Coping with Losing Our Income

What would you do if you suddenly found yourself grappling with the reality that your primary income has been cut off. stopped. gone? How would you react? Do you have the savings you need to cover your bills? Your mortgage? Food?

Reality is that this scary situation is happening to people everyday – especially in this uncertain economy.

And last week, this scenario became a reality for our family. My husband lost his job…and he was our primary income and he held our primary benefits.

Suddenly we are finding ourselves in a situation we could have never begun to imagine. Luckily for us, we have always watched our spending. We have never chosen to live beyond our means. We have done our best to save as much as possible. I am praying that this mentality and ongoing wise choices will help to get us through this hard time.

We have been grappling with how to get through this. We are cutting out things like our gym membership and Sirius Radio. We have cut back on cable and are assessing anything we can think of that is not necessary at the moment. Instead of hitting the grocery store, I have begun a freezer and pantry challenge to cut back on grocery bills for the moment. I am only planning quick trips to the store for necessities like bread and milk. And we have had to turn down the kids’ requests for trips to theĀ ice cream and water ice store.

Yet, no matter how many changes we are trying to make, nothing is worse than the emotional uncertainty – that I can tell you first hand. Lack of sleep, headaches, and a roller coaster of emotions seem to be the norm right now. My husband and I are usually very happy-go-lucky people. But this challenge has put stress on us like we have never known. It is harder to smile, to laugh; days seem longer and we struggle with the what ifs and what will be’s.

Today is our 11th Anniversary. We should be celebrating, laughing, heading away on a romantic getaway. Instead, we are finding ourselves clinging to each other in disbelief. We never saw this coming. This was not part of the plans we were making. How did this happen to us?

Perhaps our anniversary is a reminder of what is really most important right now. We need to stop and be grateful that we have each other. As people constantly keep reminding us – we will get through this. We will come out stronger because of it. Holding tight to one another is key. And we should hug our kids a little harder. We have a beautiful family. We have worked hard for the things we have. And we are surrounded by more love, family and friends that one could ever ask for. We are best friends -and that’s what best friends do – they pick each other up when they are down.

And now it is time to start a new beginning. Joe has been job hunting, while I reconsider returning to work. We are both go-getters and we will not stop until we make this situation right.

Hopefully this temporary set-back will be short-lived. And in the mean time, I will do everything I can do to do what I do best – budgeting, cutting back and using my frugality to keep us afloat.

I have hope. It’s no secret that I have cried and cried and cried some more this past week. And I am sure its not over yet. And I realize that things may even get worse before they get better. But when all is said and done – no matter how bad the storm – we will still have each other. And that is all that matters. And I know…I just know there is a rainbow hiding out there somewhere. I have hope…that’s all I can do right now – HOPE.


  1. I hate that you’re going through this right now. You know we’re right down the road if you need anything. May this uncertain time pass very quickly. And I do hope you have a happy anniversary, even amongst the uncertainty.

  2. Alissa, Thank you so much for your concern and well wishes for us. You cannot begin to imagine how much it means to us to know we have such wonderful friends surrounding us.

  3. Unfortunately, I can relate. DH and were both laid off within a month of each other 2 years ago… while I was pregnant with #2. Needless to say, 2009 was not a good summer. It was nearly a year before we both got back to regular work. Neither of us are really where we want to be right now, but it’s far better than it could be. Good luck to both of you! I know how hard it can be!

    Jamie @

  4. Jamie.
    Thank you so much for taking the time to share your story. Your support is comforting and greatly appreciated. I am so sorry that you had to go through this unfortunate situation, especially while pregnant. I imagine the stress must have been unbearable for you. The fact that you got through it and are working your way back to a better place gives me hope. We are doing everything we can to find employment and stay on budget as much as possible. Thank you so much for reaching out to us. I wish you and your family nothing but the best.

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