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How has this bad economy effected you?

post #1 of 32
Thread Starter 
Luckily, Jerry and I still have our jobs, but 3 of my friends have lost thier jobs in the past 6 months. I have found us eating out less, using more coupons at the grocery store, cutting down on magazines, etc.....little stuff that really adds up!
post #2 of 32
Well Eric got laid off from his job last November, but he was able to find work again the next week. It pays A LOT less, but we cut costs. Shut the cable off, stopped eating out, started shopping at Walmart. We pretty much only buy food, gas, dog/cat food and stuff for Jaiden (dippers, exc.) The rest goes to rent and bills. Some months we come up short others we are ok. Our parents really help us out a lot. My Dad sends us gift cards to Safeway, Target, and Walmart. His Dad helps out with Eric's car payment. We hardly have anything left over so we HAVE to stick to the budget.
post #3 of 32
So far I have been lucky and I still have a job. But I am trying to be proactive. I cut back on cable TV (don't watch it much) and unplugged a bunch of stuff that I don't use.

My next thing is replacing my standard bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs. That is supposed to save on electricity.

I very seldom go out and have cut back on my on line shopping. I try to stick to just necessities like cat food and treats.
post #4 of 32
To be honest, we haven't really been affected. DHs company has done some cutbacks, but it's been the support staff (recruiters, sales etc.). The technical guys are all pretty safe, and he's a hard worker who's been there a while now, so he's not at any risk whatsoever.

We rent, so haven't needed to worry about mortgages, and have always lived within our means, so we've still been able to enjoy our perks while still saving money.

I'm struggling to find a job at the moment, but I've also changed industries, and have no experience, so it's to be expected. There's no urgency to me finding work, so I'm taking various courses to try and improve my skill set in the meantime.
post #5 of 32
We haven't lost our jobs yet, but I expect to either in August or by the end of the year. Knowing this is coming, we've cut back on a lot of things, put a lot into savings, and are in process of refinancing our home to cut our monthly payment by more than half. I have a little bit of company provided stock that I'm about to sell to pay off our car loan. If we do that, we will be able to eek by on DH's salary until I can find another job, and if we can't, we have other things we'll cut back on (cell phones, electricity use, less expensive food). With all the critters, we rarely go out anyway, so there's not much to save there.

Unless they really raise our property taxes, we can eek by indefinitely this way.
post #6 of 32
Well... no jobs...... Hopefully soon, but I am starting to feel hopeless...
post #7 of 32
My company had a couple waves of layoffs, but none have affected my branch and sales people. They did just come out and announce that everyone in the company is getting a 5% pay cut. I don't make much as it is, so it really doesn't affect me TOO much.

We're not really changing things too much with how we live. I've always lived within my means, and try not to eat out as much and spend frivolously. We may be buying a townhouse/house in the next few months, so we'll cut back on our cable (we don't need 5 movie channels) and maybe get rid of our land line.
post #8 of 32
I'm very lucky I got this job in Japan just before the economy crashed. I've never made enough to subsist on by myself before and this feels great.

I'm signed on thru July 2010. I can try to stay for a 4th year or fifth until 2012, but I have to do an additional interview and its not guaranteed that I get to stay. After 5 years that's it. It is partly an exchange program and they do want new blood to come in.

I hope things have turned around by the time I have to pack it up and say goodbye to Japan. I'm from VT, and things tend to turn around later there. They're aren't a lot of good jobs to begin with. I just found out one of my favorite businesses back home is closing due to lack of business -sigh-.
post #9 of 32
We are fortunate so far.
We (my parents and I ) have tightened our belts, but we do manage.
We eat out frugally twice a week, and we eat free twice a week.

