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Troubled Times Ahead: How to Survive a Job Loss or Layoff

by Tara Kuczykowski on June 29, 2017 · 49 comments

After many years of just a trickle of work being offered through my husband's union hall, the Columbus area is now booming with an influx of construction jobs. So much that jobs are actually sitting on the window at the hall unfilled. I have to say, it's a great spot to be in, in the moment, but I know that with the cyclical nature of construction booms, it's only a matter of time before it's back on the downswing. After all, it was less than a year ago that the possibility of a layoff was always looming over our household, a very stressful spot to be in.

It feels like we've experienced more than our fair share over the years... A layoff is never convenient, but some times are definitely less convenient than others. There was the time my husband was laid off the day before Christmas Eve. And there was also the time that he received his notice the day after Christmas. And the worst of all -- when he literally got laid off via a voicemail while we were in the delivery room, as I was giving birth to our fifth child.

I mention all of this because I believe many of you are in the same situation. Despite the falling unemployment rate, I know that those numbers are somewhat skewed by workers who've simply given up looking for a job. So I thought this might be a good time to bump up these tips for what to do if job loss is a possibility and what to do if you lose your job...

If a job loss is still just a possibility:

Cut back your spending immediately. Review your bills and look for areas where you can start to scale back. Start small by trying to cut just $1 a day from your expenses and increase your savings from there. Learn how to maximize your savings at drugstores and grocery stores and add these additional funds to your emergency account.

Consider purchasing supplemental income insurance. SafetyNet is among the simplest forms of insurance. It will pay you a lump sum in the event of a layoff or other unexpected job loss! The premiums are surprisingly affordable, starting at just $5 per month. If you need to file a claim, the payout can be used for anything you wish – rent, groceries, utilities, whatever you need. Signing up is easy with just three simple questions, no credit checks.

Build a stockpile. Hopefulone and Erin both wrote excellent guest posts on this topic. In the event of a layoff, being able to cut back your grocery expenses by eating from your stockpile is a huge blessing.

Pay yourself first. Start building an emergency savings by setting up an online savings and having money automatically drafted into it from your checking account each pay period. Transfer the money saved from any cut backs into it as well. Every little bit helps!

I also can't recommend the book Profit First enough. I've been using the method discussed in it for about 6 months now, and it's totally transformed both my business and personal finances.

Start paying just the minimums on any debt. While not ideal for getting out of debt, this will help with your immediate cashflow. Funnel anything extra you were paying into your emergency account for the time being.

Get a handle on the job market. Check out the classifieds and online job postings. Start doing a little networking to feel out the situation in your industry, and update your résumé so it's ready to go.

If you lose your job:

Negotiate for additional benefits. Most companies will offer the standard severance of unpaid vacation and a good reference, but you may be able to haggle for more. Ask for additional compensation based on years of employment, extended health benefits, or reimbursement for job placement services. It's likely that companies will be willing to provide one or more of these to avoid negative publicity. You won't know unless you ask!

File for unemployment. Generally you should do this immediately because there's a one-week holding period; however, from experience I can tell you there's one exception to that. If it's close to the end of the year, it might be in your best interest to wait until the new year. Compensation rates often increase every year, and by waiting a few additional days you may be entitled to more money. We learned this the hard way when my husband filed back in 2005. If he had waited a mere four days, we would have received an additional $40 per week in compensation. Check with your state agency, and if you can stick it out for a few days, do so.

Communication is key on all levels. Let your family members know about your situation. Explain to your friends that you'll have to cut back on entertainment expenses for a while. Get the word out to your social network. You might be surprised by a job lead from an unexpected source. Finally, contact your creditors immediately if you see yourself starting to fall behind on your bills. They may be able to offer some sort of temporary solution.

Seek out additional resources. These may vary by location, but it's a good idea to see what's available. Don't EVER be embarrassed to take advantage of whatever programs are available to you. There's no shame in doing what it takes to keep your family from financial disaster.

