Just when I thought it was safe to go back into the world, having just secured extra part-time work to help out with the family finances, I have spotted an enormous, wide-mouthed Great White lurking off the coast: My husband will be losing his job at the end of the year.
This is what I had feared would happen. This is why I panicked so thoroughly when I personally didn’t have money coming in or when I’d get a measly $48 for an assignment that just a couple years ago would have garnered ten times as much for something similar. It wasn’t so much that my income was diminished and my ego was bruised or that I’d have to forego buying extra goodies, like an occasional frothy latte or a French-tip manicure (two items I’ve yet to even desire, thankfully); it was more that I knew that my husband’s job was less than stable. And, darn it, I was right.
He has just a little over seven weeks to find a full-time job or he’ll be standing in the unemployment line, collecting his maximum $1,800 a month, which will only cover our mortgage and property taxes. And although I was able to pick up some extra work, it’s still only part-time employment. I do not earn even close to enough to make up the difference between what he used to take home and what he will be bringing in.
I’ve already begun pulling up the bootstraps, tightening the laces, and hunkering down for a long, cold winter. Today I will survey the freezer and see what we can make use of without my having to go out and buy groceries, an expense that can run easily to $800 a month for a family of six. I’m also looking at items I recently bought that can be returned. Although the two items that first come to mind only add up to $35, that amount will at least cover one month of Internet service–my lifeline to a paycheck.
I was hoping it wouldn’t come to this–and it just might not, if my husband can find work before the first of the new year. But if it does, I will do everything in my power to stay afloat and keep that evil beast from encroaching on our shore.