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How to Survive a Layoff: Our Plan of Action

Hey, remember when you used to watch Family Ties for kicks and grins and then there was that one episode out of the blue when Alex P. Keaton's friend was killed in a car accident?

And you were all, "Dude. Bummer. That wasn't funny at all."

Okay, this post is a lot like that.

My husband lost his job last week.

So, after walking around for a better part of the weekend looking like this

except when I managed to look like this, and thereby (I believe) TOTALLY fooling the cashier at Walmart into thinking I could afford that toilet paper

we are beginning to put together a plan of action, and here are the things we have come up with:

The most immediate need is to pay our mortgage.

We do not want to lose our house, so we will make cutbacks in every possible area that will allow cutbacks: electric bills, grocery budget, extra curricular activities.

What God will do:

  • God has said he will supply all our needs, that we needn't worry about what we will eat or drink or wear because he cares for us. We believe. (Matthew 6:25-27)

What we will do:

"Life is hard. It's even harder when you're stupid." -John Wayne
  • It is imperative that we not make any foolish mistakes during this time. No more overdue library books, late fees, or speeding tickets.
  • No more chips, soft drinks, or cereal. This will be particularly hard on a certain Smockity who is addicted to Dr. Pepper, especially Vanilla Dr. Pepper on Sonic ice, but sacrifice we must. We will drink water, snack on homemade caramel corn, and eat baked oatmeal or homemade rice cereal for breakfast.
  • All piano lessons, gymnastics, church camps, vacations, and pool memberships will be halted until further notice. Yes, we are all sad about this. We think each of these things is beneficial, but we think keeping our house is more important than all of them right now.
  • No air conditioning until the indoor temperature reaches 89. We will be sweating more than ever this summer and I mean that in both the figurative and literal senses. (By the way, Dear Children, we all know it is hot. No need to proclaim it every 15 minutes.)
  • No more clothes dryer. According to research, the clothes dryer uses 50% of all the electricity in the average household, so we will be using a clothes line. And won't we look quaint doing it?!
  • More meatless or less-meat meals. My Madison has taken it upon herself to do the meal planning and we have agreed that we can be happy eating beans and rice, beans and cornbread, beans and noodles, beans and mashed potatoes, beans and MORE beans.
  • I'll be using Swagbucks to buy household items like laundry detergent and dish soap, or birthday gifts when necessary. (Sign up for free stuff of your own!)
  • My husband and son are inquiring into starting an early morning paper route. Some friends who have been in this very same predicament of sudden unemployment have told us that they made $2000/mo, after deducting gas costs, doing a paper route. While gas is high right now, we figure they can make a dent in our bills by doing this until my husband finds a permanent job. (Oh, by the way, son... you're starting a paper route. Kay, thanks!)

What we will NOT do:

  • Lose our faith in God. We will "Trust in the Lord with all our hearts and lean not on our own understanding. In all our ways, acknowledge Him, and He will make our paths straight." (Proverbs 3:5)
  • Put the kids in school and daycare so I can go back to work. For us, this is a matter of conviction and faith. We feel that my place is in the home, caring for and teaching the children. I will do everything in my power to support my husband and earn what money I can from home.

What YOU can do:

  • Please, pray for us. We are in uncharted territory, and I don't mind saying it is difficult to remember not to worry. In 26 years of marriage, this has never happened to us, and I truly never thought it ever would.
  • If you are planning to order something from Amazon, I will make a few dollars if you use my affiliate link. As of right now, this li'l ole blog is our only source of income, and every little bit will help.
  • I usually make enough revenue from the ads on my sidebar to pay the electric bill and buy a few groceries. Since that revenue is based on my traffic, I would love it if you shared with your friends any post you have found encouraging or useful. Maybe you know someone who would benefit from my homeschool posts or kid friendly crafts? Sharing it on your Facebook wall or your blog would greatly help us out! And if you grabbed and shared one of these Smockity buttons that my awesome friend, Joy, from Five J's, made you would be my best friend forever!

While I would LOVE it if this unemployment only lasted a very short time, we are buckling down and bracing for a long term period of bare bones expenditures, so I will be making this into a weekly series.

Have you ever been through a period of unemployment? What would you like to see me address next week?

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  1. Connie you are in our thoughts and prayers. You will make it through it. I think this series will be very helpful for those families dealing with similar issues as you are.

  2. We are currently unemployed and it’s not the first time. The first time we buckled down and did not apply for food stamps or unemployment. This time we’ve been unemployed since December 1st 2010. Yes.. almost 5 months. This time my hubby DID apply for food stamps, state health care, and unemployment. By the Grace of God we have been given a family home to live in for free until we get back on our feet. He teaches flight lessons here and there and has been offered a position with a great company contingent on him passing training on the 757 and 767 airplanes. Oh he’s a pilot. Sorry I didn’t mention that.
    I don’t really have anything I feel you should address, but I am happy to offer an ear if you need one. Job loss is so scary, but seeing as how this is the 4th time in 6 years I’m pretty peaceful about God’s plan and his covering protection. I will certainly pray for your family, and send some traffic your way!


  3. We have been in your shoes, and more than once. The best advise I can give it, well, pray A LOT and hang in there. The dumbest thing we ever did was cash out hubby’s 401K plan. Dumb, dumb, dumb. We got roughly half of the amount due to penalties and withdrawl fees, then had to claim it on our taxes the next year as income and it pushed us into a higher tax braket so we got a smaller refund. Ugh. But good news was hubby was only out of work for about a week. Be willing to take any job (after talking it over) even if is not what you want, or enough money, no benifits, etc, because you will always learn a skill at any job and at least there is not large blank spot on your resume. Hubby has always said he would work fast food if he had to, if it meant food for his family. LOL
    Many prayer for the Smokity home!!!

  4. Connie, you are in our thoughts and prayers here. You all will make it through this, just another chapter in the story of your life. This will be a great series for those that are or have gone through similar situations or are on a VERY tight budget even with an income coming in.

  5. Connie,
    A few tips that have really worked for us…We’ve been through a couple of lay offs and some career changes.
    We turn off our hot water heater when we aren’t using it. It is electric. I know I’ve heard that many turn the temperature down and that helps too. You can purchase a hot water heater timer that will turn it off and on for you. This has saved us $30 a month.
    My husband also adjusted the float in the back of the commode so that as little water as possible is used for each flush. This has amounted to around $5 a month.
    If I use your link to buy things with my swagbucks will that still help you?
    I’ll be praying for you daily! And looking forward to your posts on saving $$$! I’m always looking for new ways!

  6. I’ll be praying for you and your family, Connie! Bless you for sharing this with everyone. I know it will help others too!

  7. Becky Milstead says:

    I am sooooo sorry to hear about this! We have been through the same thing. My husband lost his job when we were about 30 days away from having a baby. Then the week after he lost his job, our landlord showed up & said that he & his wife wanted to move back to our town and needed their house back. So, we were unemployed, needed to find a new place to live, AND expecting a baby within 30 days. It was stressful but we made it through. It was amazing to see how God took care of all of our immediate needs. Your plan of action is a good one. One that sounds very familiar. We’ll be praying for you & let all of your readers know if you do need something. Our family firmly believes that we should help take care of our Christian brothers & sisters when we encounter hard times. I can only imagine the amount of resources that we could all get together if you needed us to!

  8. So sorry to hear about this Connie. You will certainly be in my thoughts and prayers.

  9. Tammy Pena says:

    Connie I am praying for you and yours in this time and in all others too! My family of 6 has not seen a steady job in over two years, they come and go and I have to remind myself that it all belongs to God, so if He chooses for us to lose this house, we must be humbled and joyfully accept it. We have cut back on literally everything, except internet. I just can’t seem to get myself to let go of that. Our food comes from the food banks and gas comes form the church. Our mortgage is the only thing we can pay in full each month so from time to time our water, gas and electricity get cut off. I truly pray your family does not have to suffer as much as mine, but let me remind you(as if you had forgotten) we don’t own anything, it all comes from the Lord. In the words of Job ” The Lord gives and the Lord takes away, blessed be the name of the Lord!”

  10. Connie-

    We have been there before… Your family will be in my prayers!

  11. I don’t know if you will qualify for food stamps but if you have that you could use it to purchase food and get ecb’s, ups, or RR’s and then use those to purchase toilet paper and other necessities. Unplug anything not being used, it really does save money. Walk, or bicycle as much as possible. Have a garage sale. Also clean, lol, Look to see if you have any gift cards, change, or money stashed anywhere. We have been through this 2x and are facing a 3rd in the next few weeks.

  12. I’m not sure if I’ve ever commented here, but I’ve read for a while and commented on facebook. I’m so sorry! I can imagine not worrying and feeling anxious is quite a challenge. I WILL PRAY FOR YOUR FAMILY!! And I hope this is only for a short time. I recently read a quote from Charles Spurgeon that said, “Anything that causes us to pray is a blessing.” We are dealing with some difficulties right now and that has been a good reminder for me. God bless you all!

  13. Hi! I have been out of work since July, 2010. My husband and I both worked at the same place and the stress got so bad for him, we decided it would be better for him to take a less paying job for his health. Yes, it’s been stressful. No, we haven’t started eating beans…yet. Try checking out those Savvy Shopper sites and others that give all kinds of great coupon advice. I’ve gotten a lot of needed items for pocket change or even for free.

    I think the worse thing about losing my job and my husband feeling pressured to leave was the hateful feelings I harbored against my former employer. I’ve pretty much gotten those feelings under control (it’s NEVER a good thing to hate something or someone). I’m actually happy it happened because my husband, daughter and I are a whole lot less stressed. We are doing more things together as a family and have the time to laugh and enjoy each other’s company. Even the dogs and cats are more relaxed since we’ve been out of that job.

    I believe things happen for a reason. Best of luck to you,

  14. I am so sorry to hear this. I also want to say that I think you did an outstanding job on this post. Your convictions and ideas will help many people in the same situation. I look forward to reading updates!

    Mrs. White
    The Legacy of Home

  15. I just looked back over my blog and remembered a post from about a year ago, called “No Income and the Basics of Life.” This gives some examples of how we have survived through very hard times. I hope it helps a little:


    Mrs. White
    The Legacy of Home

  16. Charlotte says:

    I’m so sorry to hear that Connie. We’ve been through it twice ~ with the technology sector. I read your friends’ recommendations. I have to agree with the one that said take whichever job he’s offered. Even if it’s less than he was making, God can shower your husband with favor in the eyes of his employers. In the end, he can find himself better situated for what lies ahead.

    Try not to fret too much. Your God is mighty, you are much loved, and are surrounded by many friends. I don’t want you to lose your house, but I do want you to know that if you needed a place to stay, we’d always take you in ~ all of your family :o)

  17. You will survive! We survived 8 months on unemployment!! THEN between unemployment and my husband’s first paycheck we had to wait almost an entire month and we STILL have our house and all of our bills are paid! We cut cable TV, went to minimum plans on our cell phone and internet (including deleting and blocking text messaging), cut out things like dance class and such and we made it! You can too!

  18. I will be praying, Connie, and am praising God that you are His! While we have never been completely without income, for many years we had just enough, then for a few years it was very, very tight, and then hours were cut at one of my husband’s 3 jobs… I agree with the advice to take whatever job is offered – my husband trimmed goat hooves and gave shots, hauled sheet metal, did barn repairs, limbed and felled trees, hauled animals to auction for other people and did whatever he could so I could stay at home.

    BTW for going without air conditioning, if you can get some cheap box fans from Walmart, those will help everyone. We taught our kids how to wet their hair and bodies and sit in front of a fan for a bit if they got really hot. They’d soon have goosebumps! 😉

  19. I commented on your Facebook status about this with an offer to help with your husband’s resume. If you haven’t read those comments yet, please do. In the meantime and continuing forward, your familiy is in my prayers.

  20. Are you familiar with Angel Food Ministries? You can buy various food boxes for about 1/2 the price than in grocery stores. You pick the type of boxes that will fit your family’s needs and you can buy multiple boxes. You can read more about it and look for a location near you here:

  21. We were in this very same situation in 2009–for 6 months. Then, my husband took a job at WalMart–HUGE, HUGE pay cut. We’re still reeling from it all. You’re doing all the right things. My biggest help was God’s Word. Every a.m. before I even got out of bed–and the exact scripture you quoted above was my verse. I would write it in my journal, keep it near my computer, say it out loud when the weight of the situation seemed so heavy. The second important thing is to make sure you and your husband can talk about it all, can talk budget, etc. It may get tense some days when a bill can’t get paid. I am going to keep you all in prayer. Michelle

  22. You have some great ideas there, and you WILL survive this! Several years ago my hubby was out of work for 364 days (don’t freak out, I’m sure your hubby will find a job much sooner!).

    The Lord provided for us in a wonderful way. We lived on severance, and then unemployment and our savings. We never lost our home, we could always pay our bills and we never went into debt or needed state assistance.

    But we did what you are doing, and cut out unnecessary spending. All of a sudden, chips and olives were luxuries. Who knew? This is when I first learned about a pricebook and that saved me lots of money as I learned to shop “in season,” and stock up, etc.

    Our kids adjusted and I managed to grocery shop without tears streaming down my face (although there was one time in the beginning….lol!). I made it a game to save money, and it became a challenge instead of a burden.

    I’ll be praying for you and I know God will provide!

    • I just have to laugh because chips and olives became luxury items for us too! My parents probably have no idea that I loved going to their house to eat salads that were filled with olives, tomatoes, red kidney beans (the wonderful ones from cans), garbanzo beans and cheese! LOL!

      A job loss IS tough. It does try one’s faith. But God is so faithful! I couldn’t tell you about all the blessings we experienced. I pray that God blesses you abundantly more than you can ever think or imagine!

      I’m glad I found your site through moneysavingmom.com.

  23. God will provide … Our unemployment goes back to March of 2000. Tim was told that the company was closing and moving into their home office, but gave Tim his 2 weeks paid vacation he hadn’t used yet that year, plus an extra 2 weeks paid vacation for the time for the next year. We cancelled all of our vacation plans. Tim got a job with a BIG name computer company (he’s a data base programmer). Job started July 2000 – we sold our house and moved in September, and then big company laid off over 7o0 people at Thanksgiving. We lived off of the sale of our house, and finally bailed the area and the rest of the contract renting the house in March 2001. We moved in with Tim’s parents. Tim had off and on jobs (bad area for computers) and finally ended up at McD’s. We were given an old trailer and moved it to my parents house. We had our 3rd child (our daughters were now almost 8 and 10) in 2005. Then Tim got a job in his field – we were making progress toward paying bills and getting back on our feet – even putting a little back into savings. Then 2 years later, they laid him off. He’s been in and out of work since then – something always comes up – and he’s the one let go (usually the last hired is the first let go these days). We lost a 5th baby and were finally expecting again, my mom died suddenly, we welcomed our 4th child in 2009. Tim went into insurance sales, but an accident (us in a car accident) made it difficult for him to stay on a schedule with our doctor appointments … so no job again, finally another insurance sales job … and he had a heart attack that nearly killed him ….. That was 2 months ago.

    And through it all – God has provided. A friend offered my daughter free violin lessons. My kids have so many hand me downs that we rarely buy clothes or shoes. Seems like we have so many tragedies … but each time our house fills up with tons of groceries (we have dairy free kids – so they bring us groceries instead of pre-made meals), enough to get us through months if we are careful. Life hasn’t been easy, we go without many things that others would consider important – but God ALWAYS provides our needs, and even many of the kids wants. …. We did cave and used Medicaid – but on our terms – they don’t like that. But we haven’t been forced into food stamps.

    God will take care of you. But along the way I’ve learned, don’t get so focused on pinching the pennies that you say “no” to all conveniences and fun. Weigh the pros and cons of each choice. Will be praying for you to find a job quickly.

