I wake up in my lovely home with my lovely healthy family and I am thankful.
I am grateful.
We have our health, we have a roof over our heads and we have each other.
Compared to a lot of people in this world, this country, this vicinity, that's a lot.
I'm not one for taking things for granted.
I have a job that pays money.
My husband also has a job that pays money.
We have cars to get us to and from those jobs.
We have managed to jiggle childcare so that our children are safe and looked after when we are at work.
So far, so good, right?
Today is the third day that I have woken up with the knowledge that we have zero money.
In fact, the next time we get any, we will have to give up about £16 before we have any, because, yes, we are over our overdrafts (plural). Again.
What I have discovered is that people, unless they have been in this situation themselves, do not like to talk about money issues. They get embarrassed or it becomes a game about who has less, who is struggling more.
It's a strange thing.
Like everything, I am probably far too honest and frank about our situation. I like to keep things real. Mainly because I really don't see why it has to be such a big secret; we had a hard time, we had to bail ourselves out and now we are suffering the consequences. We are working as hard as we possibly can every single day to get through it, but it's not going to suddenly get easier any time soon.
And it is really hard. And it is really fucking stressful. And I am sorry, but if I don't talk about how hard and stressful it is sometimes, I really am going to implode with the worry and the strain of it all.
While we are lucky to have what we have, it doesn't make it any less stressful when you suddenly run out of baby milk and have no money to buy more. And cannot for the life of you think how in the heck you are going to find that money within the next couple of hours.
In the last month I :
Owe more money to more people than I am comfortable with for services already rendered.
Have not eaten a square fucking meal. I survive on bread based items with the occasional vegetable chucked in for good measure.
Had a decadent night of wine and cheese and instantly fucking regretted it because honestly, do you know how much reduced bread I could have shoved in the freeze with that money? Ugh!
Got stopped by police on a Saturday morning on my way to work (!) for a flat tyre which I then had to pump up in front of them at the side of the road while hoping and praying that they wouldn't clock that I need another new tyre (new tyres are, like, £45 each!) Thankfully it's a super-slow puncture and it held and is still road-legal.
Spent two hours crying because I realised that at the end of the month my car tax is due and thus I need to add yet another direct debit on to the bunch which we cannot afford.
Have properly panicked when Tom announced cheerily 'it's less than two months until our birthdays!' *hyperventilation!*
Frantically been round the house trying to sell anything of any value. Then our oven door broke and even though we really need our oven, we couldn't afford to pay the excess on the bloody house insurance to get a new oven, so we are stuck with the shitty oven which I'm sure doesn't work properly (we did however credit card a new door for it....ugh don't get me started on the credit card fear)
It did however lead us to a conclusion that there's probably no point in us paying for contents insurance, because honeslty and promisdly, aside from the playmobil castle that our lovely neighbour handed in for our boys, we have nothing in our house which could not happily be replaced for less than £100.
Panicked like crazy because Tom now has to pay for school dinners now that he is in p4. Free school dinners until P3 was a fucking godsend.
Annnnnnd I hoping that the government has fucked up our tax credits somehow and that we get more than we are getting, because honestly, they have sent us three letters now and it's like some horrible fucking game where they reduce the amount every time; it's like torture.
I'm a do'er. In situations like this I fight, I think outside of every box I can find and I try my best to make a new situation to fix it.
I dream daily of the freedom to run my own business so I can work long hours and get a living from it, to not be tied by corporate rules and regulations. To have the freedom to earn.
I have so much energy to give, can do so much - why is it not fucking good enough to make sure that my kids have shoes that fit, that we all have enough to eat, to put a fucking tyre on my bastard car when it needs one instead of playing fucking russian roulette everytime we drive?
I need opportunity. I don't know whether I need to make that for myself or not because I am sick fed up of pounding at other doors and asking.
The stress, man. The fucking stress.
No wonder I'm going grey!
I have to try and remember the positives, because honestly, we are fucking blessed really, but sometimes it really is shit, you know?
Sorry for all the swearing.
But honestly, I do think we should talk more about money stuff.
And not in the 'oh, it's terrible, our savings are doing nothing, hahahahaha!' kind of way (as someone recently said to me; try not to cry when you've not eaten jack shit for a week and someone says something 'funny' about savings...everyone's a joker...)
I think it should be okay to say, 'actually, we are really fucking tight right now' and maybe get a hug instead of an embarrassed silence.
Things get shit for everyone sometimes. And that's okay.
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