Good gosh, anonaiki, your situation sounds like mine! Trust me, a lot of us are living on a shoe string. I can't train at my beloved dojo right now, for an unrelated reason, but even if I could, I'd be hard strapped to buy the gas for the long drive to and from the dojo even for one class a week. I liked that story Mary M. told about the table, though, and it is one of those "what is it worth to you" situations, isn't it?
It's great news that you're going to talk with someone at your school. Do take that first step. Please let us know how it turns out!
I have to relay my gratitude to everyone for sharing advice. I will talk to the assistant teacher and work on approaching my sensei. I could never leave out of the blue. I want to train and I have such tremendous respect for everyone at the dojo. Even if I have to leave now, I know I will be back some day. Hopefully sooner rather than later.
I don't have cable tv or a smartphone or a car payment. I keep my house cold. I'm even trimming my food budget down to a bare minimum. I'm working on being optimistic that things will improve, but I've had some set backs lately with clients going under. Aikido has been a great outlet during stressful times and I'm constantly impressed by the support and camaraderie at the dojo. My thanks to everyone on the forum for sharing your thoughts.