A little bit ago I was laid off from the job I started last spring. It was very sudden and shocking to me but the job was not going that great and if I had not had the most dreadfully awful week I probably would not have been so upset initially but that is how it worked out. Now that I have had some time to think and have gained some perspective I am eternally grateful that I was laid off. I am now able to find a new (better) job without the pressure of of working at the same time and this is largely due to the support, advice and great financial advice I have received over the past 18 or so months from the personal finance community.
You see, if I had not found the Financial Freedom movement and Mr. Money Mustache and then taken a deep dive into the personal finance community two summers ago we would have handled my new found influx of cash much more differently. We would have found all sorts of things to spend our money on and I would be in much more of a panic about suddenly having a major source of income cut off two months before Christmas. But since I have been focusing on saving and we have been living more frugally I know for a fact that we will be ok for a few months even though we are still having to pay for day care during that time. Day care spots are difficult to come by and I need to be available for job interviews so we made the decision to continue to pay for care to keep our spot.
Since I was laid off we have cut back on our grocery spending, reduced our savings contribution, and cut way back on any sort of extra curricular spending. Christmas will be smaller this year, although not by much for the little kids since I bought most of their presents in August and September and we have put our travel plans on hold until I find another job but honestly I am eternally grateful that we did not rely on my income to make ends meet. I was putting a large percent of my income towards debt/savings and although it is really frustrating to not be able to put more in the bank I am so happy that we were smart about how we spent the money in the first place.
I have been taking my new found free-time to connect with friends, focus on my fitness, spend quality time with my family, and catching up on household projects. I have started swimming laps again and I absolutely love it! I have also applied for a few jobs with companies that seem like a good fit and I hope to start interviewing in the next couple of weeks. Now that the dust has settled and I have been inspired to write again I will be posting more on the blog and I am super excited about it! I hope you are working on reducing your expenses and building your emergency fund as well!
How would you handle an unexpected lay off?
6 thoughts on “The Dreaded Lay-off…”
THIS is exactly why the pursuit of financial independence is everyone. More saving and more mindfulness about spending is never a bad thing, and you never know when you’ll need that extra buffer.
Yes exactly! Even if you plan on working until a more traditional retirement age it is always helpful to have a back up plan. Medical costs and job losses hit so many people by surprise! I am really glad we didn’t let lifestyle creep catch up to us too much to be unmanageable.
I’m in a similiar situation! Gave an ultimatum at a job I wasn’t happy at and they fired me. I wasn’t worried because I had a long time per diem job with plenty of hours.. until they cut hours shortly after it became my only job!
I’m the only earner. I’m on unemployment right now, but it only pays about one day a week of my average pay. Luckily, we’re pretty frugal and have or house paid off, so unemployment is keeping my accounts in a holding pattern so far.
We’re taking advantage of the time while I wait for basically any job to become available locally to go to Hawaii for 3 weeks! I’d never take 3 weeks if I was working (at least not at my jobs where most I’ve ever had was 3 weeks vacation).
I’m trying to balance my stress of spending money she. I don’t have any coming in with a healthy reminder to myself that we’re very financially fit and can still afford to spend on an experience, especially since it’s been 4 years since we took a real vacation.
Striving for financial independence has afforded me the ability to do this and (try) to keep my stress level about lack of work low. I too am trying to take some time to smell the roses. It could be a long while until I get this much of a break again (though I’m hoping I become FI sooner than later and can take it easy all because I want to!).
Enjoy your break— and that commute! Yuck! I’m 3 months into my search and I was not yet willing to look greater than 45 minutes away. The next towns would be 90 minutes and I can’t see doing that everyday!
It sounds like you are doing great at managing to stay within a much smaller income! We are working on getting our house paid off too but we have a super low interest rate so our focus right now is on building up our emergency fund and our investments so we have more wiggle room for times like this when one of us is not working. My commute will be long no matter where I work because of the location we live in, we were actually looking to move closer in but that has been put on hold as well while I find a job.
I am glad you took some time to relax and go to Hawaii! Taking this time to relax and get away from the grind is important too. Good luck with your job search!
Such an important message and one of the most important parts of the financial independence community imo! Not being super stressed out over a job loss is a blessing in and of itself! Glad to hear that you are doing well even after the fact. I wouldn’t miss such a long commute either! 🙂
Thank you! The thing I like most about the financial independence community is how everyone has a different goal in mind and I love reading about how everyone is working towards it! My goal is to find something by the end of the year so we shall see how it goes!