To say that we've been living on a very tight budget would be only slightly true: we have been living below the poverty line for two years. We've had to deal with the incompetence of public health departments, the support of the WIC program, the food pantry. Everything has been a challenge. Every month we make the dollars scream as we press them harder for pennies. Somehow we make progress; somehow we have successes. It's amazing to me how much better our quality of life is, even if the stresses of financial struggles and the restless nights threaten to overtake us.
When we moved to New York we had nothing. Now we have at least what we came with, plus an arsenal of financial, physical, and emotional weapons at our disposal that weren't there before. Orthodoxy has been an incredible blessing (fasting, for example, is wonderful for your wallet). Being a teacher means that I keep my mind sharp. Planning for the future, means that the life we dream for our girls will be better than our own. Even if the worse were to happen, we'd be taken care of. Tight belts are a little uncomfortable, but they won't kill you. Keep at it.