A few to consider:

  • WIC
  • Food stamps
  • Medicaid in your state
  • Food pantries
  • Energy assistance programs
  • Your church

Your state department of job and family services may have additional suggestions. Don't be afraid to ask your unemployment case worker what you're eligible for.

Cut back your budget to all but the necessities. When it comes right down to it, things like cable, cell phones, and Internet can probably all be eliminated. Look for free sources of family entertainment such as free DVD rentals from Redbox. You might be surprised at what you can do without when it really matters.

Start looking for a new job immediately. Take advantage of any outplacement resources offered by your former employer. In most cases you will be required to report on your job search regularly to your unemployment caseworker, so you'll want to maintain a log of companies you apply with and any responses you receive.

If you're a union worker, as is my husband, you may be in a different position. He must wait until his layoff number on "the list" is high enough to win a bid on a job. I know the particulars vary by union, but in our case looking for work outside the union could mean thousands of dollars in fees and fines.

Be sure to stay in close contact with your union hall's hiring manager, and ask about any additional resources that your hall may have to offer. You may be able to take a travel position and work out of another union, as my husband has done on several occasions. Or this might be a good time to take advantage of any continuing education programs available to you. Additional certifications could make you more valuable to employers and therefore less likely to be low on the list when layoffs occur in the future.

When you find new employment:

Keep your frugal ways in place for a while. Pay off any debt accrued during your unemployment period, build your emergency savings back up, and better prepare yourself financially in the event that it turns out not to be a good fit or for future cutbacks.

There's no such thing as job security these days. Especially with the fluctuating economy, it's important to be prepared as best as you can be for a sudden loss of income. Losing a job is never easy, but you can definitely prepare yourself so that it's more manageable.

I certainly would not wish a layoff or job loss on any one of you, but I hope that these tips give you some hope in the event that you should need them.

Have you survived a major loss of income in your family? Do you have any additional tips to share?

This is a sponsored conversation on behalf of SafetyNet; all opinions and text are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support this site!

{ 49 comments… read them below or add one }

1 April December 26, 2008 at 5:12 pm

I'll be praying for your family at this time. My husband's work literally came to a standstill earlier this year. He's a brick mason but a good bit of our income this year has come from him raking straw or helping somebody build a porch, etc.. I'm very thankful he's a hard worker. I've tried to do my part with coupons, rebates and stockpiling.
God Bless You!

April´s last blog post..6 days of giveaways and After Christmas specials!


2 Joy December 26, 2008 at 5:26 pm

Thanks so much for sharing this post ... you have blessed myself and many others through all of your posts and this one is no different. I truly understand (not the 3 times in a row part, though) as our job loss came very unexpectedly at the end of October. I am so thankful that through following your blog and other frugal-minded gals, my CVSing, couponing, and stockpiling were well in place and didn't have to be learned in the midst of crisis and holidays. Know that I'm praying for you. Be encouaged that YOU are a huge encouragement to many, many, many(!!) ... and I'm glad the "decision to post" won out in the debate ~ this was all but negative ... very insightful, helpful to those of us who are in the same boat, and a well-written piece of wisdom for those who may walk down this road in the next few months.
Keep Smiling!!! :)

Joy´s last blog post..After Christmas Deals & More ...


3 Lynda December 26, 2008 at 5:29 pm

There is a great book out there called, "48 Days to the work you love". Has tons of ideas. The forward is by Dave Ramsey. Dan Miller is the author. Right now, you can go to his website and get the book for $10.00 or go to and get it cheaper. I think it would be an encouraging book with many great ideas. Oh, love your site!

Praying for you, Lynda


4 Diane December 26, 2008 at 5:38 pm

I wish you and your family well and I hope that you can take advantage of some of the great ideas! I have made extra money because of some of your grerat tips! I know that the food pantries in my area get donations from the local grocery stores and everyone in the city is entitled to pick up food twice a month. While I don't need it at this time I am glad that it is there if I do need it. The community pulls together for us when we are in need so take them up on their offers. Wishing you well and things will get better soon!

