Even though I just went on vacation not too long ago, I feel like I could really use another one, but this time, a vacation from my life. I've been feeling really down lately. I think that alot of my blues could be attributed to finances, and at this point, I feel like things are out of my control.

It seems that prices of everything is on the rise. Postage. Electricity. Gas. Water. Sewer. My townhouse association is planning to raise their rates again this year. And yet...my salary hasn't kept up. It's been years since I've had any kind of raise, and for several years now, both my husband and I have been dealing with paycuts and our employer decided that we need to pay a bigger share for our medical plan (which has also increased, by the way). So I've been scaling back, trying to cut out things that aren't truly needed. That's super-hard when it's not just me--but my two kids & my husband who has medical issues. I don't live extravagantly, but living in Hawaii is just really expensive and I don't know how much longer I can keep this up.

Here are things I already am doing to keep my living costs down:
  • both my husband and I bring lunch to work every day
  • shop for groceries only twice a month...and only buy if things are on sale
  • walk where I can to keep from driving my car unnecessarily
  • replaced all bulbs in our home to CFLs
  • open windows (we don't have A/C)
  • sell things I no longer need. (books to a used bookstore, miscellaneous stuff on ebay)
  • stopped buying doll stuff & hobby stuff in general. I do play Animal Crossing on my 3DS, but I sold every other game I have to pay for that.

But yet...I am sure there are many other things I can do. I was thinking I could reduce my data plan on our family iPad...if I get a wireless router so that we could use more wireless in our home instead of our data...but then that requires me to spend money to get the router. :/

And here are some other things I've considered doing to get more income:
  1. Get a part-time job. This would be challenging because so many people are looking for employment. And my schedule would be weird because I could only work at night...but I don't know when I would sleep. If there are jobs where I could work at home, that would be ideal.
  2. Rent out my townhouse...but as I'm ill-equipped to handle landlording duties, I'd need to hire a property management company. And finding a cheaper place to live in decent areas that aren't too far from our jobs is tough. Seems like all the really cheap places are far far far away.
  3. Sell all my dolls...although I don't imagine I could get very much for them. And I'd be really sad if I had to do that...I will definitely not buy any more dolls, though.

I see so many people my age with their fancy Lexuses and Acuras and BMWs. The moms all have designer handbags, gold jewelry, and some of them are stay-at-home-moms. They've got iPhones or Galaxy phones, and their children go to private school. I often wonder how they do it. I shouldn't compare my lot in life to anyone else's, I know that. Maybe they work really hard to get where they are...but I just never really thought I'd be struggling so much.

Wow. That was quite a novel. If you have any words of wisdom, encouragement, etc. I could really use it. I'm usually not such a whiner...but my morale is at an all-time-low right now.