How has the recession personally affected you? - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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#61 of 108 Old 02-27-2009, 12:59 AM
 
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We lost our family business earlier in the recession. Then we lost our retirement. My income has dropped in half since October. DH returned to working for the private sector and has both had his hourly rate cut 20% AND been cut from 40 to 32 hours until further notice. I now have $136 for groceries every 4 weeks to feed four people.

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#62 of 108 Old 02-27-2009, 01:02 AM
 
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I work for an agency funded by sales tax. So, we are looking at cuts in services and staff. I don't know if I will have a job in 4 months. And if I do, it will involve a lot more work at the same pay. (Guess that's better than less pay! )

DH's freelance work has become very scarce, making it quite hard to pay our regular bills without going to savings.

I am trying to work really hard and be 'valuable' as an employee. However, next week or the one after I am going to need to drop the bomb about my pregnancy. I'm a tad nervous about that one!

We are planning on gardening a lot. I'm trying hard to eat what we have on hand, waste little, reduce utilities.

It's frustrating. I feel like there aren't big changes we can make, or at least ones we don't want to make. Pretty much pulling DD out of preschool or getting rid of life insurance feel like our options. I did try the Costco cat food for our cats, and they like it. It's less than 1/2 the cost of the Science Diet they were getting - that will save $15-20 a month. I need to get serious about selling or bartering some craft supplies and clothes I don't need.

I realize we are doing better than many, but it feels like we are on a tightrope.

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#63 of 108 Old 02-27-2009, 09:42 AM
 
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My DH works for Bank of America... job security is a bit of an issue at the moment.
I work for the former Wachovia. Ditto. And no bonus this year for the drones at least, though I have no doubt that those in higher positions will be getting their multi-million bonus as usual.

DH's contracting income has reduced to less than half of previous years, and there seems to be very little work coming up.

Hey, I survived the 80s in Ireland, I know how to deal with hard times. It's a bit harder for my DH, he's never really known what it's like to not be able to afford whatever he wants.
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#64 of 108 Old 02-27-2009, 09:54 AM
 
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Hey, I survived the 80s in Ireland, I know how to deal with hard times. It's a bit harder for my DH, he's never really known what it's like to not be able to afford whatever he wants.
I lived in Russia during the 90's and I can relate with the above.

My sisters are completely the opposite and like the above poster's dh. My oldest sister lost her house last year (not due to a job loss... it was her 3rd stupid bankruptcy in 20 years). She's in her 50's and is still clueless about not just buying what you want.

My other sister & dh are losing their house now. She has to move out this spring. She has it on the market, but it's not moving. She says that she kicks herself now for her decisions... but they haven't made any changes. They still eat out every night. I wonder if when she actually has to move out of her home, it will finally dawn on her that she needs to make a change. (There's a good chance she'll have to stay with us for a bit so hopefully when she sees frugality is in action she'll get a clue.)
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#65 of 108 Old 02-27-2009, 10:49 AM
 
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The recession has affected us and has affected my whole family. Prior to this, I was young and I never imagined living through something like this. I live with a general sense of worry and anxiety but I have also gained a deeper appreciation of what's important in life. So instead of dreaming of a bigger house and exotic vacations, I dream of having a lush garden and time with my family.

Dh and I are both students now and will graduate in a year (dh) and two years (me). We decided to go back to school because we were working fairly dead-end jobs in retail and food service and although I'm excited about our future careers (architecture and education), I'm also very worried about our job prospects--particularly dh's. There's not exactly a construction boom going on so architects won't likely be in big demand, yet when he graduates, that's when his student loans become due.

Speaking of construction, my dad, brother and bil are all carpenters and this downturn has been disastrous for them. It makes me sick to worry about my dear parents like this, who have worked SO HARD all their lives and made so many sacrifices and who finally started to get ahead in their lives only to be struggling so much so close to retirement. It makes me sad and angry, it just doesn't seem fair. I have to cling to the positive and believe that we are still lucky because we have each other.

Dh and I own our home but perhaps not for much longer. Housing prices here in our region (and, in particular, our neighborhood/city) are down less than 50% so selling is out of the question for us. We may have to foreclose if we can't continue to pay; it's sure looking that way.

