Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Scary ...

Does anyone else feel like "times" are scary right now? Just in general?

I listen to XM 156 Oprah and Friends on the way to work. Gayle King's show was about the Citibank layoffs today. They are laying off 20% of thier workforce. That is CRAZY. Gayle said we need to look at the faces, the people, the families behind all the "numbers". So she invited people to call in who had been laid off ... to share their stories. Boy did they!

Very sad ... very scary times.

You know it's happened to me before. Twice ... once when I was young and I found Pro Pac a few weeks later- turning into a ten year job ... and once, briefly when I left Pro Pac for a new opportunity ... the second was WAY more scarier and WAY more personal ... and I did ok. It never really occured to me to file for unemployment- I just went out and got a temp job then a contract job ... and that's when Conrad and I made the decision for me to move to Houston. It ended up being the best thing to ever happen to me. What I thought was devastating turned out to be a really awesome thing.

I'm scared again ... because I'm hoping the entire economy doesn't collapse. I'm hoping we can sell our house one day. I'm hoping my family and friends and WE will be ok ... I'm hoping that gas stays low and the food prices come down. It's a VERY scary time ... all we can do is pray and try our best to help out where needed. I'm still not sure what that means. I don't know if it means we spend more money and stimulate the economy or we stockpile money. I just don't know.

Right now, I'm going status quo with a few new twists. We save money everypay day and these are the other things we're doing.

* We put a budget on Christmas and are sticking to it. I did a lot of "crafts" this year
* We eat out less - I'm trying to cook better, different things (yay cookbooks!)
* I've always garage saled- I'm into getting new stuff for nothing
* I go to the library and I subscribe to Netflix. We don't go out to a lot of movies. I NEVER buy books
* I'm trying to bring lunch more. Leftovers are more often than not GROSS- so I'm trying to bring things I like and satisfy me. But I still splurge some. Although SOME eating in helps than NO eating in
* Paying off bills. The urge to stockpile money is there- but paying interest or having that "bill" hanging over my head doesn't feel good. I'd rather get rid of it. We have one student loan and three other bills- that's it. By the end of the year, I think the student load will be gone as well as one of the bills- Conrad's car is already paid off. When those are done we'll have one car payment and two bills. I feel a LOT better about that.
* Conrad does the yard. He always has. There is no way we're paying anyone to do what takes him 20 minutes.
* I use coupons - and I plan my menus off what I can buy with the coupons. I also stockpile. If chicken broth is 39 cents and it's normally 65 cents- and I only need two cans. I go ahead and get six because I WILL need it.
* I go to the dollar store for olive oil, cleaning supplies, etc, etc- use the $ store, it's awesome!
* Make our own coffee and hot chocolate- and desserts. I can do ALL of that cheaper at home. For me, it's the "experience" ... so I bought some cute coffee mugs etc- so I ENJOY drinking my hot cocoa in my cute polka dot cups. It's the simple things ...
* Our own home repair. With the exception of plumbing, Conrad can fix anything. I am SO LUCKY - he fixes everything himself.

So what are you doing to save money? Make it go farther?