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Michael Landis: A second job to pay the bills
Michael Landis: A second job to pay the bills
Michael with his mother-in-law, Fran; son, Jonathan; daughter, Emma; and wife, Tamra
Vice president of information technology, 32, Denver, Colo.

We purchased a home last year and I'm proud to see my children live in a decent neighborhood close to a good public school and have a backyard to play in.

However, since moving, unexpected expenses and rising costs have created a situation of struggle. I do have a fixed-rate mortgage, but everything else is getting so expensive. Last week I spent $170 on gas alone. I've taken on a second job, and I know as long as our economy hangs in there and doesn't collapse, we'll be okay.

My biggest frustration is I work very hard to maintain a lower middle-class income and lifestyle. We don't go on vacations, or rent movies. We just hang out and do free or cheap stuff. But I still work a second job and I miss out on school events and struggle to feel okay explaining this to my son.

NEXT: Dave Goldthorpe: Travel out of reach
Last updated November 15 2009: 6:21 AM ET
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