We are managing the resort restaurant for the summer, this pays for our RV slips and electric, we keep all the tips and 10% of the take, plus of course free food and beer
post #10 of 32
I work in surgery, so my job is pretty secure. People will always need to have surgery. My hospital is dong okay so far, they're still giving performance raises, although top raise is only 2%. I'm not complaining...anything is better than a pay cut or losing a job. I guess the way the economy has affected me the most is in terms of my investments. I have saved as much as I possibly can over the years, and had planned to retire in 10 years. That isn't looking too good anymore. If I can't retire, I will definitely have to find some other type of nursing job that isn't so physically demanding. I just can't even imagine doing my job when I'm 60 or older.
post #11 of 32
Both my husband and I lost of our jobs when our companies went completely under. Unrelated companies within 2 months of each other.
post #12 of 32
Things haven't changed much for me - we're not too badly hit by the recession and have managed not to cut anyone by just not filling a few vacated positions. My husband switched fields and is much more stable now than he was. He's laid off at the moment but should get a call back in a few weeks...even if he doesn't we've set our finances based on my income so at the moment, we're doing pretty good. We've ben saving up what we can, paying down our loans as quick as possible while the interest is nice and low.
post #13 of 32
So far my dad still has his job and so does my mom. But they are taking 10% cut of my dads paycheck and they may be getting furlow days. Their is still debate over the cities budget and who is getting laid off. I have my job but my hours were cut a lot. My uncle lost his job in oregon but suprisingly got a job with family down here in Cali. My cousin gets furlow days and 10% cut from pay. We dont by a lot of food. Dont turn the air on as much even though it is like 100 out. We are probably going to cut newspaper and not have a house phone. We have even more cuts to be made. Hopefully my student loan wont be affected as our tuition went up and i cant afford to pay any of it off. We havent had any huge changes but they will come sooner or later.
post #14 of 32
Well I lost my jo of 20 years almost 4 years ago when the branch office closed but had a year of severance pay plus starting my own business.

With the economy slow I did lose a few clients as I did a fair amount of project for a few of them. So I picked up a part time job in Sept and my hours are "up to" 18/week and I should be able to pick up more come mid August to Sept when the college/HS kids are back at school. I can manage my landscaping jobs I currently have ok for now.

We have always lived well below our means. Never had cable TV only dial up internet-though I would like to investigate some sort of higher speed. We still save a good amount and invest as savings accounts aren't paying any decent sort of return. We do not dine out much. I have my splurges such as the Wall Street Journal subscription.
With me not having an office job my clothing budget has changed. I still like to buy costume jewelry at art fairs though! Still buying books alot but more at Goodwill. Still spending lots on plants though all my planting beds are pretty full and I don't want to start anymore!! But we need new carpeting in a couple rooms, I'd like a new sofa, the lawnmower should be replaced lots of big ticket items to consider as our home ages. DH's job is secure as is company is doing alright too.
post #15 of 32
Three years ago we were both getting overtime, first I got laid off, then my husband. He got on at a carpet mill, and I got a job at a restaurant, but I've had my hours cut so many times that I work two part time positions at the same place and still get less than 40 hours a week.
No cable TV, no eating out, some weeks the only food I buy is pet food and rice for us. A few times the cat food had my mouth watering, lol. The car is a 15 year old lemon, and if I weren't worried about ruining my credit I'd send it back to the car lot and walk till I could save up for one that doesn't stall in the middle of the road!
Still, with our area having one of the highest unemployment rates in the state I'm just glad we both have jobs at all, and have been able to borrow from Peter to pay Paul often enough to keep the rent paid and the utilities on. As long as we both don' get laid off at once we can make it, we're survivors, and have all these critters depending on us.
post #16 of 32
I was out of work for 55 weeks, and literally JUST started working again on June 1st. I've made more changes than I am happy with for sure, my cats are not anywhere near as spoiled as they used to be, and even with this new job that I am loving, I am making a LOT less money than I used to.

Just about everything has changed.
post #17 of 32
Hasn't affected us... *knock on wood* Husband's job is secure, we don't have a mortgage (or any debt), and we've always lived below our means.

All thanks to husband's money management, I can't take credit.
post #18 of 32
I lost my job with Directv, got unemployment for awhile, then got a job with Time Warner Cable, lost that job, and am now driving a cab. I enjoy it, and the money could be much worse.
DH has a job, but is making next to nothing because works strictly on commission. There are so many tattoo shops in this town, and the only job he could find was working the crummy hours in a crummy shop. We are hoping he can find another job soon in a better shop, but he will still not be making what he was pre-recession.
We have nearly lost our home several times, but have managed to squeak by. I spend very little money on myself, so that has not been a problem. He finally realized that he had to stop spending money on crap he does not need, and that as been very helpful. We sold a lot of stuff that we really did not need, and did not want to move, (patio furniture, baker's rack, spare tv, collectibles, furniture etc). It is actually very liberating to have so much less junk and useless crap.
It got so bad for a little while that we were eating ramen noodles and very little else, but still managed to feed the kitties.
I feel very blessed that things never got as bad as they could have been.
post #19 of 32
My company had a change in the ownership structure, but thankfully my job is secure even with my health issues.

