When most of my friends think of me living on the edge, they don’t realize that I live on the edge of poverty. It is a difficult place to be. I have been here most of the time since I had to take an early retirement for medical reasons. It is not easy living on Social Security. If you can do anything to add to your retirement saving do it now. Don’t wait. Tomorrow is never promised.
Your world can come crashing down around you without any real warning.
Part of the time that I was living on the edge was because I engaged in very poor money management. It is a long story but getting organized and paying bills was not in my wheelhouse until I could start doing everything online. Oh happy day!!! I could finally pay my bills(almost)all at one time and get them over and done with. It has been AWESOME!!!!
Having your bills paid immediately can certainly help with money management. Then you see in black and white just how little you have left to work with. It makes you take a bit of a pause but then you just keep on truckin’!
There were times that Miss Teffers and I had very, very little money to get by on. We had been used to having a little more leeway in our budget and that was gone, so we had to find a way to manage.
We did have to utilize food pantries some at that time but for the most part by being very, very strict with our food budget we managed on our own.
Once a month when we got paid The Teffs and I would go out to eat. This has always been one of my favorite things to do. There are many who do not understand how much pleasure this gives me but it does and that is that.
After the joy of eating out once for the month Steph and I had a rotation of meals that we ate.
We ate them all of the time. Sometimes we might throw in one or two meals that were different
Throughout the month but for the most part we ate the following meals in rotation: Macaroni & Cheese, Eggs Scrambled with Spinach and Cheese, Potato Meal, Potatoes Scrambled with Eggs, Boxed Stuffing with Canned Chicken, Oatmeal...Then back to Macky Cheese. We did that for more than a year. We were happy with the meal choices. They were carefully crafted to get the most bang for our buck. Sometimes we were lucky to be able to add a side to a meal. That was always very special.
Sure we could have had more variety if we didn’t go out to eat that one time a month but you can’t put a dollar value on pleasure and happiness so we followed our bliss.
A lot of time has passed since then and we have had a better food budget. There have also been periods where we have been gifted monetary gifts or gift cards for food shopping. I have purchased special things at those times that we didn’t normally get.
Over time I became spoiled. I especially became spoiled about fresh produce. Oh my how I love my fresh produce, salads, fruit, raw Brussels Sprouts, Cauliflower and Broccoli top the list. I am
Cabbage and carrot crazy. I roast them in the oven with sweet onion. Oh, such bliss. I don’t know anyone who gets as worked up about the glories of fresh produce as I do. I just hate that I can’t go to the Farmer’s Market. Sigh!
Well, I realize tonight as I was contemplating my shopping list and food preparation for this weekend that I realized just how spoiled I am. I have been taking too much for granted. I can’t really afford the groceries I WANT. I have someone who is very unselfishly helping me with buying groceries but I remembered that I don’t have to have lots of fresh produce all of the time.
I can have a little produce, mostly whatever is on sale, or things that are inexpensive but my daily repast does not have to revolve around fresh produce. I can’t afford it. I can’t afford it and I need to pare down the shopping lists. I don’t want to take advantage of anyone.
My household income has been cut in half with all of the bills remaining as they had been. That is why I need to remember that I am not just skating close to the edge of poverty. I am there. Well, actually sixty dollars a year over the poverty line. That is a hoot. I’d give Social Security that sixty dollars a year BACK if that meant that I could receive other benefits. I can’t and I don’t.
I am grateful that other people can receive said benefits and am glad that they have that lifeline to support them.
So that leaves me to reconfigure my budget. Since I am feeding one person I can add a few other things to the budget and be a little more creative that I had to be several years ago.
It is time for me to wake up and smell the coffee. I need to cut costs wherever I can and the grocery bill is a good start. Oh, and just so you know. I am not only avoiding eating out, I am not ordering food in even though I get serious cravings.
So, it is time to rethink everything. Wish me luck. It is time for a change!
Hugs to all,