The income layover

Chef and I are currently in an income layover.

You know, that wasteland of lost hope when your last pay runs out, the kids bank accounts are run dry and it’s a couple of days – which might as well be years – before the next pay day shows you the money.

Chef’s work situation changed abruptly three weeks ago and he’s still owed a couple of weeks holiday pay – that, school holidays and not getting paid from the new gig yet has been taxing. I get paid monthly and that’s due to fall into our account “any day now”.

The income layover is like the worst airport layover when you wander aimlessly refusing to buy exorbitantly priced bottles of water or a boxed dozen Krispy Kremes because you know none of those puppies is going to make it out of the uncomfortable waiting lounge chair alive. That and you eat enough  cheeseburgers to trigger a listless state of  maudlin and mild panic about just how backed up you’re going to get.

Yesterday I bemoaned on FB  how hungry I was and that there was nothing to eat in the house a friend said I could make something good out of “lego blocks and tomato sauce”. Sure, she had a point but seriously, once you’re left with some butter and wilted celery even I am sorely tested. As it was I salvaged a half dead avocado, found a tomato of dubious age but passable softness, an onion and some seriously iced-up dark rye bread from the recesses of the freezer. Emma called me the “Macgyver of empty pantry food”. I’ll take that.

Last night we were saved by a moment of impressive freezer meal  preparedness I’d clearly had when I was high – some marinated chicken wings I then roasted with potatoes – recipe to come.

It’s grim but not forever so my level of income layover anxiety is manageable. So you’ll excuse me now while I go and rustle up some school lunches from split peas and tinned beetroot.

How do you survive the income layover? 



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  • ugh. Not an enviable position to be in, at least for me, it’s just me to have to worry about in that time, and bikkies from the tea room and lotsa tea with sugar get me through a day or two.
    Fiona recently posted..Weary, but Ok

  • Too bad your kids aren’t still 3. Then they wouldn’t want to eat anything anyway 🙂
    I hope you get paid soon!
    Did you check under the couch cushions for some change to buy bread? Or in the recesses of the car. Or maybe the bottom of your bag. I always find change there!

    • Oh yes, lounges have been scoured, special holiday envelopes of cash for the boys from grandparents raided. Ridiculous. It’s like we’re limping over the line in dead last.

  • There is nothing I can’t do with a whisper of flour or polenta and three olives. It’s a special skill I have. Throw in some five year old dried lentils and you can call me Jesus. Loaves and fishes are for hacks.

    • This is just one of the many reasons why I love you.

  • Oh I hear you! My husband gets paid fortnightly on a Thursday and lately it seems like every second Tuesday we hit that layover…. Freezer food, toast for dinner and not even a gold coin for the canteen. The very worst thing, the thing that has been keeping me up at night recently, is that we have had a few big expenses at the worst times lately and do I have been using the credit card. Fuck. I actually don’t know how we are going to get out of the home, this time.
    Super Sarah recently posted..Roasted Vegetable Fritatta

    • OH Sarah, and then the back on top of it? I SO SO SO understand.

      And commiserate.

  • Megan

    This happens for us every fortnight for about 4-5 days, it’s stressful and we eat alot of rice until it’s over. Four kids though that’s a whole different story, MacGyver of the empty pantry indeed!

    A few years ago (BC) we had an awesome income meltdown. After whinging nonstop for months I decided to quit my job with no new job to go to, I figured we could afford to live on one salary for about a month and that would be enough time for me to find something else. I arrived home, having resigned, feeling so free, only to find my husband unexpectedly at home having been ‘retrenched’ ie. restaurant gone under.

    So both of us on the same day with no job at all. No income layover, just income freakoutville. I think we both had new jobs by the end of the week but it was full-on for a few days.

    • Holy crap, that would have sent me running to the hills FOR.SURE.

  • Ah yes, I know it well. Good old ‘shop the pantry’ dinners. In fact, my canned brown, lentil, canned, tomatoes, dried herbs and spices ‘stew’ served with rice and whatever vegies are left in the fridge is one of my kids’ favourite dinners. I have also been known to serve grated carrot tossed with salt and pepper as a side dish to pasta tossed with olive oil, garlic and chilli flakes and call it dinner. The dinners aren’t too bad but pulling school lunches together is a different matter.
    I hope this week flies and that payday comes quickly.
    Amelia recently posted..6 on the 6th

  • Emmasbrain

    Income layovers are the worst, I survive by generally being around the vicinity of the TV. Last time I planted some seeds that I found stuck to an old issue of Jerk’s Backyard. I thought they wouldn’t sprout because they were so old, but they did. Sending some positive stuff your way gorgeous lady. xxxx
    Ps You ARE the Macgyver of pantry’s