My title must be true, because if I liked money, I would probably hold onto some of it.
I got to thinking about economics this morning after reading the Carnival of the UnCapitalists over at Shakespeare's Sister. More specifically, I got to thinking about my personal economics after I paid the mortgage and checked the bank balance, and realized that not only are my kids not getting the traditional back to school outfit this year, I am now fairly certain I will not be able to take a class myself.
Things are getting bad here in working-poor land. Our only car just passed 100K on the odometer, and celebrated by demanding we spend what will likely be upwards of $600 on some repair work (Loki thinks it's the transmission; I think it's the timing belt - perhaps Fixer and/or Gordon could give me an idea of what it might mean when your car is hesitating as you drive?). In the meantime, I'm bus(s?)ing it, and Loki is getting rides to work from my sister, and we're reimbursing her gas costs.
In addition, Sio is taking 3 AP classes this semester, which cost $60 each. For one of those classes, we had to buy a textbook which cost $137.00. When we bought the book, I had to wonder if any other moderate to low income families have bright children who don't participate in AP classes because of the associated costs.
I've already cut the cable bill, and I've been clipping coupons (although I find that a lot of the time, I can spend less just by buying the store brand.) I could cut the water bill by having some plumbing work done, but I can't afford to have a plumber come out right now. I am not looking forward to winter this year, because our old house needs insulation and new windows, and I can't see a way that we are going to afford either before it gets cold.
I'll have a good cry over these money woes, but I have some ideas for raising a little cash.
1) When I get home today, I'm putting together a load of clothes to sell to the consignment store - I am way overdue at weeding out old clothes of Sio's and Monkey's, so this is a good chance to do some cleaning and make a little cash.
2) I have a file folder at home with our medical co-pay receipts, prescription receipts, receipts for OTC medications recommended by the doctor, as well as receipts from Monkey's daycamp program, all of which I can get reimbursed through my Section 125 plan. That might even be enough to pay for my class. I have to tally it up to see.
3) Although I hate carrying debt, we can always put the car repair cost on our credit card. I normally pay off the card every month, but our car has to get fixed.
4) When the car is fixed, I need to pull out the bike for trips around town. This isn't always easy for me, because my hip does not rotate at all (it's essentially immobile, which means my back ends up picking up the slack). But as gas approaches $3.00 a gallon, it becomes harder to justify getting in the car for errands that rarely pull me more than 3 or 4 miles from home.