    • That is a ton to deal with! I am so sorry for the tragic losses of your mom and baby, but am so encouraged by your attitude. You are blessing others out of the grace God gives you. Many prayers for your future!

    • Smockity Frocks says:

      Rachel, I’m so sorry for all you had to go through! Thank you for this encouragement!

  24. Karen A-G says:

    My husband drives a truck & I homeschool our grandkids. He went back to work last Fall after being unemployed for over a year. One day he was delivering a load & the next day he was told he was done delivering for that company because they were closing the terminal. A few months later he took another truck driving job only to be told one Friday night not to come back after he delivered the load because the company was going to all owner-operators.

    We lived on his unemployment–a steep cut in income. My frugality went into high gear (no pun intended)! I combined coupons & sales. I unplugged anything electrically not being used. I cut way back on driving. We had been in an accident that totaled our pickup so that provided some extra money because we didn’t replace it. What seemed so tragic at the time turned out to be a Godsend! Then our tax refund provided more extra money a year later.

    God did provide. We never went hungry. We still have our house. He’s back at work, although I don’t take that for granted. We don’t make the money we used to, but we pay our bills. One day at a time, with God’s help, we can do this & so will you.

  25. Connie I have never been in your position however I will be praying for you and your family in earnst. I couldn’t imagine but I know He is faithful and yes, you are right, He will provide!
    Blessings dear sister!

  26. Connie,

    Let me ENCOURAGE YOU that last year my husband lost his job for five months. Not only THAT, they fired him {right before a big company lay off – *sneaky} and he received NO unemployment…we’re a family of seven. God worked SEVERAL miracles during this time and I know He is going to do great things for you through this {although it may not feel that way when you can‘t buy T.P.}. Now a year later we STILL have the house and we’re actually ahead, praise God! I can see I need to do a post about the things God did for us during that time, see you’re inspiring again!

    Bless you & yours!

  27. Oh, my! This just happened to our family! My husband lost his job 4 weeks ago today, very unexpectedly. We didn’t know what we were going to. It was such a shock. We now see God’s hand and timing in all of it……….not that it made it easier at the time! Within 2 weeks, he accepted a new job that is moving us across the country. The movers will be here today to pack up all our stuff. Crazy how God worked it all out. Praying for your family as you process through it all. I know that there are a lot of logistics to work through right now. Praying that you and your family will be able to process through all the emotional aspects of such as shift to your family in a healthy way.

  28. Hi Connie,
    Just wanted to say that I am praying for you and your family in this very difficult time. My husband gets laid off every winter, and I know what you’re going through. It WILL get better!

  29. I am so sorry that this happened. I will be praying for you guys. I’ll also post this on my wall and shop, on Amazon, through you. :) Every little bit helps, right? :) God bless you!!

  30. Love you Connie! So glad to see all these awesome readers encouraging you! You know God has a big plan for your family through all of this, so make sure you let Him work instead of trying to do it all yourself. And I’ll make sure I do all my Christmas/ birthday shopping through your Amazon link. :)


  31. We are new to your blog via Robin at Live Love Educate! We are praying for you and for God’s guidance. We are homeschoolers and if we can help with supplies, books etc, please let us know. I will blogging about your post later and linking back to you!


  32. Praying for guys! I’ll be sure and come back here to use your Amazon link when I buy.

  33. Praying for your family….we have been there and God IS faithful. We have done many of the suggestions that others have said during our time of unemployment. Every little bit does add up! :)

    Groceries were one of the big areas we could cut down on and really strive to use coupons. I found http://www.southernsavers. com to help me put together the sales items with coupons…it makes it a lot easier. Ask people to save their coupons for you after they have gone through them. Just get a Sunday paper for the coupons.

    Also, it helped us a lot to be up front with the kids in a loving way. They really understood a lot more when we said we couldn’t do things when they knew why. Your family seems AWESOME, so I can just picture them all pitching in to help wherever. :) For the times when things “feel” like they are out of control, know …”But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him”. 1 Cor. 2:9

  34. God will take you through this… Praying for your whole family and I will use your affiliate link for Amazon. Thank you for your service to homeschooling and your show of faithfulness in God.

  35. So sorry to hear this for you guys. :(
    At the same time, I am thinking of Madison and all the money raised for the water well…. wondering if this falls under the category of “casting your bread upon the waters…”
    Either way, I am looking forward to hearing your stories of how God blesses you through this time. He works in wonderful ways in both the big things and the little gifts, too. We’ll keep you all in our prayers!

  36. Stopping by from Robin’s blog Live,love and educate. So sorry to hear the news. My family has never been thru this but I am keeping you in my thoughts and prayers. If I need anything from Amazon I will stop by. You have such a positive attitude about the upcoming changes, that is admirable.

  37. I can’t imagine, Connie! We are praying for you and your family! I know that God has a master plan, and you will look back on these times later as a great learning experience. While our situation is nothing like yours is, the last 10 months here have been our hardest, ever. But, they’ve also created many fond memories, and we’ve grown so much as individuals, parents, a couple, and as a family.

    Many hugs to you!

  38. You’re in my prayers, Connie. God will work in your situation in amazing ways and I can’t wait to see that happen. You have outlined very practical ways to save and deal with this terrible loss. Your faithfulness will be blessed.

  39. Oh Connie, I am so sorry. I will be praying for you all. You have a GREAT plan of action and it was very encouraging to read it!

    Also, you make enough to pay your electric bill???? I’m getting ads. :)

    You’ve got my mind spinning about being frugal now!!!

  40. Been there and done that! :) My husband lost his job on April 1, 2008. It’s been a long 3 years! We’ve moved into a warehouse that we owned to save on mortgage payments and rented out our house to make money. I then found Craigslist and have done very well buying and selling on CL and Ebay. I have been at home for 21 years and homeschooled our four children. I feel like you do–I will do anything I can to remain at home with my children. I just found your site and will bookmark it and follow along with you in your journey. You sound like you have a firm grasp on what needs to be done. I had not idea what to do and no plan. I have become very frugal and wise over the past 3 years.

  41. Not sure what the requirements are in your state, or what your husband’s education level is, but my dad quit his job when I was a kid (really toxic work environment) and had a heckuva time finding a new one and ultimately ended up substitute teaching, which he LOVES and still does to this day even though the kids are long out of the house and mom’s salary is enough to support the both of them at this point. In our state, he just needed to have 100 college credit hours and a background check to be able to sub. The money wasn’t GREAT (around $80 a day ten years ago if I remember) but it was better than what he could make elsewhere at the time, plus the job was as I said, super fun and rewarding for him.

    I would also just really encourage you to look at the programs that your state offers to help displaced workers find work, I’ve personally found them to be super helpful (though there are some annoying hoops to jump through–like attending a 2 hours “resume writing” workshop and such, but it’s so worth it in the end!) I’m now well established in a career that I love after participating in a program for displaced workers.

    Additionally, I would just encourage you to look into and take advantage of programs that can help your family with things like food, clothing, medical visits, (free) kids activities etc. Tons of programs like these–private and public exist and are designed for people in situations like yours. WIC, Angel Food Ministries, after school and/or summer arts programs (I worked for an organization that provided free after school dance, drama, and art and music lessons for kids, we met in a community center and had kids from public and private, and kids that were homeschooled attend).
    Don’t feel like you have “fix” this all on your own. It’s OK to ask for help and to take advantage of programs designed to help you at this time :) (I’m sure you already know this, but I don’t first hand, how easy it is to always want to think of ourselves on the “giving end” all of the time…when I needed help, I just reminded myself about the whole “time for everything” thing, and that helped).

  42. Praying for y’all! We went through it last year. My husband was laid off when I was 8 months pregnant with our 3rd baby. We still had about $2000 to pay off our midwife. Thankfully he got a very small severance pay that we used for that. It turned out to be a huge blessing to have him home full time after baby arrived! We learned alot during his unemployment. The biggest was to trust God! And it definitely caused us to hold onto each other even more then already did. A few things that we did, other then the obvious of unemployment benefits and trimming every possible extra- we traded services with people. Like my neighbors have a grain mill and she let us use it to get our flour, while we took care of their animals while they were gone. We also made sure not to stop buying the really good deals to stock up when we had the cash, because well you don’t know if you will have the cash next time that deal on chicken rolls around. We also skipped a car payment, which added that payment to the end of our loan term plus $30. We never refused food! Like if someone offers their abundant harvest of zucchini to you, take it! LOL Also check out the day old bread stores. Cut out extra trips out, like condense errands to one trip out. Oh and you can have a garage sale:) Good luck Connie. Y’all will do fine!!! My husband finally got a job in Jan. after 5 months of nothing! Which we were so happy about, but I don’t think we would trade the time he was off either:)

  43. Hi, this is my first visit here, came to read the post since we (again) are living without a job (month 6).

    You didn’t mention insurance do not, do not stop life insurance or health insurance.

    Second I’d like to encourage you to start making your own household cleansers from inexpensive natural stuff. I’ve been doing it for years (started during first jobless period). My laundry detergent costs about $3 a month for a family of 4.

    Here is one recipe from a book by Karen Siegel-Maier if you like it invest in her book it will save you lots of money after the initial $10 or so investment in the recipe book.

    1 oz liquid castille soap
    2 Tbsp glycerine
    1 cup washing soda (arm & hammer yellow box)
    1 cup baking soda
    2 cups warm water

    Put all liquid ingredients in a thick container (i.e. rubbermaid or sterlite wide mouth container). Add the dry powders and stir until dissolved. It will set up to be semi-solid yet wet. Keep a lid on it. Use 1/4 to 1/2 cup per load. (Front load washers 1/4 cup.)

    BTW love your idea on the clothes drying on the line. My deed prohibits use of a clothesline. I want it more for how nice the clothes come out and also the sun is a great stain bleacher and wonderful whitener.

  44. Oh and one other thing I wanted to add is to NOT stop tithing and giving generously. Remember to seek the Kingdom first! Our prayer during that tough time was Proverbs 30: 7-9 7 “Two things I ask of you, O LORD; do not refuse me before I die: Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, ‘Who is the LORD?’ Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God.”

  45. My husband was laid off last summer. We knew it was coming, we tried to prepare. It is difficult to prepare. We had never been “jobless” before. We also reprioritized and put the mortgage payment at the top of the list.

    Groceries are our second largest bill – this is an area that can be cut back. We go to Costco or Sam’s Club once a month and shop in bulk, stocking up on meats. Planning efficiently for meals helps with this process. I began vigilant in watching store sales for the rest of the stuff and clipping coupons. Not in the crazy, obsessessed way, in the good steward of our finances way.

    I began selling items on Ebay and our local area online sales site.

    Gas is another huge expense so if I don’t have to go somewhere…I don’t.

    You will eventually find yourself starving (no pun intended) for some semblence of normalcy and will want to go out to dinner. Visit http://www.restaurants.com to purchase very inexpensive gift certificates (like $3 for a $25 meal with restrictions & requirements).

    It will be a year in August since my husband lost his job. He decided to return to school for a spell before he gets back out there.

    Hang in there. Our faith has increased. We’ve come to appreciate things we previously took for granted. Our children are learning hard, but critical life lessons. I, for one, am excited to come through this and look back and testify about the Lord’s provisions.

    Thank you for reminding me that for those who find themselves without a job, it can be frightening, unchartered territory. Something perhaps, we should talk about more.

  46. I’ll be keeping you in my prayers and have added a button to my webpage. I don’t get much traffic, but every little bit helps! I will also remember about the Amazon link when I need to purchase something. Thanks for sharing with us and though my husband is currently working things are looking choppy ahead. I look forward to your series. We too are thankful that we can ALWAYS rely on our faithful Lord and pray He gives you provision and comfort!

  47. Praying! I will throw out a blog and FB message for prays too. http://www.hillbillyhousewife.com I just came across this site that has tons of money saving tips. We just started the $45 emergency menu that she made. So far almost everyone has like the meals. I say this only on day 2 but I have hope that the kids will continue to enjoy them. HA
    God will provide when you can’t! Take care :-)

  48. I am praying for you. Some times I have clung to Psalm 37:25 “I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.”

    Isn’t it nice to know that we can’t lose our heavenly home?
    May you feel God’s peace during this difficult time.

  49. Even in the military community things like this happen. my husband had reached high year tenure in the navy and with 5 years to go they wanted to out source basically. We transition from the navy to army where we were technically only without a job for about a month but did not get paid for three months. Luckily we had savings and was prepared. I am sorry but God never gives us something we cannot bare. I will pray for you and your family to get thru this strom.

  50. Oh, Connie! If I lived any closer I’d drive over with a big Vanilla Dr. Pepper for you. And then I’d get your 8 to play with my 8, and I’d revel in the free baby-sitting. And then you’d probably have me carted away for stalking you, which would be understandable since I don’t **really** know you.

    The point is, I hope someone brings you a big drink and plays with your kids so you can enjoy it.

    You have such a sense of adventure…even in this mess, I am totally excited to see the humor and lessons you so aptly convey to the rest of us!

    And seriously, I’m praying for you. I may not **really** know you, but our Father does!

  51. Clicking over from google reader and commenting to increase your page views. :) I’ll make sure to use the amazon link for any of our next purchases, and I’ll spend some time reading a bunch of old posts (which I also did a couple weeks ago). Hopefully those little bits from everyone will add up!

    • Sorry to be so dumb here. But I did not know just reading a blog post or commenting helped out the blogger. Am I understanding that right? If so, I should have done this before now. Praying for you Connie!

      • Smockity Frocks says:

        Beth, Since my ad networks pay me based on my page views, every time you click on a post or leave a comment, I get a little money.

  52. I don’t think my comment went through. Check out this site, it’s got great money saving tips and a meal plan for emergency situations.
    Praying for you and the family!

  53. i was there just a few yrs ago. i wrote a few tips down- i pray they help .




    have you tried mypoints.com? i earn gift cards to walmart and target there all the time. i just click on a link in my email too see an ad but i don’t really read them lol. takes 2 seconds! and don’t forget swagbucks tv – i earn 3 swagbucks a day for watching cooking videos. the entertainment ones are less than a min. so i put them on, minimize the page and read email. :) the swagbucks poll dailygives me 1 swagbuck and takes less than 1 second.

    i’ll lift you up daily Connie. you are such an inspiration to me.

    • You can earn 3 Swagbucks for every 10 SwagTV videos that you watch. There doesn’t seem to be a limit. And it doesn’t seem to keep track of which ones you’ve watched. I just play the Pets&Nature videos over and over. Another thing you can do for Swagbucks is do the SwagGames. For every two or three that you let load completely you get 2 SwagBucks. Very easy. I believe they have a limit on those. Not sure what it is. If you enlist your children you could really rack up the SBs. Sign up for Swag Code alerts at http://www.sbcodez.com so you don’t miss any of those. And be sure to do all the daily things. If you can do all of these you can earn enough Swagbucks to get $20 in Amazon gift cards which you can use to buy groceries.

  54. You have probably already done this, but if not make sure that you contact your mortgage company right away. They are much more willing to work with people before they fall behind on their payments. When my husband lost his job, we called right away. They worked with us to allow us to make half payments for a year. Unfortunately this is more common than it should be these days but as a result banks have several options that are available. Not an easy call to make, but one that needs to be done as soon as possible.

    I remember that stunned, numb feeling of suddenly feeling like the rug has been pulled out from underneath you. After a few months of unemployment and no job prospects, we stepped out in faith and started a business. Now my husband has a fairly steady income and although we make a lot less money than we used to, the job stress is so much less for him!

    Praying for good things to come out of this for your family!

  55. Oh WOW!! I’m so sorry. I just wrote a post asking my readers to come on over and click around a while. I also mentioned the Amazon link thing. I hope it helps, even though my readers are few and far between. Every little bit should help, right???

    I’ll be keeping you in my prayers.

