It is true that things are not looking up. It is true that people are having to settle for jobs that pay $8.00 an hour when they are use to the pay of $14.00 dollars and up. I surf the web and visit alot of chat forums, I read the complaints of how hard it is to live off $8.00. While this may very well be true for certain living situations, it is not impossible. Alot of sacrificing needs to be done. For one example One person, I can not recall the exact location where I read it, but they complained about making $8.00 hour and events costing over $100.00, and how can they possible live and enjoy life. That is a good question, but one can enjoy themselves without going to $100.00 concert events. This is just my opinion with what I have had to deal with in my situation. My spouse and I have been stricken with same situation as many others today, due to medical reasons. For over two years we made sacrifices and learned to due with the minimal. We also had to relocate to different place to live which was cheaper to help us compensate for our living expenses. We adjusted by omitting things we really loved, and one day maybe we can fit it back in, but until then its out. It may seem harsh and difficult but anyone can do it, if they give it a real hard try.
With summer being here we love to BBQ. When we lived down south I learned to manage money for food more better then when we lived in the north due to my spouse being out of work for two months with no unemployment, also the best store was 23 miles away. Upon visits to the grocery store, I learned the day the meat clerk was off for two days, usually Friday and Saturday, meaning in my favor, he would marked the meat down 2 days prior to expiration. I was able to buy what would cost me without mark down, lets say $200.00 . I would buy up all I could get my hands on and buy it for half price still allowing me to BBQ in the summertime. This would stock my freezer for one month until I went back, and yes this included two steaks for a special occasion. Mark downs do not mean meat going bad. Just have to hunt the bargains, cut the coupons, go for the double coupon days of .50 and hit the ones for including a dollar more often, and try different things that do not cost as much.
As for entertainment, we did the free fun things first, like flea markets, carnivals, church shows, charity drives, whatever interested us and entertained us . Eventually we learned we enjoyed them more then we thought we would. We took advantage of free events sponsored by radio stations, we brought our own water and relaxed enjoying everything around us. Then we allowed ourselves 2 video rentals a month . Instead of going to the movies and spending $30 to $ 40. The only cost is that of a rental, and if you sign up for mailing list, they mail you buy one get one free rentals. Also if you have a computer, there is one at library for free, you can write companies and they will send you coupons for products, I just received 4 for the food I buy I pet, for $2.00 each. It all adds up. Many companies will gladly send out coupons, even better then what is in the newspaper if you write them. An average savings at the grocery store for me is $35.00 plus with coupons . Yes, I do cut coupons for things I would not normally buy , but I found in trying them , they were worth the effort and it saved me money too.
Times are hard for mostly everyone, I do not know one person who is not suffering from this declining economy. But much like our fathers and mothers or grandfathers and grandmothers, they had it hard one time too, and they bounced back. One day with hope we will too. Some of them lived through the great depression ,and it only made them stronger from what they endured. Lets remember their stories they told to us, and learn from them and become stronger people from this trying time. I can only hope we will bounce back and things will look up.