Recession Mama

{September 28, 2009}   Helping My Local Economy

By Katy

Friday night, I came out of a restaurant, and I noticed that my car was gone.  I scanned the street, hoping that I just had a senile moment and had forgotten where I parked my car.  Then, I noticed the sign.

“After 9 p.m., you will be towed!” It said.


I looked at my watch.  It was 9:27 p.m.  Aw, crap!  I didn’t even notice that sign when I parked the car.  Why was I so careless?  It’s not like I have a lot of money to burn right now.  Luckily, my fiance had driven his car to the restaurant before me, so he took me to the tow yard.  The lady behind the cage wasn’t too friendly.  I wasn’t angry, but maybe she’s seen a lot of angry people.  She asked for my driver’s license and then told me to go through a gated door to get my car.

“I’ll give you your driver’s license back after you get your car.”  Oooo K…It’s not like I’m going to drive through all of the gates!  So after getting my car down (the tow truck had just dropped it off), I went back to the super friendly lady behind the cage to face my financial fears.

“$207.50.”  What?!?!  Did I hear that correctly?  $207.50?!?!?!  Less than an hour at the pound, and it costs me $207.50 to get my car out?  Wow!!!!  I really did it this time.  Then, when I got back to my car, I noticed I had also gotten a $60 parking ticket!!!  How in the world can they double charge me like this?  $100 already goes to the City of Los Angeles for a “vehicle release fee.”  The $107.50 goes to the tow company.  No wonder they were so eager to tow me!  They’re making over $100 an hour.

Since the weekend is almost over, I am trying my best to look at the bright side.  Otherwise, I might as well slit my wrists and kill myself now.  I’m helping the local L.A. economy.  The city is broke, right?  I’ve now done my part (wayyyy beyond my part, in my opinion) to boost the city’s coffers.  Here’s $160 of my hard-earned money.  You are very welcome.  Now, please don’t come asking me for any more.


By: Heather 

Hey mamas and papas. We’ve all had a car that we’ve loved or hated at one point. But what happens when you finally own your dream car and then LOSE your job? I’ve been there. Sort of. When it happened to me I was driving a Ford F150 extended cab, with chrome wheels and a great stereo. It had two gas tanks and I could never afford to fill them up at the same time. But I thought it was cool anyway. It was safe and  intimidating on the road. It was definitely a conversation starter.


Ok. It WAS an odd choice for a woman. It was really more of a high school boy’s dream car, but it worked for me.  I moved a lot so it made sense to have a truck. I also got a good deal. I could never count on a man to loan me his truck or help me move, so I decided that if a girl and I couldn’t move it, then I couldn’t have it. I didn’t own a full length sofa until I was married. I could move everything I owned with the truck in two trips.

He did have a name by the way. It was BART– Big Ass Red Truck. We stuck together through some tough financial times. We eventually parted ways. (he drank too much… gas that is)


My fabulous friend Marie is having a rough time right now. She’s out of work, but isn’t ready to give up her dream car. I can’t blame her. Read her story and you’ll understand why.

By: Marie

I’m not selling my car.  No No No No NO!   I love my car.  Unemployed or not, that isn’t going to happen. If I have to live in the back seat and install a commode in the trunk I’ll do it.

Her name is Sophie.  If you haven’t named your car you should.  Cars are very special people-type things.  They get us home safely in the rain and plug along during long trips.  Every time I make it home safely after a difficult drive I give Sophie a pat on her dashboard and tell her she did a good job. 

Sophie getting Marie into trouble

Sophie getting Marie into trouble

Sophie is a magnetic grey, tan topped 2008 Toyota Solara Convertible.  Sexy.  And when the top is down and it is 103 degrees in Dallas I look hot!! 

So when one of my friends says “you can always sell that car of yours” I say NO! 

What does it matter that I umm…. paid cash for the car.  I don’t like debt.  I like money, but I don’t like debt.  Dad taught me to only charge  if I could go home and write a check for the same amount.   

Two weeks after Sophie came into my life my company announced it was closing.   Yeah, yeah, yeah there were signs.  But we thought we could pull it out.  Didn’t work.   When I said two weeks, I meant two weeks. Sophie came home on November 26thand CompUSA announced it was sold/closing on Dec 7th.    

I volunteered to stay on and go down with the ship.  I did… and the ship did sink.  My last day was mid-February, 2008.  We’re in 2009 now.  So I am quite qualified to be a Recession Mama.   According to that is 440 days.  Of course that includes weekends, and when you are counting the days of unemployment you like to subtract out the days of the week you wouldn’t have worked anyway.  It’s a psych yourself out game.  

I’m working a temp job now.  And I have to tell you, it ain’t me.  It is 33.454% of my old salary.  I know because I constantly do the calculation just in case division tables have changed.  They haven’t.   

Thanks to Dad’s financial lessons I still have the first dollar I ever earned.  (I did come close to spending it one time)

  I’ve always been able to find a job. And I’ve been offered every job I’veapplied for…except for one time.  Well, maybe two times.  I don’t count the time that my infant nephew drooled in my eye and gave me pinkeye.  Apparently it wasn’t the look that Neiman Marcus wanted when I went in for my interview the next morning. 

So, tomorrow morning I will trudge to my temporary job. Sophie will be waiting for me at the end of the day.   I will put the top down, crank up the tunes and smile all the way home. 


et cetera