Here's a link to an article about a gal who has lupus who uses spoons to try to explain what life is like with her chronic disease. I've used a similar illustration to this, explaining that we are really poor and have a very tight budget. Each day we have to figure out how much money we have to spend; some days we find a little extra in our shirt pocket, some days we come up so short we wonder how we'll "put food on the table." Either way, each day we have to limit our activities to those we can "pay" for. When we "go into debt" by spending too much we are in big trouble for the next several days.
I don't often "spend my money" writing thank-yous - I try to thank the person "in person" at the time because I can't "afford" thank you writing time. I often can't "spend my money" on birthday card shopping, writing, and sending either. I don't especially like these two ways of budgeting, but just trying to save up to see people or call people (both rare, because I am poor, remember) is where I concentrate my budget in this regard.
For those who have lived a life of poverty, you may get the idea. This isn't fun, this isn't easy. It pretty much stinks, but this is what we've been given right now and we keep fighting to make the best of it. We feel like we've been doing a pretty good job - but you know, what we've found out is that the poor (whether talking in terms of economics or disease) are often misunderstood, criticized, and worst of all, overlooked.
Life is hard for us. Please help make it joyful by being our cheerleaders every time we "score," or to keep up my illustration, every time we save enough "money" up to be able to share our lives with you. If we haven't found a way to "make ends meet" and you haven't seen us for awhile, come visit us and maybe even ask how you can help.
Life truly is "in the giving" and we've been blessed greatly by the many physical ways you've stretched your own "budgets" (so creatively and cheerfully) to help or be a part of our limited lives. Hey, here's a big and sincere, THANK YOU! You add richness to our lives. And that helps us to face our limited budget, one day at a time.
Endnote: Have you gone to the above link yet? If not, please do. It shows in a real way how hard this "budgeting" is.