Jack and sue make some progress as a team

Neither Jack nor Sue ever wondered why they married each other. They were a natural couple, very much in love, and as a team, when the times got really tough, they worked together brilliantly.

Jack's massive efforts were bringing in some work, and it was making up some ground, but the income stream was stretched, severely. So when Sue got herself a part time job, (which Jack noticed just happened to work perfectly with Sue's daily routines with their daughter), they really hit a soft patch, for once in the past year.

They could even save a little, and have some cash reserves. They'd learned the hard way, the very hard way, how to make a budget work on virtually nothing. Those lessons were now excellent preparation for adding some much needed padding to their lives. They didn't vary the budget at all, even with a significant increase in income.

Sharing the load is a basic trick in tough times, but it really has to be learned properly, so you get the full benefit of it. Sharing is best done with a good, reliable, partner. The load has to be shared fairly, and with mutual consent. Jack and Sue's partnership was a triumph of sharing, and had been even in the days when he was working.

That level of partnership was now adding a lot of muscle even to their long suffering finances. Family life returned to being a joy, almost immediately. Their daughter cracked them up completely with her comment that all these new clothes she was getting must mean she could now afford to grow up.

The new budget, in fact, came as a bit of a shock. They were so used to not being able to afford to do anything that when a combination of one of Joe's jobs and Sue's wages coincided, they didn't know what to do with the money.

Jack's friend Fred happened to be there when they realized they had this terrible problem. They watched as Fred laughed himself speechless, then (eventually) suggested that maybe there was some place they'd like to go, or something they'd like to see?

Fred tried, unsuccessfully, not to laugh as they talked themselves into going to a movie and having dinner for the first time in at least a year. They'd even nearly forgotten they had to make reservations at the restaurant, and he had to remind them to do that.

They'd been saving money so furiously, between them, that another shock awaited. They were not only suddenly solvent, they were almost at a normal level of savings. The budget looked almost identical to the old budget, when Jack was working full time. Except that thanks to the expenses of the tough times, they'd managed to make less money work a lot more efficiently. They still had a bit to do to achieve financial security of the kind they wanted, but they'd beaten the basic problem.

Now all they had to do was raise their kid, and live their lives, on a semi-income supported basis. They weren't actually out of the unemployment maze, just out of the disaster area.