by Kelly A. O’Connor-Salomon
I was trying to figure out what to write about this week, then I read another blog post that took offense with one of my earlier articles. I think I was misunderstood to a degree, and I wanted to take a moment to respond.
First off, as I noted in a comment to that article, I wrote my article as a sample when I was applying to be a blogger for AdjunctNation. I was completely surprised when I heard they had posted it. It’s not that I didn’t intend it for publication, but I might have revised or added to it if I had known it was going to print, so to speak.
Second, I know I have been fortunate, and I said that in my initial post. I know there are adjuncts out there who have it worse than me. I am married, and we had two incomes coming into the house until I lost my job, and most of my adjunct work, at the end of last year. But going from two incomes to one is still a shock, and my husband is a non-tenured English professor, so it’s not like he is bring in big bucks—or has job security.
So, that was where I was coming from. I was faced with readjusting everything to figure out how to pay our massive student loan bills, our housing expenses, our utilities, and the basics like food and gas for the car. We also have a nine-year-old daughter, who doesn’t really understand the fine print of household finances, nor should she, but she does know things have changed. I wanted to try to keep her daily life as consistent as possible. Since significantly less was coming into the checking account, I had to figure out how to stretch what was coming in and to make the little bit of savings we have last as long as possible. So, I looked for ways to cut spending.
What I posted were simply some of the things I had come up with to reduce expenses, and I thought those tips might help someone else. While I had toyed with cutting back cable in the past, for example, I didn’t really think about it seriously until I had to. My husband, in particular, was convinced it would be horrible. But we tried it, and our bill is significantly less, and it’s OK. Are there adjuncts out there who cannot even afford what we scaled back to? I am sure there are. And I honestly don’t know how they do it. But there are also academic families out there dealing with economic issues similar to mine, and I thought talking about what I was going through might help them. I know I have searched all over the Internet looking for ideas about how to scale back.
So, anyway, that is where I was coming from. I apologize if I was perceived as cavalier about the whole thing. Believe me, I am not—as I sit here typing with the dry erase board with all the bill due dates written on it sitting next to me.