Anyone else panicking a little?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by hearts and roses, Jul 2, 2008.

  1. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    On the 'saving' thread, Terry mentioned some things about the possibility of an economic crash similar to the 1920's.

    For the past few weeks, as I try and try to spend less and cut corners and figure out ways to be more and more frugal with money, food, electric, travel, etc., I have found myself getting that pre-panic attack hyperventilating thing and it really is freaking me out. :anxious:

    I know there are always more and better ways to conserve and be more frugal, but I really feel like right now I'm doing the best I can, considering there are so many other things going on with us...but I can feel it like a monkey on my back, this impending doom - I'm trying not to feel like that, but every once in a while, it hits me. :surprise:

    I'm so worried about heating our house this coming winter and had intended on putting money aside for oil, but I haven't been able to put aside one cent. Worse comes to worse, I may have to use the money I have set aside for difficult child (I had intended to help her get into a cheap car AFTER she found a job and saved some of her own money).

    I mean, the logical part of my brains knows that we will be okay. I mean, we won't be on the street or anything like that and we'll find a way to make ends meet if we have to pull the belt in any tighter...but...

    Anyone else find themselves almost panicking? :confused:
     
  2. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    I'm starting to...not quite panic...but wonder. I'm out of work for the summer, and once school starts, they don't usually need many subs until October, which means no paycheck till the end of November. Unemployment check eligiblity is still being decided by the powers that be. And if I need knee surgery, how long will I be unable to work? Hubby was recently made permanent, but it's still "last hired, first fired", and he was laid off from this same company before during a bankruptcy reorg while a temp to hire employee. I just don't know...
     
  3. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    Only for the last 6 years and people thought I was just nuts. We've been on a downward spiral for some time. It used to really rankle me when politicians in Difficult Child (both parties) would talk about how strong the economy is. They had to be delusional. Or maybe it's just the state that I'm in, but it hasn't been pretty for a while and it's just been getting worse. And now it seems everything is just coming together to create a perfect storm.

    Honestly, I haven't been able to really think about it for some time because I get that I-can't-catch-my-breath feeling. I just do one day at a time.
     
  4. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    I think it was last week when an oil field was sabotaged by some terrorists. It was blown up. It pumped a half a million barrels of oil daily. I kind of freaked. If the terrorists hit a few more of them, we are in major, major trouble! I was just talking about this with some of my friends today. We will go into a depression.

    Everywhere is getting hit by this ecomomy. It's disasterous.
     
  5. Christy

    Christy New Member

    Yes. I have never remembered a time when so many people were facing hard times. With the cost of gas and the pice of groceries and utilities continuing to rise things will only get worse. We have been fortunate so far but are much more frugal. husband has switched to public transportation to commute and I try to combine trips to save gas and plan grocery lists more carefully.

    My sister in law just asked us for a $3000 loan so they could avoid foreclosure. This was a tough situation because husband has bailed them out financially more than once. We had the money in savings but with not me not working right now, our savings is dwindling. They are terrrible with money but on the other hand, they have four kids and we would hate to see them lose the house. We decided this would be the last time we could afford to help them out and I am hopeful that they will make it.
     
  6. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I know what you mean.

    I worry constantly about the what ifs. I am very glad that I paid for my mobile home out right when I took on my mom so at least we wont be homeless. The cost of electricity here though is outrageous. I have to run my air conditioner because I cant regulate my body temp right so I get so hot and miserable. We really should have put in a garden but didnt. I cant work one and no one else would have. Maybe Cory would have knowing about the house arrest restrictions though...lol. Food is going through the roof and we dont even have a food pantry here.

    I am going to get Mandy and Cory to apply for food stamps for themselves though because they become eligible on their own this month. I hate to do it but ya gotta do what ya gotta do. Every little bit will help.

    Gas is killing us. We live so far out that we are spending about 75 bucks a week just in gas going to and from town and I drive a focus. We dont do much for entertainment at all. I am going to ask my dad to chip in and help me get a small above ground pool so Keyana and I can swim this summer. She has just decided water is fun and it will do me good to soak. I do pay for Dish but if things get bad I guess that will go but I hope I can keep it because we get zero reception here. Maybe lower my package. We have to keep two phone lines at least until Cory is off house arrest but then we can cut back to one. I refused to let him use my house line which was my link to the internet...lol. I cant get dsl or cable here.

