We sold our car that we were paying on just before fall of 2007 so we got lucky because soon after that gas prices exploded (it was an SUV). Since then we've driven 15 and 25 year old cars. The major changes we've done is that we completely stopped buying ourselves anything. I haven't had a new pair of jeans in years, and I stopped shopping at dept stores and hitting Target and Old Navy, but I am still wearing the same clothes from 2-3 years ago. I miss being able to treat myself, but we put our dd1 in preschool twice a week instead.
We tried to sell our house last year but couldn't. The plan was to move to Costa Rica and live a quiet, laid-back, almost off-the-grid life. Since selling our house was the only way to get any money to start a new life, we were stuck here in Idaho. We lowered the price as much as we could. This recession is keeping us here in Idaho, through winters we hate and a local economy that is getting bleaker by the day. I am just hoping God has a hand in this and maybe moving there wasn't best for us.
Gone are dreams about the lovely, tiled Spanish-style home in the tropics. Instead, we are trying to finish our basement and make this home as nice as we possibly can on a shoestring budget. Goodbye visions of Disneyland, hello campgrounds. Goodbye restaurants, hello BBQs in our backyard. The next bit of cash will go to tuning up the old faithful '94 Ford SUV. I am applying for a $10 an hour part-time job selling stuff at summer fairs and festivals and praying I will get it. I always hear about the American dream and how anyone can have the life they want with hard work and perseverance, but I feel duped, because dh and I both hardworking, college-educated with good resumes and right now, we feel extremely blessed to be where we are at (below the poverty line) because dh's got a job. We have to learn to bloom where we've been planted now, but I do feel pretty upset sometimes at how many dreams this recession has crushed and how many people it has trapped. How has it affected you and your plans?
Mama to DS (6/07) , DD (6/09) , and DD (07/12) ..
I took a job last year so that DH could find something he was happier with/safer/healthier (he was working for an air pollution testing company). The job I ended up finding was great in the beginning, then my boss started verbally assaulting me so I had to quit.. We've been living off a combination of temp jobs, and unemployment benefits, and putting gas in the car with my measly $300/month from my PT job.
We bought our house at the peak of the real estate market, with the intention of living in it for a year or two, then selling it for the equity and ex-pating to central America and living somewhat off the grid in a nice little tropical farm.
DH has a job now, but the market is affecting his current job as well. He puts out resumes all the time, has a college degree, and is very skilled, but no one has a position for him.. it's very frustrating.
Where do we go from here? We will probably end up at MIL's basement apt, which would be good and bad. But at least there we can all pull our resources together and ride this out.
The Hippie & the Marine
My boys: S (4) & O (2) & Expecting #3 in Dec. 2011
When his unemployment benefits run out, I guess we'll be applying for TANF, food stamps, and energy assistance. But maybe he'll be able to find a job before then, although its not looking so good.
And if MY employment downsizes, I have no idea what we'll do, having no relatives to move in with or other places to go.
I just keep telling my husband, whatever happens we aren't the only one. We have to stick together.
Anne, Mama to Conner 2/27/04 Gabrielle 2/6/06 W/LMC-TCS, Neurogenic Bladder, AFO & KAFO wearer, Neurogenic Bowel & Delaney 5/12/08 & Beethoven & Gizmo
I always hear about the American dream and how anyone can have the life they want with hard work and perseverance, but I feel duped, because dh and I both hardworking, college-educated with good resumes and right now, we feel extremely blessed to be where we are at (below the poverty line) because dh's got a job. We have to learn to bloom where we've been planted now, but I do feel pretty upset sometimes at how many dreams this recession has crushed and how many people it has trapped.
The first time he got laid off was a job he had for years, they shut down his entire division... on the day I found out I was pregnant! Took him a few months to find a job, he found a GREAT one that paid so well and would work SO well with me teaching during the day, but it ended in February (company lost the contract he was working under) and there's a slight chance it will start up again, but we don't know. Just in time for baby to be born.
Which all means.... going back to work at 6 weeks PP. To me, that is the biggest tragedy in all this. I never, never wanted to work with a tiny baby at home. At least baby will be with dad though.
We have cut back a lot on going out to eat/ordering in - do it every 4 to 6 weeks now. Tho because of a visit from an out of town friend and my DS's birthday it will be twice this month. We no longer get our allowances and instead we are socking that money away. I have been delaying any purchases that aren't absolutely necessary, but it's hard! Easiest way is to just toss all catalogs immediately and don't set foot in a mall. We dropped long distance on our phone, cut back to prepaid cell, dropped to the lowest cable package and are prepared to drop it entirely, except for Internet.
Our 401Ks have dropped by half, and my mom and my MIL are both in trouble. My mom went back to work, luckily she just retired and was still able to swing a PT arrangement at work that gives her enough to cover her mortgage each month. My MIL is going to be in dire straits soon, and I suspect we will have to start sending her money - tho where that will come from if DH is unemployed I don't know. She also just retired last summer, but the office where she worked has reduced staff and she can't go back. She also doesn't seem to want to find another job, even PT. She may not have a choice if this keeps up.
***I'm tired of being controlled by fear by Washington...liberal, conservative....most are all eliteists who have no clue what is best for us. I mean on a smaller level walk into the "behind scenes" of any court room and see the district attorney and the defense attorney joking around, talking about their most recent golf trip, and making a deal about the next case that's coming up that doesn't even stand a chance of being heard unbiasedly. The two players "argue in court" about their side and "what's right" but in real life...neither of them give a shit. 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.
It's the same in washington....
we have the power to change what's going on out there and it goes way beyond who we elect as our state deligate....
