Becoming Debt Free in 2009

January 16, 2009

Job Crisis Hits Home

Filed under: Budget,Journey to Debt Freedom — ambercouric @ 10:15 am
Tags: ,

My husband called this morning while I was out taking Kennedy to school.    I returned the call thinking he wanted to remind me to call the vet.  Unfortunately, it was a bit of  bad news.

One thing that has always given me some security is that my husband works for the state.  Even when times have been hard in other areas of the work force his job has been stable. 

Well, it looks like no one is really secure at this point.  Several weeks back all employees were required to take one week unpaid vacation.  Not a problem and this was supposed to save jobs.  It wasn’t enough.  Now all employees have been told they have to take a pay cut on top of the unpaid leave.

Fortunately, I can tutor to make some extra money but I wonder how long these parents will be able to pay for my services.  We also have a nice emergency fund so we can pay the bills.  So, I’m not completely stressing out yet but at some point if you “don’t stop the bleeding you bleed to death”.

I’m thinking of trying to cut the total pay cut from our budget.  Not sure what to cut but I’m thinking getting the kids involved to think  of  ideas will be a start.  I’ll let you know what we come up with.

How long will this crisis go on?  How long can we continue to take pay cuts while prices everywhere continue to go up?  Has the economy affected your job?



  1. wow, sorry to hear that. Glad you have an emergency fund. This crisis is truly hitting everyone.
    Groceries is always one way to cut your expenses. Maybe you could start buying the sunday paper. I know you cut your cable already, what does your clothing budget look like?

    Comment by debtor — January 16, 2009 @ 10:27 am

  2. Oh, I’m so sorry to hear this. I hope this is only temporary. It’s a blessing that you have savings. It certainly could be worse. Variable expenses such as the food budget, etc. will be the first things you can try. I blogged about cutting 20% out of the budget, I’m still working on doing that with ours. We don’t have a large emergency account, so we would not be doing well if the same happened.

    Comment by Sharon — January 16, 2009 @ 10:50 am

  3. I’m so sorry about that. I’m glad you have the EF. My husband was laid off on 12/1 and is currently working part time job and part time unemployment, so I feel your pain.

    Comment by cheryl — January 16, 2009 @ 11:28 am

  4. Hi there-Well done on having the emergency fund in place and hope you can resolve to edit your budget accordingly.

    Comment by sharon rose — January 16, 2009 @ 12:16 pm

  5. Ouch! Sorry to hear about your husband’s pay cut. Luckily you are a planner and you have an emergency fund in place.

    Hopefully it will be temporary.

    With the SAT results you produce, I am confident that parents will try really hard to continue to afford your tutoring services.

    Comment by Money Minder — January 16, 2009 @ 1:27 pm

  6. I’m sorry, my dad is a professor so he works for the state of Virginia. He’s gotten pay freezes, pay cuts, all sorts of benefit reductions over the years as the various crises hit. No one is safe or immune. I hope you find room in your budget and that the situation improves soon.

    Comment by Miss M — January 16, 2009 @ 1:35 pm

  7. I am so sorry to hear about the pay cut. Think this way, it could have been much worse. You are better off than most people in this situation.

    1. You have an emergency fund,
    2. he is still employed,
    3. you are possibly able to increase your income.

    Not everyone has those options. It is much easier to weather the storm when you have prepared than to go out into the elements with no protection. Think of your emergency fund as protection, and work toward strengthening that.

    Comment by Converting A Spendthrift — January 16, 2009 @ 2:58 pm

  8. That’s a bummer. Sorry to hear that.

    Comment by Movingonup! — January 16, 2009 @ 3:46 pm

  9. Sorry to hear that. It must be somewhat comforting to have started to get your financial house in good order this past year.

    My company is reducing staff through attrition, talking about cutting back hours (voluntary basis), is taking suggestions from all employees on how to cut costs, and probably more to come.

    Comment by Over the Cubicle Wall — January 16, 2009 @ 7:39 pm

  10. So sorry you had to get that news. Hard to get that sort of news when you’re working so hard. Keep the faith!

    Comment by SimplyForties — January 16, 2009 @ 9:47 pm

  11. I’m truly sorry to hear that. Times are so so hard, this has been one trying week; I have friends in the financial institution that are being affected one way or another. It’s great that you are getting the kids involved and all the best to you and your family.

    Comment by Budget Mama — January 17, 2009 @ 12:20 am

  12. I am so sorry to hear about that — it is a tough thing to have to deal with — Dh informed me that it is a huge posibility for him to be looking at a pay cut by the end of the year — so atleast I have a warning. That really sucks that you didn’t have a warning of what was coming — this is why we are all trying so hard to pay down the bills… I know that in my case – DH paycut possibility & also the down weeks that he is laid off – this is why instead of going for the “highest interest” payoff – we are going for the “most relief” from the budget. I think it is important to include the kids since they are old enough to understand & help with ideas – but sparing them the details. They really don’t need the stress of Mom & Dad’s budget on their shoulders too. Maybe just tell them that you are really trying to spend less, save more (mom & dad are getting older type of thing & we need to save some money) They see what the economy is like… they will totally get it (without the details of “dad is taking a pay cut & it will leave our budget X amount under current”) Good luck & I am sure that you are going to be fine. Reading your blogs, you have been super creative where you needed to be. You have gotten a ton of debt paid off to date & there isn’t a huge amount left… good thing you started then & not now!!!

    Comment by jpkittie — January 17, 2009 @ 8:37 am

  13. It sounds like you’re doing everything right to weather the storm. You have an EF, you’re looking at what else you can cut, and you can do something extra (tutoring) bring in a few more bucks. Many other people would just pull out the credit card!

    I moved 600 miles in August so I’d have a job–and now I’m being careful to the best I can at work so that I keep my contract for next year. With this economy, anything is possible. I’d take a pay cut over losing my job any day. Luckily, it doesn’t seem like either will be the case.

    I’m pretty new to the debt free blogging world, so please visit my site to find out more about me! I’m looking for more people to read up on regularly so I stay motivated. =)

    Comment by Ninja — January 17, 2009 @ 1:58 pm

  14. I’m so glad to hear that you guys had an emergency fund in place to take care of you during the transition, although, I’m sorry you have to experience this in the first place. I’m fairly new to your blog, but one thing I’ve discerned pretty quickly is that you are an effective planner and conscientious of your money. You’ll find a way to trim the fat, not to worry.

    I’ve been really fortunate and not experienced too much turbulence in the economy. I work for a credit union and freelance write. The credit union I work for is local and we are actually quite strong – we made money all last year, which is pretty amazing. I did lose a client on my freelance writing, though. Fortunately, it was a client whose income I wasn’t depending in. It means less in savings every month, but it will be alright.

    I wish you guys the best of luck! I really hope the economy gets better soon!

    Comment by Kristy — January 18, 2009 @ 4:50 am

  15. Ouch!
    We went through a 3 year period after 9-11, I guess they called it the bubble bust? Anyhow Hubby lost several jobs in a row during that time. Our income was down by 70% over that time. I can’t say we managed very well, but we did survive and are better for it. I am hoping we wont’ have to do that again. So far in our area which is a major banking hub, I don’t know anyone personally who is out of work–but quite alot of folks are worried and it doesn’t look good. Here in Charlotte we’re home to Wachovia and Bank of America–and you know news is bad. My landlord says he’s seen quite a few jobs at Bofa go, he’s pretty worried about his.

    Comment by pokeberry mary — January 18, 2009 @ 7:48 am

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