    The only thing I think we could do is cut back on food and that is gonna be tough considering there are 5 adults and a baby here. Good lord! I just realized that...I gave birth to 3 kids...got rid of one...and gained two! I am going backwards here in the way things are supposed to go! Arent I supposed to get them grown and leave instead of grow up and stay and bring more home?
     
  7. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Sorry, I didn't mean to freak everyone out!

    But I guess my husband and I just voiced concerns that everyone has had.

    I felt really crummy after our conversation, so that I was glad I had already eaten, or I would have lost my appetite. But today I am better. I see that life goes on, albeit changed one way or another.

    I really think our govn't will negotiate rather than do something rash. Surely, if we are taking all of this into consideration, "experts" are as well.

    Still, I do have a part of my mind on what kind of work I would do and how I would market myself if bad went to worse. It's not like artists and writers ever become millionaires during a depression. Although some actors would do okay (remembering the actors in the b&w shows and films who helped "the war effort" through their roles).

    I think the Internet would survive. In fact, flourish.

    Janet, LOL on your mathematical snafu on your family plan. :)
     
  8. mom_in_training

    mom_in_training New Member

    It is scarey with the economy going the way its going. I'm not necessarily panicked over it though. I have cut all the corners that I can starting a couple months ago. So far I have let go of the gardener, Cut back on watering, Cut off my satelite. Its kind of boring without Court Tv but I am surviving without it considering I was paying almost $46.00 a month, Don't miss that for sure. Cut off all outgoing long distance and Toll long distance on my landline phone, Also told my phone co that I was going elsewhere for my DSL knowing that I could get it for half of what they are charging so they cut it in half. Lol!! The beauty of companies retention policies and their determination to keep ya can really work out better for the consumer and you bet I took advantage of it. I have Nationwide calling on my cell so I can make calls out of state for free anyway, The only drawback is when I call another county I use my cell phone and that takes minutes (Toll long distance) but I never go over my minutes anyway, So Its working out so far. And I have cut waaaayyyy back on the driving period. I try and get whatever is needed which is still very minimal (Eating allot of soup and sandwiches these days) in one swoop. Not to bad considering that the grocery store and Wal-Mart are less then a mile from me. I also applied for ADA for my son to get to and from school. Was putting out anywhere from $200.00-$250.00 per month in gas driving him myself, Yikes!!!!. The bus (ADA) for disabled will only cost about $10.00 per month. (He was just approved) After his vacation I will be taking advantage of that. My difficult child got her job back and is doing better then ever. (She really likes it) Although a lil out of control with her spending she has been taking on a lil bit more responsibility then she has ever had. I told her after we lost our horse John Wayne that if she wants a horse then she pays the board. So far she has paid half and plans to pay the other half this Fri. And she also has her very own cell phone plan that she pays for on her own and will get little things for the house here and there not much but she is contributing (Whooo-Hooo). She is still limited as far as money but she is now starting to get more hours at her job so that will help as far as helping with groceries. I also applied for a job close by so that maybe I can work 3-4 hours maybe 3 or 4 days a week. The store is open 24/7 and from what I have been told it should not be a problem. My son requires hands on for his every need so late evenings would be the only time I could do anything like that and still be able to care for him during the day without being over tired. A lil extra money would be of some help.

    Oh and just FYI Here in Ca with the electric co they offer up a program called medical baseline. This is the one thing that I can't really cut back on because of my sons medical issues including his seizure disorder but we do get a huge break. I keep it comfortable at 78. You all might want to contact your utility companies to see if they offer any programs for medically fragile people in the area your in. I know the gas co does here as well for low income and the phone co has lifeline for low income. Anything is worth a shot especially when it comes down to your health and well being. The medical baseline I had to have a simple form filled out by my sons Dr as part of being approved.
     
  9. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    I try and remain blissfully ignorant. I hear all of this "talk", but to me, that is all it is. If it happens, it happens.
    If I really contemplated the future in too much detail I might completely, and officially lose my mind. I can only take one day at a time.
     