Diane´s last blog post..Holiday Tins


5 Mercedes December 26, 2008 at 6:02 pm

Those are all excellent tips Tara. i do wish your family strength during this time. You can count on me for anything you think I could help you with.


Mercedes´s last blog post..Remembering our troops- Send a FREE postcard


6 Melissa December 26, 2008 at 6:11 pm

I hear this post loud and clear.. last January I found out that I would be laid off come April, then once I was laid off my husband company cut him down to 32 hours per week. In the end after taxes, insurance, 401k etc his take home pay was a mere $20 more per week than my unemployment. Yes we were saving in his 401k and had great healthcare, but the dollars were just not rolling in. In September he was also laid off but thankfully he found a job within 3 weeks that actually is paying him his old base salary plus his old bonuses together as his new base salary. He also gets nice hefty bonuses at his new place on top of that. I just went back to work finally this last week so we've been very lucky this last year. Also, did I mention we paid of $30,000 worth of debt in 6 months ending in May right after I was laid off? Yeah, don't ask me how, but it's actually been a good year financially because the layoffs FORCED me to look at our finances closer and really tighten our belts on spending. I love reading new tips and ideas, you never know what idea could spark for someone out there who will take that information and go farther than you'd ever imagine.

Hang in there!! and even though it's not a "positive" post, it's extremely helpful and unfortunately a post that there are people out there that do need that information.. so really, it is a positive post. :)

Melissa´s last blog post..which do you use?


7 Jen @ Eco-Office Gals December 26, 2008 at 6:23 pm is an AWESOME resource for troubled times. And at the point of loosing my job, I asked how can I do what I do, but do it GREEN!? That's how I came up with It has been my life saver! Now I work from home, my money goes to bills, not gas and daycare. It's awesome. Take a skill you have (for me 10 yrs admin assistant) and figure out how to optimize it!

Jen @ Eco-Office Gals´s last blog post..Merry Christmas!


8 Hopefulone December 26, 2008 at 6:37 pm

Hi Tara,

I'm so glad you chose to share this. Just another reminder that we are all in this together. Tough times for any one family trickles out and really affects all of us. Both economically and as a people. You gave great advice on where to get additional help, and such a reminder to be prepared as best we can.

My hubby just went union not long ago and negotiations before striking are going on (I'm slightly holding my breath). My brother just got laid off again as well. I guess we just never know.

Hang in there.
Please know that you are in our thoughts and prayers. Please keep us updated if you want to share.

Hopefulone´s last blog post..Merry Christmas!


9 Okie Sister December 26, 2008 at 6:40 pm

How thoughtful of you to think of others at this time and offer such helpful advice.
I wish your family well.


10 Laurie December 26, 2008 at 6:42 pm

My husband was just laid off a few weeks ago. He has some really good job leads, but with the holidays, no one is doing anything.
The place he works at is supposed to reopen in a few months, but we can't count on that. One thing I wanted to mention as far as savings go, is that saving for something like this can actually hurt you. Even though our income on unemployment is well below the poverty line, we do not qualify for any additional help because we have money in the bank. We don't have tons, but enough to get us through for a couple of months. However, if we were to take what we had in the bank and put it towards our house or our car, we would qualify for over $500 in food stamps a month as well as energy assistance. I feel like we are being punished for scrimping and saving when we could have been reckless and spent like crazy and would get more help. Ridiculous.

Laurie´s last blog post..Start Coughing.....


11 Erin P December 26, 2008 at 6:44 pm

I am sorry about your husbands lost job! But thank you for your encouragement to everyone out there that is struggling during this time in the economy. I hope you don't mind that I'm going to be linking to this post on my blog so all my readers can get your input from experience.