  56. Two years ago, my husband lost his job. Here’s how we managed:

    1. Prayer. Lots of prayer.
    2. Since there were no jobs matching my husbands skill set and experience, ie, jobs that would pay enough for us to live on, in our hometown, we made the difficult choice to job-search in other areas. We had just finished a 4 year renovation of the house that was supposed to be our “forever home” and had spent most of our adult lives in this community. But there were no jobs there. This was one of the hardest decisions I have ever made.
    3. Unemployment helped to at least make the mortgage payment.
    4. We mostly ate what we had in our well stocked freezer and pantry (stocked with items purchased on sale).
    5. Knowing we would eventually be moving, we sold everything we didn’t really need, including collectibles, furniture we could live without, gold jewelry, etc.
    6. Spent many, many hours searching online job boards and contacting employment recruiters.
    7. Perspective. I have survived cancer and living with lupus. This was just job loss and financial hardship. Nobody was ill or dying.

    It took just a few months to secure a new job, and we had to move to another state. But we’re OK, and grateful. So, so, so gratfull for the many blessings in our lives.

    Sending love and prayers for you and your family.


  57. Rebecca Miller says:

    I am so sorry for your family, and I agree you handled this post with a great deal of grace. The only thing I would add is one that the world tends to think of as nuts but I have tried it and found the truth of it. Continue to pay your church donations. The Lord promises to open the windows of heaven and pour out blessings. The Lord can stretch our dollars so much further than we ever could but we have to show the faith to give back a part of what he gives first. Good Luck!

  58. Cindy I am so sorry to hear this! Praying for you and your beautiful family. As many have said, God will provide. He lead your daughter through providing a water well for children far away. He will lead you through this. He will.

  59. Connie, I am so sorry. I am definitely praying for your family. I think you have made some great plans to survive a layoff. Although an income is essential, saving a dollar will pay off more than earning a dollar (because of taxes and interest). I will be praying for your husband and eagerly awaiting news of a new job. Praise God that is blog is able to be an income source for you right now!

  60. Ah, yes, Connie, let me think… Seven years ago my hubby was about to leave a job because of some really serious moral issues within the company, he didn’t have a job lined up yet, my oldest son was just recovering from yet another major surgery, and I was pregnant (with our 4th so this was quite a few years ago). About this time, my husband impaled his foot on a wrought iron fence post — just the complication we needed in our plans so he would be completely unable to do any physical labor!

    And you know what? We saw God provide in a mighty way – much greater than we would have ever seen if we’d been comfortable and relaxed with his “secure” job.

    The Lord was building our faith…last year (now with 7 kids) we decided to trust God in an even bigger way and raise support to be full-time missionaries. Again, we would have NEVER seen God work in such miraculous ways if we’d stayed content with his good job, our nice house and comfy lifestyle.

    You will see God provide in so many tangible ways, and it will be an amazing way for your children to see your testimony and to see Him at work in such an intimate, daily way!

  61. My husband was laid off in Dec. of 2008. He found a job again in Sept of 2010, I think. Anyway it was rough but I have a feeling you are going to handle it great! I will be praying it’s short and there is an even better job coming up!

  62. Jessica M. says:

    I’ll swing by as often as I can for traffic and place any Amazon orders thru you! Set up a section on your website to sell stuff like curriculum and toys and books. You’ll make someone else’s day and make a few bucks! Ineed stuff for next year, you don’t haveany Winter’s Promise lying around do you? :) Take care and you rock for being determined to stay home!

  63. Linking up to you today. Prayers already went out!

  64. Thank you for this very real post. My husband’s plant may shut down in Sept., so we are already talking about what will go and what will stay in our budget.

  65. I just wanted you to know that I’m praying for you, friend.

  66. Carrie @ SpringsBargains sent me.
    After some thought — look into whatever State Health Insurance is offered. If you didn’t qualify before, you do now. If you can only put the children on it that will be a savings over COBRA coverage. In our family my Hubs lost his job while undergoing a stem cell transplant for cancer, so it changes your priorities. We’ve been able to keep the house and his insurance while I have minor coverage and the kids got the State care. I may never need to use it for me and the kids, but the peace of mind (we went 6 months before I swallowed my pride) is priceless. It takes a while to get the paperwork approved, so don’t delay.
    Also — any chance you had coverage on your mortgage, loans or credit cards that covered losing a job?
    My mantra became “this is not forever.” Some days it feels close to it, but that’s usually a sign that I need to get busy (aka distracted). I hope this never reaches “forever” for either of us.

  67. Tracey B. says:

    Hi Connie! I’ve been reading your blog for a couple of years, but this is my first comment. Hang in there! I will be thinking of you and praying for you. Hopefully, this will be a short time of trial.

  68. Connie, I’m so sorry to hear about your husband’s layoff. I understand all too well the temptation to become worried or fearful. It’s good that you have stated you will not lose your faith in God. God is good, and this is probably a divine intervention from God, as He’s setting your family up for the next most wonderful thing He has in store for you. Embrace this frustrating time as a time when you are all in His perfect hands, being molded for something greater.

    If you spend any time reading my blog, you might know that my husband has been out of work for a little over 2 years now. For years he wanted to be self-employed, but would have never left his stable career of 25 years in the auto industry {senior management}, if the company hadn’t shut its doors and laid off thousands of people. We viewed this closed door as an open door from God, for us to take a leap of faith, uproot our family from Southern CA, move clear across country to a small town with low crime, great schools, a beautiful God loving community, and live near family. The temptation has been there for me to go back to work, but I haven’t because we believe God will provide our every need. We believe God wants me to stay home with our children. We believe God wants my husband to pursue his dream of self-employment. So we are acting in obedience and trusting Him to carry us through.

    Some days it’s really difficult. But then there are those days when God shows us over and over and over again, just how much He loves us and that He DOES have the situation under control.

    Hang in there. Covering your family in prayer!


  69. Catherine says:

    I’m so sorry to hear it! I must say it is inspiring to see you be so proactive from the beginning. My husband was laid off last year and we went through many other steps. Another quick suggestion could be to shop around for your insurance and see how you can lower monthly bills that way. Hope he finds something new very soon. It could be quite a blessing in the long run.

  70. I will be praying for you and your family. My husband lost his job last week as well. It makes you look at things differently. I look forward to following it.

  71. I have been laid off of almost 2 years now, since my lay-off, I gave birth to our 1st and only child. Now I am faced with the dilema of, do I go back to work to support our family or stay home, which is what I think is best for our baby. These decisions are so very hard to make, all I can do is to turn it over to God and have faith that he will help us make the right decisions.

  72. I am a firm believer in everything happens for a reason! There is a FABULOUS job on the horizon for your husband! You are an amazing woman and if anyone can keep it all together until then, I know it is YOU! Hang in there ~ God IS in control … just let Him!

  73. I am a first time reader from you blogged linked by another read due to your post today. I will keep you and your family in my prayers. Do you have a local CSA (Crop Share)? If so see if they offer free organic fruits, veggies, eggs, fresh cut flowers in exchange for help on the farm, the one in my area does. Just an idea if there is one in your area.

    I will continue to read about your journey and help you in any way that I can.

  74. Praying for you all…I have complete faith the Lord will provide. We’ve had some tough years, also, but there’s always been a way. I have really come to enjoy the challenge of savvy shopping, etc! Coupons are a way of life for me, and many other little ways… Altho, I admit, that cutting loose once in a while, when we can afford to do so, is fun…for the moment, anyway…usually it’s back to tightening the belts again. Have a good week, despite…. :)

  75. Nice article. And the best part is how your faith in God shows through! He is able. I liked the part about not being stupid, tho! 😉 New fan here.

  76. ps. sending you an email about putting this on my blog. Praying too!

  77. Ohhh, so sorry about the layoff. I think a paper route would be an awesome idea…because, you could keep the leftover inserts and feed your family with the coupons. Not the coupons actually, but all the free food you got with them. : ) Of course, only if it is okay with the paper company. Coupons help us a lot around here.

  78. Yikes Connie,

    First off BIG hugs.

    Secondly we have been there and survived! It was when we left CA for TX when it all went down for us, BUT it made us stronger and more aware Christians.

    Praying for you and your sweet hubby….I know you know this but it helped me to be reminded…pray for your hubby – this is hard on them!

    Hugs to you and yours,

  79. I will be praying for you. I think your plan of action is a very good one. My husband is in the electrical union and layoffs happen about once a year. I am thinking the paper route is an awesome idea! coupons also can do wonders for a grocery bill, check out some blogs and books on it. Most importantly, remember that God will provide. Your heart is right where it should be and I trust in His provisions for you.

  80. Connie:

    I love your humor (even in the midst of a bad situation). Our family will be holding your family in prayer before the throne of grace. I personally look forward to your future posts on this topic (but pray it’s a short series for your personally.)

  81. Our family has been there since 2008 but our Lord is good and provides never forsaking us…i would try to get government assistance as soon as possible( we waited) and that was not wise thinking we’d get on our feet soon.
    It’s to get a hand up and i’m sure God will provide and grow your family along the journey increasing your faith and pursuing the things after his own heart through yours…it’ll be a great journey to write about because you’ll never be the same after. Happy prayers are sent your way knowing that he has a plan. Jeremiah 29:11!!

  82. I will say my story is not like yours. When my hubbby got laid off towards the end of 08, he had been lying to me about being ok with working there. We had just found out I was pregnant with our 3rd I am now ok with saying my faith was not there. We went to church but that was it. He was out of work 10 months and by the grace of God and our loving family, we are still in our home. He got the samr job (that he hated) back and a month later quit. He left me twice while out of work. Then he got a low paying job and after being there for a few months had a job offer open up with a company that is right next door to our church. He is very happy where he is now, but his pay is less than half what he was making in 08. We aren’t ‘losing’ our house, but selling it through a short sale. It has been trial and error for a while now. But we know where God wants us. My faith is strong now and I know the Lord will provise what we need. Sadly, my husband is not in the same place and that has been very hard to live with. But were getting there. We will be ok and you will too. Keep the faith. You guys will be in our prayers. Thank you for posting this

  83. We did do food stamps wic. And we are going to do angel food ministries until we move. And we are on state insurance. Well, the kids are. I’m uninsured and the husband is insured by his current job. God will provide.

  84. I just read your post after seeing the link on Money Saving Mom. I’ll be thinking about you and your family and wanted to invite you to check out my blog in the hope that it will be of some encouragement! I started it after my small business failed to provide support to those affected by the economy and failing businesses.
    All the best,

  85. I’m sorry to hear your husband is unemployed! Good for you for making a solid plan and having so much courage. Hang in there!

    Literally last night I found out about Angel Food Ministries (http://www.angelfoodministries.com/), which I thought might be a resource to look into. (I’m _not_ affiliated with them.) They sell boxes of food (meats, pasta, veggies, fresh fruit, etc) for quite low prices, and there is no application or specific income requirement. I was thinking of trying them out, and when I saw your post figured I’d pass it on. They seem to have a lot of distribution sites in different locations.

    • I agree about Angel food ministries! Also with the Paypal donation button! I don’t know you and this is the first time to your blog but I do understand your situation because we have been there before. I learned that there are people you wouldn’t believe who want to help!

  86. This might not be what you want to do, but maybe consider putting a Paypal donate button on your sidebar? I know there must be lots of us out here who would be happy to contribute to a fellow homeschool family.

  87. sweetmelbelle31 says:

    Praying for you Connie, I also encourage you to check out becoming a chacha guide. I earn extra money by doing it just an hour or two a day. You could do more if you wanted to.

  88. Hi,

    Saw you are planning to buy laundry detergent. I make my laundry detergent, soap, and dish soap. 😉 Saves us well over $500 a year. 😉 You can find links to those recipes in my blog. 😉

  89. Thanks for your article. We will be in the same position soon. We live in a town of 500 people where 200 will be laid off in the next three months. The unemployment rate for our county will be 22%. Since it is such a rural area, it is highly unlikely that we will be able to sell our house.
    We shared that scripture from Matthew with our children last night. I am grateful for the peace we can feel from God during difficult times.

  90. I feel your pain! We have a little bit of notice, but are going to be in the same boat in the next month or two. A few little sideline cash flow options we are looking into or already do are 1) finding used exercise equipment on the side of the road or super cheap in craigslist then cleaning them up and reselling for a profit 2) selling our blood plasma (about $100 per person per month) 3) mystery shopping (pay is not great but it pays for little luxuries like dining out) 4) taking in a child or two to babysit. I also do online surveys for about $25-50 per month.

  91. This isn’t the place to debate welfare, but I am so grateful my country has it and without the stigma it holds in America, for situations just as this, to help people who suddenly find themselves unemployed and need help for a few weeks, even a few months, to tide them through.

    However we found ourselves at one point without work and without welfare, and our lifesaver was the fact I stockpiled my pantry, we went 2 months and only spent about 1/4 of our grocery budget for the time to top up. I can’t stress enough how important this was for us in saving money when we found ourselves caught, and once hubby got a job I started over.

    Something else we planned to do was a garage sale, every little bit helps right, even if you don’t have much to sell family and friends often have a box or two sitting in the garage. I don’t give items to thrift stores (the ones in australia work different to america, at least here in the city, many items are almost retail sale price, I have to go to the country to get what I consider decent thrift store prices, therefor I won’t donate clothes to the city stores, 4 bags of adult clothes could easily be sold for the same as my husbands weekly wage)

    We will be praying for you, that your husband finds work soon.

  92. I am a mother of 4! I was a single mother of 1 for several years and have always worked 1 steady job and 1 “winter” job to help with Christmas, clothes and birthdays. I have never gone without electric, gas, water or food (even if it wasn’t the most ideal meal) I cut out things that were not needed and have lived as frugal as I could for years! I married my husband in 2006, he has a son as well, and in 2007 and 2009 2 more children were added to the brew! When child number 3 was on the way we decided for me to quit working “outside” the home due today are costs! We opened our own business and my husband still worked his “day” job while we grew our company! I started a home daycare and kept a few children which helped! We have grown our business to a very successful level today and I still love as frugal as I can and use a coupon on everything, consigmmet shopping when I can for what I can, stockpile and keep adding to our savings account! I have always had a rebate check, medical overpayment or some off the wall check come in the mail at some of the worst times of the month! I have been blessed my whole life with what I needed and grew up very poor…I wore the same shoes for years without complaints and did what I had to do! If it’s comes down to needing to work I would shuffle poo if it meant feeding my kids or keeping basic needs on in the house! I have too much I want for nothing and I seek humility and trials every day! I take nothing for granted and I hear these stories and it makes me want to love even more frugal and put back more money! My parents had window units that they didn’t even turn on in the summer until after July 4th, and they didn’t have a/c in their vehicles I honk power steering was a blessing, .10 candy was the best ever and would never tell my parents about the blisters on my feet from my shoes. I knew they didn’t have the money and when they did I would have shoes…even though my dads had holes and duck tape! My dad died as poor as he started but their are some well built beautiful homes and churches standing because of him! My dad never complained or allowed pride stand in his way…a job was a job even crossing picket lines and loosing giving up union if he had to! I would lay in bed hearing them talk and I would remember my mom would waitress at night while we slept! The economy will not see light for a long time! We will slowly need to rebuild and our feet will get wet through the holes in or shoes and our arms will be sore from no power steering! God is good all the time and all the time God is good! My dads tattered bible now lay on my desk each day it is a reminder of where we have been, going and gone! I will never give up or give in…defeat is not and option!

