Doing fine in Decline

Although many people predicted that our economy would reach its current state, it was impossible to predict just how it would affect everybody. I felt that, if it did reach this point, I would be bypassed by all of the complications and turmoil that it would create. I thought that, since I was a full-time student, and didn’t have a career to worry about losing, I would be in the clear. I was wrong, and here I sit, broke as a joke, trying to figure out ways to make an extra dollar. I’ve been working for a catering company, which is based in the San Mateo county. Most of our clients are in the top 10% of income earners in the nation, but even they are being frugal. At this time last year, my boss was calling everyday to offer me shifts, but this year, I’m hoping to get enough shifts just to survive, let alone buying Christmas gifts for friends and family. I also commute to USF from Burlingame at least four days out of the week, sometimes two times a day. Until recently, making this drive put a huge dent in my monthly income, but thankfully gas prices have declined, so this isn’t as big of an issue. Nevertheless, the current economy is so unstable, that there is no knowing whether these gas prices will stay put or skyrocket again in the near future, so I’m not going to get my hopes up.

I’ve never really had a lot of extra money in the past. I’ve usually always lived month to month, paycheck to paycheck, but this year, even this has been increasingly difficult. To conserve what little money I have, I’ve been trying to eat at home as much as possible, and bring bagged lunches to school. I haven’t been going to the concerts or shows that I’ve been interested in, and I haven’t been to as many clubs or bars. As much as I miss these kinds of events, I’m not not incredibly upset that I’m unable to attend them because I understand that there are many people in far worse situations than I am. My job is slow, but I haven’t been laid off, I’m still able to attend school, I have a family that can still support me, and I’m healthy. I can’t really ask for too much more. The most difficult part of this economic decline is making the transition from my old lifestyle to the lifestyle I have to live today. But, I always try to make the best of every situation that I confront, and I think that if I have learned anything, it has been how to better manage my money, and this is something that I will always value.

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