Erin P´s last blog post..Merry Christmas


12 Lisa C December 26, 2008 at 6:51 pm

Thanks for the great tips. My husbands company has been slowly but surely sending all of their business to a plant in Mexico and slowly laying off workers here in the US. (We're in Kansas City). Just before the holidays they had their last layoff effective Jan 5. Now my husband is next on the list :( He did have super seniority being a union steward but they sold him out and switched him to a different shift and he lost his super seniority and is next to go. This stinks! We are praying that the next layoff won't be for a while but we are doing as you said, making as many arrangements as possible, saving as much as we can in an account, paying ourselves first since I am permanently disabled I don't help much in that department :( It's just getting really tough out there and we're scared. I hope that your husband finds something really soon and that life for you all gets back to normal soon. God Bless you all and Happy New Year! Lisa


13 Kari December 26, 2008 at 7:02 pm

Thanks so much for your tips. My husband's job had a choice to make in either laying off 22 workers or cutting back all their hours. So now instead of 40 hour work weeks it's 36 hour weeks. I know it's not a job loss but your tips are such a help to me.


14 Debi December 26, 2008 at 7:30 pm

We've been here before too. Your blog is such a blessing. I'll be praying that your husband finds work soon. Thanks for all the tips, and your amazing attitude.


15 Andrea December 26, 2008 at 7:41 pm

I'm so sorry to hear about your husband's recent job lay-off. Thank you for the tips. I am a single woman and, thankfully, my is secure for now. I work as a paralegal in a lawfirm, but I still worry daily. I've been paying down all my debts and hopefully by this time next year I will be debt free and able to contribute more to my savings. I love your e-mails and will miss them, but I understand your situation and will look forward to your updates as you have the time. Good luck to you and I will keep you in my prayers.


16 Stephanie December 26, 2008 at 7:53 pm

I'm sorry to hear about your husband's job loss. We've had repeated job losses as well, including recently, so I too appreciate the tips that you've posted. Thank you for posting this information. Your blog has great information and I always appreciate what you have to say. Thank you for what you put into it.


17 cindy lilley December 26, 2008 at 8:26 pm

I totally understand everything that you and your family are going though. My husband worked for Verizon and was just bumped on December 19th, just right before Christmas. (being bumped means that someone else in the company lost their job and had the option to take a lower position) My husband worked there for 3 years. We now have no insurance. I know that there are people everywhere that go though things like this. I say that there is a reason for everything. This is just one of the many challenges in life you have to go though. Maybe this is a test from God. God Bless each of you during these tough times.


18 Amy D. December 26, 2008 at 8:38 pm

I am sorry about your husband's layoff. I was laid off in August from my work-at-home software job, and my husband has been through layoffs in the past. I appreciate your post and can say from experience that your advice is on-the-spot.

I am reading through your other posts re: transcription. I have wanted to do that for years but never knew how to get started. All the info I saw sounded like scams. As I said, I was just laid off from a job where I worked at home, in the software industry, completely unsupervised for three years. I have strong references to my abilities, and loads of computer/writing/grammar/editing/etc. type experience. I have just never done actual transcription. Do you think that it would be possible for me to get started? Is there something else that I need? (besides a good resume and the equipment/software)

Thank you for all that you do, sharing your bargains with us. I will be praying for God to watch over your family and provide the perfect job to your dear hubby.


19 Angie Hopkins December 26, 2008 at 8:42 pm

Tara, you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. So many people are going through this and I am positive that something good will come of this post. The tips and advice are very thoughtful and generous, as is the entire spirit of your blog. Take care and let me know if there is anything I can do for you.


thrifty florida mama

Angie Hopkins´s last blog post..Freebies, Samples, and More


20 momstheword December 26, 2008 at 8:43 pm

I am sorry that your husband has lost his job and I will be praying for you all.

Several years ago my husband was out of work for a year. During that year I learned alot about saving money. We lived on severance, after the severance ran out we lived on unemployment, and our savings account. Our sweet friends and our church helped too.

