This single mom from Colorado responds to the question: How has the financial crisis affected you?
The economy is affecting the non-profit where I work. Donations have dropped noticeably, and I assume this drop will continue and worsen. People who do give money in tough times tend to give more to organizations such as local food banks, Red Cross, Salvation Army, etc. The organization for which I work does great things around the world but not usually in humanitarian/relief areas.
How has the downturn affected me personally?
- Fear of the future. I’m a single mom of two kids and I am deeply concerned that I will lose my job if the economy worsens. I have no one to turn to if I am unemployed and stay up at night planning how I could keep my family afloat if things get worse. This frightens me more than I ever let on, even to my best friend.
- Lost savings. I’ve lost about one-quarter of my meager IRA. Luckily, I’m about 30 years away from retirement.
- Lost pride. I used to volunteer at a food bank, now I use the food bank. Because of my concerns that the U.S. is headed into a severe, protracted recession I recently committed myself to not using my credit cards, even to pay for groceries as I have many times since my divorce several years ago. Hence, in the last few months, I have gotten food from a local church food bank. When my high schooler outgrew his clothes we got almost all the replacements at the local thrift store (a blow to his pride, I’m sure). My Christmas spending per kid is going to be about $50 each (low compared to usual).
- Loss of time with my family. Because I don’t have the money for the three of us to go visit my quite-sick mother, we will be staying home for the holidays. I will desperately miss seeing my mom, my siblings, and their families. All of my siblings are going through major financial problems themselves, so I wouldn’t dream of asking for their help, but their emotional support is very important to me.
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