Our Job Layoff Story

I’ve debated writing this post for a while. I thought writing about our financial struggle would make me some kind of failure as a frugal blogger. But, a job loss can happen to any one of us, even though most of us think it won’t. We didn’t think it’d happen to us either. So, I’m putting my pride aside in hopes of reaching – and hopefully helping – any readers that may be going through this right now. There will be future posts that go into further detail so be sure to check the blog (or subscribe) for updates.

 

Dealing with a job layoff. Our job layoff story. | www.FrugalityGal.com

In 2013, we endured a financial rough patch. My husband was presented with what seemed to be a better job opportunity, so he quit his secure job in order to accept the job offer.

We moved to the opposite side of town to be closer to the new job. This apartment was everything we wanted and was a bit more expensive than our last apartment. But with the small increase in pay and the savings in gas, it was within our budget. A few days after we moved in, he was laid off.

We found ourselves in this nice apartment, that we now couldn’t afford. An apartment we only moved into because of the new job that he no longer had. It was terrifying. The sinking feeling in our stomachs grew stronger with each passing day and it lasted for several months.

 

Bottle it Up

My husband was already feeling stressed due to the lack of money and depressed because of the layoff and I didn’t want to add any more worry to his plate. So, I went into super-wife mode and managed to keep a smile on my face at all times and put a positive spin on everything just to try to cheer him up. It wasn’t long before I regularly started locking myself in the bathroom to cry in secret due to the stress of bottling up my feelings.

Looking back, I’m sure my happy act was more annoying than reassuring. I would’ve coped with the situation much better had I acknowledged my feelings and realized it was okay to feel down sometimes. It was okay to feel worried, scared, sad or even angry at times. This all happened immediately after I lost a family member, it was all just too much to deal with, all at once. So I just bottled it up and shut that part of me off as much as I could. Not smart.

 

A Temporary Situation … with no End in Sight

We saw no end in sight to this situation. Mentally, every day that passed without the phone ringing for an interview pushed us further away from my husband being given the opportunity to work. In reality, every day that passed was a day closer to him finding a job. There were many days, weeks and months involved in that job search.

We had given up hope of finding a good job since he had applied to everything he was qualified for, and overqualified for, with little results. There were several scam interviews that wasted our precious gas by flat out lying about the job title, job description and pay structure. The scam interviews did nothing to boost hope. Eventually, he was able to find a job, and not just any job, but a good one.

 

It Really, Truly, Does get Better

The pay is less than his old salary. We both work, but he is the main breadwinner. But what we’ve lost in income we’ve gained in time, quality of life and regularity in schedule. He likes his job – in a completely new field.

He comes home while there’s still daylight. We can have dinner together every night. We now have weekends that actually take place on Saturday and Sunday. He’s not on his feet all day, so we can actually take walks when he comes home since he isn’t in physical pain.

Looking back, I’m thankful for the layoff. Our lives were incredibly difficult for several months because of it. I won’t go as far as to say that I’d willingly do it all again, because I wouldn’t. I cannot possibly express in one post the mental, emotional and financial toll experiencing a layoff takes on you. But somehow, I’m thankful that it happened. Our lives are better after the struggle.

Comments

    • 2

      Jazmin Rode says

      Thank you, Kalyn! It is always so nerve-wracking when there’s a possibility of loss of income. We still don’t feel 100% secure (I’m not sure any job is 100% secure), but there’s far more job security in his new job than in his last field.

      • 3

        Rebecca says

        Thank you for sharing your story! I, too, went thru a lay-off two years ago and even to this day I have not been able to secure a job, but I am going to school (at 49 years old, lol) to make the best of it. It was a blessing in disguise for me as well as I was able to spend more time with my kids, my oldest joined the Air Forces right after high school and during that time I was layed off I was able to spend a good year with him as a stay at home mom before he left. and now I am able to spend more time with my second as she gets thru high school so I use the time wisely. Your blog has helped me thru these times as I have learned to become more frugal and being able to live on less. With this knowledge, in the future when I get a job, I will not rely on that income to get me “better things” but will continue to live more frugally. So thank you again for sharing all of the advice on how to live on less.