We looked at our groceries and determined what were necesseties and what were luxuries (chips, olives, candy, etc. were luxuries and "out"). We paid cash for groceries. I learned to keep a pricebook. I hung up our clothes to dry as much as I could. I planned my errands so as to maximize our gas. I stayed home more. We stopped eating out.

I challenged myself to make a game of saving money. We used cloth napkins, I washed out and reused my baggies. We used rags instead of paper towel. I made a game of it. I tracked sales using store flyers. I shopped with coupons and made my menus according to what was on sale.

We began eating ground turkey because it was cheaper. We still eat it. We bought our meat in bulk and cut it up ourselves. I asked my doctor for free samples of medicine.

The biggest change was my attitude. I tried to see this experience as an opportunity instead of something bad. I challenged myself to stretch our money as best as I could. I encouraged my husband and was as supportive as I could be, even though sometimes I felt discouraged in private. We were in this together.

This can be very discouraging for husbands, when the unemployment drags on and on. I will keep you all in my prayers.



21 nightdeer December 26, 2008 at 8:48 pm

i wanted to said i know how it feel my husband and i got lay off this month we couldn;t celebrate christmas for our children and i am stress so much because i feel it not fair why is the rich is getting richer and people like my husband and i work hard for the money we don;t asked for anything this happen to us i feel that the government care for the rich not for people like me ... but one thing i feel my family is my life and i pray to god that he gave me a roof that all i pray but i feel that way


22 jpkittie December 26, 2008 at 9:01 pm

Sorry to hear of this stressful time for your family. Try to stay positive. I know it is tough --- Our thoughts are with your family.

jpkittie´s last blog post..Updated Side Totals


23 Joanna McIntire December 26, 2008 at 9:09 pm

Good luck with job hunting. I know I don't know you but I will keep you in our prayers.

Joanna McIntire´s last blog post..My Stinkin Cute Nephew


24 DW December 26, 2008 at 9:35 pm

I'm so sorry ... I'll be thinking good thoughts for your family. I understand, too: both DH and I faced the possiblity of losing our jobs early this month. Fortunately, we escaped (for now). I'm definitely taking a 2nd look at your tips. Hang in there!

DW´s last blog post..Merry Christmas


25 Hailey December 26, 2008 at 9:55 pm

While my little family hasn't had to deal with a recent layoff, we did struggle with my husband in a job that just wasn't even allowing for our ends to meet... erratic work hours, no benefits, not even paid holidays off. We finally looked at ourselves and what we hoped for our family and made the decision together that he would join the military. I'm not suggesting this as a solution for everyone, but it has been an amazing first year for him in the Navy and I as a new to the Navy wife.
The pay is only so/so but the benefits for active duty personnel are great. We know we'll have to deal with a deployment at some point, but after being apart for 6 months while he was at boot camp & schools we feel like we can face the distance the military forces sometimes and it really does benefit our relationship.
I love reading your blog and have enjoyed the challenges that couponing and CVSing and all other things can bring to our family now that we're down to just his income.
I encourage your readers to discuss these options with the economy and job market what it is... the job security is a blessing and I'm proud to be a military wife!


26 BusyMom December 26, 2008 at 10:46 pm

It seems such a terrible time of the year to lose a job (although, I suppose there aren't really any good times). My husband learned two weeks before Christmas that he was being let go, on the day we were out wrapping up our Christmas shopping. It is times like these where the value of living frugally can really be a saving grace. Not only do you know how to live on less, chances are you have a decent stockpile and can spend even less in the short term as you consume some of your stockpile. Best of luck to your husband in his job search. Hopefully, it is a short gap in employment.

BusyMom´s last blog post..CVS Deals - 12/14


27 Bonnie December 26, 2008 at 11:18 pm

I am sorry to hear about your husband's job loss, it seems so unfair for such a good family, as yours seems, to have to go through hard times such as these. I have found that a strong faith and lots of prayer gets you through times that otherwise seem dreary. I know that there have been times when things have been seemingly impossible but the money always comes and I am always taken care of by my God. Also, times like these can bring about blessings, opportunities and even friendships that may not have been in store without the hardship. Keep up your spirits and know that there are a lot of us out here praying for your family. You have been such an inspiration to me and I appreciate all that you do in the quest to live frugally. I have learned so much from you and I pray that it isn't long before you have happy news to report!


