I hate whingers! Normally, I'm a positive-pro-active person, and I keep my "moments" to myself, but....I figure it's my blog, and I can write whatever I like...
The truth is, I'm feeling thoroughly disheartened and discouraged.
My husband finally got back to work, a month or so, after 7 months off work due to injury which was only partly covered by Workcover. (Enough so that we weren't eligible for Centrelink, but not enough to cover all our bills and mortgage and expenses.)
Now, in an effort to catch up on our debts, we are both working two jobs.
Five days a week, I'm up before dark (and even then, my husband has already left for work an hour earlier) to get myself and my kids fed, dressed and ready for the day. Then I'm taking my youngest son to our friends to be looked after for the day, then coming back to drop my older son to school (at least I get to take him to school in the morning...I've got to be thankful for that.) My husband finishes work in time to pick him up from school (Something else to be thankful for.)
Three afternoon's a week, I'm staying back late at work, to do the cleaning contract (my second job). By the time I've picked up my youngest son and arrived home, I'm so tired I can hardly be bothered to cook. In fact, for the last month or two, the majority of nights, my family has been eating toast or fruit for dinner.
On the weekend, my husband works all night Friday, and sometimes Saturday night, so he's sleeping during the day, while I'm trying to catch up on housework and washing, and trying to spend some time with my children.
My studies are at a stand-still. My website that I was so passionate about, has not been touched in months.
I hardly even know if you can call this a life...
I'm glad we've managed to get extra work, I really am. But even with two lots of incomes, we're still struggling to cover all our bills, and keep up with our mortgage and credit card repayments. This week I had $40 to buy groceries for my family. It it were a one-off thing, I wouldn't care much, I'd simply use up what I had in my pantry. But after months of a limited food budget, the pantry can't be relied apon either.
Our credit cards are all maxed to the limit - all $22,000 worth of credit card limit. At the beginning of last year, our credit card debt was $19,000. I worked so hard, scraping and saving and managed to pay them down to $12,000 by September last year, even though I was only working a couple of hours a week last year. Now, all the hard work has come undone, and we've got to start over again.
Our mortgage takes up almost half of our wages. (No we don't have a McMansion on the hill. We have a 3-bedroom townhouse.)
It has become very, very obvious, that we simply cannot afford to live in Canberra any more. It simply cannot be done, while having any quality of life or enjoying my kid's childhoods.
I'm hearing whispers that we are not alone in our situation. That families all around Australia are struggling to make ends meet, and put food on the table. Unfortunately, it doesn't make it any less disheartening, or less disappointing, to work so hard but still keep going backwards.
All it tells me, is that things have gone awry, in the "lucky country". The "Great Australian Dream" of owning a home in the suburbs, has become one long nightmare, for too many families. Including ours.
My husband has agreed to sell up our house next year, and move somewhere smaller and cheaper. The value of our home has increased nicely since we bought it, so we should be able to walk away with a substantial deposit to buy somewhere else, and enough to get rid of all the nasty credit cards too, which are hanging around our necks like nooses.
But before we can sell, this house needs to painted, inside and out, and the garden fixed up, and back fences replaced. Theoretically, that's what we planned to do this year, and have the house ready for sale by early next year.
When we'll find the time, or the money to do this, I don't know.
In the meantime, we continue to struggle through, the best that we can.
And at night, when I fall into bed exhausted, I just have time to close my eyes and hope that my children will understand, that we never intended our lives to be this way, and....but I'm already asleep, before I've even finished thinking the thought.