Friday, May 24, 2013

The next steps for us...

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I want to thank you all who stopped by here and left your kind comments. You, guys, are amazing and we are overwhelmed by the concern and care that everyone shows us right now. We feel so loved! Thank you!!

Now, that the idea of unemployment finally sank in, there are a few steps we will be working on in the next few days/weeks. We don't know yet when it's going to happen. So far they told us, some time in June. It could be next week, it could be in a month. This waiting only adds to our gloom approaching the unknown. But there are some steps that we can take now:

Update husband's resume:

His resume is actually pretty close up-to-date but we know that there are always things to improve. Our Church has great support and classes for those looking for a job, and he will take them and work on preparation for interviews and how to improve his resume and adapt it for certain positions. We haven't decided if we want me to start looking for another job too but it's definitely a possibility. In the mean time, Hubby will apply, apply, apply :)

Figure out our budget and finances.

We kind of did it a little over the past couple days but we really need to sit down and do in-depth calculations at what we have, what we owe, what's coming in, and what needs to come out. In the worst case scenario Hubby will get at least one more salary, some sort of a bonus for the last two months of this quarter, gas reimbursement, PTO payout (3 weeks worth of salary) and a severence package (more than likely, two weeks worth). And then some sort of unemployment benefits... All of this will greatly help to stretch our savings.

Then we really need to adjust our budget and cut off all the unnecessary expenses. Yesterday, one of my friends told me that when she and her husband read, on this blog, that we are going to try to become even more frugal, they started laughing because it seemed impossible to them. And it does feel this way at times for us too but I know that if there is a will, there is a way :)

Downgrade cell-phones.

We don't have much to cut off. We don't have cable or a land line, our Internet is very basic and we don't have memberships anywhere (other than Netflix which we'll keep for kids, at least for now). But husband's job required him to have Internet and everything unlimited on his cell phone. They allowed him to keep the cell phone (great plus for us!) but we need to downgrade and get the best plan we can afford right now.  We might have to cut some minutes on both of our cell phones too.

Check our cars. 

 This might not seem like a great time to do the repairs but our main car has more than 100000 miles on it, and we'll need it to last for a while. It's been in need of a transmission flush for a while, and now it's more important than ever to take all the precautionary measures to make it last.

Make doctor's appointments.

 I think the biggest thing that scares me about unemployment is losing health insurance. I've been planning to go to an eye doctor, and I think, there is no better time than now. One thing that I never had a chance to tell you about is that I went and re-checked my thyroid again, and even though it was still in the norm, it was on the border and much worse than last time. So the doctor put me on a low dose of medication. Now I need to figure out how much my visits and refills will cost. I will also transfer one refill that I have right now to a grocery store because they give $25 gift card for transferred prescriptions.

We will also look into CHIP, Medicaid and all the other options available there, especially for the kids.
 
Look into refinancing. 
 
It's not the first thing on our to-do list but it's something we are seriously considering. We don't know yet if it will even be worth it but it's definitely something we need to look into, get more info and weigh in all the pros and cons. We will also keep working on some household projects to make our place more presentable in case we need an appraisal. We won't do anything major (no knocking down walls, lol. But we do need some painting and wall touch ups, etc. We have most of the supplies we need and we will do our best to spend as little as possible. And some of the projects I want to finish just because I will go crazy if I don't have something to do to keep my mind off things. I'm one of those crazy people for whom painting walls does the trick :)

Sell stuff we don't need.
 
We honestly don't have much to sell. In the past two years we downsized quite a bit, and lots of things that we have don't have much value anyway. But at this point, every bit helps. Even if I can sell some candle holders that will allow us to buy an extra gallon of milk, I'll take it! We also have a couple of things we need to return that will also help with our grocery bill.

Continue to live our lives. Just because changes are coming, doesn't mean we will stop living. Yes, we will cut off eating out or vacations but we will look more into free entertainment, exercising at home, reading programs in libraries and being outside more. Life is not going to stop, it will just have to be adjusted! We are going to keep doing things we love on a shoestring budget!