  93. I have been unemployed for almost a year now, I am curently still getting about 1000 a month from child support, my sons dad dieing, and unemployment. my unemployment will be running out very shortly and that will leave me with abot 500 a month. I am a single mom with 2 kids and I am terrified especially with the news saying that gas will go up to 6.00 a gallon. I have school refund checks that come every once in a while too so that also helps but its not much. with the one i am about to get i am going to buy a motorized scooter for 200-300 and use that as much as i can to do things around town while my son is in school. I just dont know how long it will run at a time. a scooter is smarter to get in pa for this than a bike because all the hills. I am petty good at getting things for free too thanks to moneysavingmom but i am worried about paying the bills since you cant use coupons for that any income generating tips would be much appreciated

    • Mary,
      Scooters get great gas mileage (about 70-80 mpg) but they don’t always do well on hills; my brother-in-law uses one , and my husband was considering getting one, when my b-i-l told us that he has to walk his scooter up the hills. So, do ask questions about the scooters you are looking at before you get one. Some will take hills, but only at 10-15mph. A scooter can be a great way to save on gas.

      I don’t know what you’re doing for food, but I did write this about some ways that we are keeping our family fed during our very long underemployment: when You Need Food

      Also, here are
      my best tips for saving money.

      We’ve been struggling for 4 years, but we are doing the best we can. I hope you find a job soon.

  94. Heather Finnegan says:

    I feel for you. My family of 4 faced the same thing last June. My husband, a music teacher found out June 1st he was out of a job (and benefits) as of June 30th. It has sucked! However, God has provided. We cut as much as we could, cable, slower internet, super basic phone, ect. We eat very little beef as I can get chicken and pork much cheaper. We also eat a lot more meatless meals. God provided a part-time job that covers the mortgage, and several small jobs that provide the rest. I am a former teacher and do some babysitting on the side. My kids are on state healthcare, and I use WIC for my youngest son. We have stopped short of applying for food stamps, but will if we need to. I will add your family to our prayers. It has been so scary, yet my faith is so much stronger!!! If you need another set of ideas, read Living with Less: so your family can have more by Jill Savage and Mark Savage. Blessings!!!!

  95. Please consider a payapl link so those you have inspired can pay it forward!

    God bless!


  96. I found my way to your blog last week from Kelly’s Wisdom Begun and enjoyed myself here. You are such an encouragement! Praying for you and your family!

  97. I am sorry about the job loss! We are in the same boat. My husband lost his job almost two years ago and still doesn’t have a full-time job. I am a mom to 5 and had the priviledge of staying home and being with them/ teaching them for the last nine years. But when the severence ended last January, my husband began to work freelance for a former employer and asked me to look for work. I really didn’t want to do this…at all. But in submission to him, I put the children in school (all in the same elementary school) and started working (sometimes subbing at their school). We both work about 30 hours a week and this prevents us from having to put our kids in childcare (which is less than ideal and expensive). It has been quite an adjustment! Like you, I believe the home is my primary base of ministry. But I also see that scripture tells me to submit to my husband. I don’t think the bible prohibits women from working outside the home (and I think scripture makes a stronger case for submission than it does for not working). Of course, it does make it more difficult to care for your family and home when you are away and it is a hard juggling act, but my heart is still at home and it is still my priority. But I have learned the hard way not to say I will not do “thus and such”. Because in the cases I have had to do “thus and such”, it has been very humbling! Anyway, I love your sense of humor and pray God provides for you quickly.

  98. Christina says:

    We can feel for you! My husband was laid off for 2 years and one month, yet we survived, kept our house and were never late on a bill, thanks to God! We did go on unemployment, WIC, food stamps, government health care, etc. That in itself was a lesson in humility! Through it all though, we learned to trust God for our every need. He provided us with all we could need and more! My husband did do side work during that time, which helped tremendously and I really got good at couponing. We also joined Freecycle and sold a lot on craigslist. We cut back on everything we could and did not spend an extra dime on anything! Our prayers will be with you!

  99. So good to hear that so many mention trusting God and praying to Him to meet all our needs. I was a single Mom of 3 after divorcing because of abuse. Got a little child support, not much though, and most of that went to pay the 2d lien on the home – not too good of a divorce settlement.

    I prayed a lot, but got so much help from Our Lord and we never were totally without food, clothing, or utilities. I turned the thermostat way down in the winter & we wore layered clothing to stay warm; in the summer, I turned off the A/C if the children went to visit their Dad for a weekend; A/C was up “high” all summer and it was “hot” but I used fans to circulate the air.

    The children laundered their clothing at the end of the school year & I took those to the resale shop – got enough for a new pair of tennis shoes for each. The girls babysat the beautician’s daughter – in exchange for free haircuts, etc., & a little cash.

    Lots of folks gave me coupons & sometimes I slept only 3 hours (when sales were great) to cut & organize coupons (had like 45 minutes of lunch break to do 1 aisle). Took children w/me sometimes on Saturday & each could do the limit items – with coupons, the stuff was really cheap. So we stockpiled items we knew we would need in a few months.

    Did the clearance racks at stores to get clothes for back-to-school.

    And we never gave up trusting Our Lord – He gave us ideas (to save and cut back); He seemed to provide for us when I thought there was no way I could make the mortgage payment; He gave me excellent mechanics who made my cars run to 200,000 miles; He gave me folks who gave us fresh veggies and sometimes packages of meat.

    It’s hard, so hard on us – but we grow through trials and tribulations. I believe I appreciate so much more since I went through horrific times.

    Remember – nothing is impossible for Our Lord. And if I may add – be willing to accept help from family & friends. Don’t know what I’d have done without my dear Mom – her encouragement, her strength, and her financial help all came at the right times.


    • Louise, your story was so encouraging to read. I so admire your spirit and strength. My mom was a single parent, thus I know how hard it was for her. It is so much more difficult I feel for a spouse without much support (financial, emotional, physical). Having a can-do spirit and trying not to wallow in pity really does go far and it sounds like your faith in God supported you greatly. I am printing out your story to keep on hand for inspiration. Thank you.

    • To add, I really like what you said about going through hard times. It is easy to enjoy the good times, and a life of less trouble. We should all embrace the hard times as well – for if Jesus had them who is to say that we all should not? These things come with living a life on earth. There is still much to be thankful for. I also believe (having gone through difficult things) that the hard times made me a stronger person. These are the things that test our faith and make us grow. However, I truly feel that even broke Americans are usually still richer than people in third world countries. Poor is not a word to be used lightly. Thank you again.

  100. Admiring you! Praying for you…
    and looking forward to the blog posts about all the
    amazing ways God provides!

  101. God delivered us in a season of unemployment and is providing for us through this season of underemployment – sell anything that is not nailed down, get rid of the extra vehicle, coupon like the dickens – if your girls are big enough, let them do it – good training! – if you have a rite aid, take every thing they give away every week and develop mutual mooching relationships – someone in your life would like for you to do all of their toiletry shopping (only costs your time) and maybe they can help y0u when you need car or home repairs or something that is difficult to do yourself or pass along some kid clothes your way – read all the tightwad gazette books (from the library, of course) – and don’t go so cheap that family morale takes a hit – a little clearance rack meat and some free family outings (may 6 is national free day at your local botanical garden – bhg.com) go a long way toward keeping hearts happy – be careful to thank God for His mercies and blessings privately and publicly – He doesn’t need this, you do! we’ll pray for you tonight!

  102. Jennifer Lenarz says:

    My husband is currently unemployed as well (since 11/2010), and we are surviving on my meager christian school teacher income (not to mention that my children are at school with me (tuition, ouch :/) and we live in southern California. But, through it all, our faith in our Lord has grown immensely. And our marriage and love for each other has also grown. I think of it as a blessing in disguise for my children to experience moments of their lives where they lean that they are not entitled to everything, and there are many greater blessings in this world that do not involve money. Plus, they get to witness the love of their parents grow right in front of their eyes. God is so awesome in the way he works. I pray that your family is able to cope the way that our family has!

    Many Blessings to you!

  103. I’m so sorry to hear about your husband’s job loss. It is such a stressful and difficult time, but you seem to have a good basis of faith to get you through. I haven’t had time to read all the comments, so forgive me if I repeat what others have already said. We went through the same situation last year. It was very unexpected. Fortunately, my husband received a good severance, but we didn’t know how long it would have to last. We have 7 kids and I stay at home and homeschool also. All the things you’ve said you’re doing are great. We also put up a clothesline. The only things I used the dryer for were underwear and socks. I just couldn’t bring myself to hang all those out for all the neighbors to see! Not to mention how long it would take to hang all those little items. We also stopped using our dishwasher, we cut back on all nonessentials, and we ran the air conditioner less. It was not fun, but like one reader said, it became a challenge. We did put the kids on medicare (which I really didn’t want to) but thank God they stayed healthy and we never had to use it. One great resource we used was our local food bank. It was a great blessing to us to get that free food, even if it was mostly pasta and rice and peanut butter. It helped us to keep our grocery budget very small in those four months. I also found some great sales at the grocery store, so I stocked up on ground beef when it was on sale. I began freezer cooking and planning menus again–something which I’d thought I was too busy for. Going through a layoff helps bring you back to basics. Now my husband has a new job (one that he is happier at), which makes all of us happier. I look back at that time as God’s hand leading us in a different direction. And He certainly did provide! I pray he will lead your husband to a new job soon.

  104. Keeping you and your family in our prayers. I did want to give you info on an article in the May 2011 family circle magazine called “financial aid” get out of debt, deal with a job loss and become a better money manager. If you can’t access it online I can scan and email it to you! Just let me know.

  105. I also wanted to add that HSLDA has a curriculum scholarship available for up-to-date members. If you are not currently a member, you can also apply for a free membership for a year. If you get that, then you can apply for a scholarship. Apply early though, before they run out of funds.

  106. Connie- I am so sorry. Just so sad about this for you. I can relate too well!

    I will be thinking, okay? My brain doesn’t work well quickly…

    One thing that has come to mind as I was reading was that often people need help with their elderly relatives. I’ve done this before – working over the night – but able to sleep enough and then come home and still home-educate the children. They didn’t really even know I was gone, and it wasn’t every night – but it helped some. The kids could pet sit, your oldest could mow yards or clean gutters, maybe Madison could babysit (I’ve got homeschooled friends whose daughter nannies a couple of days a week for a college professor…) I have always been reluctant to have the kids pitch in – but in a pinch they surely can and do.

    Last year, when Jeff was sick and out of work, several friends pitched in and paid for the kids to go on the mission trips they were already signed up for – so the kids didn’t have to miss out. I was so thankful for that – for them.

    You really will be carried through this – and I believe that you will see the Body of Christ in action. You will be reminded of His love for you.

    You are strong, you are already frugal and smart – you WILL make it with God’s help.

    It is a humbling time, but it reminds us of what is really important. I believe with you that God will provide and that you will emerge with a better picture of the character of God.

    Maybe, even, a job will quickly come along.

    I’ll be praying and trying to come up with other ideas.

    Love, Holly

  107. Hi, you don’t know me, and this is my first visit to your blog. (I came here from Money Saving Mom). But I have been in your shoes more times than I care to think about. My husband has been through five periods of unemployment in the almost 11 years we have been married. Once occurred a month after the birth of our second daughter. I know the place where you are quite well.

    Your game plan sounds excellent. I pray that your husband will find work again quickly. And though you don’t know me, feel free to shoot me a line if you need to, just because I have been there and can sympathize or encourage. Otherwise, just know that I admire your strong faith (my own has faltered at times), and I believe that God will use this mightily in your lives. God bless.

  108. Connie you are in my thoughts and prayers! My husband was laid off in Jan. 2009 – two weeks before the birth of our third child. We buckled down and ended up adding a significant amount to our savings account during his unemployment. He started his new job after nine weeks of unemployment but had to move to MA while I stayed behind with the kids to sell our house in NC. We never sold the house and finally rented it out almost a year later. As luck would have it, a job opened up about an hour from our house in NC and we were back home in time to celebrate our son’s 2nd birthday a few months ago. Everything happens for a reason and I’m sure something good will come out of this. I would recommend a book called “What Color Is Your Parachute” to help your husband through the interview process. My husband uses it every time he interviews and it’s a great tool!

  109. Praying for you, Connie! Ps. 27:13–“I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” We serve a great and powerful God :)

  110. I found your blog through Money Saving Mom. Inspiring post. Prayers for your family. I’ve posted some frugal tips and recipes that our family practices. Hope you find them helpful. God Bless.

  111. Husband lost job and did not find work for two years. We home schooled, I was able to find office work so he stayed home for one year and I went to work. During this time the kids bonded with their dad like they had not done before, it was truely a blessing from God for them.

    During this time, the kids received more invites to birthday parties then ever, but God provided sales of nice simple things every time so the kids went to the parties with something in their hands.

    Even though we are now retired I look for things that might cut expenses here and there. One thing I have done is start washing my hair with baking soda and condition with a vinegar rinse, it has worked very well for me and I don’t have to wash my hair as often even looks better.

    We live in an area, where citrus trees grow well and many older folks can not harvest the tops of their trees, so one man offered to pick their trees clean for half of the fruit and he sells the rest of what he does not use. Maybe you have some neighbors who would like to have a veg. garden but can’t do all of the labor but whole share the crop with you in exchange for some labor, then you could have more than just “beans”!

    The Lord will Bless and guide you as you listen to Him.

  112. Consider offering to teach a class on how you cook, clean house etc. To local churches and community centers, you have a wealth of information to share with others in your area that are also expericing hard times.

    Maybe even to tutor children in subjects they need help in.

  113. First of all, we are praying for you guys. My husband had his hours cut to part time and we lived off this little amount of income for 3 years until he could find full time income again. When we first got the awful news I figured we had enough in savings to make it 6 months. We kept our faith in God, worked our tails off at every odd job we could find, and had awesome family and friends who helped us out. Three years later he was offered two full time jobs – both on the same day. God is amazing and He will take care of you guys!

  114. Two things come to mind as I work around the house tonight…

    1) Are you still making aprons? If so, perhaps a order blitz through your friends here (promoted on their websites, I mean….) and Mark could help you with some school subjects so that you had a little more time to sew?

    2) Depending on how your home and cooling system is set up – you could have the kids all bunk in one room for sleeping in air conditioning. Ours have to do this often – summer and winter. Our upstairs is completely unheated/uncooled – with temps in the 100s sometimes and high humidity, it is awful up there. So – they bring out sleeping bags and sleep in the living room several months of the year. You do what you’ve gotta do….and even shutting off vents in the bedrooms might help.

    I’ll keep thinking….

    • Smockity Frocks says:

      Holly, I haven’t sold any aprons in a while. The oilcloth is expensive and they sell on Ebay for less than I do. (I don’t know how people sell them for so little!)

      You have my kids all atwitter in excitement about sleeping in the living room now! :)

  115. We are also job-less right now, for the second time in two years. It sucks. I would add two things.

    1. Guard your marriage. The first spell of unemployment almost cost me my marriage. Hubby had a big blow to his self-worth and that resulted in a lot of anger. I dished it right back and it became a vicious cycle.

    2. Look into direct sales. I won’t pitch any certain company~unless you want me to! :-) I signed up with a wonderful, faith-based company about a week before the job loss. I am able to continue being a SAHM while still bringing in some money.

    • Pat DeLeonibus says:

      I have to agree with Jen. Direct sales will allow you to remain a SAHM while making money. There are many companies out there that have very low or no start up cost. I also wont mention any specific company but if your interested, I can direct you to a site that has many to choose from.

  116. My mother-in-law referred me to your website last year when she found out that I love reading blogs, and (though I have never commented before) I have enjoyed reading about you and your delightful family ever since.
    I am truly sorry to hear about your situation, but I know that God will take care of you and that your family will pull through somehow. My husband and I will be praying for you and using your links as often as we use Amazon (which can be quite a lot).
    You are such a spiritual inspiration to your readers, and I know that we will all do anything we can to help you out!