  10. amazeofgrace

    amazeofgrace New Member

    I can do a whole lot more to get on a better budget. My PT income just about covers the utilities and groceries here at my parents and my gas and car insurance. I have had to take from my nest egg for other stuff, since there's no child support coming in.
     
  11. Marcie Mac

    Marcie Mac Just Plain Ole Tired

    Definately a little panicked with a lot of PO'd thrown in about what a mess the economy is in

    I remember years ago doing the whole coupon thing, struggling to support 5 by myself, struggling with house payments, insurance, clothes, car payments, planning meals, spending a LOT of time looking for the best deals on food and was fortunate enough after a few years of down and out struggling not to really have to do that anymore - and now I am in a time warp and have gone right back there again.

    I do put money away religiously in my 401 K account, and now have to really stop my eyes from looking at the stockmarket tanking, cause my little bit of money is tanking right along with it. It was my pay off the house fund.. I think if I were younger, I wouldn't be so stressed over the prospects of being jobless - I just do not have the energy, nor the desire, to start all over from scratch again.

    Marcie
     
  12. mom_in_training

    mom_in_training New Member

    FYI Here in Ca with the electric co they offer up a program called medical baseline. This is the one thing that I can't really cut back on because of my sons medical issues including his seizure disorder but we do get a huge break. I keep it comfortable at 78. You all might want to contact your utility companies to see if they offer any programs for medically fragile people be it younger or older in the area your in. I know the gas co does here as well for low income and the phone co has lifeline for low income. Anything is worth a shot especially when it comes down to your health and well being. The medical baseline I had to have a simple form filled out by my sons Dr as part of being approved.
     
  13. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    I am starting to panic a little ... if I can just hold out for another three years! Most of the things that people do to cut back, I'm already doing and have been for years! I live in a very small town in a rural area where rent and utilities are cheap, or I'd be in deep doo-doo already!

    I work for the State. We knew there'd be no pay raises this year (even though our medical insurance is going up - again) and now they're cutting back and eliminating positions ... I think I will be OK with 22 years in, but you never know. What they've told us is all so confusing and contradictory, nobody really knows what's going on. I have another three years to go before I can retire at full benefits - if I had to do it now at 62, I'd end up being a bag lady! Where I live there's no such thing as finding another job. The major employer in our little county shut down and now we've got the highest unemployment rate in the whole state!

    It is really scary. I have to drive 70 miles a day just to get to work and gas keeps going up and up. My car is eight years old and if it breaks down, I have no money to have it repaired. I'm hoping my bumpy front tires last till next payday because I can't replace them for another month at least. The electric rates are going up, and probably also the gas that heats my house in the winter. I spend more in the grocery store every week to get the same things. I don't go anywhere, I don't do anything, but it's getting tighter and tighter every month and I didn't have a lot of "wiggle room" to start with! Yeah, I'm starting to panic!
     
  14. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Panicked? No. Very very concerned. It was very cool here all spring. We didn't get above 55 degrees until mid June, and many people ran out of oil in late April or early May and were cold. My friend in Seattle ran out in May, and still owes $1,700 for last winter's oil. We are working hard on keeping things insulated, keeping curtains closed, and just hoping that the whole house of cards doesn't fall down before someone gets serious about taking care of business.
     
  15. dreamer

    dreamer New Member

    Ihave been panicking, me and husband are both on soc sec disability, he has been on it since 1991, I have been on it since 2001. Prices keep going up up up------we had no saveings, I worked for min wage all those years, makeing up deficits in finances by working 16-20 hours 7 days a week. I cannot make up deficits now.
    Our saving grace was we had a tiny house, bought when difficult child was born, a "starter" house never meant for all of us to live day to day in it. Made worse becuz difficult child is severe agoraphobic as is husband, and son is homeschooled, and now easy child is not going away to univ in fall, after all, but rather her and her unborn babies daddy are now also living here. and the baby will also live here.....in our whopping 900 square feet. while easy child and daddy to be work and go to community college....so we do have people home all day every day, round the clock.