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#66 of 108 Old 02-27-2009, 10:50 AM
 
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Well, my husband lost his job last year. Fortunately, he began a new job a couple of months later - a rather unlikely feat considering he's an automotive engineer. Unfortunately, the new job pays 25% less and pay increases are unlikely. He has also been put into the unenviable position of being pimped out by his new employer to his old employer - so he sits at his old desk and every day is confronted with the manager who decided to cut him (plenty of people were laid off at the same time, but DH was an on-the-fence decision and probably would have kept the job had his former manager not been laid off the previous year).

Now we always have an undercurrent of money-worry and my husband is very, very crabby. It's much better than his continued unemployment, of course, but it's stressful nonetheless.

Meanwhile, I began substitute teaching. The salary is pretty dismal but at first, when he was laid off, it was at least *something*. Now my pay barely covers childcare but I feel like I have to keep working because I'll need to get a "real" teaching job sooner rather than some amorphous later. After six+ years of being a SAHM, it's a necessary step in order to build contacts, get to know people, etc. I actually enjoy it and had been toying with the idea of subbing this year anyway, but probably wouldn't have done it because the childcare thing seemed insurmountable.

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#67 of 108 Old 02-27-2009, 11:46 AM
 
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We've lost a lot of money from our retirement funds, and quite a bit from our other investments. Day to day hasn't been affected, but we're now faced with the prospect of attempting to rebuild our retirement funds.

We may also be supporting MIL when she finally has to retire now, because she has lost so much money in this recession from her retirement account. If it comes to that, we're happy to have her but I know it will be a huge blow to her pride.
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#68 of 108 Old 02-27-2009, 12:36 PM
 
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Prior to this, I was young and I never imagined living through something like this. I live with a general sense of worry and anxiety but I have also gained a deeper appreciation of what's important in life. So instead of dreaming of a bigger house and exotic vacations, I dream of having a lush garden and time with my family.

This.

Our 401K took about a 40% hit...it is so bad that when we get our statements we just file them away without looking. It's depressing. We have a lot of years until we retire, but it's definitely make us realize that our dream of retiring early and traveling might need to be adjusted.

I feel like I am scrambling to learn to do all the skills I should have known how to do all along, like garden, cook from scratch, mend things, etc, just in case I need them.
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#69 of 108 Old 02-27-2009, 12:39 PM
 
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I was laid off last year - August through the end of October. Had 2 interviews out of 150 resumes sent out and employers contacted. I also had 4 staffing agencies helping me out at the same time.

Finally found a great company to work for. Took a pay cut - sort of like starting over. But I felt that was what I needed to do at the time. Things are going well - have been here for 4 months and found out yesterday that I will be getting a raise in 2 months.
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#70 of 108 Old 02-27-2009, 12:45 PM
 
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Thus far, the recession has not reduced workload for either dh's or my job, although I won't be surprised if he starts getting shorter workweeks soon- the small business he works at normally gets "big jobs" (involving lots of OT pay) every few months of installing new boilers in factories. I expect the factories to be holding on to their money as much as possible, rather than upgrading equipment. Although he tells me that some factories are wanting to upgrade to higher efficiency boilers anyway, since it saves them $$ in the long run in fuel costs.

I work PRN (as needed, filling in schedule gaps) as a nurse, and the recession has actually increased the hours they are asking me to work. This is because the head honchos at the hospital recently banned agency nurses and overtime work, leaving a ton of holes in the schedule. So they are leaning on PRN people to work more than ever. If I weren't currently 8 months pregnant, I would be grabbing up all the hours I could get.

Currently, I am just really, really thankful to have a fairly recession-proof job. My whining about wishing we could afford for me to SAHM fulltime has cut waaaay back of late.

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Freedom is slavery.
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#71 of 108 Old 02-27-2009, 12:54 PM
 
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The thing that has affected us the most was our old house taking a LONG time to sell. Dh got a new job and we had to move. We had a contract on our old house at the time we bought our new house, but it fell through. Then, the housing market totally tanked. When all was said and done, we went from hoping and planning on making about $40K from the sale, to having to pay $20K at closing. That was after paying both mortgages for 10 months or so.

