We are at the stage in our lives that I never thought we'd reach…debating whether we can afford to turn on the heating tonight or go without. We have had this chat a few times this cold season, but never seriously in past years. It really is terrible- I know I can't afford to pay for extra power for heating, and now Spotrick's income relative to other people's is not so good when he mainly supports me as well (plus 4 cats). It is not an energy conservation issue, it's an economic one. Personally, I find it a bit galling when we are both in our late 50s, have worked since we left uni (or before), and previously had a fairly middle-class life, but not luxurious. It seems odd, that in this land of plenty, we are experiencing such negative times- and we're not physically disabled, uneducated, unintelligent, criminal or social outcasts. Sure, we have a sizable mortgage- but our house is a tiny 2 bedrooms with minimal yard- more townhouse style. We have no investments left- cashed them in except Spotrick's superannuation, which will have to suppport us when he retires. I've never had a decent job with benefits for long enough to accumulate anything- casual staff and temps were not allowed into work superannuation funds and the company I invested in de-mutualised when I had little income to spare. I don't even have the “excuse” that I have been out of the wrkforce having kids and being a homemaker- I just haven't got anywhere- or at least not where I thought I might head when I left school and studied medicine. I don't really like life the way it is, but I've managed to overcome my depression and I'm working hard 2 days plus per week and attending uni. Spotrick has always had a steady job and was fairly near the top of wage earners' incomes until the last 10 years, when he has been completely overtaken by private industry “executive” jobs, high-powered salespersons and top public servants. He does a responsible and quite important job, but really gets paid shit compared with private industry.
I really do wonder what we can do to help ourselves- we feel like the new poor- we wonder how 30-something year olds with 3 kids cope? I mean how do they? They have to pay the same for electricity- do they go cold as well? It's a rare occasion that I would turn on heating or cooling when I'm home alone and now we are thinking very carefully when there's two of us.
What's to be done? My feet are freezing, my hands are getting very cold typing and 10 minutes exercising didn't last long in warmth! Perhaps I should try for more jobs?? I already work for 3 bosses plus try to sell my artwork- is that still not enough?