  117. I’m so sorry to hear that your husband lost his job. My husband works through a Union Hiring Hall, and has been laid off a lot more than he has been working. We have a daughter that is differently abled, so a few years ago, I gave up my business and started working part time. This didn’t work out with his schedule, child care etc. So, I started searching for a better way. Right now I work at home taking inbound calls for a company called LiveOps, http://www.liveops.com I make my own schedule, and do quiet well. I have done mystery shopping/product demonstrating in the past as well. Product demonstrating (think of the sample ladies at Sam’s Club or Wal-Mart) actually pays pretty good. I used a “database” type website — http://www.shadowshopper.com , they do charge a monthly membership fee. I did well through a company called http://www.sunflowerstaffing.com This is the company I liked best. Just sign up on their website and look for jobs– no fee. My grandmother has worked through them for about 4 years now. Great company.
    Here are some babysitting, housesitting, petcare websites– http://www.care.com http://www.sittercity.com If you want to watch kids in your home or have a teenager looking for a little extra money it is free to sign up as a provider. I have never actually done this.
    With our recent challenges, more changes are coming for our family. We are selling our second car, I work from home, and my husband usually only works out of town here and there for a week or less at a time. The sale of the car adds to the bottom line, but we will also pay less in car insurance. Our washer and dryer broke a few months ago, and we have been “renting” ours from Rent-A-Center. With the car money we are buying a used washer and a mountable drying rack.
    I’m about to start using a lot more coupons and starting a stock like the women show on TLC, so this winter I hope to be pullling many of our needed items from a shelf in our house rather than the Wal-Mart shelf.
    We will be planting our first garden this year, and hope to have some vegetable to freeze.
    I hope some of these tips help bring dollars to your family.
    Best wishes, God Bless your family!

  118. I commented on MSM but I wanted to put this here too. BTW, I will use your Amazon link if I do any online shopping! Hang in there, God sees the sparrows that fall, just think how much more he loves you!

    What a good post. Loved the “What we will NOT do-lose our faith in God” part. My husband walked out on his $19K/yr job last June, leaving us completely income-less, savings-less, and me a SAHM with three preschoolers. Panic time, right? Well, since then God has provided everything miraculously and in His perfect timing, so much so that I just kinda sit back and enjoy the ride now. While it was the beginning of the end of my marriage (different can of worms) God has been on my side through it all, and while I struggle with having to work and leave my kids, I am in the best place I’ve ever been: riding high on my heavenly daddy’s shoulders.

    There’s a lot to be said for perspective. It was five months before I got my job, and in the meantime, I knew it wouldn’t be the end of the world if the electricity got shut off in the summer, we wouldn’t be freezing to death and PB&J keeps just fine at room temp. Turns out it didn’t even get shut off! But I learned even more about sacrifice, contentment, frugality, and resourcefulness during that time, in addition to my complete reliance on God. Now, I have a job that pays more than my husband made, plus my bills are less, I just paid cash for an amazing new-to-me minivan to replace my clunker, and -here’s my favorite part- I have the freedom to give and bless others who are walking the same road I walked for so many years. God is so good!

  119. My family (although much smaller than yours) has survived something similar to yours. My hubby works, but I was laid off in August of 2010. We are seriously doing BETTER now that I am at home and am able to save us money by couponing, etc. I even make our own laundry soap. If you are interested I could forward the recipe to you…it literally costs less than a couple dollars for a 5 gallon bucket! Its amazing the areas you can find to cut $ when you have the time to think about it. You are in my families prayers. All things happen for a reason.

  120. So sorry about the hard times you are going through. Thank you for sharing your trials with us though. It will surely be a blessing for many.

  121. Hi Connie – This is my first visit to your blog, but not the last! So glad to read about your faith in God and HIS promises! He is always faithful to His promises. I have been the primary earner in our house for more than 15 years because of having a higher earning potential and giving my husband the time to work on some other Godly pursuits. Five years ago we had our son and my husband became a stay-at-home dad. This wasn’t how we pictured life with a child!! But we did it. God BLESSED it so much, but we knew it was coming to an end and were praying for the next steps and yet looking for a promotion, too. Then a couple of weeks ago, the unexpected happened. I was told my position had been “eliminated.” God is so good… it was the promotion I had been asking for but not the way I expected because it came with 9 months of severance and paid Cobra!! Glory! We too are going through the plans to cut expenses, but are also making plans to start a business we have been planning and praying about for several years. It looks like God got tired of waiting for us to make a move and pushed us out! Come to think if it, He did the same thing with our son… Maybe we’ll start doing things differently now! The last 2 weeks have been some of the best we have had in a LONG time!

    Bottom line here… It is all in your attitude and focus. You can make it hard or easy. God says, You can do ALL things through Christ who stengthens you! God says, He will never leave you or forsake you. God says, fear not for what you will eat or drink or how you will clothe yourself. If He cares for the smallest sparrow, how much better will He look out for you and your family? Look for the blessings in the situtation. Look for what God is showing you, teaching you. Look for the open doors, the open windows. Reassess your goals, priorities, focus. Put God first and what He has called you to do. God can use anything as a blessing in disguise!

    Let’s pray for each other! God is our provider, our strength, and our protector!

    In one accord, Becky

  122. Elizabeth in NC says:

    Just found your site via Moneysavingmom…and wanted to say I have also been where you are. My husband was laid off back in mid 90’s due to the Nafta agreement (thanks a lot govt). But since he was in night school, he went ahead and quickly finished up his 2nd college degree during the 20 months he was without work. We got a little unemployment, but lived off his retirement money (almost 15 years worth)….time he paid the penalty and taxes, it was not a lot, but enough we manage to stay intact. I was at home with our last child homeschooling and he wanted me to be there for that…our oldest was also finishing up his college degree. We ate a lot of peanut butter and honey sandwiches, tacos, burritos, etc. but we were often even able to share that with others less fortunate at the college during that time. A couple of small gifts came from folks at the church and they asked after our welfare every so often, but he went back to work about the time our resources ran out. It was a time of great bonding for us and our children however. And I managed with the help of friends, to put together a great reception for his and our son’s graduation party, at a swanky motel, new in town and fairly cheap then…beside the river. Some said it was the best party they ever went to. I learned a lot about thrift shops, yard sales, etc. I have always sewed a lot, etc. so we managed ok.

    One thing we do now, is I run things like the dishwasher and dryer late at night…and I have noticed that since I began doing that, our electric company gives us a rebate each month of 6-10 dollars…be sure someone is awake however to do this…not safe to sleep I feel with them running. We use soap from a company here in this state called Charlie’s Soap. You only use about a Tablespoon or so per load and it does not have scent, so it is safe for allergy people, which we are. When you buy it by the 5 gallon bucket it saves a lot too. I do not know how the price compares to homemade as I have not tried that out.

    We used a device on our hot water heater too called The Gray Box…no idea if they are still made…but my hubby made it come on for about 2 hours in the AM and 2 hours in the PM…if we needed it otherwise, we simply flipped the switch about 20 minutes prior to a shower, etc. It DOES save money. I also hang things to dry as much as we can…that is somewhat limited here in the south as things dry so slowly in the humidity…but we also have ceiling fans in the bedrooms and hanging damp clothes under them helps hurry the drying process. Also have a fan on a stand in the living room…and that enables one to keep the temp more comfortable even if AC is turned down. If you live in a dry climate, wetting a hand towel and wrapping it around the neck cools the body considerably. I will come back to read often now that I have found you!!

    Blessings, Elizabeth in NC

  123. I am so sorry about this challenge that your family has been given. I will keep you all in my prayers that your DH finds a job quickly.

  124. blessings to you and yours, i will make it a point to browse daily and will post on my FB page!

  125. So sorry to hear about the job loss! My husband was out of steady work in 2009/2010 for about four months. I definitely agree with others who have posted about doing whatever jobs you can find, whether you like them or not. My hubby worked odd jobs for a local farmer and a local contractor, and it helped us keep our health insurance and our house and me at home with our kids, something we weren’t willing to compromise. Our church family helped out significantly as did our biological families. I learned a lot about necessities – what are and what aren’t!

    I am new to your blog – just found it through MoneySavingMom. If you’re in a rural area, check with local farmers and ranchers as many of them hire seasonal help during this time of the year, as do contractors and carpenters. Also, as my husband applied for jobs, he was very blunt about his need for employment. He applied for anything he might have a shot at, and was very diligent in following up with potential employers. The job he has now is one he never would have even looked at under different circumstances. He likes it, and it’s the best-paying job he’s ever had. Hang in there. Some days it does seem like it will last forever – but it won’t.
    Philippians 4:6-8

  126. Your plan of action is EXCELLENT. Cut everything you can, NOW, because you don’t know how long it will last. The more you can cut now, the more you will have to live on later.

    My husband is self-employed. We went 8 months without income in 2007, and lived strictly from our pantry for over a year. We bought nothing–no clothes or shoes for the children, etc.

    Since then, we’ve been making considerably less each year. Last year we made half of what we made in 2007. We’ve been surviving underemployment for a very long time.

    We do eat a lot of potatoes, soups, and meatless meals. We used to eat for $2 -$5 a meal for all 8 of us. In the last year, we’ve eaten even more frugally; we eat for .50 to $1.00 for all of us, and most of those meals make leftovers, too.

    I’ve used my Amazon credit from referrals from my site for shoes for my children, some homeschool curriculum, shirts for my husband when his were past mending, and other needed items.

    I have made birthday and Christmas gifts for everyone for 4 years now.

    You are absolutely doing the right thing about no more cereal. We stopped eating it years ago and I will never do it again. We have lots of delicious breakfasts, including oatmeal. I have had to restock my pantry on oatmeal. We go through about 75 pounds a year. I buy it in bulk in 25lb bags to make it even cheaper. I do the same thing for a variety of beans. It hasn’t always been easy to come up with the money for those, but I have done it when I can. (For example, last month my grandmother gave me $11 to buy a fast-food chicken dinner for my family. I used it to buy 25lbs of oats instead).

    One thing that I have learned during this time is that there is almost always a less-expensive way to do things. I have often thought that we had cut all that we could. I would then find ways to cut more (including $200 a month on our electric bill). We are constantly reevaluating how we spend what money does come in, or how we can do things for less. It amazes me that I can still find ways to do more.

    You’ve been given some great advice in the comments from everyone. I will second those who have said to not stop paying your tithing. Heavenly Father opens the windows of heaven and gives you more blessings that you can count.

  127. Ms. Smockity!

    I wrote a blog post for you this morning. It’s “How God Provided for us when my husband lost his job!” I point back to your site several times 😀 God got YOU girl!


  128. Unbelievable that is the first time your husband has ever lost his job.First time is the worst but it doesn’t get easier.You just learn the drill of how to survive and do the things faster.One big advantage you have is the economy is bad so everyone in the past 2 years have had job losses.Back in the 90’s and early 2000’s we would be the only ones around with no income.People were not as kind with remarks and not as helpfull.

    Hope he gets a job soon.

  129. Michele H. says:

    We are praying for you… I’m even more proud of you, seeing your awesome plan of action and trust in our Father!!! :-)

  130. you & your family are in our prayers. I’m not sure if you’ve looked into this yet- but i would really check out demand studios if you enjoy writing (which you seem great at!) and would like to make some extra income. A couple of years ago when my husband was unemployed & I was pregnant with our first, I applied for them & began writing articles for them as soon as I was hired & they’ve been a huge blessing to our family (even today). Anyway, it’s not amazing pay, but the quicker you get, the more you can make per day & they pay via paypal twice a week which really helps in crutch time. Again, you’re in our prayers & I hope the best for you & your family.

  131. We went through this same thing, surprise job loss, in 2008. My husband had been in the same job 31 years, That morning he turned in his budget report for 2009 and then went to lunch. After lunch he was called into the office and told to leave. He was crushed. He has only had 4 jobs in his whole life (he is 58) and to lose that job to him was almost like a death.
    We did get a good ‘settlement’ package. He had vacation time pay too. My husband was in depression before he even got home…It was really hard for him.
    I will be honest and say that it was hardest for me to watch him in such a depression than it was for me to adjust the job loss. We were frugal before the job loss and that was a huge help. We had no debt. That made a world of difference.
    I am happy to report that God had a plan. He was out of work 4 months. He got another job with less stress and of coarse less money. After 1 year at that job (a job that was almost a vacation for him) he got a call from the new owners of the building that had let him go. They offered him the sun, moon, and stars to return. After much prayer and thought he did. So he is back where he started out. It is funny how God’s plans work sometimes.
    My husband is a engineer. He loves his job and is the most happy when he is working. That is just how he is…So if he is happy, I am happy.
    I know this is hard right now, I know it is scary too. You have a solid faith and that will see you through.
    One thing you might do to help a little bit too is to start a small garden. Just some tomatoes, squash, etc. Something fast growing but that will help you keep your grocery bills down.

  132. prayers here Connie. God will provide. He may not do it how when and where we’d like. but He knows better. You know I know the story…keep your love up.

  133. I also wanted to mention that it might be a good idea to talk to your kid’s gymnastics teachers to see if they can do a work-exchange thing for lessons. I’ve done this in the past with ballet, and most stidios/centers are happy to help families out if and when they can. It might involve your family cleaning up or answering phones a couple of nights a week in exchange for free lessons.

  134. Elizabeth says:

    Oh no Connie this is not fun. I am sorry about this and will pray for you all. From the time our fourth child was born until out fifth was born we had some interesting job situations. You know how people say that on paper your money should not work out? Well in those two years we lost close to twenty five percent of our income two years in a row and we still came out debt free. The second year he made fifty percent of the years income in three months. I must say we are careful with our money but not frugal gurus. When I saw that all spelled out on paper I knew I was witnessing a miracle! God will get you through. I know he will!

  135. My husband and I are experiencing a simiarly situation. He is not laid off but retiring from the Military after 20 years. I’ve been praying for guidence and just “happened” to stumble across your site. What a blessing. We have been avoiding the “action plan”. I guess I thought it would be best not to talk about it. But thanks to your site, my husband and I will sit down tonight and make out our action plan. I will be praying for you and your family. I know God has a plan for us and I can’t wait to see what great things await us. God Bless.

  136. Hi Connie!

    I just shared your article on my blog today! (http://theabundantwife.com/how-to-survive-a-layoff/) My husband was laid off 8 months ago, but he’s had steady employment as a substitute teacher for the last 2.5 months. He’ll teach swim lessons at a day camp for the summer, and hopefully have work in education or youth ministry for the new school year.

    We have a toddler and a newborn (born during this unemployment), and we moved in with my parents to make ends meet. We’re on WIC for groceries and Medicaid paid for our newborn’s birth. God has provided for every need. We’ve paid off 2 student loans in the last few months…something I would have never thought possible!

    Remember, God gives unlikely people (even the unemployed) his power so it is clear who deserves the glory for the success that takes place (David Platt, Radical). :) He will sustain you, and he will be glorified.

  137. Connie you are an inspiration. I smile every time I think of your blog and your family. I will be praying for you and making my amazon purchases through your link. I love amazon and my link. It’s nice to get that check. I am happy to call you ” myonlinefriendConnie”. I will be happy to post a link on my site to your post later today.

  138. I’m so sorry. I grew up in a military family (before the military was “downsized”) and the thought of my husband losing his job never crossed my mind…until it happened. I remember well, feeling like I was hit in the stomach. I think your plan is a good one. I’ve bookmarked your site and will visit often. Praying that this season of unemployment is a short one.

  139. Connie,

    Can you send me your email address or a way I can touch base with you?
    Loved your post and posted it on FB!


  140. My husband lost his job on October 6, 2008. I gave birth to our first son October 10, 2008. I was working full time, so we prayed about it and my husband started college, hoping it would help in the long run (before, he was a restaurant manager).

    Then, when I was 14 weeks pregnant with our second, I was fired from my job. It was wrongful termination and I won my unemployment, but it was a long, hard fight. That was in April 2010, and I haven’t been employed since. My husband has a small job that is only 10 hours a week while he finishes his courses (he’s almost done with his bachelor’s, so we made the decision to really cut back and let him finish).