Other than that, and some resulting debt, dh's 401K was hit pretty hard. We have a long time until retirement though.

Dh's firm has assured him that they aren't planning any lay-offs and he did even get a small raise and a decent bonus, so I feel very very lucky for that.

I would be lying if I said I didn't worry though. I have no idea how long this will last or how things will go. I feel very very fortunate that we have family we could lean on if we really had to.

This is a very scary time for so many, and I really really feel for all the families who are struggling so much right now.

Chrissy, lucky mama to Noah (9), Lilah (6), Rowan (3) and Laney (1).
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#72 of 108 Old 02-27-2009, 01:06 PM
 
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Dh's work is in contruction so his hours have been cut. I have taken a part time job to try to make up for it. If things dont pick up or if god forbid his hours go from short to laid off, that part time job may need to become full time then the kids may need to go to public school. That is if I can even find a full time job. That has been for me what is the worst, not knowing what will happen. Also, we now owe more on our house then it's worth but we are not planning to move so that isn't a huge concern right now
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#73 of 108 Old 02-27-2009, 02:43 PM
 
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No raises or bonuses for me. DH has been looking for work since November and so far hasn't gotten a nibble. We can pay our bills on my income, but we need his to pay our student loans or build up any sort of substantial emergency fund, so until he's working we're one month from living in my mother's basement.

Ironicly, housing in our area has fallen to the point where we could buy and cut our housing expenses in half -- if I wasn't both sure that it had some space yet to fall, and worrying about my job.

Spending all of my money and time on this wild, wild life.
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#74 of 108 Old 02-27-2009, 02:58 PM
 
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It hasn't affected us (negatively) but I have seen it affect quite a few family and friends around us.

We've always lived frugally but it has given us both more of a heads-up, proactive stance. Just in case.

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#75 of 108 Old 02-27-2009, 03:49 PM
 
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I'm in international shipping - ocean containers - on the import side, so we're definitely affected with the drop in imports. We had a round of layoffs in early December, which I survived, because I'm very good at what I do - I was kept over people who had more seniority.

That being said, it's been VERY slow the past two months. January & February are traditionally slow months, what with the Lunar New Year in Asia, and all, but we were down 50% when comparing January 2009 with January 2008. Can't imagine what February numbers are going to be like. I'm always asking my boss for something to do (he realizes it's very slow and says it's good I'm willing to help). I'm lucky if I have stuff to do for a half day, let alone a full day!

I'm single, and 40 in less than a month. I'm VERY glad I didn't succomb to the pressure from other people to buy a place. I rent a 1BR cond (with W/D, which I LOVE) 7.5 miles from work and 3 miles from church, where I'm very active.

I just found out at an emergency visit to the dentist this week, that I need two teeth pulled, two implants, another tooth root canaled and crowned - for about $4500 total - I get $1K in dental coverage a year, and the implants - $1800 EACH - are NOT covered at all. I had $1500 in savings. My plans for being debt-free (only $2200 remaining on car loan) by the summer have evaporated into thin air. I'm doing everything possible to cut expenses (already TV free, prepaid cell, low landline/DSL plan), keeping the heat at 60F, which decreased my gas bill from $60.85 to $25!:

I had wanted to sock away lots of cash due to unsureness about the economy and such, but now the tooth thing - the way it's done I'll have four months from the teeth being pulled/implant base put in and the crowns being put on. Needs to heal and I'll get a retainer-like thingy with two fake teeth attached so the two-tooth gap on the front side will be filled in. Will give me some time to save, but still....I make $40K a year and trying to come up with that much money + a little extra just in case...<sigh>

I'm not going to be anywhere aside from work and church for months! But in these times, spending time building up community is a very good thing. I know I can really count on my fellow church members if things get tough. We're already good about helping each other out.

A short term (3 month) relationship recently fizzled out. I had serious misgivings from the beginning (cultural issues), so this was OK, but I'm also happy that I don't have to spend extra money on keeping my haircut "perfect" or makeup, etc. I still look presentable, but I don't have to worry about being perfect! And I'm not having to worry about the guy, who didn't have a lot of money but was rather insistent on always paying, taking me out to expensive places!

