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I recently took a nearly 50% pay cut that's permanent. It has nothing to do with my performance, I'm still doing the same job (actually 20hrs a week more work!), and I've known it was coming for more than three years, like it or not.

But it still sucks! I live below the poverty line now :-( It's depressing to realize that I now qualify for all kinds of crap that I wish I didn't qualify for. I was hoping that the recession would be over by the time this rolled around, but no such luck. It's also hard knowing that I have another life (Kit) that's dependent on me.

The good news:

1) I really do love what I'm doing.
2) I prepared for this by saving.
3) I have another source of income lined up. I'm knitting baby clothes (mostly sweaters so far) and selling them to a hoity toity children's boutique in SoFla. I get paid as soon as they're received, and I've already gotten my first two checks. They even provide the yarn and pay the shipping both ways! My plan is to use this income to continue to take weekly agility classes - I just can't give that up. Trial entry fees I can usually work off.
4) We're just coming off a lucrative disc season, so Kit's set on food and treats for a good 6mo.
5) Eventually I'll graduate and get a real job. Probably another 1-2 years.

Sorry - I just felt like griping a little bit. Anyone else having money woes?
 

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I just now am getting hired after two years of looking for a job. I'm a student as well, but have actually had to stop taking classes because I couldn't pay for them. I have a lot of work experience (mainly in a professional setting), and didn't even get a call back from Target. TARGET! Frustrating, to say the least.

At least you have been smart and saved and that Kit is set on the necessities. As much as it sucks, just remember that some people are even worse off that either of us are. But... I do agree that money problems are the worst. I've gotten so used to seeing pink bills that I'm confused when I get a white paper one! lol
 

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That is RIDICULOUS! 50% is crazy to cut since most people live at what they can afford, half that is pretty staunch unless we're talking about company execs (boo-hoo you're only making 10million instead of 20).

I do know what it feels like to have money stress. The SO makes fairly decent money and has a secure job, but ever since I lost my decent paying fulltime job, it's been hard (and before that, I was in a very, very lofty but high stress, no life, traveling 80% of the year type job. I'm somewhat regretting ever leaving though that would have been the death of me). I do work part time, but they just keep cutting hours and expecting everything to be in tip top shape and with them paying me usual retail hourly and only giving me 10-15 hours on the usual, I actually cannot support myself on what I make. My paychecks really are to buy the groceries and dog food and try to pay off some of my debt (which right now, I can only afford the minimum loan payments). SO pays our mortgage and bills. Sometimes my mom tries to help, but I try not to get her involved unless it's an emergency like when I needed to get a ankle cast and couldn't pay for my doctor visit let alone the cast or the meds nor the time lost at work that day.

What makes it difficult is that we bought this house (one way too big for us two only- 5 bedrooms!) thinking his family is going to live with us. We signed the papers and gave our down payment and everything before they decided they want to back out. So essentially, we bought something in budget for us to pay about half of it comfortably and the other half they pay "rent" for. This was a plan that would work out to be manageable on all our wallets - about the same as renting, but nicer and newer and spacier than our 70's rental house. Now we pay for every bit of it on top of me losing my stable job (2 months after moving into the house) and making maybe a third of what I used to make. With the horrible experiences I've had with roommates and relatives battling people who wont pay their rent but cannot be kicked out fast enough due to stupid laws, we just do not know about ever renting rooms to help us. I wanted to vent at how I'm upset at this still though I don't say anything and kinda push it aside. We wanted to get a home for us and told his mom and grandma (we were all renting a home together at the time) and the first thing that happens is they panic about how they're gonna not be able to make it without us and all and my BF got stressed at leaving them and I felt bad too...I felt like I was being selfish because I wanted to be in a place that was partly mine. If we didn't have them affect our housing in the first place, we would've been happy with a smaller, cheaper home in a different neighborhood. Since they needed downstairs bedrooms, we also turned down a lot of houses and were limited to what we can look at and most was nearer to our max approval than in a comfortable middle. I am grateful to even have a house, but I wish it went a whole lot differently.

I have been trying for jobs, jobs I am more than qualified for on the Strip (I live in Vegas) and I have a wide variety of work experience but NOTHING. I can apply for a lot of different positions, but I can't get a break even for things I'm way overqualified for like being a night stocker at WalMart. I've been in this part time job for a year.

I really hope things change for us all here. I haven't met any of you, but a lot of you I can vouch are good people just by what you say. Can't some nice people get a break for once?
 

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Yikes. Good thing you have some savings, and I hope things stay comfortable until you can graduate. It's tough out there right now.

