Egad!! Can you believe it? I has almost been 2 years of me being unemployed and of course part of the 99% of America’s diminishing middle class. If this trend continues, I fear that the middle class will most likely disappear altogether, the rich among us will be richer and the poor will most likely replace what was once the middle class. Like most people who have been looking for a job these past several months I have been applying to jobs that are posted online through various job link pages and company career pages. However, as much effort I give in doing this, most of the time the companies I apply to do not even acknowledge receipt of my application, cover letter and resume that I submitted on their online career link. I don’t know how human resources manage to choose an application from all over the country for one position available, or if it is even seen by human eyes at all. What I do know is that I still have bills to pay and everyday living seems to be more and more challenging. What ever small to almost nothing in income that comes in every month goes to pay off bills and other necessities that only leaves my bank account empty every end of the month. I know my woes, frustrations and complaints with regards to the state of this anemic economy are reverberated nationwide but… there are a few things that I give myself a pat in the back for despite the lack of adequate and sufficient income to even keep afloat.
I find that in dealing with paying the monthly bills I find it ever so helpful to list the projected and actual money needed to pay the bills at the beginning of every month. That way I already know how much to pay and budget whatever money I have accordingly. In doing this I was able to cut my credit card debt to half from last year and continue to have a diminishing credit balance. Whenever the debt decreases my credit score increases as it shows that I am able to make at least the minimum payment due. I also talked to the county office to spread out my property tax payments over a period of 12 months rather than paying it off in one go yearly. Of course there are penalties and interest to it, but it does make it easier to pay on a monthly basis and removes the danger of confiscation by the county due to delinquent tax payment.
Most of the time I have around $5 at the end of each month that stays in the checking account and there are times when I have a few dollars in the negative zone. Whenever that happens, I manage to find coins here and there and borrow a few dollars from friends whom I pay back immediately when the next few dollars comes in. I find that in paying debt quickly and on time as promised gives great results and an added plus to having a good reputation. Good credit standing and personal reputation are non-financial options that need to guarded zealously especially at these trying times. They are worth their weight in gold in more ways than one or two.
I managed to curb my bad shopping habits and have turned into being a more responsible consumer, currently buying what I need rather than what I want. I bring my own shopping bags in the supermarket as an attempt to go green, and try as much as possible to stick to the items that I have on the shopping list so as not go overboard with the budget. Before going to the cashier, I look at the cart again and return some items I placed there on a whim because of the price on sale but don’t really need anyway. It may be cheaper to get that item right now, but I don’t need the extra dollar spent on my grocery bill.
It is really hard to change and curb bad shopping habits but a little goes a long way. In due time I am sure to pay off my credit card debt and in due time, I am sure that there will be a job offer sooner or later. In this quagmire of political, economic and financial duress, I find that counting my blessings number to the hundreds, paying off my debt a little at a time and curbing my bad shopping habits are enough to keep me trudging along until overall situation gets better in time and I can have the capability to consume more and possibly even save for a distant future that is yet to come.