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#76 of 108 Old 02-27-2009, 06:25 PM
 
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Off the top of my head:

- reduction in the value of our home (our largest investment)
- reduction in the value of our portfolio (retirement)
- drop in real income due to pay freeze by DH's employer
- increase in prices of goods (groceries, consumer goods, etc)
- anxiety over income and job stability
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#77 of 108 Old 02-27-2009, 07:19 PM
 
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In our personal finances , the recession has done little to affect us. The big "on the other hand" is that my parents are facing foreclosure and my mother is moving cross country to move in with us.

So, the recession is moving my disgruntled mom into my spare bedroom where we will sort out twenty years of disfunctional crap while paying for her health care.

Delightful. :

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#78 of 108 Old 02-27-2009, 07:28 PM
 
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For us it really hasn't hit us. Like the OP we were already poor, so it hasn't done much to us financially. DH works as an electrician and our area of the country has not seen the dramatic losses of values in our homes. People are still building multi-million dollar homes that Dh works on. We have only a teeny bit of debt other than our mortgage. We actually are doing better than we ever have. Which is weird to me seeing all these terrible scenarios that people are having. I thank God everyday that our life is blessed and we are doing well.

There are people in our family who are struggling. My DH's sister has been having problems coming up with their mortgage. Her DH's job is commission based and normally his commission pays the mortgage, but it hasn't this year. He was hired to work for the state then they froze the hiring, so he essentially lost his job. I know it's been tough for them. They also spend way too much money as far as I can tell. Whenever Dh's family members get money they blow it on vacations and just frivilous stuff. Going on vacation is great, but you don't really need to every couple months, and DH's family all does it. We live very differently than most of them.

Me Wife to T (14 years)Mama to Princess(4) and Monster Boy(my 1 year old ):
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#79 of 108 Old 02-28-2009, 11:52 PM
 
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#80 of 108 Old 03-01-2009, 01:54 AM
 
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I work in ministry. Many, many congregants are really struggling. Many have lost their jobs. Many who work for themselves or in small businesses have had almost no business now for six months or longer, some for a year or so. I feel personally impacted by the suffering of the people with whom I share a ministry. The good news is that people seem to really be coming back into the community right now. People are re-prioritizing, and wanting to spend time in the care of community.

What else? I received a salary cut this year. Ouch! Same work, lower pay. Every member of the staff received it, and our sob stories meant nothing because the money just wasn't there...the cuts didn't even bring us from red to black. We're still in the red. Long-term, job security is a huge, huge issue. I know I will work through January of next year. I hope I will continue to work, and without anymore loss in pay or hours...but after next January is anybody's guess.

My dw is looking for a job right now (transitioning from being a stay-at-home mom to working part time to help keep us afloat), but jobs are extremely scarce. It seems she is competing with hundreds of other applicants for every job. Most of the time, busineses just simply aren't hiring right now. It seriously feels like *nobody* is hiring.

Other than that, I accepted my job offer out here on the opposite coast from where I was just before the real estate market dropped, so I sold my house at an awful time. Our house sold for something like $50,000 under its assessed value. On the flip side, we bought in a "buyer's market" when we bought again. However, the housing prices were still more expensive out here...so our loss was not recouped in purchasing. Also, within months after buying our house, it probably lost another $10-15,000 in value because the market *continued* to make a major drop even though our county anyway was showing signs of being at "rock bottom." I couldn't believe values kept dropping.

We have never really been in the solid middle class. We have vascilated between "working class" (aka being poor) and "very low middle class" over the years. So its not that we are unaccostomed to hard times. But, there is less of a community security net when *everybody* is suffering, and also this was very poor timing for our family because the move, etc. was a big hit (which will feel so much worse if I lose my hours or job in the next couple of years...after moving so far to be here).

We can't for the life of us seem to grow plants without killing them shortly afterward, and there are no community gardens where we live (though there are CSAs, some of which require a purchase fee *in addition* to labor hours), but we are going to try starting one vegetable garden at the home of my parents-in-law, and another one with a friend at her home this summer. Perhaps with help we can pull it off.

