Every week, I get a letter telling me that my unemployment money has been deposited into my bank account. This is a happy letter, because it means that I will be okay for another week. Sometimes it’s not a happy letter, like today.
Today’s letter informed me that, yet again, my benefits have run out, and that I will find out soon if I will continue to get anything from the state. There’s some federal legislation floating around right now that could guarantee benefits for another year, but that doesn’t do me much good right now. It might seem dumb to not keep up with bills that could affect my (sad) financial situation. However, just like healthcare legislation, I don’t really want to get my hopes up and get excited about benefits I might not actually receive. I’m on a waiting list for my state’s healthcare plan (along with 100,000 other people). Hooray.
I was planning on going to the coffee shop next to my apartment to get a cappuccino this afternoon, do some reading, and most of all, get out of the house. At most, I’d spend $4. Now I feel guilty for even wanting to go, because I don’t have any more money coming in. I feel crushed and sad again, like I do every time I get this kind of letter. There’s the possibility that I’ll get another happy letter next week, informing me that my benefits have been extended and I can breathe again, but it’s not guaranteed. Instead of relaxing and having a nice afternoon with my book, I’m now panicking and searching job listings desperately.
When you are receiving unemployment, you live week to week, hoping that week’s letter will be the happy kind. I really hope that next week, I get the happy letter, and then I will feel… secure.
You know what? My sanity and happiness is worth at least $4. Guilt be damned.
Don’t feel guilty about spending unemployment benefits money at your local cafe! If you don’t spend that $4 on something in America,… the terrorists win.
(I hope your benefits are extended.)