    The only way we have survived this past year is through the grace of God. I have no tips as we’re still trying to figure all this out, but I will definitely be praying for your family.

  141. March 11 2009. That’s when my husband lost his job. That year will live as legend in our family. We went through the worst of times and the worst of times. Believe it or not his job loss was not that big of a deal when we came out on the other side of that year.
    We are still hanging on. A few late mortgage payments, but we are still in our house. We just started getting food stamps.
    God decided to bless us with our first biological child in the middle of last year. We had the COBRA subsidy so we had health insurance through my whole pregnancy and delivery. It ran out 3 months after she was born.
    We tried to drop dance classes and piano but both teachers insisted we stick around pro bono for awhile.
    DH has some really good leads on jobs this week and we are praying with all we have that he can get one.
    It’s been a long hard road but just wait and see how God is going to bless you and provide for you. Those have been some of the most exciting times for us.
    A surprise check, 11 diaper boxes full of baby clothes just when we were getting to sizes I did not have a good stash for. Friends dropping off big boxes of diapers. Good support while I learned to nurse my baby. Almost a full year later still nursing most of the time (oh the money we have saved!) Older kids who were used to living on a modest income anyway so really they have not lost a whole lot. Finding a little extra money at Christmas.
    The list just goes on!
    The hardest part is after two years people start wondering if DH even wants a job. Is he just enjoying living off of unemployment? That breaks my heart. They don’t see the depression he deals with after a great interview turns into nothing. He faithfully applies for jobs all week and we might get one phone call. We get an interview every few weeks. Then nothing.
    Hang in there and enjoy this time with hubby at home. Put away the books more and spend time together exploring parks, nature, free festivals. It’s amazing how much fun your kids can have with an unemployed dad. :)
    Praying for you!

  142. I found my way here from Money Saving Mom. I’m very sorry to hear about your husband’s job loss. It’s never an easy thing. We’ve had to do it before, too, and I remember COBRA being especially hard to pay because it’s so expensive. (But we HAD to keep insurance, as my husband has kidney disease, and I suffer from migraines.)

    One thing I wanted to mention is that when it comes to church camp, your kids should still be able to go. My husband is the youth minister at our church, and there is always scholarship money available for students to go to youth camp each summer. We have some very generous folks in our church who always make sure that every kid who wants to go to camp is able to. At least one kid has needed scholarship money every year, as layoffs happen to parents or medical bills eat a family’s finances or whatever. If this is important to your family for your kids to go to camp, please let whoever is in charge of it know what’s going on. Hopefully, they will handle it discreetly, and the funds will come available for your kiddos . And if the idea of others paying for your kids bothers you, just remember that when you’re financially secure again, you can always pay it forward for some other kid in the future. :-)

  143. Connie, I am so sorry!

    Yes, my husband did lose his job a few years ago. Luckily, he was back to work in 8 weeks. He did take a major pay cut, but he’s been happy there and the stress is much less than before.

    I will pray for you that your husband finds a job quickly!

  144. My husband was laid off in December and still hasn’t found work. This has been the hardest season of my life. I have good days and bad days. Your post is very encouraging and I’ll be sharing it with my husband so he knows we are not the onlyone’s taking extreme measure’s to cut expenses.

    We been discouraged because no one else around us has gone through what we’ve gone through. We hear from them, “we did so can you” but their husband was only out of work for a month or less. We are at 5 months and going!

    I wish you the best!

  145. Ouch, I’m sorry to hear this! I will tweet the link and mention in on my blog this week. I did learn to survive on a very small income during the time I was single (and with 4 kids), so I know how to squeeze a penny, and I’m sure you do too. Hopefully something wonderful will show up, work wise, for your hubby. Has he read the wonderful book “48 Days to the Work you Love?”

  146. Lacey C. says:

    This is the first time I’ve visited your blog. I appreciate your honesty and openness with your readers! We’ve had a hard, hard time finding steady work since the economic decline. My husband was a youth ministry worker and a residential carpenter. Both ministry and housing industry were hit hard and now he’s been unable to find positions in either of those thing. So he’s doing whatever work he can find, and praise the Lord, we have no debt and I’m home with my kids, but it is very difficult to make ends meet and sometimes our bank account says $0. God has not changed, knew about your current situation from before the beginning of time, and is working in your family. Keep your eyes fixed on truth!

  147. Rebecca L. says:

    I am so sorry, we have had to contend with that during our 20+ years of marriage as well and it isn’t easy. The Lord has provided in the means of WIC, food stamps and other helps, don’t be ashamed or too prideful to do it. It’s good that you are frugal and good with money, it won’t be as much of a shock to your system to tighten the belt even further. I bet your really glad of that garden now, huh, lol. Praying for your family, it just seems to be an epidemic of unemployment, just from people I personally know, reading the comments here and the current economy here locally. May I recommend 2 books, other than the Bible, which is the best comfort. One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp is a tremendous book and The Tightwad Gazette is a great resource. Livingonadime.com is a good website, breeze thru their archives and read their history, they are really good and saving money and living on a shoestring. God bless and I hope the unemployment doesn’t last long!

  148. Rebecca L. says:

    Also meant to tell you that several people in my family have paper routes and they all make at least $2000 per month. They pay their own gas so gas guzzlers beware.

  149. Mary Kay says:

    I found your blog through Money Saving Mom. I think your article is very well written. I just placed an Amazon order through your affiliate link and will try to remember to do so with future orders. I’ll be praying for you and your family.

  150. Very interesting. We’ve managed to not have to face this, but we have wisely budgeted our lives to live off of one income if it comes to that (we both work right now). I am very interested in what your posts will be about so I’m adding you to my favorites list.
    Oh, and I buy a ton of stuff from Amazon, so I’ll be happy to use your link!

  151. Amy Barclay says:

    Due to health reasons, I had to resign my job in Feb 2011, and that left our family with less than 1/2 the takehome pay we were used to. I have been couponing thanks to a dear friend who taught me and I have been checking southernsavers and moneysavingmom websites.
    Any other tips from readers would be welcome, as I am searching for work now that I have recovered, but have to watch the expenses closely and it’s hard to do.
    I understand what you are going through, and reading through the comments above has helped me get some ideas too!
    God is good!

  152. Lisa Adams says:

    Just read this link (was referred by Money Saving Mom) and was definitely blessed by it. You are so wise, and the Lord will meet you and show Himself strong through this difficult time, as you trust him! My husband lost his salaried job in March 2010 and was not on salary again until February 2011. During those 10 months, God showed Himself so faithful to us. My husband, while searching for a job, built up multiple streams of income–even doing something crazy like selling barrels, but that was how he got his new job, from someone who bought a barrel. The best way to get a job seems to be through a personal connection like that. God provided for us so marvelously in so many ways! I will pray the same for you.

  153. Janelle Burke says:

    God bless you for reading my mind. My hubby has lost his job 6 times in our 10 years of marriage and each time totally unexpected. This time I hope I pass the test b/c doing this over and over stinks….BUT God ALWAYS SHOWS UP! We have never gone hungry, or naked, or homeless. Even if we did I still believe that He is the Savior of the world and NOTHING comes to me that wasn’t approved by Him to make us stronger and wiser and more of a blessing to those around us. Praise be to God who will reign forever and ever and for the day where there will be NO MORE TEARS! I will pray for your family.

  154. thesocialhomeschooler says:

    We have been through two layoffs in recent years, and there are many ways to save money and be extra frugal. Pinch that penny and make it scream.

    One way to save a lot of money is to search Duggar Family Recipes, and to use Michelle Duggar’s recipe for laundry soap. If you have a front load washer, this recipe makes 640 loads of laundry soap for about $2! And it’s not hard to make at all! We’ve been using it for months with no problems whatsoever.

  155. Rhonda Hall says:

    Sorrry to hear of job loss, we also lost our jobs about a year apart…My plant closed and gratefully I was given a great buy out that enabled us to pay off house and cars, went on hubs insurance only for him to get layed off….
    Does your hubs not qualify for unemployment???/ also, the state paid for 65% of our health ins. for 9 months then we found high deductible ins..at a reasonable price…
    Did I mention I was in school during the year after my lay off so work was out of question… we have been married 30 years so just hang in there, invite friends out to play games or watch movies (get free at library) teach the kids lots of board games and spend quality time with them while it is free…..
    Ask friends for coupons and scour the ads for sale items and match up coupons…
    I am now back to work…
    Good luck and God bless..

  156. thesocialhomeschooler says:

    P.S. By the way. The more that you give to God during these times the better and easier it is. Give it ALL to Him and you will never be disappointed. If you try to make it all happen yourself it will only make things worse. I know this from experience, and it wasn’t pretty (until I gave it ALL to Him, and said, “I can’t do this and I need you to take over”) .

  157. Hi Connie. I didn’t have a chance to read all of the comments to see if someone already suggested this, but would you consider adding a Pay Pal button to your blog? There is nothing worse than knowing that a family is in need, and not having a way to help. We are coming out of 4 years of near poverty due to job losses, so we know how difficult it is. You have a wonderful attitude about it, and i’m sure your post will inspire many.
    Praying for your family!

  158. I just have to pipe in here too.
    I am a single Mom. I have not been laid off (yet) but have endured hour cuts, and pay cuts. I can attest that God truly provides. Maybe not how you expect it, but He is awesome, and comes through.
    Keep your chin up and do the best you can with what He gives you.
    In the meantime, we will all keep you in our thoughts and prayers! This situation could truly be a blessing disguise.
    “the will of God will never take you to where the Grace of God will not protect you” Ephesians 3:20

  159. I don’t get a heap of traffic on my blog but have posted a sidebar button and will hopefully work on a post to get some people to visit!

  160. Got your article from MoneySavingMom. Sorry to hear that you are going through this. You are doing all of the right things and God will see you thru it all. Here is a site of work from home that he/you may be able to do.


  161. Like so many others, my husband was fired 6 weeks before my due date w/ #2–for unsatisfactory job performance–a very unfair situation. Baby came 2 weeks early! I do work, but was planning on taking 12 weeks off (plus Christmas break). I am a teacher. I had enough sick days to take 6 weeks. So, I could get paid for 6 weeks. After that I would not get paid and my checks would be docked. I also had short-term disability insurance, so I was getting a big check from them that would make up for the 6 weeks of lost pay. So I had to make the decision to only take 6 weeks off if DH was still unemployed so that we could use the disability check to supplement some of his lost income.

    It was also Christmas time. Through blogs like moneysavingmom.com, we found very inexpensive photo gifts for all the relatives, using pics of the new baby with his older brother. We stopped going out to lunch with our Sun. school class on Sundays, etc., etc. We tossed around the idea of taking our then 3 year old out of daycare and staying home with dad. We decided to leave him in for a while for several reasons: 1) If my husband found a job, we didn’t want him to have to turn it down if we couldn’t find childcare. By pulling him out, we would have lost our spot and daycare spots (in good daycares, anyway) are hard to come by around here. 2) He likes “school” as he calls it and he was already facing enough change in routine with a new baby coming. 3) My husband could not search for a new job while caring for our 3 year old–he is very high energy, no longer naps, and men just don’t multitask as well as we do :-). 4) I know this is not a popular thought on this blog and I’m not trying to start an argument, but I believe in quality preschool educations and I really didn’t want him not in school for a long period of time. If we had to do it, we had to do it, and there are preschools he could attend 1/2 day for much cheaper….. but we decided to wait at least until I was settled at home with the baby for a while before we made that decision.

    As stated, baby #2 came 2 weeks early–day 23 of unemployment. This actually worked out well as DH was home a lot and would have only had 3 days off at his old job. He did some part time work for minimum wage that he actually enjoyed. When the baby was 3 weeks old, he started another job! :-) Yeah! I then extended my leave to the full 12 weeks as initially planned. God does provide. And DH still works the part time job in addition to his new full time job.

    I think the biggest thing is we didn’t freak out. We have been “living like no one else” (Dave Ramsey) so we had an emergency fund, very little debt, and things we could (and did) sell like Dave suggests. We know God would provide and it would work out. Hang in there!

  162. I am new to your sight! but I quit my job last yr do to a situation that I did not agree with. We had to cut back in several things, washing dishes by hand to save on electricity, getting ride of the land line phone and only using cells (basic plan). We even combined our cell plan with my parents and save about $20 a month in doing this. (add a line for $5 deal) We went to basic cable, (some don’t even have TV and just watch fav. shows on line). We went to our local hardware store and bought a big clothes rack to hang clothes during the winter and during the summer I hang on the line (if its raining I can put the rack on back porch to dry) You can check with your car insurance to see if you can lower your payments and still be safe. ( we saved about $15 a month) I saw someone mention that you can have a yardsale. (LOVE going to them!) last year I bought all my kids Christmas gifts at yardsales (my kids r young and do not care if things r new or designer!) we also only give 4 gifts per kid for christmas! also make ur christmas, birthday gifts. If your kids are invited to alot of birthday parties-I stock up with back to school sale items, crayons for $25 glue sticks, markers, kid scissors, paper all go on sale. I usually spend about $5 and have a great gift for kids. throw in $1 coloring book or sticker pack and there you go! (not sure of ur kids ages) I can alot of food during the summer and if there is a week that there is not alot of money we just eat what is hear. My husband is a hunter and we usually always get a deer. last year he got 2 deer, and a turkey! so we filled our freezer. God always provides! Praying for your family through this season of your life!

  163. Jennifer says:

    I’m so sorry to read this.

    However, you’ve gotten my frugal juices flowing and for that, I thank you!

    I’d love to hear more about how you are reducing your grocery bill; that’s always a fascination of mine.


  164. My husband has recently been laid off again. We have 3 kids and I have a life threatening illness. We had all ready been getting by with the bare minimum as it is, so Im not really sure how to cut any expenses. The situation has virtually ruined our relationship at this point and I don’t know where to begin or how to have faith. I admire your courage and your will and determination. As well as your ability to hold your family together as Im pretty sure mine is beyond help at this point. Please pray for me as I will pray for you. Pray that I return to God as Im sure tha’ts more important than anything and that he let me keep my family intact although I know I don’t deserve them.

    • Smockity Frocks says:

      Renee, I’m so sorry for all your troubles. I will be praying for you! You are not alone!

  165. Pat DeLeonibus says:

    My prayers are with you and your family! We have been going through this for 3 years now. After a year of no employment, I took a job for 50% less than what I was making. It has been a struggle and I don’t know what the future holds, but for now we’ve been able to hang on to our home and survive. That being said i hope you don’t mind but i posted your blog On a site I use to market my home business. It’s a great community and I asked that every one please visit here. You might be interested in joining. The traffic it creates is amazing and it’s free. Take a look. Either way I know the community will rally and visit here. God Bless!

  166. Connie…this post (via MoneySavingMom) couldn’t have come at a better time. While I’m not in the exact situation I just resigned from my job in full time ministry TODAY and my husband and I are praying through how to handle this significant drop in our family’s income which will begin in August. I’m looking forward to reading your tips and applying them in my own home! Thanks so much!!

  167. Angie Scheer says:

    I happened upon your blog and this post in particular because Money Saving Mom posted it.
    I feel your pain in the fact I lost my job two weeks ago and was shocked and scared as well.
    We are going to cut back as well, but my husband still has his job and I know we are still blessed.
    I found your post comforting, which seems odd I know, my family is leaning on God’s promise at this time as well and I will be praying for your family. I use swagbucks as well, and do order from Amazon for FREE. What link do I go through to order from them so you can get a kickback like you talked about.
    I also liked you on Facebook and became a subscriber so I look forward to your updates. Thanks!
    God Bless!

