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unexpected turns

I am a divorced mom of a college aged son and high school aged daughter, and my ex is not able to pay child support. I have a job as a writer for a university magazine, making the nation's smack-mid-level average wage. I freelance for extra money whenever a freelance gig is available. We (or rather, mostly the bank) own our home, a split level in a middle-class suburb where we've lived for 12 years. I have two dogs and four cats. I drive a used Prius. My son attends college on a courtesy scholarship because I work at the college. This past year, it has been a challenge to make my paycheck last the month. I refinanced my house, delayed our dental and vet visits, put off my daughter's sport's team payment, buy clothes at goodwill, don't own a smart phone, and still, my 82-year-old dad has had to help me out with thousands of dollars in loans/gifts, just to pay for the basics. My family is making it work, but just barely. For all middle class families like me, we could use a break. We aren't deciding which fine restaurant to frequent or what designer handbag to buy, we are deciding between milk and orange juice in the supermarket aisle, and whether a small cavity can go another six months without being filled.
—MaryGA
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