it has been YEARS since I have been this poor and broke. For the past 3 to 5 years, I have dutifully maintained a minimum reserve of an average of $1000 in my checking account, and considered my self cut off from spending any time that I dipped below $750. At the beginning of last year, prior to the South Dakota trip, I was maintaining a balance closer to $2000 in savings after each month's bills were paid in full.
As is stands right now, my next paycheck will not even take me up to my standard reserve once I have paid even a single bill next Friday. I can't even afford to buy one night of Mc Donald's.
Our spending in this household is out of control when it comes to fast food, but that's not the primary source of me being this broke. the biggest change is that all of my accessibility to Over time at work has been slashed, and I'm bringing home $500 less each month than I had been earning for the past 3 to 5 years. I've made less in OT pay this year than I would make in a single month last year.
That's right at about $6,000 cut from my annual take home pay; and the loss of that monetary source is killing me. Both financially and emotionally. I can't make ends meet, and I'm falling further and further behind each month.
To add to the issue, my credit card balances are higher than they have been since Karen and I got married. It's all I can do to pay the monthly minimum balances, much less get ahead by trying to pay down any of the principal. At this rate, it will take nearly our entire tax return next Spring to clear the balances on my cards, and I am recently aware that Karen now has a credit card that she is charging against.
It's all enough to keep me up and night thinking about it, and when I do sleep I have nightmares about drowning in debt.
I even had to dip into my "Ameristar money" to buy gas. I had finally got it all saved back up after spending it on Vince Gill and a 2nd pair of Bon Jovi tickets in Memphis.
No one else in this house seems to realize that we have to cut our expenses somewhere. And the firs expense that we have to cut is eating out.