I've worked 120 hours in the last two weeks, and to be honest, I don't even like working 40 hours. But I need the money. There are always beasts knocking at my door asking for more and more of the stuff, and I have to prostrate myself to the retail war machine to make enough for my monthly sacrifice.

I've been trying to save up some money for – I hate the term "honeymoon" – our post-wedding vacation. That's not easy to do when you have had your household income cut in half for the last six months. But I've scrimped and saved, worked all of this bloody overtime, and had several hundred dollars saved up.

Then my fiancé's car decided that it needed a new timing belt. And air conditioning belt. And whatever else that added up to me being broke. Again. Whatever. It's not like I'm buried or anything. I just can't get ahead.

Most people right now would have no sympathy. Everyone, it seems, is struggling. These are hard times we are living in. Well, they are hard times if you are one of the lower-to -middle-class working stiffs that make up a majority of the country. We are working harder and harder for less and less money, but we still somehow make ends meet. We are getting by. We are surviving.

Barely.

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