I believe there are angels among us... I got an e-mail from a friend of mine asking me if I had gotten her Christmas card. To be honest with you, all my cards and my other mail was sitting around here in stacks, unopened. Too much to deal with these past few weeks. When I got home from work I looked for her card. I opened a few others that I had received while looking for hers. I had originally intended to open all the cards on Christmas day with my family. I don't know why I didn't do that now. Inside was a check. She got a Christmas bonus and decided to send it to me. Why did she do that? She knew about my husband losing his job but I didn't mention any money troubles. I make decent money but because we both got a new car this past year that made it just too tight on one income alone. I have done everything I can think of to trim back. Refinanced the cars. Keep the thermostat turned down a little bit. Cut way back on the extras like eating out and movies, etc. I even lowered my 401K savings to just the amount my company matches. I have even easily plowed through the majority of my emergency fund to pay the medical bills. That pesky little item that insurance wouldn't cover but you are still responsible for. I have to call everyone looking for money now and play let's make a deal. Will they write it off? If not, will they take $5 or $10 until it is paid off. Even at that amount with the number of people that we owe, it will be tough. How do people that make even less than me make it? I understand the one paycheck from homelessness concept. We are not that close but I can envision it. This is why financial carefulness is one of my goals this year. I can't afford to be careless.