        • 4

          Jazmin Rode says

          Thank you so much for your kind words, Rebecca! It truly warms my hear to know that some of my frugal ideas have helped you. I’m so glad that you were able to spend more time with your children and go back to school!

  1. 5

    says

    Jazmin, thank you for sharing your story. I actually got a little emotional just reading it. Where I live in So. Utah for the last 4 or 5 years we have had so many people lose their jobs. Then their homes. It is something I never thought I would see in my lifetime. There were sooooo many losing jobs. I found it hard to even know what to say to them. Luckily now the economy is doing a litlle better here and people have more jobs available. I want to thank you for teaching the world to be more frugal and live within their means. Your situation as hard as it was could have been so much harder if you had not already known the benefits of being frugal…..I love your blog by the way. Linda

    • 6

      Jazmin Rode says

      It is happening to so many people and it’s always heart breaking. I agree that we were at an advantage because we were already living a frugal lifestyle. Thank you for always being so supportive! <3

  2. 7

    Robin (Masshole Mommy) says

    I have been laid off before and it’s such a shock when it happens. I was actually warned that it was coming, but I still cried when I got the call.

    • 8

      Jazmin Rode says

      :( It is definitely a shock – even if you have an idea that it’s coming. It doesn’t quite sink in until it actually happens.

  3. 9

    says

    I am sorry you had to go through that! That must have been a scary time for you. I am glad to hear your husband has a new job.

  4. 11

    says

    Been there. Not with a layoff so much but basically living like we were going through one. It’s hard but we’re also happier for the change it forced.

    • 12

      Jazmin Rode says

      It’s surprising how having less can make you appreciate more of what you have. I’m glad you’re happy as well, Rebekah!

  5. 13

    says

    My brother was laid off for nearly two and a half years. It is so heart wrenching to see what a layoff can do to your finances and your esteem. Glad you found light at the end of the tunnel and that the rear view mirror isn’t too painful to look at.

    • 14

      Jazmin Rode says

      I don’t know if I could’ve endured that long myself. I hope your brother was also able to experience a happy ending to his story as well, Virginia!

  6. 15

    Helene Cohen Bludman says

    I’m really glad that your story had a happy ending, and kudos to you for sharing it. I think there are probably many people out there who can relate to what you experienced.

    • 16

      Jazmin Rode says

      Thanks, Helene! That’s what prompted me to finally write this post – to hopefully give some encouragement to those in this situation or at least to let them know they’re not alone.

  7. 17

    says

    Thank you for sharing your story. When I could no longer work outside the home due to Lupus it was life altering. I did the same thing to the world sunshine sally in the bathroom I struggled and cried for hours. Life is full of adjustments and not always pleasant ones. Glad you made it through your hard time :) With pride.

    • 18

      Jazmin Rode says

      It’s so tough when you feel you have to put on a happy face and be the glue that holds it all together. Thank you for your kind words, Laura!

  8. 19

    says

    I’m so sorry you had to go through such a painful experience and am glad the story has a happy ending. Thanks so much for sharing your experience — I bet a lot of people can relate.

  9. 21

    says

    I understand what you went through and thank you for sharing. I was out of work for over a year when my husband and I first got married and he was working a low paying job at the time. I eventually got a nice part-time job and 6 months after I got my job, he got laid off from his. He was out of work for about 3 months and ended up getting a much better job that he loves, same as your husband (although we don’t have true weekends together). I worked my job for just over 2 years. We are trying to adopt and had planned for me to quit working by the start of this summer, but my job had other plans for me and laid me off this past Halloween. We decided it wasn’t worth me finding another part time job for such a short time. It’s been tight, I won’t lie. But being frugal all my life sure has helped…and knowing that hopefully by the end of the year we’ll have a little one to bring home makes it all worth it.

    • 22

      Jazmin Rode says

      I agree – even if it’s tight sometimes, some sacrifices are worth it! Good luck with your adoption. Can’t wait until you get to bring the little one home :)

  10. 23

    Maria Oller says

    We had a our moments, we got married so young and our first lay off we ended moving back with my parents with 2 kids under 5 and us under 20, yet as you said it does get better and we already know even when it is at its hardest we need to keep fighting.

