A lot has been written lately about the effect of our current economic crisis on women. One group that has especially been noted for getting hit hard is the “Wall Street Wives”. They are the wives (and girlfriends) of bankers. (In NYC, they even have a support group and blog called Dating A Banker Anonymous.)
Up until last week, I had not really experienced the economic anxiety that many of my family and friends have. Many of our friends are in the financial industry (like I used to be). The last time that our country was in a recession, I was working in investment banking. I remember people (who had been working 80 -100 hour weeks) getting fired and having to leave without even being able to clean out their desks/offices. I was in my early 20s, but I remember that experience had an enormous impact on my work philosophy. I realized how “expendable” people were in corporations and I decided then and there that work would never be “my life”!
Anyway, I was happy that my husband had switched careers a couple of years ago from being a computer programmer (many of the jobs were being sent overseas anyway) to a more “stable” teaching position. Well, that financial safety bubble was burst last Friday when NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg shared his budget plan. I was alright with the proposed sales tax hike (we all have to pitch in). The part that threw me for a loop though was his announcement that as many as 14,000 teaching jobs could be eliminated as a result of this deficit. What?!
Now, I feel tempted to be nervous. My husband is vulnerable to being laid off primarily for two reasons:
1. He doesn’t have tenure. (This is only his second year teaching under the New York Teaching Fellows program.)
2. His salary is higher than most teachers at his level. (They have a varied pay scale. Since my husband had his MBA and almost a decade of work related experience, he went in on the higher end of the scale. He’ll also be finishing his Master’s of Education this summer, which will “bump” him up even more.)
Fortunately, my husband and I have been disciplined financially, so I’m certain that we will be able to weather any potential financial “storms”. (Let’s just say that I don’t have to worry about my “Bergdorf budget” being slashed like the banker wives!) The primary financial impact is that we’re just going to put off any major financial purchases for now. And although it’s not a “purchase”, at $15,000 – $25,000+, our adoption plans are on hold indefinitely. We don’t want to have more kids than we can comfortably afford! (People living beyond their means is – in my opinion – one of the primary reasons that we’re in this financial mess as a country today.)
Overall though, the “thing” that gives me peace is this verse from the Bible:
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. (Truer words have never been written!)
– Matthew 6: 34
What about you? Has the economy affected the way you think about your family’s future?