And in June I'm planning to do a 20-days series called "20 ways in 20 days". For twenty days (the whole month minus weekends) I will do a variety of things to improve our life. DO YOU WANT TO JOIN ME??? Do whatever helps you to breath easier. It could be anything from decluttering and making more money to slowing down and pondering your life. Anything that can make you happier and your life more under control. If you want to join me (Please, do! Let's support each other!), think of your own twenty things and come and start sharing with each other starting June 1st. Well, actually June 3rd because the 1st is Saturday :)

Are you up for a challenge?

26 comments:

  1. Your attitude is wonderful, Lena, and you know that everything will be ok! :) God is faithful!! I'd love to join your "20 days" challenge my friend! Praying that something turns up for hubby!!

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    1. I'm glad you join my challenge, and thank you for your support, my friend :)

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  2. Lena,
    I think you are right getting the car maintenance done as you said it needs to last. Also in regards to the health insurance see if his company lets you stay on it while the severance is paid out. I was laid off a while back & my company let me stay on while the severance was paid out. If that is the case it buys you guys more time to get in those last minute Dr. appts. & maybe get 1 more refill on the prescriptions.
    Rhonda

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    1. Yes, we will have health insurance while the severance is paid out but it's only going to be about two weeks. Still, I will squeeze in one more doc's appt. and another refill for me before we run out. Then we will look into CHIP/Medicaid for the kids. Thank you for your support, Rhonda!

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  3. Lena, I'm sorry to hear the news about your hubby's job. I hate to tell you this but I don't think you can refinance if your hubby already has news that he's going to be laid off.

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    1. See, how little I know about it :) I just thought, there were some programs o help people in a situation like ours but now that you said, I guess it makes sense :( Well, it wasn't on our priority list anyway because our house isn't worth much. It would only shave about $100 off. It's a lot for us now but might not be worth it in a long run!

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  4. Lena, I wish you every bit of luck as you tackle sorting things out. Kia kaha, my friend.

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  5. I am up for the challenge. we can do this together.

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    1. I'm so happy you'll join me! :)

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  6. I just know wonderful things are in store for you and your family. As far as Dr bills, if you end up without insurance Drs will give you HUGE discounts for "self pay" don't be afraid to ask. They can also provide free meds in some cases or point you in the direction of the lowest place to buy them. Hugs and prayers to you

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    1. Thank you, Debby! I appreciate your support!

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  7. I don't know about yours, but our library also has classes on writing resumes and job hunting. Worth a look.

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    1. Yeah, we do too. My husband actually sat down with his sister (who works for HR) yesterday, and they redid his resume. Our Church also offers free support and training, and he will definitely take advantage of it.

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  8. Sounds like you've got a plan. My husband's lay-off was a lot like yours. He was told ahead of time. I was very grateful for that. One thing I didn't expect was that the government took about half of Eric's severance package as taxes. I thought that was very unfair.

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    1. Really?? I didn't know they tax severance packages. Now, that doesn't make me very happy right now!!

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  9. Before you spend money to paint, etc, for your appraisal, ask somebody about it. I don't think appraisers look at cosmetic stuff as much as square footage, and appliances, condition of the actual home, etc. So it probably wouldn't be worth it to do any painting/touch up things unless you were actually going to sell your home. Good luck with it all.

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    1. We just wanted to make it look nicer in case WE ARE forced to sell. But we are now planning on spending any money for paint and all because we already have everything we need (whatever we don't have, won't happen :) And it might just help us to think of something else. And it least, it should work for me :)

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  10. Lena, I do not have a website, but I would love to join your June challenge! I am keeping your family in my thoughts and prayers...hope this transition means great things are ahead. Thank you for posting through this tough time; it must not be easy.

    Nan

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    1. Thank you, Nan!! I'm so happy you join me! Be sure to come back and share your success in comments :)

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  11. ditto on the refinancing. (that ND Chic referenced)

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    1. Yep, looks like you are both right :(

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  12. Best job hunting book I ever read Sweaty Palms - the Neglected Art of Being Interviewed. Should be at your local library -- also "Start" by Jon Acuff

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    1. I will check them out! Thank you, Jean!

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  13. What a wonderful idea, Lena. I will join you in your 20 days and 20 ways! Here's hoping hubby finds employment soon!

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  14. Your 20 ways in 20 days challenge sounds interesting. Now to think of 20 ways ...

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