Thursday, 26 July 2012

Peace. Harmony. No more trips to Money Mart.


Over the past week, we've come to accept that we are living beyond our means. We don't have car payments or massive debt, but the day-to-day has become somewhat precarious.

It's scary being in your mid-fifties and not having a retirement package. I used to be a saver but ten years living as a single mom to three kids sucked me dry. Scott is in the same boat, though he has a small pension from CBC; he lost his nut to an expensive divorce.

We're still living from paycheque to paycheque, which is hard because the magazine I work for only pays me every two months. Scott is in commission sales so is at the mercy of the Ottawa economy, not to mention the elements. You might have seen the story in the paper today about all the car dealerships in Ottawa that have new cars that look like golf balls thanks to this week's storm. Scott was lucky this time around; his KIA dealership is one of only a handful in Ottawa's east end that dodged the bullets of hail falling from the sky. He wasn't that lucky a year ago when the tsunami hit Japan and destroyed all the baby Subarus that he was selling at the time.

As my brother Gary once observed: It only goes to show, you never can tell.

Tell me about it, bro.

Nick who lives in the basement is, as we speak, finally getting his driver's licence back after letting it lapse between G2 and G1. If he gets his G, he has a job with a delivery company guaranteed. If not, he'll be swinging lattes over the counter at Starbucks after nearly half a year unemployed. This comes as a great relief to us, as we've been carrying Nick and Shyla for the past few months. A few weeks ago, the situation got so dire that Nick and Shyla decided to call it a day and move her and the baby back in with her mom. That was the right choice for everyone. While I miss seeing Skylar every day, I know she is well cared for by Shyla's mom, sister and brother and their combined income will allow them to get a bigger place. So that's something.

In spite of Nick getting back on track, things haven't been going well at all in this household, economically speaking. So we bit the bullet and decided to take in a boarder.

His name is David, he's from somewhere in Africa and he's a gradual student at the University of Ottawa majoring in mathematics. He and his cousin Henry showed up yesterday from Burlington desperate. David had found another spot but it sounded like a real hole, and he was grateful not to live with four other guys in a fleabag. He didn't seem to mind a mauve, baby-decorated room in the basement.

Whoo-hoo.

So once David moves in and Nick gets back to work, Scott and I will be able to pay all our bills from his pension and use the rest of our income to pay down our debt and start saving. It will also mean we will not have to move into a small one bedroom apartment someplace with Gordie and Finnigan. That would have been our next move.

This way, all our bills are covered guaranteed for the first time in years.

Thank you, CBC!

It makes me realize that we've been living in denial over the past ten years, trying to hang onto the tatters of a dream in a family home we couldn't afford, helping kids who should have been helping themselves a little more. That has cost us big time.

I don't regret it. If you love someone, you're in their corner. Love is selfless, or at least, it should be.

With David and Nick helping out, maybe we will finally be able to relax a little. Take a load off. That's all we can really hope for in this economy. Peace. Harmony. An end to reliance on Money Mart.

Oh, good. Just got an email. Nick passed his driver's licence by one point.

The future begins.

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