So, new choices. Not easy morality choices that are clearly good or bad. These are all bad. When you're poor, your choices are fewer and consequences greater. Most of us grew up in middle class families, are college educated, and have worked and provided for ourselves most of our lives. We don't know how to cut the budget this much. (We personally are down to about 30% of what we brought home in 2007.)
Uh, oh. That health problem didn't get better, and SSDI is denying our claim. The insurance allowance has run out. Yay, more choices! Should we sell one of the cars? Can we take on small jobs that don't aggravate our health? The dog got hit by a car, oh no! Of course we have to take him to the vet. But guys, if any other animals get sick, there's nothing we can do. Sad, but that's reality. Oh, and only dry pet kibble from now on. These are the choices facing millions of Americans right now.
We've been lucky and have better choices than so many. Because we happened to have a mortgage instead of rent, even though our credit was destroyed by bankruptcy, we are secure in having a roof over our heads. Many with our same education, work history, income, and good choices all along, because they were renting, can't find housing now. If you don't have an address, you can't get food stamps or health care.
So we eliminate and cut and play eenie-meenie-minie-mo with the bills. We mend and reuse and make do. We swallow our pride and accept help. And we count our blessings every day, because our lives are still rich and full of choices, mostly due to the luck of the draw.