Wednesday, October 2, 2013

So What Now?

You know everyone is talking about the government shutdown and how it affects everyone.  So why should I be any different, right?  I won't wax political here except there are two sides to every story and before you start placing blame on one party or another, get your facts and not just headlines.  Regardless of who you blame, one needs to look to themselves if they find themselves in a position of reliance on the government.  I am not talking about those thru no fault of their own are having to rely on government assistance in times of great trial.  When Diva was a baby, I found myself laid off from a suit manufacturer and unable to find another job.  For two months I was on Welfare.  I took a job at McDonalds to get off of it.  While it helped during that time, let me tell you about how the need for that welfare was my own doing.  First off I was unwilling to leave where I was and go home to admit I was wrong.  I mean seriously, my parents lived a little over an hour away.  Once I did that (and you can read about that here ), things began to look up and I was able to get my life together.  Because I refused to leave, I stayed in an area where unemployment was high.  For a person with only a high school education that was bad.  Another thing I was responsible for was the birth of my daughter.  Now let me say here.  Diva is never a regret and I would not change a thing if I went back in time.  I wouldn't risk not having her, but I did learn a lesson I am not willing to repeat in the future.  KUDOS to all single mothers.  I was one for 3 years.  It is hard being mother and father. Some people are in this situation against their will, some people put themselves into this situation with bad decisions. It is for those that make those bad decisions I would warn them to avoid the type of relationships that would make you have to decide between yourself or a child.  Anyway, this is turning preachy and I don't mean it to be.

Now things like Welfare, Medicaid, Social Security are functioning, there are some programs shut down for now.  As a result, many find themselves furloughed and others find themselves in a position where something that helped make ends meet has been shut down.  What do you do in a situation like that? I can only ask myself what would I do in a similar situation?  In the 20 years my Knight and I have been married, we have had money situations.  Even now we have a plan "B" that we will utilize in the event one of us ends up unemployed.  Until another job is found, the plan "B" would consist of cancelling services we can live without, relying on what I have in  our pantry, and other extreme cost cutting items.  When I say cancelling services I am talking about non essential things like phone, cable, internet, but also things like electricity.  That would go in an extreme situation, but I would be willing to make it go.  I would prefer we keep the mortgage going.  It would supply the roof over our head which takes precedence over electricity.  If needs be, we would have to find homes for our pets and chickens.  They would be a luxury we couldn't afford.  Things like our tax withholding would be changed in order to give us more income in our check every two weeks.  The amount we currently put in our health savings account would be lessened in order to give us more income.  We currently have a high deductible insurance with a health savings account.  Never thought it would be as great as it has been.  Wish we had done this years ago.  But I digress. 

While the previous paragraph talks of the extreme of losing one of two incomes in a family where two are necessary, some people are just facing the loss of a service that subsidizes their existing funds.  All of us have had to re-adjust budgets due to an unforeseen expense such as an emergency care repair, doctor visit, or higher power bill to name a few.  You adjust what you can.  That usually falls under groceries, gas or any other type of flexible expense.  When you can't afford your normal grocery budget, you adjust to get by on what you can afford.  While normally I would get chips as a grocery list item, they go by the wayside if I can't afford the expense.  Other items I nix are, mayo, yogurt, breads, cookies, cereals, and any meat over $1.69 a lb.  I say 1.69 lb because that is how much the ground turkey is @ Aldi.  I will also stretch what I have.

One thing people need to realize is to rely only on yourself.  The less you need to rely on Government, I believe the better off you will be.  When we were young my DH and I thought it was no big deal to use government services.  We learned the hard way  what can happen when you use those services.  That is a story for another day.  Needless to say it was enough for me to say "Never again".  Live you life in such a way that the shenanigans in Washington won't affect you, because lets face it from the top down we have toddlers running our country., and with few exceptions. Actually I shouldn't insult toddlers. 

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