Until I get a job that actually pays (because writing doesn't and nor does the bookshop) this is how it is for us:
1. Growth of children must cease immediately. That'll be easier to achieve on our new diet.
2. Worn out shoes will have to do for the next however-long-it-takes-for-me-to-find-a-job-that-pays. (Don't worry, the kids have shoes, it's only mine that are worn out.)
3. The printer is now a paperweight (I'm thinking of making it into a feature). Homework must be done online or with pen and paper.
4. Birthdays are cancelled. If you've already had one this year, lucky you, there will be no more. (How important are birthdays anyway?)
5. Easter is cancelled. No one needs chocolate. I'm looking forward to being home for 4 days with the kids.
6. Christmas is borderline. I'll make a decision by late March - it really is dependent on paid work or a massive hike in sales (mine).
7. This month I have ordered the grass to stop growing so that's saved quite a lot already, now if I could just get the dog to stop fertilizing it.
8. I stopped going out for coffee months ago (when people stopped asking me to go out for coffee) so, nothing changes there.
9. School trips and sports teams are off the table. That sucks but it won't kill anyone. (I don't mind not getting up super early on Saturdays, walking to the courts, and standing in the freezing cold.)
10. Water is a perfectly acceptable substitute for coffee, tea, wine, coronas, tequila, juice, and milk. Okay substituting coffee with water is really taking it's toll but I'm sure given time, I'll get used to it and the headache will stop.
11. I'm working on developing a taste for noodles - I just wish they didn't smell so
12. We're locked into two contracts - that means we'll still have internet and my phone which I'm incredibly thankful for. I don't think I could handle being unable to communicate and the kids can still access homework and play games etc.
13. I've already cut our power consumption about as far as I can. The weather is starting to get colder and it worries me that our power will creep up. Time to put the fluffy sheets back on the beds and go to bed earlier than 8:30.
14. There's a freeze on pocket money, but they've gotten used to that, because it's been that way since October.
15. Trying to suspend our contents insurance at the moment but it's hard to get hold of anyone! Would it kill someone to ring me back?
16. I'm not sure what to do about the animals (Romeo and Missy). Would be better to not have any but they help TGW a lot and it's stressful enough at the moment without me taking away her furry support systems.
17. We never could afford to go out and do stuff, so that hasn't changed, we still stay home. :)
18. I've planned and budgeted to enable me to take Breezy to meet her agent and do an acting workshop this Sunday in Wellington and for TGW's hospital visit next Wednesday afternoon ... and it's still not going to be easy. Breezy said we need to pack a lunch and take water. Yes, we do.
19. I figure as long as I can pay the rent, feed the kids, pay bills, we're doing okay.
This month I can pay the rent and pay most of the bills. We have food in the cupboards.
20. Yesterday I got a few ice-blocks for the girls because they have sore throats - they're both sick at the moment. There are consequences. I have to take that money from somewhere, so today I don't buy bread.
So there you have it, the truth about life in our house at the moment.
Writers are not rich.
Writers mostly don't make enough to survive on.
Doing good things for other people (like running Writers Plot Readers Read) doesn't benefit either Caro or myself, we don't get paid, if we did the shop would've closed in the first week.
I've been looking for a job for over a year ... so, it must be my turn soon? Hopefully before my savings are completely tapped out.
We're cutting it fine.
But at least we don't live in America ... :)