    BUT what is even more scary for me is the effect on the violence level out in "the world" I have cancelled all sons eye surgeon appts at the univ teaching hospital where he goes since spring becuz the level of extreme agressive violence in chicago has gooten SO bad and it all seems to happen in the very neighborhood where we would be. Add in that it is a 5 hour each way trip and price of gas, YIKES.....I just do not know how I could pay for that?
    And I have been sitting in courtroom now 3-4 times a month for over 2 years now, and what I see going on there appalls me to no end. I am afraid it is partly related to economy.....there are overworked prosecutors, too few police for the population explosion my county has had this last deacde, so, detective work is incoplete, inadequete, charges dropped on most crimes all the time, others dragged out becuz not enough prosecutors to keep up, one case we have been going for monthly for 2 years involveing a multiple victim pedophile and it is still not even to pre trial stage!
    I watch at the docs and hospitals how things go, I pick up paper daily and read how more services are vanishing, for battered women, autistic kids, developmentally challenged kids and a dults, mentally ill kids and adults.......have been watching them lose services, lose places to live, lose group homes, I watched last year our school district had been in a larger Special Education district and it folded.....
    I watched my mom, end stage caner, my best friend, end stage cancer, and no help from anywhere for daily care needs, insurance keeps cutting back, social service agencies cutback, people have to work more hours and are even less available to have time/effort to take care of their loved ones in need.....
    Our school district no longer provides any kids with textbooks at all......they are cutting back all electives......for awhile our school had absolutely NO art, library or music at all in early 90s due to financial problems.....altho our real estate property tax which mostly goes to our schools is the highest I have ever heard of anywhere AND our school also has extremely high "registration costs" and several "mandatory" fundraisers thru the year-PUBLIC school......

    on one hand, we are lucky. we do not have to worry about loseing a job and not finding another one..... and when we first had to learn to cope with my husband being disabled, I had to take a crash course in running our family on one tenth of what we previously lived on.....
    and no I no longer have to worry about appropriate clothes for work or child care.....nor transportation to/from work....I also have no way to increase our income, or stretch things much further.....and I do still need to figure out how to keep us getting to those doctor appts etc.
    The grocery bill scares me a lot. we used to eat a lot of rice, eggs, pasta but they have gone up SO much in price this year.....and now with my diabetes found in march and easy child preg.....I am not sure I can continue to afford proper types of food. My blood sugar test strips I can no longer afford and my GP is a jerk and while he demands I test 8 times daily, he refuses to write it as a concrete diagnosis in my records yet......so insurnce will not cover them.....and I cannot afford them.
    The vandalism rate and violence rate here in my town has also risen dramatically since winter. It is so bad some days I am rather glad my dtr and husband are agoraphobic and easy child is too miserable to go anywhere these days.
    Tooday I drove her to er and the road rage in drivers was so extreme, it gave ME a run for my money. Seems everyone everywhere is just so discouraged with the economy etc, and it is keeping everyone on edge so bad.

    I know lots of people ay it is worse now, and until say Jan or so I did not really think life was all so scary.....I thought the life I lived in the 70s was pretty extreme, rough hard, fast lane dangerous etc......but since january, now, I am very nervous how it all will continue.
    I grew up dirt poor, I lived very poor, and that does not disturb me quite as much, I have learned how to add more water to the soup so to speak, but the frame of mind it puts everyone in? THAT scares me a lot more. The way the things like police dept, judicial process, etc are now working, that scares me. The coldness, selfishness, greediness, it bothers me to my core. at the er today the other people there seemed to me to be so lost in their own worlds, I cannot even count how many people, staff and other patients - ran into us, nearly knocked us over at the elevators, at the front desk.....some were lost in thought and not watching where they were going, some were just being outright rude.....but as the economy worsens I see these behaviors and attitudes getting more and more common.
    It is very very sad, very distressing, and yeah, it keeps me up at nite, in tears far far too often.
     
  16. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Panicked? A whole lot. That is my post on General.
     
  17. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    This is gonna sound awful, but we can't get a whole lot poorer than we are already. So? Does that count as a good thing?? :tongue:

    I've had a bad feeling in my gut for some time considering the economy. husband and I don't keep our money in the bank. (That's what I get for being raised by 2 people who lived thru the Great Depression) I won't let him anymore. We leave only enough in there to pay bills, period. The rest stays with us. Not that there is much, but what little I have I want to keep.

