Living on the streets?
Starving, having to steal food to survive?
Dying, having to sell your body to live?
Or just not earning enough money to be able to live decently?
Karen and I don’t particularly lead a profligate lifestyle. We’re not out partying every night (in fact although we went out for a meal Wednesday night to celebrate out wedding anniversary it was the first time we’d been out together in over 5 months). We don’t hit the shops every weekend in wild shopping splurges.
And yet, doing some sums and some short range financial forecasts we discovered that we’re pretty close to being in the crap. Karen needs to return to work in September as we simply can’t afford to have only one of us working indefinitely. This means paying for child care for Tom. Even if Karen only works school hours to try and relieve the burden of this we still need to find an extra £400 a month to cover the nursery costs.
We just do not have this money.
It’s ridiculous. We can’t afford to work. But can’t afford not to work. What are we supposed to do?
We only have three options.
1) Give up the rat race, claim benefits and hope we don’t lose our house as a consequence. Neither of us fancies this kind of lifestyle. This option is definitely out.
2) Bite the bullet and accept that over the next 4 years or so until Tom starts school we are going to slide inexorably into debt. Well. Not so much slide as bullet-train into debt.
3) Bite a bigger bullet and do all we can do slow that inexorable slide right down to a more manageable level. This means me getting an extra part-time job to bring in extra money to cover some of the child care costs. A morning or evening cleaning job most likely.
Karen isn’t happy about it (and I’m not exactly ecstatic) as she doesn’t want to see me flogging myself along the rocky road to a heart attack. But the alternative is a sizable debt that could totally destabilize us and take us decades to pay off. With the economy so shaky at the moment it seems to me some extra money coming into the house would not be a bad thing at all.
So. I am now officially looking for work. Even though I already have plenty. Full-time job. Part-time web design business. Novel on the go. One more year at University. Maintaining a wonderful home life.
Busy busy busy.
So does all this mean that I’m poor? Or just not poor enough?
Who knows? But at least I’m not sewing Nikes in a Kolkata sweat shop... or selling my body in an Essex lay-by.