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Shannon’s Soapbox: Today’s Economy

Let’s discuss the economy for a minute. Yesterday, I was busy and hadn’t checked my phone for a couple of hours. Upon checking it, I noticed I had six missed calls from my son’s girlfriend. She and my son currently reside in Ohio where she’s an engineer. Her reason for calling was a complete breakdown on her part due to their current financial circumstances.
Now, I want everyone to keep in mind that she’s an engineer in a pretty decent income tax bracket, but rent is extremely high where they live and my son just lost his job and is currently back in college. With her income alone, they barely pay bills and afford groceries and gas.
I think that many Americans are going through the same struggle in today’s economy. I know Nick and I both work full time and we still struggle and neither of us make minimum wage. I can’t imagine how minimum wage households are getting by.
Many people have taken to working two and even three jobs, living off Ramen and bologna, or even living out of their cars to make ends meet. Wages are just not keeping up with the inflation of prices everyone has been seeing lately.
And I know everyone’s aware of the U.F.O. files being released — the government has said that aliens are real — and Tik Tok users spoke back and basically, the majority of Americans don’t even care because they’re just struggling to make ends meet.
The minimum wage in Tennessee is currently at $7.25 an hour. The Median rent in Tennessee is $1,700 with rental prices in Weakley County ranging from $600 per month on the low end to $1,200 per month on the high end. Gas has been ranging between $3.19-$3.28 per gallon. An average household of four people with two people working minimum wage brings in about $2,320 per month. With the lowest amount paid for rent, utilities, gas and groceries, that amount would be pushing the limits.
Many people have taken side jobs — I clean houses on the side and tutor writing and my boyfriend mows lawns on the side just for extra cash. What are the rest of you doing to make ends up and keep up with the struggle in this economy? Extra jobs? Side jobs? Selling arts and crafts? Coupon clipping?
While I do consider myself lucky to have a great job and a home I can afford, I know that so many out there don’t. There are so many struggling right now. In Weakley County there are some organizations that can help if you’re struggling with bills or food. Santa’s Helpers in Dresden and WE Care in Martin both help with things like food and utilities. Local churches have also been known to help those in need.
If any readers have other resources they’d like to mention please email me! If there are resources any of you use to pinch pennies, feel free to send those also.
Please know that we are all struggling and it’s okay to ask for help. This community would be even more beautiful than it already is if everyone would just be kind and lend a hand to help one another. You never know what someone is going through at any given time.

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