Earl lost his job a couple months ago due to their having to make a decision between keeping on the IT guy or hiring a tech that could make them money. No brainer for them. Bad for us. Unfortunately, he's been unable to find anything since then. Thank goodness for unemployment.
post #20 of 32
My spending has ground to a near halt. The upside is that I quit smoking three years ago to save money. Since around that time, I almost never eat out, go to a movie, or buy clothes. I bring lunch to work every day. I had started getting my hair done at Haircuttery, but have even stopped that...I color my own hair and cut my own bangs. My only travel has been to see my family. Meat is bought on sale (last week's bargain...chicken thighs on sale for 99cents/lb! :woohoo). The sad thing is that I'm the most fortunate of my friends. I have friends that have been out of work for over a year.
post #21 of 32
I was forced into a position of having to declare personal bankruptcy about 19 months ago while I was on disability.
post #22 of 32
I've been pretty fortunate. My job is working as a graduate assistant at a big national lab. Students are insanely cheap compared to actual lab employees, so there's almost no incentive to eliminate student positions. I think the powers that be also realize the average employee age is somewhere around 50, so it behooves them to keep younger people around. The pay isn't great, but my tuition is covered and it's enough to get by on without having to tighten my belt too much. Actually, I think I may spend a little more now that we're in a bad economy. I know that charities, and companies that make or sell non-essential items (pet supplies, for example) are getting hammered, so I try to do my part to help support them and hopefully help them weather the storm.
post #23 of 32
We've had to make a lot of cuts. We haven't cut the cable though-- we are home a lot & have our internet that way. The cats are less spoiled, and eating what lots of other cats are probably eating in this economy. I don't feel too bad about the toys-- we still have oodles of them, I try to rotate them now instead of buying new.

Nabu is in poor health, racking up the vet bills. I was able to find a summer job which will help us cover his bills. I am lucky I was able to find something. My DH hasn't had any wage freezes or cuts (yet) but where he works isn't hiring either.
post #24 of 32
I'm fortunate that it hasn't affected me. Financially i can manage, and i work part time now really just to keep my brain ticking over.

I hope things pick up soon for people though
post #25 of 32
We are doing ok right now but I am trying to pay our debt down asap just in case. I did lose 10k in my 401k from my previous employer. They were bought out and it seems this newer bank is doing worst. ugh

DH has a stable job for a non-profit company which is connected to the city. He is the only one who can do what he does and without him their system wouldn't function.

Mom works for a dentist. He hasn't been giving raises b/c of the economy but thankfully they all have a job.

I have been clipping coupons like crazy and searching all the local ads for sales to help with the grocery bill.

We do order out once a week but we don't eat out.
post #26 of 32
The economy really hasn't had to much of an effect on me mainly because I had been planning on semi-retiring last October for a couple of years. Part of those plans included down-sizing to a smaller apartment, paying off all my out-standing debt and basically cutting back on a lot of the non-essentials.
I did take several months off completely which I used my savings during however now I am back to work part-time things are going good. I watch my budget carefully and try to stay within it. Luckily once my basics are paid, rent, utilities, cable, phone and food for the kitties and I I have enough money left over for a few treats for the kitties and even a couple for me.
I have a little extra stashed away in case of emergencies but all in all I have to say I am pretty lucky that I decided to do things the way I did.
post #27 of 32
It hasn't, actually.

Rob and I closed on a house in February. Bought a truck two weeks ago. Go where we want and do what we want. Still buy whatever food we want, go to dinner every Saturday. The only debt we have is the mortgage, which gets paid early every month with $200 added onto it to get rid of it sooner!

We're lucky. I have my job, with unlimited overtime available to me. Rob has his job, plus doing his own thing on the side making extra money, which he's been doing anyway since before the economy got as bad as it is.

I actually dont really notice how bad it is, since we haven't changed much in our lives. I know quite a few people who got laid off though. I helped one of my friends get a job with me (he had warning of when he'd be laid off from his other job), and am trying to get another person a job here.

The American Reinvestment and Recovery Act dumped billions of dollars into environmental cleanup, and I work in the field of testing these environmental samples so we're hiring like crazy and working our butts off. The company I work for laid people off last November or so, one girl in my lab was let go. Two months later they began hiring again. I worried for my job over night when they started the week long layoff process, but positively thought about how I am the only person at the company that does my job (others know HOW to do it, but all have their own positions now too).
post #28 of 32
Originally Posted by SwampWitch View Post
Hasn't affected us... *knock on wood* Husband's job is secure, we don't have a mortgage (or any debt), and we've always lived below our means.

All thanks to husband's money management, I can't take credit.
Same here. We have not been affected. My company did some cutbacks, but my department was not affected. We don't have a mortgage..and our credit line interest is lower then ever, so it actually is better for that portion.
post #29 of 32
Nat does it not cost more to rent?.
post #30 of 32
Originally Posted by Rosiemac View Post
Nat does it not cost more to rent?.
No because we are in the middle of the lease now...maybe when we move though in September the prices will be higher.
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