Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Stimulate This!!

Two stimulus packages passed today in Oregon's Senate and the U.S. House. They both still have to be approved by the other legislative branch. But in thinking about this problem, a columnist at the Seattle P.I. (soon to be closing its doors too) brought this up:

Should America be spending money it doesn't have to restore standards of living which were driven artificially high by the housing bubble?

I love our new president, don't get me wrong. But i still have to wonder, even in my current position of facing down unemployment, if any of this is stimulus stuff going to help me. Or if it's just going to screw over the next generation, and if we all need to start settling for less.

Then i ask myself, what can i do to settle for less, or go more DIY? I am gardening and raising chickens. From the mindset of the employed, these seemed to be at least a start. I also reuse stuff that other people normally buy new each time, and i spend hardly any money on clothes or restaurants. My current going-out budget has been snipped down to zero. But even with those practices already in place, it ain't gonna cut it. The sad little green onions and three eggs a day i'm getting right now won't feed us very long, should we really need to survive off the fruits of the backyard. So what else?

I broke down my must-have budget today. It requires $1400 a month, just to pay the basic bills -- house, car, insurance, electric... barring my kid's school payment, barring any money i would spend on food, barring the child care i would need to fly off to interviews. Or the gas i would need to drive there. I could pare this down by taking on another roomate, but beyond that, i don't know what i could do. Moving into a smaller place will really not solve anything, since my current roomate helps make my rent payment equivalent to any small apartment i might find in this city. I can't sell my car, cuz i still owe more than it's worth.

So what else? What do you think? How can we really get more DIY -- because 1400 bucks is just about what the government will give me, should i have to file for unemployment...

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