Unassisted birthing, atheist, poly, bi WOHM to 4 wonderful, smart homeschooling kids Wes (14) Seth (7) Pandora Moonlilly (2) and Nevermore Stargazer (11/2012) Married to awesome SAH DH.
We are still doing ok, thank God. Except for the large hits to our retirement savings that everyone else has, we have enough. No extras, but no problem with the day to day.
Because of our debts, we are not ttc for at least another year, probably two, eventhough we both want ttc now. We just can't afford the health insurance for me through dh's work until we pay down debt. Dh makes decent wages, but it would no doubt be more if it wasn't for the recession, which would help us get out of debt faster and start saving money.
I am having a hard time finding a job, even part time, possibly because i can only work certain hours, possibly because of the rise in competition in the workforce 62000+ are unemployed in my metro area alone. I have thought about continuing my education, but then again , don't want anymore loans, so that is out of the question at the moment. Right now I am just hoping that things pick up for dh at work, we get the house refinanced before April and I can make some extra money through selling things online/at yardsales, etc.
Its easier to live way way way below your means with the threat of impending financial ruin looming over your head
DH's work put a cap on how much overtime they can pick up (down to 5 hours a week). His overtime was really helping things out for a while.
My FIL may be having his hours cut from 6 days a week down to 4 and if that is the case then my MIL will have to get a job which brings up the possibility of her not being able to watch the kids anymore when I work.
Things are very, very, tight right now. For a while there things were really looking good because we had a little breathing room and didn't feel so strapped, things were getting paid off and we could do cool stuff once in a while, but now I feel like we've been set back about 2 years.
It is highlighting all the very important things like family, health and living simply. Our extended family is suggesting things like making next Christmas a homemade Christmas which I think is a beautiful idea. It is making our community stop to reaccess our local economics and emphasizing how important it is to put your money into local money markets instead of glabal giants. It is a reminder to live within your means. It is also causing dh and I to get really creative and see opportunity in all of this. What kind of businesses will thrive in times like these? What can we offer our community that will be valuable? What important lessons can we learn from this and how can we pass these lessons on in an empowering way for our children?
Change is the only constant and I was very unhappy with the way our world was anyways, so for me I see this as the first step in changing towards a more sustainable and ethically just global community.
We are simple folk and for some reason we have more money now and feel more inclined to share our money with local businesses.
the recession has impacted us in very positive ways.
It is highlighting all the very important things like family, health and living simply. Our extended family is suggesting things like making next christmas a homemade christmas which i think is a beautiful idea. It is making our community stop to reaccess our local economics and emphasizing how important it is to put your money into local money markets instead of glabal giants. It is a reminder to live within your means. It is also causing dh and i to get really creative and see opportunity in all of this. What kind of businesses will thrive in times like these? What can we offer our community that will be valuable? What important lessons can we learn from this and how can we pass these lessons on in an empowering way for our children?
Change is the only constant and i was very unhappy with the way our world was anyways, so for me i see this as the first step in changing towards a more sustainable and ethically just global community.
We are simple folk and for some reason we have more money now and feel more inclined to share our money with local businesses.
Also, dh had been picking up a ton of OT in the past months but they suddenly put an end to that and now they have it organized to where they work the existing workers to the bone, literally to the burn-out point, rather than have to pay anyone OT or hire more people. At least dh has a business trip coming up that should net us an extra wad of cash to pay off some of our smaller debts, and if I get the job I am applying for, it is another couple grand during the course of the summer. Not much but I will take it!
Hugs to all you who have been so affected by this. It's so disheartening to hear of so many jobs and homes lost. If we had sold our house we were going to move in with my parents which is apparently becoming quite common.
Basically just a general buzz kill on life and dreams.
Financially, my retirement funds have tanked - but luckily I have a few decades before retirement to re-earn and re-save all that money. My house has decreased a little in value, but banks are practically giving loans away now so I was able to re-fi at a great rate (4.5%). We haven't changed our spending at all - we were never living outside our means, so there's nothing to change.
But I worry that last year's salary freeze will become a salary cut or layoff; boss has already told us layoffs are inevitable this year.
And I am enraged that only some investments are bailed out. Lose value in your car? Nobody bats an eyelash. Lose value in my retirement funds? Congress won't bail me out. Yet people who lost value in their homes are getting super-generous re-fis, and banks are even authorized to reduce loan balance! Similarly, only some industries are bailed out. Automakers and bankers, Congress loves you. My own profession? We're SOL.
And most of all I cry (well, not literally) that my daughter and her peers will have to pay the bill for all this bailout nonsense. Goodbye personal responsibility, hello, make your children pay for your neighbor's - not even your own - bailouts. :
And my BIL got laid off.
My brother owns his own business with seven employees. He worries about having to lay them off.
When the gas went up last summer, it affected pricing of everything else so that was a short term hit on our expenses and we were able to work around that, but again it hurt there for a while.
As for DH's business, physical therapy- people still get hurt or need treatment. Some are choosing to come in twice a week since the co pay is harder to swing 3 times a week. So they still do their appts, just over a longer span of time. Also, they are listening to him, wanting to get healthy again. Imagine that! As for the patient who does not have benefits, we may have a person get treated on the side and we would barter something since not many will let DH treat them for free.
We have lived a pretty simple, natural, and frugal lifestyle for quite some time now but we are putting more $ in the education funds for the girls, building up the emergency money fund too.
Also, its very hard to see people in my community stuggling to make ends meet. Some people lived on the high hog but others may already had had it rough and now its even harder.