28 Becky (Nickels-n-Dimes) December 26, 2008 at 11:29 pm

I am so sad to hear this news. I can't get over the number of people facing this very reality and I think that this post is great for the fact that it reminds you of things to focus on (not that you need reminding) and it helps to remind others of things that they can do as well.

I will certainly pray for your family.

Becky (Nickels-n-Dimes)´s last blog post..TOMORROW - SATURDAY, DEC 27


29 Andrea @ Mommy December 27, 2008 at 12:06 am

Tara, I am so sorry to hear this! I'll say a prayer for you!!!

And, you can count on me to help with guest posts or whatever! I want to be there for my bloggy buddy however I can!! Seriously, just email me!

Hugs :-)

Andrea @ Mommy´s last blog post..Bloggy Giveaway - Winner!!!


30 frugalisfab December 27, 2008 at 12:40 am

I'm so sorry to hear about this. Three years in a row must be so difficult to deal with! My husband is self employed in the construction field so it is a scary time for us as well. These tips are all wonderful, thanks for sharing!

frugalisfab´s last blog post..Rite Aid 12/21-12/27


31 Nancy J. December 27, 2008 at 1:58 am

I've enjoyed all the input to your site. Things are really tough for alot of people. My family is grown and gone but all is struggling. They look to mom and (grandma) to help out. I now have them exchanging coupons and rebates to help them out. I always buy in bulk, it is cheaper. Bought the daughter a meat slicer so she could make the meat go further. It definitely was a cheapy, but will serve the purpose. The other daughter, told her to start taking the veggies out of their bags and line the veg. drawer with paper towels. Put a layer of veg. in and add another layer of towels, then more veg. another layer of towels on the the top. Vegetables will last a couple more weeks than normal. Don't wash them first, only as needed. Mom taught me this along time ago, but had forgotten until times really got rough. Keep the chin up through the rough times, you'll make it.


32 Christy December 27, 2008 at 9:12 am

I will keep your family in my thoughts and prayers. Hang on, hold on tight, weather the storm and together you will come out stronger and closer than ever before.

~God Bless~



33 Kimi December 27, 2008 at 9:13 am

Thank you for all your tips to help others who are struggling during this troubled time. My husband just got laid off this past week, and we had just got done buying a new home. Things have been a little rough, but tips from your blog have helped tremendously! I'll keep you and your family in my prayers! Thanks again for all you do!


34 Wendy December 27, 2008 at 9:58 am

First of all I want to see that you are doing a marvelous job helping your family! I check your site everyday! You are helping my family as well. My goal is to keep track of my savings this year to see exactly how much this does help my family.
Secondly, I volunteer at a mission in my hometown. We provide food and clothing based on income. I have never seen anyone come in that was turned away. Most people think they wouldn't meet the qualifications to receive help but they do! We are there to help people for just the sort of situation that you are in. I just wanted to encourage others going through this same situation to ask for help. Its what we are there for!!


35 tatum December 27, 2008 at 10:58 am

i understand about hard times and at all the wrong times in your life too.

last year i had my second son and right after that my husband got cancer. he almost died, had really harsh treatment, became a skeleton, had a partial hand amputation and then miraculously recovered. then he went back to work, went crazy and abandoned me and the boys. i was devistated. we are seperated now about 9 months but he was paying the bills at least until his doctors discovered a new growth in his hand and then his job of 6 years where he was a mananger of a cell phone store fired him (probably because they knew he's be gone from work again for a long time). so this was right before christmas, i was seperated, with no money, no husband, in tears and destitute for my little boys on so many levels. i only discovered your website and "couponing" and stockpiling a month and a half ago, and it has given me hope for how to survive things like this better in the future,......because hard times come and go, next time i am going to be prepared. i wish you best of luck, but it looks like you are strong and know how to get through these things. thanks for the hope for my life, it's been a rough two years....................and i am ready to take back the control....even if it's only on a financial level.


