Friday, October 11, 2013

Things I Am Worried About Because of the Government Shutdown.

Taking a tip from Mother Jones here and realizing how fragile our jobs are.

1. My student loans. 
You're lucky that I can barely pay them now. I couldn't consolidate all my loans back in 2005 because of the fact that some of them were private GATE loans. I'm trying to at least lower my payments, but it's hard. On paper, my income is large enough (but my AGI is still below $25k) to pay the total $400+ a month I throw at both of them, but honestly, with credit card bills, doctor bills, car insurance, not to mention groceries, I'm having a hard enough time just keeping up with things. 

When the interest rates go up, I won't be able to pay them at all. Part of me wants to default anyway. been paying them for almost 10 years now and barely made a dent. 

I wonder if college was even worth it. 

2. Our Jobs.

I personally work for a private company so I don't have to worry about stock prices and investors too much (I hope.), but I'm worried. Even though it's a grocery store, people won't buy as much if they don't make as much. People always need food, but do they need $200 worth of food? Or $50 worth of food? It's gonna be hard. 

Jack's job is different. In 2008 the company he works for now had to let go a bunch of people. Being in a union didn't help them. A transit company, even a private one, will suffer if people don't have jobs to commute to. He's still one of the newer people too. I'm afraid he'll be one of the firsts to go, regardless of how well he is doing at the job. 

This would leave me as the sole income. We wouldn't be able to afford our apartment. 

3. Our retirement plans.
I do have a 401(k) from my times at Barnes & Noble. And I have another one from my current place of employment. But I remember when my aunt lost a ton of money she invested. She can never get that back. I have friends and other family members that had lost money too. Or their parents did, trickling down to everyone. 

A part of me wants to just take out the money I have invested before the stock market crashes, but I know I have to pay that money back. With inflated interest rates. But would it be worth it in order to use that money to pay off my credit cards? Because then I could use the credit cards to buy food.... (actually looking for an answer here, folks.)

4. Just, everything. 
Since finally moving to a town that has a library (don't get me started on towns NOT having a library) and it's less than a block away from our apartment, I've been finally reading the books that I couldn't really afford to buy (now that I don't work at B&N). And it's great! Wonderful. But, funding will be cut. What are people going to do then? I live in a more urbanized area that I have ever lived in (not counting when I was an infant and living in Union City). I know there are people who need the library more than I do. For internet access. Or just a warm place to be for hours on end. 

Will crime go up? More than likely. I'm lucky that even though my town is close to Newark, we don't live as close to Newark as we could be. But last night someone broke Jack's driver's side mirror. Not really a car since there are no other marks, more likely just a baseball bat. I work until midnight most days and that means I get home around 1230am or later. Because we only have street parking during the week and the school year, I park in the commuter lot by the train station that is about 4ish blocks away. No one is really around at that time. And there is an open gas station and diner right there, but still hardly any street lamps in the residential part of the 4 blocks I walk. Am I afraid? Normally not really. It's scarier to walk about alone around 9pm than it is at midnight, but who knows what will change. This worries me. 

Will healthcare costs go up? With the ACA perhaps not, but I pay into my health insurance through my job. At least I'm lucky enough for that. But I have no idea. Granted I have a lot more questions about this that isn't relevant to the shutdown and possible default, but that's for another time. 

So there's that.
It's time's like these that I think I should run for office of some sort. 

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