    • Smockity Frocks says:

      Angie, You can become an Amazon affiliate and get an affiliate code that you attach to the links you post. Anything that is ordered through that link will give you a percentage of the sales.

  168. Christy Crider says:

    Sweet Connie, at this time I can say we have been there and are still there. My husband lost his job back in March of 2010. He went to work for a staffing company in April ’10 and that ended in the June’10. We were renting so we had to break the lease and move. We applied for food stamps and unemployment. Because my husband pays child support, that came out first and we were stuck with less than nothing. We have two daughters together and two sons from our previous marriages. I am a stay at home mom. After we moved we found a small money pit house that cost way to much in utilities and the landlord couldn’t help us anymore and we were evicted an forced to live in a motel for a week with the help of our amazing church family. We are still struggling because he doesn’t make the money he did before and it’s been a loosing battle. Of course everything did go sour once we became a member of our church and the Sunday after Easter in 2010 my husband and I were baptized together. We know we are in this position for a reason. As of right now we are having to move again for the same reason.He did find a job with a contractor in Nov. 2010 but it doesn’t offer hardly any money or benefits and he works like 13hrs a day. The hardest thing is trying to play catchup and stay caught up…lol..But we are faithful and praying a million times a day. Your blog couldn’t have been brought to my attention at a better time. I will be keeping your family in my daily prayers. Much love in Christ!! ♥

  169. My husband was unemployed for about 6mos, 2yrs ago. He was able to get a route driving a mosquito truck at night, which helped us get through (thought I’d mention it since I see Texas shirts in one of your pics; we’re in TX!). I also did some babysitting, and wrote some online articles. Prayers that your husband finds a job soon. God bless!

  170. loverunningmommy says:

    In November 2009 we lost our home to a flood and the next week my husband was laid off from his job. I was also 8 months pregnant at the time. God did get us through with faith and wonderful friends. My husband is still unemployed going on almost two years now.
    I was supposed to stay home full time after our daughter was born but that didn’t happen since I was the only one with an income.
    It has been hard. I always wanted to be a stay at home mom.
    I just try to stay positive, and my daughter is with my husband during the day so that is a true blessing. It has been difficult, and I continue to pray the day my husband will find work, and I can finally be the stay at home mom.

  171. A few years ago, husband lost his job of 17 years and we, too, were in a daze for awhile. I appreciate your great attitude and the fact that you have a plan. You also have gotten quite alot of great advice from your readers.

    The biggest thing I think I did during our 10 months of unemployment was to lift my husband up. Imagine how your man feels. He is to be the provider for your household and that has been taken from him. Men love to be admired and now more than ever he needs to know that you think is the BEST, that everything he does is marvelous, that he is so skilled, smart, sexy etc. Tell him and show him as often as you can. This is a good example to set for your children as well.

    Additionally, pray specifically for your husband and tell him that you did. That was such a comfort to my husband.

    I have now subscribed to your blog, I have been here before (you taught me how to make gravy) and I loved what I have read. Now that I see that you can get a little income from the clicks onto your blog, I will be clicking away.

    Peace to all of you.

  172. I’ll be praying for ya’ll, Mrs. Connie!!!! Thank you so much for standing up for what you know is right and staying home with your children! It is such a blessing to see that being done, not only when things are “easy” (although things are never easy) but also when times are tough too! Keep up the good work! <3


  173. I was laid off the end of February. Fortunately, I paid off all debt but the mortgage last year, when I completed Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University program through my church. DR’s advice is to focus on the “four walls” – food, shelter, keeping the utilities on, and clothing (I think he said clothing? Although for most people, including me, it’s pretty easy to go through your closet and find more than enough outfits to carry you through, so most clothing purchases can be delayed, unless you have fast-growing children to shop for).

    I have enough money in the bank to make mortgage payments for a few months. I registered with 5 or 6 temp agencies, but one agency was very honest with me up front and said work has dried up a lot since the recession: some weeks they are very busy, and other weeks they have nothing. In the past, when I was a grad student, I could register with one agency every summer, and find some temp work within about a week or two, but this time around, I have had to register with 5, and call them every other day to check in for 2 months – and finally an assignment has come through! It might be due to how close we are to the summer months, when temp work might start to pick up a bit. I don’t know. I’m just glad to finally have some sort of work!

    I am also filling out paperwork to substitute teach, even though the HR department told me they won’t have any work before this fall, it doesn’t hurt to get the paperwork done just in case.

    I also recommend visiting your local Office of Employment One Stop Career Center in person, once per week. You never know when they might have a handful of good job leads for you. Keep a journal of who you sent applications/resumes to, and when, and the job referral numbers (if you got the referral through the Job Center). You have to do that anyway, to keep collecting UI benefits, but it also helps as far as staying organized.

    Also: make sure you call to follow up. Send in the resume, wait a few days, then call to ask if they received your resume and cover letter, and to suggest scheduling an appointment to meet the hiring manager and talk about the company’s needs for that position. Less than 5% of job seekers follow up by phone. In this economy, you want to follow up on the job(s) you want. Calling shows you are proactive. I recommend reading Dan Miller’s book “48 Days to the Work You Love”, and I recommend the workbook too. The workbook has the day by day checklist, and some examples of effective cover letters and resumes. I bought Dan’s 48 Days kit, that has 2 audio CDs too, and I recommend those. Also, listen to ALL of his podcasts. Take notes on ideas or jobs mentioned in the podcasts, and how the other listeners went about obtaining those opportunities.

    Use Dave Ramsey’s “Total Money Makeover” book, and Mary Hunt’s “Debt Proof Living” and other books to organize your finances, and Dan Miller’s books/podcasts to organize the job search.

    Hang in there. You’re going to be okay!! I was really stressed out the first month, but the second month, I just got into the habit of applying for jobs every day, calling the staffing agencies every other day, and then just going about my day with other projects around the house, and exercising, to keep my mind from dwelling on negative thoughts.

    It’s good to have a creative project too. Have you or your husband ever thought about writing a book or starting a boot-strapping business online? Starting a blog, writing an ebook, building an email list, those are all good business-building activities that are very low-cost and can (eventually) lead to a part time home based income that could take the place of a job. Read The Simple Dollar blog, and check out the author’s book from the library to read his story to inspire you.

    Good luck!

  174. I found your blog through money saving mom and am so thankful. For the last 3 1/2 years we have lived the Dave Ramsey plan and for the last two years we have been sweating out possible job loss. Dh did lose his job for a about 3weeks and they wanted him back so he went back. We have been told that my Dh’s job is one of many that my be cut this coming July. It saddens us but through faith we will make it through. I look forward to reading what you will post and have several ideas I can share. But I am pretty sure you all as a family could run circles around my ideas. I did not read all the comments but cheap box fans help along with wet hand towels and washcloths placed in a bucket for easy use. We made our own solar ovens for the summer last year and have used them several times. When it was really hot in the house we made our own tents outside out of sheets, tarps and blankets. Fun all day and all night. We camped out in the back yard and had a ball. Cooked on a campfire or used the solar ovens we made. I made 4 so I could cook several things at once. You can find you tube videos on how to make your own.

    Don’t laugh to hard at this one but we bought 4 rain barrels and attached them to our down spouts we hooked them up in tandem and got natural pesticide to keep them from growing bad bacteria or mosquitoes. We use them to water the garden and the guilty pleasure a outside shower Heated by the sun the water is warm and very relaxing. Its a wonderful summer into fall trick for our family. To make the shower you only need a couple pieces of weather treated lumber and a tarp along with a wooden mat or a grass mat. You can find the mats on sale at Big lots. Easy to spay off and keep clean on a hook on one of the post. We use a dark tarp to make a large shower area and another tarp for a dressing area with a nice little bench to sit on. Only one neighbor knows we do this and they got such a kick out of it they built one for themselves. If you crochet you can make your own bath mat out of plastic grocery bags. I am working on one now and it is coming along nicely. I am also going to be making mats to sleep on while we camp out this summer in the back yard. Dh wants us to buy a new mattress to use in our tent and store it in the garage when we will not be using it. We keep talking about that one.

    Craigslist, Freecycle and blog sites for everything else. Sign up for as much free stuff as you can get. Stockpile what you can.

    Brandy over at http://theprudenthomemaker.com has been a tremendous help for me. I have set up my pantry similar and we make everything from scratch.

    We are praying for you and all the others in this trial of life. Keep faith, keep heart, hang on to the Lord and each other. Many many Hugs!!!!

  175. Sorry to hear this.
    My husband has been laid off twice-each time around the time that I have had a baby. God has been faithful.
    It does alter your attitude to money on a permanent basis-more careful, more thoughtful and hopefully, more thankful.
    Not to do with finances but this does put stress on your marriage. Please make sure that you make time to talk and be together and, that doesn’t have to involve going on a costly date. A cup of tea and chat at the end of the garden is almost free. Looking for a job is amazingly time consuming and whilst your husband may be around, it can be difficult to find time to talk.

  176. ellen walker says:

    My husband was off work for five months. My advice is, if he was laid off and entitled to unemployment insurance, file for it. It is just that, insurance, and his previous employer paid the premiums for just this circumstance. It is a fraction of your regular pay, but can make or break you in this situation. If you happen to harbor some crazy guilt feelings about unemployment or even food stamps, make a plan to repay it when you get back on your feet, or “pay it forward” to someone else in need.

    THEN…don’t eliminate tithing, even on the drastically reduced income. Ask him to bless the amount you’re able to give, and be sure to thank him for what you have left. You’ll be amazed at how he will make 9 dollars go further than 10. This is a big “putting your money where your mouth is” step in trusting God.

    Also, if you have any outstanding student loans, be sure to contact
    them about applying for unemployment forebearance. They’re very good about putting the loan on hold until you can start payments again.

    I always thought I was very frugal until we had no paycheck, then I realized how little you can actually live on when you really have to.
    I’ll be praying for you and your family…I feel you’ll only come out of this stronger and wiser!

    • Oh yes, I agree on the tithing. It was very difficult to tithe on DH severance pay but we did and we were provided for beautifully in ways we did not expect.

  177. ellen walker says:

    Oh, I almost forgot. Get your man off the couch and doing something physical. It will do wonders for his outlook. My husband didn’t know what to do with himself while he was off, and finally started running. He’s up to 8 miles and healthier than before his layoff. As hard as it is for you, it’s really hard for him to feel he’s let his family down as the provider. He needs something to fill the time between job searches (and the chores you will expect him to do while he’s home…) :)

  178. Agnieszka says:

    I’m so sorry to hear that Connie. I will pray for you and your Family.

  179. Connie, I’ve just realised that your husband has lost his job. I will pray, and will try and think practically over the next few days.
    I know I would find this such a trial – I worry even with hubby IN work – so I will remember you all in prayer x

  180. Beatrice says:

    I just wanted to be comment #200.

    Good luck! I hope your husband’s lay off is very brief and he finds something soon.

  181. katherine says:

    my husband and i were both laid off at the same time and YES God is faithful and brought us through. It took a year to get back up and running but we kept the house and never went hungry. My prayers are with you and your family.

  182. Foraging is a great family activity. It teaches kids about nature and all that God has provided for us. The Chistian school I went to as a child taught us to forage. As a child I used to forage for blackberries. I ate some and I gave the rest to my dad who loved them. I felt so grown up providing food for my family. I still forage greens, fruits and flowers. Rose petals are edible if no pesticides are applied. You only eat the colorful part and cut off the white tip at the bottom. Very tasty in a salad. There are lots of books on foraging and identifying plants and the internet has lots of sites to help.

  183. I’m so sorry to hear about the lay-off. We’ve never been through it with a house or more than 3 children, but we have stayed in an extended stay motel eating potatoes and oatmeal with two small children while my husband recovered from surgery and we lived off our tax return for 3 months. It was hard, I don’t want to do it again, but we came through being so grateful for so many things! And even after that we had another year of underemployment and unemployment. One thing we did do is pawn almost all of our Christmas presents and anything else we could find or get for free to help pay the electric bill. I admire you for staying home with your kids, when we went through our really tough times a lot of people would give the unsolicited advice to go back to work and try to refer me to some “good” day cares for my kids. They thought we were crazy to have me stay home and even CRAZIER when I got pregnant again when we were still struggling. God’s vision is just greater than ours, that’s all. I love your blog and I will refer others to it and pray for you!

  184. Ugh, I’m sorry this is happening. I’ve popped over here a time or 2 from other blogs. I’m bookmarking you now, so i’ll read regularly and use your links. I’ll post to FB too. Hopefully that will increase the cash flow a bit. Good Luck keeping your sanity. Luckily you guys seems to be thinking pretty smart about your plan of action. I’ll be praying for an awesome job opportunity!

  185. KAYCEE says:

    A couple of ideas on the income side of things:

    Can your husband and son start a lawn mowing business?
    Can a couple of your older children pitch in and babysit to contribute to the family needs?
    Can you tutor kids over the summer while your husband has a chance to stay home with your children? (A couple of hours a day – not suggesting a full time job)
    Can you restart your “smockity – frock” business?
    Maybe you could do a how to post to teach people to make their own and try to get it published somewhere like moneysavingmom.com with a link to where people can just buy them from you if they would rather.
    My cousin started making rice-filled heating pads and went to flea markets to sell them during the winter. She made more money while she was unemployed than she did at her “real job”. You could probably do the same with cooling things to sell in the heat of the summer.
    Maybe you could write an ebook and sell it through Click Bank.

    Could your husband teach private golf lessons?
    Just a few ideas to help on hte income side of things!

    I will try to remember to do all of my amazon shopping through you!

    Also if this drags on for a while, don’t overlook the opportunity to have your home loan modified. We had our mortgage payment reduced by $800 a month after our business took a serious down turn. It is a federal program called HAMP. They will adjust your interest rate to the point where your mortgage payment is only 31% of your income. Obviously you will have to get the income up, but once you can get it to level out for a 3 month period it can really help!

  186. Yesterday my husband came home with the unexpected news that he lost his job. We are newly weds in a newly purchased house. Still in shock, we have yet to make a plan. This is something I will be refering too as we make that plan.

  187. Sorry you are going through this! We are on month 7 of something similar, still have a job, just not getting paid regularly kind of thing. Gotta love commission only! Anyhow, we have a house $1400, plus huge monthly bills thanks to 8 babies in 8 years, all paid out of pocket. (4 in heaven and 4 on earth) Its amazing to me how God provides for our needs, just as we need them. I am a planner, I like my ducks in a row, but He continues to remind me, that when you hoard manna and stack it in the corner of your tent, it grows mold and maggots. He wants to provide my needs today and today only. It’s a real lesson in faith, but we are surviving it, one serving of fresh manna at a time. :)
    Anyhow, speaking of beans and rice, we’ve been eating a lot differently lately, trying to just live out of the pantry and cupboards. I adore new recipes, I have a stack of over 250 “To Try” as we speak. I want to share a few “cheap” favorites we have discovered along the way:
    Southwest Rice and Bean Salad (makes a big batch, went over great with the kids!)
    Cheesy BBQ Casserole: (so simple, I almost didn’t try it)
    Savory Baked Spaghetti: (yummy!)
    “Man Casserole”: (a family and hubby favorite)
    There are a lot more in my recipe inbox on that Tasty Kitchen site, so browse around when you get a chance, but these are some of the more affordable ones.
    Happy Cooking! Hope this encourages you.

  188. I saw the link to your blog from the Happy Housewife’s! I can fully say I know how you are feeling at this time of total uncertainty. My husband’s job disappeared (I say it disappeared because his company was sold and literally the jobs disappeared no one works for that company anymore) in October last year, and we hunkered down much like you are at this time. I learned an important lesson in that it’s okay to accept needed help. This is a hard lesson for me to have learned, but because of it my daughter continued her regular schedule of 3 days of preschool. I am also a SAHM and plan to homeschool next year. I am glad to say my husband is now gainfully employed and because God does supply all our needs we were able to have more in the bank on the day he got a job offer than we did the day before his job disappeared. God is good and he will sustain you!

