Found this in Yahoo. In the Boston/NYC/Philly "megalopolis" this family would have been living on a very tight budget BEFORE the Great Recession but as the author stated they were living comfortably in Texas until the recession hit them.
I feel sorry for them but it is heartening to read that this couple accept that times are very tough and have had to make the changes necessary to survive.
Unfortunately I do not think we are going to see an increase in wages for a few years. While it has been reported and some politicians proudly stated that there are more job openings than qualified applicants I take that with a grain of salt. There may be many openings but we all know that salaries and benefits across the entire country have been reduced. On top of that I wonder how many people took pay cuts in the last few years and now realize that it will be several years before they can even hope to receive enough increases to make them whole again. Most are just happy to have a job.
2009 was an off year for me but thankfully we have not had any debt in years and cut back enough to avoid tapping into our savings. Some of our future plans have been altered and there is no chance my wife and I can retire exactly as we planned years ago.
This Spring my wife's 1999 model year car was just about at it's "end of life" even though it only had 79,000 miles on the odometer. I finally agreed that she needed a new car. I was planning on buying her a small car, primarily because she likes them but fortunately I went to see an old friend in the car business. After a thorough discussion he told me that since she commutes just a few miles each day a lease was the best option. In fact he said buying her a new car for cash or even financing one for three to five years would be plain stupid for us. She is now driving a mid size car, is very happy and has about 1,750 miles on the odometer after four months.
My 2001 Jeep Grand Cherokee is still running fine but needs a lot of maintenance and although I would like to put a new set of tires on it before winter it's going to have to wait till Spring.
Personally I don't "Blame Bush" or Obama for the current state of America. I don't think either party and the Tea Party have all the answers. I do believe that our elected leaders from both parties lack the "balls" to make hard decisions and be 100% honest with the people.
How have you been effected by the Great Recession and what have you done to protect your and your childrens' future?
First Person: Recession hasn't ended for my family
Kenzy England Mon Sep 20th, 2010
The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) announced Monday the recession ended in June 2009. However, it has not ended for my family and we find we are still struggling every day.
Prior to the start of the recession, we were earning $64,000 a year and were living comfortably. When my husband lost his job, we were forced to move to another area of our home state of Texas to find work. The best work found at the time paid just $300 a week. We ended up losing the pickup truck we had bought just a few months prior because we weren't eligible to defer any payments yet. In an effort to save whatever we could to keep our other car, we rented a house that is in deplorable condition.
I think the hardest thing was when I had to swallow my pride and go to the local welfare office to apply for food stamps just so we could eat. This was something entirely different for us and took its toll on our pride. Luckily, we didn't have to stay on them more than six months.
A few months after we moved, my husband went to work for a new company doing security. The pay is better, but we are still earning half of what we were just two years ago. It pays the bills, but there isn't room for anything else.
We have cut dinners out, movies and some of the food we are accustomed to eating in an attempt to save money. With the high cost of food, this is almost impossible to do no matter how hard we try.
My husband, in an effort to save money for gas, stays on site when he works because the commute is 115 miles one way. It would take roughly $75 a week for gas alone if he were to drive back and forth.
My daughter is a senior in high school this year, but there won't be any money for senior pictures, her senior trip and all the other cool things the others will get to do. On top of all of that, she wants very much to go to college. But the money just isn't there. Eventually, I know I will have to tell her this.
Like many Americans, my family has seen the highs and lows of the economy. Some of us are still living it and it is hard to believe the recession really is over with when we are still struggling. We are seeing everything go up except wages. We are staying afloat the best we can, but it is very difficult.