enclosed fireplace with a fan and though it wouldn't heat the whole house, it takes the chill off the living room. There were some other things we were hoping to get with our tax refund, but those things are probably going to be postponed until we know how things are going to go. We'll pay bills with it and/or save it.

    I'm more careful about the way I drive and how much I drive. I watch my RPMs now, which I've never done before. We have a lot of kids, so both of our vehicles are mini-vans, but are getting by with filling up every two weeks. I've been buying the kids' clothes second-hand whenever possible and funneling a little each week into their savings accounts for field trip expenses, not trusting that we well be able to come up with it on the fly. I'm encouraging putting on extra layers instead of turning up the thermostat.

    I am pondering whether I want to go back to school or put some of the tax refund back for before and after school care and try substitute teaching a few days a week. I imagine our oldest daughter will be getting a job in the summer. She'll be sixteen and does not like to ask us to pay for her school activities.

    Other than that, I know that I can rely on my husband to do everything he can to provide for us and he knows he can rely on me in a pinch to stretch a dollar until it twangs. We've been really poor before and made it. As much as I hope we're not really poor again, I know if it's possible to get through it, we will.
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

  2. #62


    Earning a sh*tload of money and going travelling.
    Freude, schöner Götterfunken Tochter aus Elysium, Wir betreten feuertrunken, Himmlische, dein Heiligtum! Deine Zauber binden wieder Was die Mode streng geteilt; Alle Menschen werden Brüder, Wo dein sanfter Flügel weilt.

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