We've also talked with my in-laws about moving in with them, if we lose our home.

We're feeling very insecure.

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#81 of 108 Old 03-01-2009, 02:49 AM
 
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We can't for the life of us seem to grow plants without killing them shortly afterward, and there are no community gardens where we live (though there are CSAs, some of which require a purchase fee *in addition* to labor hours), but we are going to try starting one vegetable garden at the home of my parents-in-law, and another one with a friend at her home this summer. Perhaps with help we can pull it off.

We've also talked with my in-laws about moving in with them, if we lose our home.

We're feeling very insecure.
I just want to give a big "you can do it!" on the gardening front. The "Digging in the Dirt" forums here are a great resource, and having just gone from black to greenish thumbed myself, I know how reassuring it can be to know that you've got food in the dirt.

Spending all of my money and time on this wild, wild life.
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#82 of 108 Old 03-01-2009, 03:11 AM
 
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On one end, I feel very fortunate. My DH and I live in Michigan and work for an engineering firm and the county/state gov't, respectively. We both have our jobs, and not only have not had pay cuts, we both had raises in the last year. We bought a home we could afford, and aren't in any danger of foreclousre.

That said, my DH's employer did their second round of lay-off's last week. My employer was dealt a 50% cut in the proposed 2010 budget. Our 401k's are so bad we don't even look anymore. Our home has lost much of it's original value. We are under water on our loan. We can't move as we had planned and have an ARM that will adjust in 3 more years. We are hoping we qualify to refi with the new plan. Our worry is what comes next. IF I loose my job... IF DH looses his... IF we can't refi before our mortgage adjusts...

Really, though, right now we are very fortunate that we still have our jobs and our home.

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#83 of 108 Old 03-01-2009, 03:35 AM
 
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I just found out at an emergency visit to the dentist this week, that I need two teeth pulled, two implants, another tooth root canaled and crowned - for about $4500 total - I get $1K in dental coverage a year, and the implants - $1800 EACH - are NOT covered at all. I had $1500 in savings.
Just a thought, but you might want to get a second opinion on the dental work. My dentist back home, who I trust a great deal, told me to be a little doubtful of dentists who suddenly find a lot of work that needs doing. He said that dentists do such a good job of preventative work nowadays, some feel the need to come up with "emergency" dental work to bring in $. I took his advice w/ dd's braces when the first orthdontist came on w/ horror scenarios and scary $$ amts. The second opinion was much more logical.
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#84 of 108 Old 03-02-2009, 02:50 PM
 
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I graduated from college in august with a certificate in Aesthetics. I worked for a while at a spa about 50 miles away from my home, but got tired of the drive and speding money on gas, so I left there in december. When I went job hunting here in my town (where there are about 5 day spas), all of them told me that bc of the recession their business had dropped so much that not only were they not hiring, but they were having to let many of their current employees go. Because of this the only other job I've been able to find is as a part time nanny and I'm barely making enough money to pay my bills and buy gas/groceries. If it wasn't for my mom helping me out (like yesterday she gave me her debit card and told me I could go get anything I needed up to $200), I wouldn't have made it this long.

I'm hoping to go back to school online for medical transcription, but in addition to paying for the school (which is only $800 total, so not that bad), I need a new computer bc my old one finally bit the dust. So, bc I'm already barely getting buy, I'm not able to save even a small amt. each month to put toward school, so I'm stuck just doing the nanny and babysitting thing and hoping that the economy will take a turn for the better soon!
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#85 of 108 Old 03-02-2009, 02:58 PM
 
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We are trying to sell our house and move closer to family. We can't move until the house sells. It would be nice to be there by now, but in reality it isn't a big deal that we are still here.

Some of our retirement accounts have taken a hit, but since we won't be touching those for 30 years there really isn't anything to worry about at this point. We are just focusing on the long-term aspect of the investment.

Thankfully we decided to move most of our non-retirement investments to cash about 2 years ago because we were planning to use the money for fertility treatments.