    I know banks are insured against failing as they did on Black Tuesday. But I noticed a long time ago no one bothers to tell you how long it would take to get your insured funds if the banks did fail.

    If you haven't guessed.....I'm a pessimist. Expect the worst and be thrilled if it doesn't happen. That way you never get caught with your pants down.

    Remember the whole Y2K thing??

    husband didn't dare say a word as for a year I stocked away dry goods, canned goods, and gallon jugs of water. You wouldn't believe the amount of food I horded away. When Y2k didn't happen we ate off that food for a long time, and what we couldn't eat before it went bad we gave to others who were in need. Win/win, and we were glad Y2k didn't happen. :D

    I've begun stocking away extra food again. And this time I have way more room to do so than I did 8 yrs ago. We're also stocking up on oil for oil lamps (which we already have), candles, batteries. And I'm seriously considering putting in a late veggy garden. (kicking myself for not getting to it before now)

    I'm not panicking. It's not what I do. Instead I take action. (makes me feel better)

    I grew up dirt poor. Most of my married life was lived in poverty. (and were back there now) I can do poor, I can do without things you'd never dream you can do without when you have no choice. I might not like it one little bit. But I can do it.

    And because I can do it, my kids can do it. Cuz I've spent years teaching them all the tricks. Which means even if the worst does happen, we'll probably be ok.

    And because we're all here sharing each others secrets and ideas and knowledge, I think we'll all be ok in the long haul. (I know I learn stuff from you all everyday lol)

    Does that make sense??
     
  18. Pam R

    Pam R New Member

    We also are on disability, since 1999. I've been, not panicked, but concerned for a long time. For years now we've been slowly moving towards self sufficiency: wood heat, cook stove that doesn't require electricity (but is propane), kerosene lamps, hot water that doesn't require electricity (but is propane) and is on demand.

    This year we started raising our own pastured chickens and grass fed beef. I've also stockpiled food and water. And keep several cans of gas in an outbuilding. Also this year we've expanded the veg garden.

    We also live out in the country and our gasoline bill each month since April has been about $600/mo. It will drop next week, as DS has been accepted in a special school and we no longer will be driving him everywhere.

    We've worked out barter for hay for the cows, but must pay the really high grain costs for the chickens. I've been debating whether I want to winter over some of the chickens as layers for next year. It takes 8 months for them to lay.

    Our income will be cut $800/mo next March, so we KNOW things are gonna get worse. But there will be chicken and beef in the freezers, if we can find the $$ to pay for the electricity.

    Yeah, I expect it's gonna get bad in the future and have been planning how to survive it.

    Pam R.
     
  19. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    I'm not panicked yet, though I probably should be. Between the increase in prices & all the medical bills I'm doing a very precarious balancing act.

    husband works from home & that saves greatly on gas & parking expenses. I'm still ordering groceries online which has a delivery charge but is less than a filling a gas tank. A great deal less.

    I'm more worried about the heating costs this coming winter; we're already planning to cover our 97 y/o windows with some kind of insulator. We've already installed some foamy stuff in the crawl spaces of our home.

    I think our "leaders" in Difficult Child need to take a long hard look at what brought us here & start planning. Our country has been so "reactive" to various situations with quick fixes that the long term problem is never addressed.

    We have a couple of generations of people now who don't know how to budget, save or do without - need that immediate gratification. And our economy has certainly fed on that as those same people are drowning in debt. Now the debt is being called & people are losing everything. Credit shouldn't be that easy to obtain - especially for college students.

    It's hard times - I'm thankful that I've been raised by parents of the depression. We were taught to be frugal; to only buy what you can pay for with cash, etc.
     
  20. Abbey

    Abbey Spork Queen

    Personally, I'm beyond panicked. I'm resigned. Whatever happens, happens.

    ALL day long I hear customers complain about the price of produce. I'm sorry, but I have nothing to do with that. I think there are a lot of frustrated people out there.

    Abbey
     
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