So do I really need to mention how much this economy sucks? I didn't think so.
I work in construction and it's really cut throat for us right now. We're being aggressive about bidding jobs and they've started to lay off office employees. We're a fairly big company and it's extreme when that starts happening. They haven't laid a single office employee off in the 5 years I've worked here, or the 9 years that my coworker has been here. Scary. A couple of months ago I was averaging 50 hours a week. Now I'm down to 40 and I'm afraid they're going to cut more. I already make a crappy hourly rate, so this is stinging a little bit.
So how am I surviving? I remember that I still have a job, which helps keep me in perspective. We've also cut way down on nights we spend going out. In the summer, we would go out at least 3 days a week. Now, we're lucky if we go out once a week and it's usually after my one day a week paper route - we like to hit up Miser Mondays at New Old Lompoc. I've been getting all kinds of books at the library and we use Netflix like nobody's business. I refinanced my car - not something I really wanted to do, but it dropped the payment $100, which I definitely need right now.
Another action we've been taking is buying a lot more vegetables and bulk foods. I know this is one of the most repeated ways of saving money, but I've always kind of ignored it. Bad kid. Anyways, our trips to the produce market have yielded large amounts of veggies for little amounts of dollars. Like last night. I bought a bunch of roots (carrots, yam, beets, turnips, potatoes) some spinach, herbs, oranges, pears and tomatoes for a mere $18. That's enough to last almost a week, and equal to a (decent - not talkin' fries and beer here) dinner at the bar around the corner. And soooo much healthier. I also stock up on frozen and canned when they're on sale - not as fresh, but very convenient. We always base a meal around a protein/carb whether it's pasta, rice, tofu or beans. I find I'm fuller with less and have enough for lunch the next day. Well, I will if Jeff doesn't finish it off. If that happens, I get PB & J.
We've got money saved up for our trip to Europe in May that I'm proud to say I haven't touched yet, and I've even been adding little bits of cash here and there. We bought the tickets when gas prices were still high because I don't know ANYTHING about flying (other than I hate it) so there's no turning back now! Not that I wanted to, of course.
Oh, and after stocking up mega-liquor for New Years, we've got almost a full bar. So we're saving a lot on one of my favorite hobbies by keeping at it at home.
Gratuitous Cats and Boy Love: