Get rid of your credit cards. I stopped using credit 20 years ago and sometimes I have to rob Peter to pay Paul and I may have to do without something but I don't owe anyone else. It is wonderful in these economic times to be liberated and not owe!
I have a car and a dog and those two things frequently make for stress, i.e. dog just got sick so $ I was saving for my car insurance went to the vet instead. Dog much better. I'm stressing because I think I am losing my clutch but have to wait till the end of the month to see my mechanic before I can even consider thinking about it. I handle what I can handle and set stuff aside until I can deal with it. I have had to learn stress control as I have had PTSD for past 2 years. NOW thats something to worry about. What to do, well I do what I can and then set aside what I have to until the appropriate time. I know that I will have PTSD until the absolute end of the lawsuit. BUT I have to handle what I can when I can and do the best that I can. I identify my problems and then identify some solutions. One has to deal/handle things.
I don't think this is a specific gender problem. I think the entire Boomer generation plus a few older than that had never really experienced 'hard times' and had no idea this would happen. It quite took me by surprise and the hardest thing to learn was how to be poor! I do okay but no comparison to my earlier years earning power and so I have had to adapt myself to budgeting which I really didn't know.
Keeping your house, if you are sincere about keeping your house you may have to take in a boarder but I don't know how that would work with your CPP or any ODSP or benefits you might be getting. I have a friend who really doesn't have to worry about $$$ but like all people she does. She has a million $$$ home with 5 bedrooms, 3 full baths and she takes in a foreign student who comes here to learn ESL. The various schools arrange it all. Now this woman is VERY fussy and clean but she has done well with the system.
You have to stop wallowing in the fear and worry. Get some positive thoughts going, find an enterprise that is needed and go for it.
I am a recyclist! Remember those old floor lamps that were open at the top and used halogen bulbs? Well as they are thrown out behind big apartment buildings, I rescue them if they are not in the dumpster. Then I strip all the electrical wiring/switches etc... and turn them in to plant stands which you can put together at any height. I grow my own plants and then I sell either/or at yard sales. It helps recycling and gives me some other ideas.
Often in very big apartment bldgs, people put old small kitchen appliances out (some of the stuff is not even old), if it works then I clean it up and sell it at yard sales.
I'm WAY BETTER than second hand Rose! lol
You have to have an imagination and inquisitive mind for these endeavors and you get better at seeing what is feasible. You are also helping limit garbage. No kidding about the small kitchen appliances!!! I plug it in and if it appears to work then I clean it up. Let's see, I have 2 brand new food processors, several automatic coffee systems, stereos and speakers, toasters, Culinary small counter top oven/broiler and rotiserie and much more. You don't get a lot of $$$ but hey all those things add up and I do okay. Even have friends giving me good stuff they don't want anymore.
And the plant stands are very attractive and can be used for other purposes as well. My mind is always open to look at something and to see what it could be. I'm creative with no artistic talents other than my imagination and my sense of style.
Look around, open your eyes and your mind and jump in.
I would like to thank all of your for your time and ideas. I did go to a credit counselling and they suggested personal bankruptcy so I made the appointment and went ahead with it. I felt very ashamed I had always had a triple A credit rating, How did this happen??? They told me I would be surprised at how many people are in the same position. RIght now it is still very tight. Usually no money left by the middle of the month BUT all my bills are paid and that is a good thing. I am trying to take so much out per week and when it is gone thats it until the next week but they told me it would take some getting used to and they were right but I will get it yet.