36 Sarah December 27, 2008 at 11:13 am

Thank you for your encouragment and tips for everyone. I will pray for your family thru these trying times.
One tip I thought of was for those that still have job security, no matter how permanent. It goes against our "have it all now" society, but we are paying off debt. We have no savings, although we do have a stockpile of toothpaste, soap, food, etc. (THANK YOU!) Until our debt is paid off, at least all but the house, we won't be saving $$. It has taken 2 years to just be down to one credit card, student loans, and the house mortgage. Once we downsize the house, if that works out eventually to sell, we can be completely debt free. This relief is amazing!! Just 2 years ago, I was debating about asking the local church/shelter for toilet paper or starting to use washrags (I know--gross!). That was the bottom and I can now relate to all those on food stamps, medicaid, desperation to feed your family, etc. I would encourage people to ask the church for help before going to the government. IF the churches did their jobs of caring for one another, the government wouldn't have needed these programs.
Actually, we just don't realize how much we can do WITHOUT and until people start doing without and paying off that debt that keeps them in chains, they can't be financially free.
Sorry about the tangent, I just really wanted to just post and thank you for all you do!!


37 Jennifer December 27, 2008 at 11:34 am

I have been very blessed and encouraged by your posts. So sorry for your husband's recent job loss. It's my prayer for you that all that you've sown into the lives of others (thru this blog and I'm sure in many other ways) will come back to you 100-fold! God bless and prosper you and your family.


38 Brandy December 27, 2008 at 1:39 pm

I'm so sorry to hear about your husband's job loss, especially during the holidays. Thankfully it sounds like you are taking a sensible and positive approach to the situation. And thank you for sharing your tips so that others may benefit from your good advice.

Brandy´s last blog post..Merry Christmas Eve


39 sally December 27, 2008 at 9:27 pm

I was laid off this year, too. Technically, my contract was severed b/c I worked part time (my choice) for a company, but was employed by a temp agency. I had a week's notice, which is better than nothing, I guess. My interest in saving money on groceries was there before this, but I've really picked up the pace since my last day of work (just before thanksgiving). Thanks for all your tips...I've learned A LOT!

sally´s last blog post..Merry Christmas!


40 angie December 28, 2008 at 12:00 pm

Hi there,

I saw ur tweets about this the other night and I am so sorry to hear this, but it sounds like u have quite a few good tips here!

You all are in my prayers! I personally cannot believe that someone left a VOICEMAIL laying off your hubby last year?! Wow... it never ceases to amaze me!

Good luck with everyone, and trust the HE has a plan for you!



41 Elizabeth December 28, 2008 at 3:19 pm

This saddens me to hear of someone else struggling as we are now. My husband lost his job 8 weeks ago. I do not have a college education and I am now supporting a family of 4. We send our kids to a private Catholic School and now are having to make the choice between sending them to a public school or using all of our savings to pay their tuiton for next year. They both love their friends, teachers, etc. and we may have to take this away from them and start over elsewhere. Because I have been so frugal all my life and used all of my paychecks for their Catholic schooling we do not qualify for need based aid. I have paid all my debt off and I am one of the fortunate ones blessed to have lived my life frugally for 25 years. We have so many blessings and we don't realize how many until our livelihood is taken away. Thanks for all your wonderful postings for REDBOX free entertainment, CVS, and Walgreens. I have learned so much more over the last 2 months reading your blog. Our prayers are with your family and others during this difficult economic times.


42 Just me December 28, 2008 at 4:44 pm

I read with quite a bit of sadness about all the layoff's etc. going on with this "sampling" of America. I am a small frugal business owner, fully personally debt free . Cut my salary first, hubby's second, cut every expense of the company I could -- but I am going to have to lay an employee off in the next few days. Makes me so sad to have to do that. Company has been in business over 23 years but the work just isn't coming in, and despite all the cost cutting trying to avoid this, sadly it's going to have to hit the employees next. It's unavoidable.


