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.
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.