How We're Coping with Downsizing

It’s rough when you stay at home and you find out your spouse has been laid off. A real shock to the system, even if you do earn a decent amount at home, as I do. After all, I don’t earn enough to support my family solo.

job hunt

Having my husband get laid off has meant rethinking all our money plans. We are fortunate in some areas, such as our landlord being willing to go month to month with us for a time when she really prefers the security of a lease. Add that to his accumulated time off pay and severance pay, and we’ll be able to hold out for a little.

What may be the most helpful, however, is the outsourcing company we’re working with. I have high hopes of finally getting my husband’s career upgraded to the kind of path he has been wanting to be on. He has been completely rewriting his resume and the outsourcing company has a lot of job hunting resources.

That and I’m utterly shameless about telling people he’s looking. How else will they know to tell us about any jobs they’ve heard of.

I would love to see my husband finally get a career in the direction that he wants to go. I’ve been differing with my father-in-law in this. He wants my husband to get a job in the industry he’s already established in. I don’t, because with the way the economy is going such jobs are going to be scarce and unstable. Home decor doesn’t do so well at times like this.

We know for certain we can stretch things through February and quite probably through March. We’re not going to gamble all the way to the end, though. And of course the jobs he knows he could get but doesn’t want quite so badly will be applied for if necessary.

But the hardest part is making the financial cuts to help stretch things out. We don’t buy a lot of extras as is. Add in the fact that job hunting does cost money (just think how much gas is used in applying for and interviewing for jobs!), and it’s pretty hard to cut down on actual spending.

It’s hardest to explain to my daughter why we won’t be doing much of the fun little things like going over to 7-11 for a Slurpee, unless she brings her own money. On the other hand, 5-1/2 is a great age to start working with her own money a bit more anyhow, so that she gets more of an idea of how to use it well.

Some cuts we haven’t made yet. We still have cable television, for example. While it is perhaps not the best logic, my feeling on that is quite simply that we’re giving things one month, two at the most before we move in with my inlaws. The cable would be a pretty easy sacrifice for me, since I only watch a little television, but much harder on my husband and kids. Two months of paying extra, when we’re either going to keep living on our own or not… doable.

I’m going to be making heavy use of my frozen food supplies. In part this is to save money, and that’s what it’s all there for anyhow. But also I don’t want to have to find room for it at my inlaws should we have to resort to that. At worst I’ll have to restock it later.

It is so nice to not have to buy a lot of meat at the store! And I’ve really been needing to make those turkey bones into soup anyhow! Mmm!

The big thing I’ve been doing is trying to ramp up my own business. It’s not all on my husband, after all. It’s hard to acheive something that I’ve been working on for ages, but this has been the push to make me try some new things. I’ll be releasing my first ebook for sale soon, for example.

The scariest part is doing a bit of my own job hunting. Nothing saying my husband and I can’t trade positions. We’re determined to keep ONE of us at home, but which one?

I do NOT want to work outside the home. I love what I do. But if that’s what it takes, yes I will do it, gladly.

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3 Responses

  1. Be sure to holler when the ebook is available for sale – I’d love to help you spread the word about it!

    As for cable, we haven’t had it since last summer, in preparation for our move to CA. However, around Christmastime we decided to set up an online Blockbuster account. For $20-ish we get 3 DVDs at a time, and they offer TV shows and series as well as family programs. Granted there’s a day’s delay when we return a show, but you can also switch them out a few times a month with a local store if you like. We paid about $70 a month for cable, so this is a good compromise for us. Plus we don’t have a sitter here, so movie night for the grown-ups is a little easier – we can watch a DVD when the kids are tucked in on the weekend. It might be a way to still have the entertainment for your family but save vs cable?

  2. Stephanie says:

    It gets tricky there, because DH loves the various Science channel and Discovery channel type programs. Some of that is available on DVD, but the sheer quantity would be hard to cope with even with Blockbuster or Netflix service.

    I’m also just trusting that he will either have a job soon or we’ll be moving out anyhow. The difference in cost won’t have a significant impact on when we choose to do that if it becomes necessary.

    Besides, he just won’t be talked into it.

  3. Rachel says:

    I’m sorry to hear about your husband’s lay off…that is never easy. Don’t worry about your kids, these experiences are good for them even if they are hard on you. I was a single mom for the first seven years of my daughter’s life (she’s now 20), and some of her fondest memories are of things we did together when we didn’t have any money. One thing we did together was take her outgrown clothes to a consignment store. We had a lot of fun shopping together at the same store for “new” clothes.