We are in crisis mode at the working poor household. It's the lean season when the snowbirds are gone and business slows. When the corporations start bringing in less money they get onto their store managers to cut payroll, schedule less and send people home early when it is slow.
My hours are fewer than usual but I haven't worried because my husband has always had a pretty steady schedule and paycheck. This year we are both feeling the pinch. He was working six days a week and averaging around 42 hours. It was enough. We were surviving.
A few weeks ago the schedule changed. Two shifts were taken away and he had two days off instead of one. He was worried when he only had 34 hours but I assured him I could tighten up the budget. I was also sort of happy that he had two days off instead of one. We started tackling chores around the house together and even walked on the beach one day.
A few days ago the new schedule came out. He is down to 24 hours. My hours are down to 24 to 32 at this time. It is not going to be a fun little challenge. In fact it is costing us more. I'm sure the stress contributed to my husbands sleepless nights and sore back muscle. He went to the doctor to make sure it wasn't something more serious. Without insurance and without enough hours to cover frivolous things like health care it meant a trip out for the credit card. He also needed medicine which (you guessed it) went on the credit card. Here I was all set to be debt free in three more months. It's always something.