43 Paulette December 28, 2008 at 9:43 pm

Sorry to hear of your husbands layoff. My husband and I have been laid off several times over the 20+ years we have been married. We have always managed to bounce back. Five years ago I was laid off. A few months later my Dad suffered a stroke and was unable to care for himself. With my husbands blessings I was able to care for him. Dad and I found your blog sometime last year. I would read it to him and we decided you were a pretty savey kid. We even sent a few emails to you and you answered back. Dad passed this last October.We had already used many of your tips and had all his Christmas gifts bought. Gifts from Grandpa surprised grandchildren and great-grans. Thank you for all the gifts you have given to all your readers. I am a true believer of what goes around comes around and know in my heart that you and yours will be fine.


44 Qtpies7 December 28, 2008 at 10:15 pm

Those are great suggestions! I wish we had known a lot earlier that we would have a layoff. It didn't concern us much at first, because we knew it would come with a large severance, which actually included them paying almost all of our Cobra. But the money is dwindling fast as the job search is going nowhere.
We are looking at unemployment, and I am so glad that you posted that about waiting until January.
One of the first things we did was to sign up for free lunch at school. Even though we made well above what the income level is, we no longer have any income, so we qualified, and it stays in place the rest of the year, even if he gets hired soon. That gives us free sports and extra-curricular activities, as well.
I am going to check WIC, even though we just ended it due to our children's age, but maybe with no income we will qualify again, we still have a 2 and 5 year old.
Another thing we are looking at is getting our mortgage interest reduced quite a bit. There is a company that will negotiate for us, but it is pricey. I just don't know how to go about doing it myself. They think they can save us $600 a month, though. That would be amazing!

I am going to start with the coupons and look more into the Walgreens/CVS thing, too. They are not close, so I hadn't started yet, but now the savings may well be worth the gas to get there.

Qtpies7´s last blog post..Drew's home!


45 sagemom December 29, 2008 at 12:50 am

So sorry to hear about this...earlier this year, the 60+ year old company that I worked at for almost 10 years shut down w/a days notice, and 3500+ people were out of a job. It was the biggest layoff in Hawaii's history. And a few weeks before that happened I found out I was pregnant! However, I truly believe everything happens for a reason...and things will always work out in the end.

I'm so glad to have stumbled upon your site and get great advice and tips on saving $. I only wish more of the stores were in Hawaii!


46 SavvySuzie December 29, 2008 at 10:42 am

Great post. We dealt with a layoff over the summer and it prompted us to live much more frugally and put many things you mentioned into practice. We've had to keep it up because though my husband did find another job, it was much lower paying....we figured that any job was better than no job until he can get back into his field, but it forced us to keep the purse strings tight. Will definitely keep you and yours in our prayers!

SavvySuzie´s last blog post..What snow? CVS calls!


47 Cathi December 29, 2008 at 8:49 pm

This is a very scary economic time. I know how difficult it must be for you. Your advise is very good and I thank you for sharing.

Cathi´s last blog post..


48 Lisa January 2, 2009 at 4:09 pm

Boy, to get laid off by voicemail while your wife is in labor - that does pretty much take the cake. I'm sorry your husband got discouraging news this year, and I'll keep y'all in my prayers, that you'll make it through this round of worries and that he'll find a good job soon. I don't always post, but I do enjoy your blog, and it's a blessing and a help to me and my family.

Lisa´s last blog post..Nearly three hours later...


49 Mary Hall October 19, 2009 at 11:40 pm

I realize I might be a little out-of-date (I've been browsing your site randomly) but ouch on the voicemail lay-off.

You might also know about this but I'll share it anyway: you can also raise funds by selling old electronics. It probably won't yield much but it should help :)


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