    • 24

      Jazmin Rode says

      I completely agree. Never stop fighting! Being without work gives you a completely new appreciation of having the opportunity to work.

    • 28

      Jazmin Rode says

      Yes we did a lot of using what we had and spending the time to make things homemade rather than buying.

  11. 29

    Suzanne C says

    Oh my goodness, Jazmin, not a frugal failure- I’ll bet anything you became a frugal superstar!! Thank you for sharing your story. So many are going through this. My mom works for the state we live in and two years ago, our ‘beloved’ governor saw fit to make huge job cuts in almost every state department he could think of. Just in our town of 2500 people, 300 lost their jobs in one day, with less than a week’s warning & no other job sources for 100 miles. Sharing your story & it’s outcome will surely provide hope for people going through this experience. It just makes you feel better to know that someone else cries in the bathroom, too.

    • 30

      Jazmin Rode says

      Thank you so much for your kind words, Suzanne! What happened in your town is awful. It’s hard when it happens in any area, but in such a small town I’m sure the effects must’ve been twice as hard for the town.

    • 32

      Jazmin Rode says

      I am too. It certainly didn’t feel positive while we were in it, but I feel like the struggle was worth it because we are able to spend so much more time together now.

  12. 33

    christy karch says

    I totally understand as my husband is seasonal as a laborer and I work with the High School District and school is not year around. It just teaches us to do with what we have and no extras till its settled.

  13. 35

    says

    it is a very difficult situation when someone is laid off. my brother has been twice- and he’s in a hyper specialized field (or was) so finding a new position was really, really hard. BUT ultimately? he spent some quality time helping in the kids’ schools and got to date his wife again and they are better for it. my husband was furloughed for 3 1/2 weeks last fall- best bad thing ever for us. he got so much off the proverbial to do list that he was able to fully RELAX for a full week and enjoy just being- and it’s done wonders for our family and marriage!

    • 36

      Jazmin Rode says

      One upside to this situation that many people overlook is the advantage of time. Before this, my husband and I barely spent any time together because he worked 50+ hours per week. It was so refreshing for us to be able to spend more quality time together.

  14. 39

    says

    So glad to hear that you are doing better than before. So often companies do that to people – I can not understand why. Seems so cruel to me..they know people make major changes for a new job and then they pull the rug from underneath them. Poor planning on the companies part I guess – sad thing is the employee and their family suffers.

    • 40

      Jazmin Rode says

      Yes, the burden of suffering completely falls on the employees and the families in situations like this. I understand that sometimes businesses simply cannot afford to keep employees on payroll, I just wish there were a better and more thoughtful way to go about it.

  15. 41

    says

    I can so relate. My hubby works pipeline and even in the worst economic times there is always work… or so we thought. We made it through the patch of no work and are the better for it. I am at times happy his work now keeps him at home area compared to far away…

  16. 43

    says

    Thank you for sharing your story, I know it must have been difficult for you to push publish. I’m also facing unemployment in a few months by choice though. Although I know it’s the best thing for me and my family, I’m also worried about the lack of income and how we’ll survive until I get a new job. Guess I just have to have faith in God that everything will work out.

    • 44

      Jazmin Rode says

      It was very hard for me to hit “publish.” I had written this post several times before and pressed the delete button more times than I care to admit. I know the uncertainty can be very worrying, but I’m confident that you and your family will find a way to make it work!

  17. 45

    says

    Thank you for your honesty in this post. Putting on that positive attitude on the outside while you are falling apart on the inside is so hard. I am glad that your husband has found a job that he likes and one that gives you all a better quality of life. Growing pains are hard, but in the end they are worth it.

  18. 47

    says

    I’m sorry that you had to go through that, but I’m really glad that it ultimately led you down a path that has put you in a good place!

  19. 49

    says

    It is so good to read such an upbeat post on such a crummy topic. I used to hate my job to the point of being angry and bitter and stomping into work everyday. Then the economy tanked and hardworking people started losing their homes and jobs left and right. I have family members that desperately want to work but still haven’t found anything. What an eye opener. Now I count my blessings! It really can – and does – happen to anyone. Thanks for sharing your story – and being so encouraging in the process.

