That's how it feels sometimes in America to me these days. After twelve years of college, the title of doctor, a job teaching, and doing all I can, I feel hopeless about my economic situation. I've cut back as much as I can. Moving somewhere else for a higher paying job won't work, because housing, even with the mega-slump we're in, is much more expensive everywhere else I could get work. My wife chooses to stay home, because we believe that's better for the children. But, the economy today essentially forces both spouses to work. Staying home with the kids is a luxury. I work hard; I teach extra classes; I scrounge; I make money on the side; we've cut back our spending to nothing, and yet, the millstone of personal debt (via student loans) keeps dragging us under.
Our esteemed Republican Congress decided to "fix" student loan interest at a mind-boggling 6.8%, but with interest rates creeping down, I'm sure I could've saved myself tens of thousands of dollars in interest had I been able to consolidate all of them when the rates used to reset every July 1st. Now, I'm paying a king's ransom every year, for thirty years. And I didn't live high on the hog in grad school. We pinched pennies, we sold stuff on ebay to make ends meet. The loans were to guarantee our housing. Everything else was paid for from our blood, sweat, and tears.
So, we're left with the choice of praying and hoping for the best or having Mickelle go back to work, which brings a whole host of other expenses. Neither of them seems fairly practical.
Our society has changed from not allowing women to work or make as much as a man to forcing married women to work just to make ends meet. It doesn't feel very liberating. However, for single women, especially professionals, I'm sure it's great.
Debt is poison.
Pay a full tithe.