So, I'm still a little pissed off after watching this video of John McCain (and his 9 homes, 13 million dollars, and large pair of Depends underwear) tell me I should get a second job, and the recession is all in my head.
Because you know what? I'm pretty sure I'm going to have to take a second job.
I have less debt than the average person my age - less than 800 dollars debt in credit cards, one car loan worth 10 grand, and student loans in my name of around 18 grand (which is great, considering I attended a 26,000 a year college).
My car is an Elantra, a car so clean burning and gas efficient, it's often classed as a hybrid, even though it isn't technically one. I have a great payment on it, but I'm spending twice on gas now than a year ago, even though I have a smaller distance to drive. My insurance has gone up, and so has the price of an oil change. The agents I work with come in complaining of their SUV they got when SUV's (sorry, "crossover") were all the rage. Now they're paying 80 to 100 dollars a fill up, and the gas hike hasn't slowed yet.
I barely pay rent anymore - I have a boyfriend who pays the majority of it, and I help out by paying water and electric bills. We wanted a house this year, as we're easily tossing as much rent out as we'd be paying on a mortgage, but no bank will approve us now.
My grocery bill has skyrocketed. We used to get by on about 50 dollars a week, plus a couple trips of fast food. And though we now take our lunch to work 4 days a week, and cook dinner 6 days a week, and eat breakfast at home every day, our bill - for two people - who eat moderately healthy (organic when we can get it and it's not expensive) is now around 90 dollars a week, and that's if we travel about 20 miles out of our way to go to the cheapest market around that still has decent produce. I can't imagine what your average family of four is going through.
I desperately need to start saving for a wedding, that is tentatively planned for next May. Because neither of our families can contribute much, we're hoofing the whole thing ourselves. We're cool with that - but we're wondering where the hell we're going to get that money. So yes, for us, its a specific thing to save for - but if we didn't have that, we'd not be saving at all. And I realize why most Americans are not / can not save money right now.
I'm sitting here, perusing craigslist and job boards, looking for a second job I can squeeze into my schedule. I have a review coming up at my full time job, so with luck, I can try for a raise, but that's a long shot, as I work in real estate, and um, we know what's happened there.
I'm wondering if I should drop my 401k. Or my health insurance.
I'm worried about how the hell I'm going to afford a dentist trip I desperately need, since my insurance doesn't cover dental.
I'm worried that my health insurance likes to bilk any and all claims, and that if one small catastrophe should happen, I'll sink into a whole of debt I'll never climb out of.
I'm worried that even if I find a second job, I'll fall back into the stupor of no sleep and no energy I had last I had to work 15 hours a day to make ends meet.
I'm scared a second job might not be enough.
But most of all, I'm angry. Angry that we have a gang of Congressmen, who, like McCain, have absolutely no idea what is going on with most of America. They don't care that gas prices are strangling us - their one solution, over a year ago now, was to send us 100 dollars. Even with my near-hybrid-status car, I'd get two and a half fillups at our current prices.
The rebate coming for me next month just makes me realize how more screwed I am, that 600 dollars really won't help me at all. And that it's not a meaningful amount anyway - just an advance on the money I'dve gotten anyway.
There's a razor's edge most of America is walking on. One accident, one catastrophe, one minor mishap - and we can sink. Our government would rather bail out corporations and corrupt banks than help it's citizens.
But this is 'psychological', right?