    • 50

      Jazmin Rode says

      It is so heart breaking to witness those you love going through unemployment. It definitely brings a new appreciation to having the opportunity to work. My husband used to complain about his old job before, but after going through this, we just feel so happy to have the chance to work that we won’t ever look at employment the same way again.

  20. 51

    Kathleen Cline says

    I loved this story . Thank you so much for sharing it. I am going thru the same thing now . After 12 years at the same some the company decided to close and a few months before I lost my mother subbenly. Its been a very hard couple of months for me but now I know there is hope . Thank you again

    • 52

      Jazmin Rode says

      Oh Kathleen, I am so sorry to hear about you experiencing BOTH of these unfortunate situations at the same time.

  21. 53

    says

    Thank you for sharing your story, sadly it is a common one and you are not alone.

    My husband was made redundant at the end of January. He was the longest serving employee with 23 years in the same employer. Redundancy pay in UK is now capped at a low level but something is better than nothing. We decided to see how long it will last just using it to pay the bills and cutting down on everything else we could do. It has been hard. I thought that he would be the one who got depressed but after the first week he is enjoying his ‘freedom’ and I am the one who has sunk deeper into depression about the future. There are no jobs on the horizon and our money fast running out…then what? Have no idea

    • 54

      Jazmin Rode says

      I am so sorry you are currently going through this, Joy. I know just how scary the uncertainty can be. We live in a tourist area with a high unemployment rate, which means a good portion of the jobs disappear seasonally. We felt as if the only solution to our problem was to move out of state. Looking back, I’m glad we didn’t make the move because he was able to find a good job right here locally. I hope your husband is able to find a good job quickly so you can be free of the stress that comes with redundancy. <3

  22. 55

    says

    Girl, I SO feel you! My hubby was laid off May 2013, and we still do not have a 9-5 job (our choice, though a hard one), and we have 4 kids! Our only saving grace was that just a few months prior to his layoff we bought a house that was way below our means (though still a great little place), so our mortgage isn’t killing us. But every month I am so thankful when the last little bit comes in and we are able to make that payment! We survive on freelance jobs mainly, though I’m finally starting to make some decent money with my blog, too. I actually wrote a post about how we save money (http://jornie.com/extreme-saving/) also, haha… Loving your blog, though, and thrilled I found it! It is so true that sometimes a life change like that can actually make you happier, though it’s so hard to see that at the beginning.

    • 56

      Jazmin Rode says

      I am so happy your situation turned out to be positive as well, Stephanie! Getting a house with such an affordable mortgage was such a smart decision since it allowed you the freedom to choose. Off to checkout your blog. :) I’m ALWAYS in the mood for more money-saving ideas!

  23. 57

    Michelle says

    Thank you for this post. We are about to go through this same thing this week. It will be hard but we know that everything will be alright. There is something better for us out there. I feel sorry for how much stress my husband has since I know I am pretty stressed. We also have children to care for.

    • 58

      Jazmin Rode says

      I so understand how you feel right now, Michelle. The beginning of the layoff journey is always the most stressful.

  24. 59

    says

    Thank you so much for posting this. We were both laid off with in a month from each other and it has been extremely difficult. Hearing other peoples stories can be so healing!

  25. 60

    Leslie Sullivan says

    Over the past four years my husband has lost his job twice. Before his latest layoff we had the discussion of selling our home due to it never really feeling like home to me and the area of D/FW in which we lived was growing more busy and crowded each month. We held on for seven months but each month found us digging into our savings just to make ends meet. Finally he got on board with me. We called our realtor and put the house on the market. Within two days it was under contract. We decided to have an estate sale and sold pretty much everything. Today we are living in a 600+ sq. ft. apartment which is closer into the Metroplex and loving it. We have simplified our lives and are loving our time together. Stress free! He recently received a new job and we are looking forward to getting our final debts (autos) paid and living debt free. We are so blessed to have gone through this hard time and the journey to the other side.

    Thanks for your blog and the openness of your stories. You are a blessing to so many who read your posts.

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