Well, the holidays are upon us. Just five more sleeps until the big day when everyone gets to tear open the presents that they have been asking for and dreaming of. I, on the other hand, am not that thrilled about it all. I absolutely hate the traffic and crowded stores, the extra expenses when trying to make it through month to month is hard enough on a regular basis – just trying to afford food, heat, hydro and other necessities. Being on a fixed income is stressful enough every month…this month however (and all Decembers before and after this one) means more stress trying to buy gifts for everyone and cutting even further back on things in order to afford it.
Before you paint me with the Bah Humbug brush try to understand where I am coming from first. Our rent is a whopping 45% of our pension cheque. Gail Vaz-Oxlade, the financial guru, and the host of the Til Debt Do Us Part TV show advises that rent/mortgage should be no more than 35%. She says this is just a guideline so you can achieve some sort of balance with your budget but if you go over in one area then you must go under in other areas to make up for it. Problem is… where we are living is the cheapest and best (for what we are spending on rent) housing around here. Life expenses only make more and more money going out. Food is an ever increasing commodity that one needs to survive. Hydro rates keep going up and even timing high energy usage so that they are done during off-peak hours the bill still seems to go up every year. The only thing not going up in a realistic way is the pension cheque. We get an absolutely HUGE increase of 1% per flippin’ year. Woo Hoo….I think it is usually in the order of $11 or $12 per month – the food budget alone sucks that up and asks for more.
I am a Grandma now too and feel absolutely terrible about not being able to see my grandson as often as I want – nor am I able to buy him presents like I want to. It sucks being broke. Christmas is yet another time that emphasizes the problems lack of money beats you over the head with. Okay, enough with the pity party I seem to have going on here…it is that kind of a night, unfortunately, as I write this and this blog is about things from my perspective. This is my perspective right now. Sorry. =(
Holidays bring on other stresses besides monetary ones. There are holes in the holiday when loved ones have passed on. This is the second year I have to face without my Dad. He passed on November 24 2013 just three days after my birthday. This time of year is still hard for me. Then there are people who live far away – like my son, his wife and my grandson who is one and a half years old. Being that far away makes it hard to celebrate the holidays together. One end or the other must travel three hours one way to visit. Perhaps I should end this blog tonight and revisit this topic another day before Christmas. Have a good night and thanks for visiting. =)