Mom to Kira March 2009
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#86 of 108 Old 03-02-2009, 05:16 PM
 
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I graduated from college in august with a certificate in Aesthetics. I worked for a while at a spa about 50 miles away from my home, but got tired of the drive and speding money on gas, so I left there in december. When I went job hunting here in my town (where there are about 5 day spas), all of them told me that bc of the recession their business had dropped so much that not only were they not hiring, but they were having to let many of their current employees go. Because of this the only other job I've been able to find is as a part time nanny and I'm barely making enough money to pay my bills and buy gas/groceries. If it wasn't for my mom helping me out (like yesterday she gave me her debit card and told me I could go get anything I needed up to $200), I wouldn't have made it this long.

I'm hoping to go back to school online for medical transcription, but in addition to paying for the school (which is only $800 total, so not that bad), I need a new computer bc my old one finally bit the dust. So, bc I'm already barely getting buy, I'm not able to save even a small amt. each month to put toward school, so I'm stuck just doing the nanny and babysitting thing and hoping that the economy will take a turn for the better soon!
You know, all of those former clients of the local day spas might be interested in someone coming to their home to do the treatments. They save money, but still are able to pamper themselves, yk? Maybe you could fill that niche and earn the money for school.
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#87 of 108 Old 03-02-2009, 05:23 PM
 
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Because of the recession dh re-enlisted in the military instead of getting out. And we're seriously considering making it a career for him... having him put in the full 20 years for the job security. We're really afraid to get out because I dropped out of college to stay at home with the kids and in this economy very few jobs are recession proof. That's the biggest way the recession has effected us.

SAHM to Ninja Boy (6) surf.gif and Monkey Man (4) carrot.gif.

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#88 of 108 Old 03-02-2009, 05:51 PM
 
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My husband and I were both laid off from our jobs. My husband is working again, luckily. I agree with the PP who said that even with a college degree and a good resume, it is difficult to find work. I am struggling to find a job in this economy.

That being said, I count my blessings. My husband and I try our best to live below our means. We are natural homebodies, and while we like to get out on occasion, we don't feel deprived that we are unable to eat dinner out as often. We read aloud together, play cards, cook lots of good food and hold onto our faith.

... I wouldn't say either of us have given up our dreams, though. That would be a sad day. We've just become more creative about how to pursue them.
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#89 of 108 Old 03-02-2009, 06:39 PM
 
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We're losing our home in foreclosure and moving in with my MIL. Dh was laid off from the end of September to today. Today is his first day of work in over 5months. :

We were late on our credit cards and so they lowered the credit limit to our balance and jacked the interest rate through the roof. Then when we were late again, we got hit with late fees that put us over the limit and then over the limit fees. So despite not using our credit cards in two years and paying more than the minimum balance for 2 years, our balance now was higher than it was a year ago. So we did a settlement with them for about 50% of the balance with a loan from mil. Our credit is trashed and we owe money to our in laws. I never thought I'd be in this situation. I've always paid my bills on time until now. I've made some mistakes (the cc debt namely) but we were on our way to paying it off and had completely stopped using them.

But the upside is that we're moving to dh's hometown in Ontario and so our credit here in the USA won't affect us there. His hometown is nice and it will be a nice place to live for a while. My in laws are great and it will be nice for them to live close to their grandaughters for a while. But I have to move away from my family who I'm very close too. I don't even want to think about leaving them.

And I'm worried about my family. My dad was laid off the same time as my dh and he's still not back to work. Lots of my extended family are unemployed.
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#90 of 108 Old 03-02-2009, 08:49 PM
 
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***They, the elitists, have already decided the fate of the poor/ minority/ woman/ man/ black/white/ homeless/me/ you..... because that's what works out best in their favor.
i like the way you think.

for us, not much effect. we're poor with no retirement anyway so no losses there. we also rent, so no concerns about loss of value there. we are contemplating a move to a different area and that may be not quite as possible. we were hoping to save enough to buy and that may be on hold. i'm getting my teaching credential ao hopefully i'll have employment opportunities here in about a year and a half.

learning more about food stockpiling and co-oping. trying to cut out any spending, though we only have $60/ month budgeted for spending money so that's not lots.

but, really we're doing okay and hopefully will continue to do okay for the time being.

eh. who needs a signature?
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