|yea, we're slowly creeping to that place of "oh my god, financial implosion!" hubs is working as hard and as much as he can, and i'm making payments as i can, but the delay with the tax return is really killing us. my biggest fear is i did something wrong and we'll get less than what we thought, which would REALLY screw us over. right now, i'm at least a month behind on pretty much yes, with the new bills for the cats now starting to hit as well. while late fees certainly aren't helping at the moment, reconnect fees would be hella worse. that familiar sense of panic that was a constant at toxic house is just starting to rear its ugly head again as i round-robin payments and push payments to as late as i can...which isn't always very late.
thing is, relief is on the way, it's just a matter of hanging on until it gets here. a friend is sending us some money to help out (quite a bit, actually), but since she has to do it via paypal and is across the canadian border, it's going to be at least 10 days. that means paying what i have to and going lean on the food until it arrives, which estimates around the 28th at the earliest. problem right now is what i have to pay tends to be 2/3rds of our checks, which doesn't leave enough for other things that need payments plus the minimum $180 we need a week for food and gas. this week, i'll have $70 for food, and hubs will be short $10 on gas money, with nothing coming in until the 25th-27th at the earliest. four years ago, in toxic house, i managed to feed four of us on $90/week, but since then, prices have gone up and quantities have gone down. even sticking to grains and legumes like barley and lentils instead of pricier chicken and pork doesn't help that much on such a tiny budget. and then there's the cats: until two of them get back in to see the vet for work on their mouths, they have to eat wet food (they nibble at the dry, but you can tell it makes them uncomfortable). again, i've figured out ways to keep the cost down, but it's not down enough for that tiny budget.
i'm sure we'll manage to make it through, it's just scary to be here again. and to know this will probably happen again the next time there's an emergency requiring anything over $10 (not kidding) to handle. all these money advisors say americans don't save enough; well, there's why. too many of us are barely scraping by, and the smallest emergency outlay turns scraping into a frantic scramble. and utility companies don't care what happened: it's pay up or disconnect.
i've been doing soups and salads for awhile now, but with spring coming, i need to start looking into vegetarian dinners that aren't soup. hubs isn't the thrilled with going meatless, but it'll help with the money as we work our way out of this mess. and i'm finding going meatless most days not as hard as i thought it would be. i'd tried going vegetarian when i had a live-in job with a sda family, and that was a disaster. as long as wee get some meat every now and then, i don't find myself being hit with the "i need MEAT!" cravings like i did then. i think it helps that i'm no longer menstruating and keep an eye on my iron intake. plus i've been gradually moving towards a healthier, lower meat diet for years. maybe not to the point where i am now, but even a decade ago, i was eating less meat than in years previous. a gradual change always makes any change easier.
speaking of making things easier: one of the things the tax return was supposed to go to was clothes for me, but with backed up bills, cats, and the laptop needing to be replaced, that's become impossible yet again. well, the same person sending the money above is planning to send a care package of new clothes. at the very least, i'll have pants i can wear in public that fit without bunching or fall up. hoping i'll also get a nice outfit or two to go out to dinner in. and she asked about style, needs, and colors, so it should all not only be stuff that fits, but stuff i like, and hopefully stuff in the style i'm looking for. but even if it misses the mark on the latter, i'll still have stuff that FITS! and that will also cut into the "stuff i need" list.
so, yes, relief is on the way, and as long as i can hold the rock and the hard place apart, we should be fine. the hard part right now is to not panic. long term looks great. it's the short term that's freaking me out a bit.
lost of deep breaths going on over here. and reminding myself that i've trained for this. granted, it wasn't deliberate, but at least toxic house taught me something. back then, the rock and the hard place met up almost every week, so this month should be easy, right?
just have to keep eyes on the light at the end of the tunnel.