It's October. The severance pay runs out this month. We have no job offers, no interviews, no bites. I just did a "bare bones analysis" of our finances. To keep our house, food on the table and the electricity on, we need $5000 a month after taxes. To keep the prescriptions running, keep braces on the kid who is already braced, payments current on the dentist bill and hubby's back in line, we need another $1200 a month which includes the cost of insurance. No insurance? $2400 a month.
Those totals mean:
no TV ("free" TV isn't available here)
no Netflix (we're already on the lowest-priced plan)
no internet (this would be nearly impossible, the three jobs hubby and I are working right now absolutely depend on internet access)
one tank of gas a week (we are using two tanks a week right now)
the lowest cost phone plan (we switched over to this on October 1)
turning OFF the AC and heat (we turned off the AC on September 20, despite several 90 degree days since. Heat will eventually be more important.)
turning off the cell phone (we switched to pay-as-you-go on August 1 and have turned off the phone already)
handwashing dishes with water heated on the stove (I'm hesitant to do that because each time we've tried it in the past we have contracted viruses that hang around for months)
hanging laundry out to dry (I prefer air-dried clothes, but hubby is adamant. He even told me he thought it was illegal in this state to erect clotheslines. What a joker.)
no Christmas gifts (this will hurt. It's been a scary, hard time for the kids already. Compounding it with the thought of no gifts might push several of us—okay, ME—over the edge.)
two meals a day and beans and rice three times a week (eh, we'd probably be healthier for it. But the thought of having hungry children makes me very, very sad.)
We are talking seriously bare bones. And I can do it, I've done it in the past and I can do it again. I'm not complaining.
Because even if we turn off and get down to the bare-bones-level, there still needs to be $6200-7400 a month after taxes coming in as of November 1. I can make probably $1400 a month working outside the home, tops. Hubby's bringing in about $2500 a month with freelance work. My two little work-at-home jobs bring in about $400 a month, but if I work outside the home, one of those will have to end. We could send Blair to work, and she could probably make another $1400 which would bring us within shooting distance of our rock-bottom goal. But if we two are at work all day, we will both need clothes, and who would cook? Clean? Homeschool?
Okay. There. I've panicked and now I need to be done and move on.
I work this into my schedule every so often. Just panic, get it over with and move on. Admittedly, it's going to be harder to move on from now on because, after all, it's October.