I've spent the last year or so worrying about money. I'm a student (at a super pricey university, so my parents don't exactly have reserves of cash to hand to me,) and my boyfriend is a firefighter. Boyfriend commuted 3 hours to work, costing him 600 dollars a month in gas and another 200 or so in tolls. All for a 40k/year job, with 6k/year rent from my parents. We have a sizable mortgage and bills to pay, so you might imagine money has been...ridiculously tight. I had a good amount in savings when I moved out here, but a string of car fiascos/deaths emptied it within six months. The dogs always got fed and taken care of, but there were weeks where we lived off of Ramen and black bean soup and were grateful for it. I got a job burger slinging in April. My paychecks have all gone to the bills, but at least I feel like I'm helping. When you've experienced poverty, fast food seems like a godsend. :p

The good news is my boyfriend gets his first paycheck from a new job on Friday- pays almost double the old job and apparently hands out OT like candy. So hopefully things will level out. I'm frugal by nature and I'm really looking forward to being able to put money into my savings again.

If you have some spare time, you might look into alternative ways to make money. I made around $250/month as a ChaCha guide before I got sick of it, and right now I'm looking at ebook publishing on the Kindle. You can't expect to make a living wage working online, but there's definitely a market and every bit helps.
 

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Its rough. My husband lost his job of 15 yrs, two years ago. He has been unable to find anything since. Bc so much of his company's work went to Mexico, he qualified for TRA. TRA is paying for two years of retraining, so he is a full time student right now. TRA wage is the same as unemployment. I am also currently a full time student. The six of us are living on TRA wage and my kids SSI.

Its not cool.

Good news: my husband went for testing for a GM plant a couple months ago. He recently got a letter that he passed the tests, and may be considered in the future for a job opening. My kids recently started school, and at least this year, they qualify for free lunch. That helps..sort of. The recent hot lunch changes that Ms. Obama has instituted has caused the already not so great school lot lunches to become even more tasteless, and my kids have informed me that most days their lunch goes straight to the trash can.

But, unlike many people in our subdivision, we still own our home. We are making it, and so far have avoided tanking our credit. The worst thing is having no insurance...right now Im in the midst of an excruciatingly painful medical condition and cant get my meds or see my dr for it. My asthma is out of control and I cant get my meds. Had an asthma attack on Friday in my cpr class in the midst of an evaluation...had to stop giving my "sanitary mankin" rescue breaths. It sucks. WAh wah wah.:)
 

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Heck ya I'm having money troubles. I've complained on here before about it.
A lot of it is our own fault. My hubby's a self-employed contractor, Electrical and General. A few years ago, we were making more money than we knew what to do with. Literally, I'm afraid :( We built our dream home, bought lots of toys and didnt save enough. Things went south, we filed bankruptcy, sold almost everything, and are in our 3rd attempt to re-fi our home. It's not looking good and we're probably going to lose it. We're currently making 1/3 of what we used to. To make things worse, my medical problems have become such that I cant work to help out.
 

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We're having money troubles here. My husband has considered doing a voluntary deployment to get back on active duty to make enough money to keep us going.

I'm hoping to get a job this Monday....haven't worked since I got married, and not for a lack of trying :(
 

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This is a good example of why I love this forum. You might think you have it bad, but others' stories can remind you that you ain't seen nothin'.

When you've experienced poverty, fast food seems like a godsend. :p
This just goes to show how backward our food system is in this country. The rich eat a balanced diet and the poor eat lots of meat and fat. Drives me bananas! In addition to agility, that's something else I won't bend on: my performance in everything I do is dependent on how I nourish myself, and I'm not going to start eating the crappiest of food just to save a buck here and there. Kit and I will continue to eat the way we did before the pay cut, although I'll probably be brown-bagging it more.

Osdbmom, I don't have kids, so I don't know what's up with the school lunches. What kind of changes have been instituted (other than Michelle Obama is pushing healthy food)? What would a typical lunch consist of?
 

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wow.. seems like lots of people are having a hard time.

I graduated grad school in march '10 and haven't had a full time week. I have gotten by through doing odd jobs but the hours are scarce and its impossible to budget when you don't know how much money will be coming in.

Last night I ripped a good amount of my finger nail off and managed to gouge the top of my finger deep enough to require a few stitches. But I don't have health insurance; I can't afford it now that I am not eligible for 'student care'. So I did my own surgery with a nail scissor, tweezers and some HP. Its the best I can do right now. But what won't change is that if either of the Boys need veterinary care, they are going to get it. No home medical remedies for them :p

I think its important to remind people who want to get a dog how expensive they are. I knew this before getting the Boys and have been able to provide for every need; however, I did not plan for not having income for nearly 2 years. How do you plan for that when there was no savings to begin with? I will be homeless with 2 dogs before I give them up, but I still feel badly that I can't afford those obedience and competition classes, or the new collar I've been wanting for a year, or that box of bully sticks.

