Treading water – 2.

April 22nd, 2019

2. Stop using your credit card, there is not going to be sufficient income deposited to pay off new purchases. You do not want to end up with huge debit against your name. Withdraw cash, e.g. $100 per week for food/groceries. That means prepare your own meals, NO eating out. Do not buy clothes, toys or furniture. The kids will have to wear hand-me-downs… Use libraries extensively – no need to buy books! For recreation, go into nature, it is mostly free. Even a party can be on the beach, a lookout point, a park or open space reserve. Make it cheap without being cheap. Reconsider your values, reevaluate your essentials. Your credit card has turned into a venomous scorpion. Do NOT open any new cards to help pay off the current bill.

My initial thoughts were just for limiting; going without, closing down, try to live it out for a few months.

It was almost impossible to avoid credit card expenses and debt. I was in the fortunate position to still have a small amount of savings in an account linked to a previous position. That would now buy our ‘daily bread’. For the rest, our savings was pretty much trapped in the new house we bought. Stock options from my husband’s previous positions contained the rest – that also now vanished with his retrenchment from the company.

For gas we still used the credit card, and for mandatory payments like Gas and Electricity, Telephone and Internet, and Medical Insurance. Because I did not know how long this single-income period was going to last, I did not want to take chances and accumulate, almost unnoticed, excessive debit, and land in a tight spot where property or valuables needed to be sold. My husband immediately started applying for new jobs, but the reaction was slow, response trickling to a standstill, and the future indeed looked bleak. The realities of being new immigrants sunk in.