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A working woman's woes

Glenford Smith
Career Writer

Do you sometimes feel like Herbert Hoover, America's 31st president, when he said, "Just about the time we think we can make ends meet, somebody moves the ends?"

Well, guess what? You are not alone.

Recently, I wrote about the plight of the unemployed. However, the stresses and hardships spawned by the global recession are also taking a huge toll on working people - especially women. Many, particularly single mothers, are having a hard time. Some are at their wits end. They have tried, but just can't make ends meet, financially.

Take Adrianna, for instance. She's a personal assistant at a well-established company, a single mom, with two children - one in high school, the other starting university.

Adrianna has total monthly expenses of $171,500 although her salary is only $170,000 before tax. As you can see from her budget, some things frequently get left behind.

Perhaps your head is spinning like mine was when I did the math. How does she manage, is the question I'm scratching my head, trying to figure out. Also, how many people make anywhere as much? How many people have family, who will cut their rent in less than half? What would happen if she or one of the children got sick, or had an accident?

The simple fact is that many people are in a similar or worse situation. What can they do?

Blow the trumpet! Sound the alarm! You're on a dangerous course, if you're in a similar situation. If you consulted with Dr Phil, he would hit you over the head with Life Law #4: You can't change what you don't acknowledge. (Life Strategies, 1999).

This might be obvious but most people would rather suffer than change what's not working. If you consulted with me, here's what my gentle reminder would be: If you keep on doing what you've always done, you will keep on getting what you've always got. Also, a cute definition of insanity is: To keep doing the same thing over and over, and expecting a different result!

Cut, cut, cut

Anytime expenses start to exceed income, it's time to get out the scissors. You've got to cut expenses to fit income, if you can't increase your income. Adrianna has considered selling the car, which might be a good start. Radically reducing the telephone, electricity, and water, if possible, are also options.

Debt-free goal

Make it your goal to be debt free. Arrange automatic salary deductions to pay off your credit card debt. Financial stress will eventually affect your work performance, as you struggle against anxiety and worry, with thoughts of 'what if?'


Yes, no matter how little you make, you can save. The age old wisdom is: it's not how much you make, it's how much you keep.

*Glenford Smith is a motivational speaker and personal-achievement strategist.
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