I get told I am ridiculous and that my dogs have it better than most, but I still feel like a bad owner some days. I try to make up for it by spending more time outdoors with them and going on inexpensive outings to our favorite hiking spots . . . but still. I wish I could afford to do 2 classes a week with each dog and to be able to get them that Ellas Lead collar.
 

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Preaching to the choir.

I'm a full time student, working part time. I make just enough money to cover rent. So I'm relying on student loans to get me by.
The scholarship window had already closed by the time I found out I was accepted and I'm not getting in financial aid because the school expects my mother to fork over nearly $9,000. When I found that out I started crying and then laughing while crying over the mental image of my mom giving me money. Long story short, we're not talking anymore.

Kaki still gets TOTW, full vetting, and days at work with me. I feel bad that at this rate, she'll be too old by the time I can afford agility. At least she gets to try out cattle in November and that's free! Like +two said, I'd rather be homeless with her than in a house without her.

There's even a group that provides basic vet care and food for dogs that belong to homeless people. I doubt it will ever come to that though.

I'm looking at other employment options and work study. I would actually be making more money cleaning up after a the mouse colony in research labs than I am working in a doggie daycare. I just don't know how I would manage two jobs and keep the grades I have now. Such is life.
 

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I'm looking at other employment options and work study. I would actually be making more money cleaning up after a the mouse colony in research labs than I am working in a doggie daycare. I just don't know how I would manage two jobs and keep the grades I have now. Such is life.
Work study is A-MAZING! I made more money per hour on work-study then I ever have. Part of the appeal of going back to school for me is the work-study funds and the health insurance / care. But it definitely is a trade off, especially since you work at a daycare. Does Kaki get to come to your work for free?
 

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Work study is A-MAZING! I made more money per hour on work-study then I ever have. Part of the appeal of going back to school for me is the work-study funds and the health insurance / care. But it definitely is a trade off, especially since you work at a daycare. Does Kaki get to come to your work for free?
Kaki does get to come in with me for free. That's something I absolutely do not want to lose.
That means figuring out how to balance the two jobs. I don't think it's impossible but I'd probably have to drop down to two days per week at the daycare.
I can live with that(with the help of my old pal caffiene).
 

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We're having money troubles here. My husband has considered doing a voluntary deployment to get back on active duty to make enough money to keep us going.

I'm hoping to get a job this Monday....haven't worked since I got married, and not for a lack of trying :(

Keeping my (not busted) fingers crossed for you Xeph. Let us know how the job prospect turns out.
 

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This is a good example of why I love this forum. You might think you have it bad, but others' stories can remind you that you ain't seen nothin'.



This just goes to show how backward our food system is in this country. The rich eat a balanced diet and the poor eat lots of meat and fat. Drives me bananas! In addition to agility, that's something else I won't bend on: my performance in everything I do is dependent on how I nourish myself, and I'm not going to start eating the crappiest of food just to save a buck here and there. Kit and I will continue to eat the way we did before the pay cut, although I'll probably be brown-bagging it more.

Osdbmom, I don't have kids, so I don't know what's up with the school lunches. What kind of changes have been instituted (other than Michelle Obama is pushing healthy food)? What would a typical lunch consist of?
Um...well, I know they have switched to plain, fat free milk, from what I gather from the kids, most of the food, being "healthier", is much less tasty, to them, i guess. There is no longer a choice, its the same meal for everyone, so if you dont like it or cant eat it, too bad. They go to a very small school, so we dont have homecooked meals or anything....pretty much the food is pre-cooked, microwavable or oven warmed. I think they are trying to keep to a certain amount of calories per meal ( I think). No more treats or special days with something sweet at the end of the meal.

I know this is off topic, but the whole deal irritates me....kids who are obese...they arent obese from the one meal they get ten minutes a day to eat at school...they are overweight bc of what they eat when they arent in school, and bc they dont get exercise.
I know several kids whose only actual meals are what they eat at school....and that one meal is now stripped of any extra seasonings, condiments, etc anything to make it a little more palatable.
I happen to have kids who are actually all UNDERweight, so they do need the calories!! lol
 

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Um...well, I know they have switched to plain, fat free milk, from what I gather from the kids, most of the food, being "healthier", is much less tasty, to them, i guess. There is no longer a choice, its the same meal for everyone, so if you dont like it or cant eat it, too bad. They go to a very small school, so we dont have homecooked meals or anything....pretty much the food is pre-cooked, microwavable or oven warmed. I think they are trying to keep to a certain amount of calories per meal ( I think). No more treats or special days with something sweet at the end of the meal.

