As recessions go, this one really bites. It’s affecting virtually every aspect of my family’s life: going out to eat, grocery shopping, taking vacations, keeping our jobs, educating our children, even where we buy socks. And then there’s recession stress. I’m stressed, my husband’s stressed, and that makes our marriage a stressful place to be. It’s bad enough when I feel guilty about spending money on lip gloss. Does my relationship with my spouse have to suffer as well? You betcha. I think the phrase “toxic assets” has more to do with our monthly bills than with any floppy sub-prime mortgages. Since the economy started its descent into the toilet, we alternate between ignoring the elephant in the room and talking about it until we’re shouting at each other. Neither scenario really works.
The reality is that this recession is affecting nearly everyone, even Warren Buffett, even those of us who are well educated, financially responsible and good enough at what we do to command a respectable wage. Here’s the rub. We have two kids in private school, and we’ve worked hard to be able to keep them there. But now we’re faced with having to take one of them out next year and put him in public school, unless we can pull a financial rabbit out of our collective hat in the next nine months. I’d rather eat beanie-weenies for a year than deprive either of my children of a top-notch education. But have you seen how expensive beanie-weenies are these days? Never mind private school tuition.
This piece first appeared in Daily Worth, a financial therapy website for women.