Like just about everyone else, I am feeling the burn of the economy.
Being a single parent, I was never exactly rollin’ in the dough, but I’ve done alright. I have a decent job and no credit card debt. I’ve had to get creative- or what I thought at the time was creative- a time or two, but overall it hasn’t been too bad…
Between the cost of gas, groceries and everything else, it’s safe to say I am broke. Extremely, pathetically broke. After paying $4 for a measly gallon of milk the other day, I honest to God thought I was going to vomit… and I won’t even talk about what I did the first time I paid close to $60 for a single tank of gas.
That’s why I experienced something dangerously close to blind panic when I realized both of my daughters need new shoes. The Baby’s were getting so small she could barely fit her little feet into them anymore, and The Diva’s toes were poking out of hers.
Normally a thing such as shoe shopping is not enough to make me burst into tears, but considering I have no money (did I mention I’m broke??), that’s exactly what happened. I was so distraught I actually had to have a friend of mine review my (bleak) budget with me and help me figure out how in the world I could fit two new pairs of shoes into it.
After crunching the numbers, my buddy gave me the bad news- I could afford exactly $30, including tax- on shoes.
I typically spend more than that on one pair of shoes for one child… this is now my total budget?
I didn’t think it could be done- I realize I have instantly dropped from middle-class to poor. Similar to suddenly dropping 10,000 feet in an airplane during turbulence, the feeling is not a good one. It can make a person like me physically ill.
Alright, enough of the pity party. Poor or not, I had no choice. The kids needed new shoes, and I had to buy them. Period. So off we went, in search of cheap-yet-sturdy-yet-socially-acceptable footwear… the sort of thing I didn’t believe actually existed.
It wasn’t easy, and it took some bargain hunting, but I am happy to report I was not only able to purchase two pairs of shoes for the little ones, but 6 pairs of socks as well, all for the bottom-barrel price of $27.66.
And yes, that includes tax.
While I’m certain no one who reads this will find themselves nearly as excited as I am, this is never the less a small victory in a very large, very expensive, very jacked up world… and I’m feeling pretty smug. So maybe I can survive this recession the uber-rich politicians keep trying to convince me is just part of my imagination after all.
Time will tell, I guess. Until then, baby’s got a new pair of shoes!