Monday, June 09, 2008

I keep hearing worse things about the economy, and they're coupled with the evidence of my own eyes. It's expensive. It's getting worse. No one knows or will hazard a guess as to when it will get better. Last year this community seemed to hold out hope that next year, this year, would see an improvement. That was before the drought did not ease. That was before worsening water restrictions and tougher penalties. That was before gas prices hit $4.50 in this town, in a town where you have to drive to get anywhere. It is vaguely possible to get around without one, but if you have any sort of special circumstance or an emergency, what will you do?

The efforts I've made here to cut the electric use in the past month have paid off. I can see it on the bill; yeah, I was holding my breath when it came, wondering if it really did any good to turn all the lights out at night, whether or not it was doing good to keep my own body on the sun's schedule instead of some self-imposed version of what I "should" be calling a bedtime. Since the kids typically get up at dawn every day and are down by sunset, I can easily get myself to follow their lead. Going to bed early has made all those early mornings easier. Hanging out the laundry helps. Even though we ran the AC a lot this month, even though there was a stretch of about a week in which I could barely stand to turn it off, the electric bill was manageable. This, I can cope with. It's a reaffirmation that I'm making a difference. I'm doing something to make a real impact on our budget instead of just spending money.

Do you ever feel, as a housewife, that all you do is spend money? Grocery money. Diaper money. The kids need new shoes. Those work-from-home schemes look better and better as time goes by and dollars slip through your fingers. So I have a little etsy shop, and have ads on this site (hint, hint), and do paid blogging when I can. I'm saving money on the budget, and counting my blessings that the kids are growing so slowly (on the small end, as preemies) that they get full use of their clothes. The Preschooler just now needed new sneakers- she's been in the same pair for about a year now. She also just now needed new clothes- a wardrobe full. Which she will be wearing until she wears them out, since her body type is so petite.

I think the most important thing to do to get through this summer is to keep an eye on my blessings. They keep me happy, keep me feeling positive, and if I've got a good attitude it's easier to keep from falling into a slump of overwhelmed despair at how much we can't do. Our household is running on cash, not credit. We're barely in the black, but we're not sinking further and further into debt. That's something. We've got two beautiful children, and my Boy has a steady job with health insurance, and there's a roof over our head that doesn't leak.

I don't think I need much more than that.

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