I woke up broke today

…And every day. How about you? I know many people besides me HAVE to be working class, HARD WORKING working class that is, and maybe even educated and can barely scrape by. That’s IF you can scrape by. We barely are. And I don’t know where else to cut back.

Hi. Welcome to my blog. I am frustrated with the way my life is less than that of someone living in poverty most days, I worry about putting food on the table, or telling my kids, “sorry there’s no food left for a large meal, going to bed hungry tonight”. Yet I am educated. I have a GOOD job! Seriously, I make $25/hour! Yet we’re broke. We don’t spend on ANYTHING extra. I can’t remember the last time we went on a date that wasn’t just a nature hike because we can’t afford it. We don’t go to movies. We don’t eat out. We don’t drink. My fiance chews tobacco, but he has cut his consumption down to 2 cans every 8 days. That’s less than $7 a week. And I have to say, money woes are WHY he chews. We can’t afford expensive gadgets, we only have one computer and two TV’s (though one was a hand me down for the kids to watch videos and we all only watch things on the main TV anyway). We are going to have to get rid of our satellite, and that is after we already called and got them to reduce us to the basic package. We have cell phones that are several years old and no house phone. We keep our thermostat at 67 degrees in winter (lower when we’re not home during the day) and 78 degrees in summer and really try not to turn the AC on. Our mortgage is over $950 a month. That’s one of my whole paychecks directly to that! We eat generic brand food, and use store brand toilet paper. We cloth diaper to save TONS of money. I breast feed as well. We drive cars with good gas mileage so we never spend more than $30 to fill a tank and we try to stretch it and make that last all week for our trips to work. We can’t afford car insurance. We have two credit cards each with no more than $275 on them. I buy produce at a local farmers market to try and keep my weekly spending on all groceries below $70. Nearly impossible with a hungry man and 3 growing boys (2 pre-teen) at home. Ok listing the money we don’t have is depressing, I’m going to stop- you get the picture, we DONT spend frivolously.

Yet we have bill collectors calling us. We have to pick and choose what bills will and wont get fully paid each month. We have to scrape buy on that grocery budget and try to raise some of our own food (I garden, he hunts, we have free ranging chickens). And I worry and stress about money Every. Single. Minute.

What I don’t get is, the people I know (many of them) that have one spouse who chooses to stay home even when children are in school and one working, that have money to spend on new clothes, going out, concerts, girls nights/guys nights out, new toys for the kids, all sorts of junk food/healthy organic food ($$$), second cars, etc. I know some of them receive government assistance. Some don’t. Yet they are all making it, not turning their cable off, keeping their houses warmer etc. How?! And how is that right? I did what you are supposed to do, I got educated, worked hard, got a good job, and yet here I am still broke more than families working minimum wage jobs.

I know many of them have family help (I don’t). But some don’t. So what is going on in the world???

I’m tired of it. I’m tired of fighting the anxiety. Are you?

This blog is going to be a place to openly discuss this irrational reality that is the lower middle class. I may post cheap recipes, or money saving ways to do things. I may just rant about it. I may ask you what you want to discuss on the matter, and we’ll discuss it. Either way, this is the place for those of you like me that feel alone. Like “this CAN’T be happening to me, I’ve got a good job!”

Join me on this journey to try and make it. And maybe one day we’ll wake up…not so broke.