I know this is off topic, but the whole deal irritates me....kids who are obese...they arent obese from the one meal they get ten minutes a day to eat at school...they are overweight bc of what they eat when they arent in school, and bc they dont get exercise.
I know several kids whose only actual meals are what they eat at school....and that one meal is now stripped of any extra seasonings, condiments, etc anything to make it a little more palatable.
I happen to have kids who are actually all UNDERweight, so they do need the calories!! lol
One thing that has to go hand in hand with eating healthier foods is knowing how to cook them. You can't expect veggies to taste good if they're overcooked and underseasoned. That's a sure way to make kids HATE healthy food, which isn't going to help anyone. Most of the food I cook for myself is vegan, and let me tell you, it's anything but bland. A little adventurous, maybe, but never bland. If kids throw away their lunches, then in addition to wasting government resources, the kids are just going to binge on junk food once they arrive home.

I'll be the first one to say that Michelle Obama is right - we DO need to make school lunches healthier - but it has to be done in the right way. That means no pre-cooked crap and no microwaves. The school chefs will most likely require training in how to properly cook large quantities of tasty food. Also, every dish that is prepared needs to be labeled so that whatever ingredients a child might be allergic to (milk, soy, wheat, eggs, nuts, etc.) are obvious. Putting the right ingredients in the hands of people who don't know how to use them isn't solving the problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
I think its important to remind people who want to get a dog how expensive they are.
Yes, absolutely. It bears repeating. It always bugs me when I see new people coming to DF thinking of getting a dog and already griping about the cost of bare necessities like vet care and decent food. When you get a dog, you're making a commitment to cover the cost of food, shelter, and vet care for the lifetime of that animal. Period. Despite money woes, Kit will always be fed great food, will have a roof over her head, and will have great vet care (she's insured).

Also, IMO, some dogs will require more than just the bare minimum. If I can't afford mental stimulation (meaning disc practice and agility classes) for Kit, and the time required to take her on regular off leash hikes, then I have no business owning her. Many dogs won't need these extras, but some do. She would be miserable without these things, and if it ever came down to it, I'd rather give her up than see her happiness diminished. Of course then there's the added problem of finding a home where this level of commitment is a given, but that's a different problem entirely.

People I meet through dog sports often think it's strange that I only have one dog. Cost is one big reason. Could I afford another? Maybe, but only if I was going to provide the bare minimum to both. I don't have the time, energy, and money to do what I do for Kit times 2. And I doubt I'll ever be interested in owning a dog that doesn't require these "extras".
 

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Even with our money struggles, we can still afford the dogs and the cat. We will not show again until November, and that may be our last show of the year. Agility ends in a couple of weeks. I will miss it, and will find a way to afford it for Strauss if need be...Mirada is more easily kept mentally sated.

Our dogs still eat an excellent diet, have their veterinary needs met, and are happy.

They're lucky that they don't have to stress about these things :)
 

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Money woes are the pits. We are having our own right now. And they follow the same lines as many. School started back up, my fiance is a full time student and a part time employee at Taco Bell. I lost my full time job at the end of August, and spent just over a month unemployed and with no income. I went from working for 9 dollars an hour plus commission, to minimum wage recently. I work at a gas station. I hate dealing with people face to face, and miss call center work but I'll do what I can to help bring income in. We also have a roommate who is employed as a full time dishwasher and prep cook at Ruby Tuesdays (its like TGI Fridays) but "Full Time" to him (or them not sure which) is only 10 to 15 hours a week. Thankfully the trailer is owned, and our lot rent is fairly cheap. We had to switch some things, like the food that cats are on, to make ends meet but we do it. We go without before the animals do. Walmart has had some great sales on dog food, its no the best quality, but Tiberius likes it and isn't loosing weight being on it so we buy it til we get money situated and can get him back on the good stuff.
 

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Ouch. 50% is harsh.

I'm still talking it over with management, but at the moment, I'm facing a 20% cut. On paper, it's a 10% increase on my base, but until now I've gotten overtime. In practice, considering the crazy hours I've worked over the last two years, it amounts to a 20% cut.

3) I have another source of income lined up. I'm knitting baby clothes (mostly sweaters so far) and selling them to a hoity toity children's boutique in SoFla. I get paid as soon as they're received, and I've already gotten my first two checks. They even provide the yarn and pay the shipping both ways! My plan is to use this income to continue to take weekly agility classes - I just can't give that up. Trial entry fees I can usually work off.
Can you expand this as a business? You've already got one steady retail customer - that's the hardest part in running a business. How good is your relationship with them? How does the return per hour of labor compare with your job?
 
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