Poor But Not Poor-Poor

Life's simple pleasure: Vanilla Incense
Life’s simple pleasure: Vanilla Incense

Today was the first day of summer school for Luke. When he came home, he told me he was the only student prepared for the day with a back pack and school supplies like paper and pencils. I wonder how many of those kids’ parents can’t afford back packs, paper, and pencils.

We struggle financially – as in we don’t have money for extras – but we aren’t poor-poor. To me poor is the way I grew up where your parents can’t find money to get you new shoes even tho you really need them or when you have to wear too-small clothes to school because your parents can’t afford clothes that fit you. We may shop at thrift stores, but I only buy clothes that are new with tags, or obviously new without tags for the kids. I save up and wait for end of season sales for new-new clothes. Sometimes, albeit rarely, I can even afford brand name clothes for the kids if I find a good sale.

For all my frustration with money, I can afford necessities. Even though I fret about how I’m going to pay off the $700 car repair bill, the $250 AC repair bill, and the $$$ we’re going to have to pay to fix the leaking plumbing downstairs, at least I can afford essentials. At least my kids don’t go without.

Tomorrow will be Luke’s first day of summer school with glasses. This is the first pair he’s needed. He chose a pair that he likes and I’m ok with, but I’m worried his glasses won’t be in style and other kids will tease him. Please please PLEASE let other kids NOT tease Luke about his glasses.

The Poor Girl Blues

Times have been less-easy lately. I would say times are hard, but I also know that times are much harder for many and in comparison I have an easy life.

Jonathan hasn’t worked this month because of a job scheduling problem with the contractor he works under. While he doesn’t earn a lot, the $500/mo he usually gives me helps. Now, without the anticipated $500, I seem to be falling behind on everything. I’m back to stretching every dollar, couponing, and allowing myself few if any conveniences. No coffee, no fast food, no snacks, bring lunch to work every day, no driving unless necessary, no shopping for non-grocery items…I’ve had lots of practice being poor.

Oliver, Luke, and I were going to travel out of state this weekend to visit my best friend Lea and have fun in a big city, but I couldn’t afford it. I had to cancel the trip last minute because we can’t afford the gas for the 6hr drive. Fortunately she can afford to visit us here, but the kids are disappointed the trip was cancelled. No one except Lea and I know the trip was cancelled because I couldn’t afford it.

I didn’t have the heart to tell Jonathan his lack of income caused the cancellation. He is already stressed, anxious, and sleepless because he is so worried about jobs and money. Last week he could barely eat because his stomach was churning with stress. Jonathan would work if he could. Unfortunately the weather and schedules just haven’t worked in his favor.

Fortunately, some friends have offered me free lance work on the weekends so I’ll have a  few weekends to close the gap. Here’s hoping for more freelance work and that my RA/fribro keep relatively quiet until that work is done.