In the last few months, I've been able to tell that the economy is not doing all that great. My electric bill went through the roof and my grocery bill has become painful. However, I consider myself to be extremely lucky because I am in school and at least have financial aid. I also lucked out and have a part-time job that is convenient for me. I do have to admit that I've had to use my cresdit cards more often over the last six months than before, but I'm at least in a position not to be maxed out, or in default. Things are tight but there is a great deal of security that comes with being in school. It's not perfect, but I know I'm lucky.
Others are not so lucky. Everyone I know is tightening their money belts and working a bit more to make ends meet. However, it wasn't until this week, that the downturn in the economy really hit home. The Columbian newspaper, based in Vancouver, Washington is hurting. Aside from eliminating positions, folks are being laid off. Now, 30 people isn't a huge chunk of folks, I know. But my partner is among those laid off, and so it's really hit home for us. While I am glad that the paper is offering help in filing for unemployment and offering a severance package, that package amounts to about three weeks pay. Fortunately my girlfriend has accumulated a couple of weeks vacation pay, which she will receive, which means that she has close to two months pay coming. Things could be worse, but it's one of those things that just plants this little seed of fear in you (and me) about the future. I know it's the big shut downs and lay offs that make the news, but it's these smaller ones that I think most of us will be affected by, and I don't doubt that more of us will be affected as time goes on.And here is the rest of it.