Thinking about budget cuts today, after seeing a local teacher's union protesting furlough days at the local board meeting yesterday. Furlough days have become a reality for many people, and are certainly more desirable than layoffs, no? Listening to teachers rant to the news reporters about how hard it is to concentrate on teaching when you don't know if your power has been cut off, I wonder....does everyone make an effort to budget like my husband and I do?
Here's the lowdown...We are a family of three living on one teacher's salary - a teacher with 25 years in the system. Our biggest ticket budget items are a $700 monthly mortgage (no Taj Mahal but cozy nevertheless) and a $400 car payment on a modestly priced car ($16,000), which will be the first thing to go if we DO get desperate. We have to use about $300 of the money I saved back from my last year's teaching salary to make the budget, which should last through the year but hopefully will be supplemented by my sub teacher pay. We have no bills overdue, and certainly the lights in our home are not about to be cut off. We have basic $9 a month cable, no phone but two cells, and our other vehicles are over 12 years old. We do not eat out except on rare occasions and at the cheapest of restaurants (God bless mexican food!) We do not buy new clothes and I handmake gifts from recycled materials or materials such as shells.
Yes, we are dealing with about $150 a month less due to furlough days, but at least Georgia is not following Hawaii's model yet, only working four days per week. And I know that life happens while you are making other plans. My husband has had unexpected medical bills. But I'm still grateful my husband has a teaching job. I'd just love to have a job to whine about again.
From my past years in both pubic and private schools, I know that there are some high end cars parked in the teacher parking lot, and some high end clothing walking those halls, not to mention the dinners out since teachers work harder than anyone else and can't be expected to cook. (I have one word for you - crockpot).
O.k., enough whining of my own. But let's be appreciative of what we have, folks!