  189. Also be careful of your husband doing a side job “in the mean time” if he can get unemployment use that, and know that any job he has in addition to the unemployment can effect it learn and utilize the rules!

  190. heyruthie says:

    several times in our family, when $$ was tight, we all made it easier on ourselves by *officially* moving all the beds downstairs. in one house, that meant sleeping in the living room. in our current house, we have a basement, so we’ve moved sleeping quarters down there. 89 degrees is very, very hot. i know from experience that it may actually be too hot to sleep. seriously. it may not by physically possible. but getting down lower will get you cooler temperatures. just make the best of it so that kids get accustomed to the new space and sleeping arrangements by making it “official” for the summer, and move down mattresses, or whatever it takes. honestly, even in 1 level living, the floor is cooler than the bed. so even sliding your mattress off the bed and onto the ground gets you 1 or 2 degrees cooler, and that may be all you need. good luck!

    p.s. i second the coupons. they can really help.

  191. Dear Connie,

    I am so sorry this is happening to your family right now. I can’t think of any advice at this time. We’ve not experienced anything like this since having children. I cannot imagine. I will be praying for you and your wonderful family. You mean a lot to me.


  192. Hi. I’m sorry to hear about this. My family is going through this as well and it can get really challenging. My hubby got laid almost 2 years ago and his unemployment runs out at the end of June. I do have a job but it doesn’t pay all the bills. We have given up both cars and bike or walk everywhere for now. Doing every frugal thing we can think of. Right now I’m not buying anything so I can’t click on your affiliate links but I sure can read your posts and comment. Hope it helps.

  193. Connie, I don’t think I’ve been by your blog before, followed a link over. But, I am going through some life changes myself & truly believe that God will see me through it all. I’m relying on my blog for my full time business now and looking forward to see what HE is going to do with it. I’m not anxious or fretting, but resting in Him. I love that you are being honest & real about your situation and keeping a sense of humor too! Blessings to you.

  194. Connie, we too have faced (and continue to face) these uncertain times. My husband lost his job in 2009 and has since began his own business, which is equally as nerve-racking!

    God has been our awesome Provider and source of strength. We will be praying for you all frequently!

  195. Connie,

    A friend of mine’s husband has a newspaper route in CA (or he may be higher up the distribution chain, i can’t remember). She is able to keep the Sunday inserts from unsold papers and has made a killing on selling coupons on eBay. Just wanted to pass that on as a potential income earner for you if you do go that route — plus you have an army of coupon clippers at your disposal!

  196. samantha says:

    My husband was not fully laid off, but had reduced work hours of 26-32 hours a week for 20 months. We never did get food stamps or medicaid although we qualified for everything. Not even a food box from a food pantry or church. He sold any extra cars, boats, or tools. We ate less nutritious and less extravagant foods, I shopped the sales and cheaper stores, I dried clothes on two rods in the house, I started using rags instead of baby wipes, learned to make my own laundry detergent and stain remover, bought used clothing and shoes, made more homemade meals, combined trips to the store with other trips elsewhere to save gas… The only thing I just could not deal with was cloth diapers since I had five children in diapers (including one older special needs child) and figured that was one area where the amount of work was not worth the money savings. My husband has been working full time again for seven months, but we have continued living this more frugal lifestyle. We have two more children, one less set of diapers now, and more money left over than before his hours were cut.

  197. EstonianWife says:

    Connie, I am so sorry about this. I have enjoyed your Four Moms posts for a while now and – since I am quite new to motherhood – learned quite a lot from them! You have a wonderful plan.
    My husband lost his job in September 2008 and has had only temporary and part-time jobs since. We were fine for a while but then we got the chance to become foster parents to three little boys and I am working only part-time now, so my income – that was tiny to start with – is smaller, too. The worst part is that we need a steady income to finish the adoption, but right now money from the foster care program is barely getting all the bills paid. Thankfully, medical care is near-completely free here in Estonia. I hate that I cannot have full custody of our sons (giving birth did not make their bio mother a Mom but just one sentence from the oldest made me their Mommy) because we are not wealthy enough to adopt them. The only thing we have in this unnatural situation is our faith. For some reason God wants us to live this way for a while. But we are seriously considering emigration or working abroad for a couple of years.

    Sorry about bad English – this is not my first or second language. Just in case – Estonia is a very small country in Northern Europe, our culture is similar to Sweden and Germany, our prices are very nearly the same as in Germany, but our salaries are 4-5 times smaller.

  198. jennifer meachem says:

    ugh! i know how you feel. never thought we’d have to worry about it either. remember when i desperately emailed you begging for some TRIED recipes??? i was at one of my weakest moments with not much in the fridge and just a FEW DOLLARS to spend on some groceries.

    you suggested going to youtube


    sweet clara that survived the depression. one thing i took away from clara was the potato idea. we had potatoes in EVERYTHING. it stretched everything. tacos? with cut up potatoes. chicken and rice? *without chicken using homemade cream of chicken soup* and potatoes. macaroni? added itty bitty cut up potatoes. i even cut up potatoes and put them in my tomato sauce. green beans? with potatoes, corn? itty bitty cut up potatoes. lunch at home during the day? baked potatoes. it stretched everything a little bit and made leftovers which helped so much. if i didn’t want the potatoes “seen” i just cut them up smaller.
    we also ate a ton more eggs. with you having chickens that is awesome! i know you like to bake bread *already so convenient for you cuz i had to LEARN and it wasn’t pretty* i made and still make a lot of egg breads. it stretched the ingredients and eggs are cheap and there is the protein thing. i was just looking for nutrition in as many places as possible since the meat budget was gone. egg breads are great and are filling. they are also fun to make! it could be a challah bread or a Portuguese sweet bread or even a Hawaiian sweet bread. its nice for the variety.
    quiche was also something we got good at. and fritattas. my kids LOVE fritattas. i baked all kinds of pasta with whatever small amount of veggie or tiny bit of meat with egg and made some beautiful fritattas. and yes, there were potatoes in there! lol!
    hope this helps. my thoughts and prayers are with you.
    ira now works two part time golf jobs and teaches a lot more. i actually like this better, so yay after-all.

  199. Hi,
    I read your blog from time to time and am sorry to hear of your husband’s job loss. While reading I was reminded of another blog that I recently read where another family lived through what you are now living.
    The blog is called The Prudent Homemaker.
    I am not sure if you know of this blog but they lived from their pantry for I believe 2 years, raised food in their back yard, and still do, and learned to make do with what they had. They too have a large family and their story is so inspirational.
    Here is a link to their story:


  200. Hi there,

    Sorry for posting as a comment here but I didn’t see another way to contact you. I’ve tried buying a few things through your Amazon affiliate link but it appears that the link just goes to amazon.com with no extra code at the end. Can you tell if they are going through?

  201. Working MAMA in NW says:

    This is my first time visiting your blog and I have to say, “I LOVE IT!”
    Your situation is so familiar to me and my family of 4 – When unemployment hit our house, it was traumatic, so we thought! I am a career mom – have degrees and a a wonderful job – My hubby lost his job, after 23 years of federal service… just cut off. We were accustomed to having 2 salaries – But to our amazement, we had a newborn, and had to switch traditional duties for a while. My husband was so open to it, and GOD provided his wisdom in how I could run my home, even while I was working. Couponing, freezer cooking, crockpotting – all those came in handy and saved my sanity – Gods abiding grace just totally floored us – I am fortunate and make a six-figure income – But savings before his lay-off was out of the question. We have learned to save on one-salary – HOW DID THAT HAPPEN? Yes, we cut back – The panic set in as a new mother (with 2nd child) at first – I hit all the food pantries – built up my own pantry – was able to share with friends in similar situations and now I have a testimony (Glory to God) – Most of our friends didn’t know what we were going through. Our family didn’t know either. To save my hubby’s pride, we chose not to venture to tell folks closest to us – nor others who were associated with us. We maintained private christian schooling for our oldest and our son was ultimately raised at home by his father – WHAT A BLESSING! I took off on Friday’s and rolled in to work early to pull that off. For the most part, we look back over these 5 years with relief – “HOW DID WE DO THAT?” Well, we didn’t. GOD DID IT ALL ~ He carried us – smoothly through – Just hold on and continue to trust GOD in it all – HE PROVIDES! YOU ARE HIS OWN – and I’ve never seen the righteous forsaken, NOR his SEED begging for bread – As christians, we ALL know what that means ~ There’s plenty to go ’round! BE BLESSED! PS I also bake cakes on the side – I have entered bazaars and bake on holidays even! GOD WILL PROVIDE! (hallelujah!)

  202. Hey girl! I didn’t have time to read all your comments, this info may be a repeat. If so, I apologize- just trying to help. We were (and still are) in a similar situation as you. These are just a few things that help A LOT in saving on the ‘bottom line.’ Make your own laundry detergent, dishwasher detergent & use fabric napkins. There are lots of laundry detergent recipes online, basically I use Fels Naptha soap (99 cents), 1 cup of washing soda & 1 cup of Borax. Dishwasher detergent is 1/2 Borax and 1/2 Baking Soda. Napkins are cut up flour sack towels (and old tube socks for cleaning rags). We use fabric napkins in place of paper towels too and only wash clothes with cold water. In place of bleach we use 1/4 c. peroxide in the wash (much cheaper!), we also use only the clothes line and drying racks. We’re coming into the growing season now as well so using the garden to your benefit is great! Are you planting some extra cucumbers, squash and/or tomatoes to sell? Our 6 children really enjoy snacking on cherry tomatoes and those plants grow to be huge! Have you looked here for additional tips, they have great frugal recipes (http://www.hillbillyhousewife.com/) Hang in there girl! :)

  203. We have been though this journey. Two years ago when the recession was just starting. I already lost my job due to Cancer. God cured me of that (I’m sure it was him). I was getting back on my feet when my husband (a brilliant man who studied Physics in college) called me with the bad news. We were totally and completely without income. Due to complicated circumstances, he was not even going to get unemployment. I was panicked, sure. How long can we live with what we have? That is the first thought all of us have. YOU know the drill. But I had already been though so much, this was just a tiny pebble in the pond considering. God will take care of things, I’m sure of it. I’d sell my house if I had to, live with family. Whatever. As long as we were together and had our health and our faith we will get by. Maybe this is why I was sick in the first place? To re-set my priorities. I’ll never know. We were mighty and strong (I thought) and it was going to take more than this to break us. right? When my husband finally did get a new job it required a relocation. At that point, we were willing to do whatever it took. I loved my house. I loved my neighbors, I loved my town. Somehow you find inner strength and do what you have to and move on. This new tiny southern town (Im a born and raised northerner) is where I was meant to be. The whole experience was grounding. We re-set priorities. Met with the Dave Ramsey way of financial dealings. Debt free now and living clean. Im going to share a few of your links to try and guide some traffic to your blog. Its a great blog by the way. Found you with the gardening post yesterday.

    Extraordinary Life

  204. Hi Connie. My hubbers took the voluntary lay off from his job in January, thinking that the new start up company he was going to would kick in before the severance ran out. We are now 4 months into no income at all.

    My prayers are with your family and my experiences mirror yours. I hate giving up the extras, but we must make our minimal savings last and last. I hope to hear good news from you soon.


  205. Heather Hedderman says:

    I was in your boat before – my husband is still laid off – I did decide to work from home – this has been the best of both worlds – more income for the family – but a profitable assistance to the family.
    Good luck – love your action plan – cant wait to read the entire series – found your site from the Couponing Teacher!

  206. I am just reading this, Connie, and I want you to know that I will be praying for you!

  207. I don’t usually read your blog, but I think God sent me here today. This very day my husband received notice that he will soon be laid off. I will be reading every single one of your posts on this topic. Thanks so much!

  208. This starts to describe my year about four years ago. We had two job losses and ultimately five jobs in one calendar year. Certainly we didnt have it as bad as some others that I read. You are doing all the right things in cutting back costs. I bet there is a free swimming pool/area you can find to help fulfill that desire to get out of the hot house and cool off. Perhaps a quick spray down with the hose for everyone each afternoon is in order.

    I didnt see anyone mention WIC which since you are a nursing mom and have kids under 5 years old they provide a TON of cereal, milk, juice, cheese, peanut butter and maybe some other stuff (it’s been a while since I was on the program) and in the summer months they even did vouchers to the farmers market. That program is for low income and has a relatively high income threshold vs. food stamps. It is fairly easy to qualify for.

    While you may not agree with various social services or wanting to fund those programs in the future, they are currently funded today (albeit with borrowed dollars) and are there for people in your exact predicament. The programs wont cost the tax payers any less if you dont participate. I hope you will consider it.

    God was amazing to us during our year of blessing. When I went to Him with the checkbook like Hezekiah (sp?) did before battle and said, I cant make this work without you. He absolutely delivered every time.

    When we were down to our last $25.87 and bills coming due, one non-Christian family member out of the blue gave us $500. Then later that same day another guy called and said, hey do you still want to sell that ___. I was never so happy to write a tithe check. It makes me teary-eyed to type it out still. Of course $950 is just what we needed to cover our expenses for that time.

    Perhaps ask the older kids to look for how He provides during this time. When someone is thoughtful or offers a swim at their home or anything like that. Perhpas a list of blessings on the fridge that family members can add to as they happen.

  209. brianne says:

    Connie, I visited your blog after a long time away only to read this recent news. Ironically, or perhaps intentionally, I logged into your blog because I was laid off yesterday (for the 2nd time in 8 years) and found myself in the strange position of having time on my hands. I came to your blog seeking perspective, comfort, and inspiration, and indeed I found it. I pray for your family and for my own and know that with faith everything will be ok.

  210. Hey there! I just came across your blog through another and am sorry to hear about your husband’s job loss! It is very encouraging, though, to see your faith in God’s will and knowledge that He will not give you more than you can handle. His plan is perfect and beautiful whether we understand the reasoning or not! Good luck with cutting back, sounds like you are on the right track! Prayers to you!

  211. Hi Connie, I just recently found your site because Crystal, from Money Saving Mom, suggested it to me after my husband’s recent job loss. I am so sorry to hear of your husband’s job loss and while I would never wish that on anyone, I do look forward to reading the rest of your posts and traveling this road with you. Thank you for being so transparent and sharing your heart here.

    This is the second time in 11 years of marriage that we have experienced a job loss. I, too, am a stay-at-home-homeschooling wife and mother and we are strongly convicted that I have not been called to work outside of the home.

    Thanks to blogs like Crystal’s and going through Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University, we became debt-free with the exception of our home last summer. It is huge weight off of our shoulders during this difficult time, but because of some recent car repairs and just living on a very tight budget anyway, we still have very little savings, and no income for a month or two can make or break whether we get to keep our home. So I completely get where you are coming from and we have implemented some of the changes you suggested already: no music lessons, no sport lessons (hard to explain to the 3 year old who has been waiting forever to play soccer), no eating out unless we can do it for free, make as much as possible from scratch, no new curriculum (eek!-gonna have to get a bit more creative this year!).

    Things are different for us this time around, partly due to being debt-free this time but partly due to experience. We have experienced God’s faithfulness and provision time and time again. During our first job loss, I am ashamed to admit, my reaction was one of sheer and utter panic. I was so scared I would HAVE to go back to work, that we would lose our house, that there would be no food on our table. But a good friend reminded me that God promises to provide our “daily bread”. I would have to ask myself, “Has God provided for you today?” Of course, the answer was always a resounding “YES!!!”, and then I would remind myself to put my tomorrow in His hands (I know, easier said than done).

    I recently wrote a blog post listing all of the ways that God is proving faithful this time around. Hopefully, it’s okay to post the link here-I thought maybe it would serve as an encouragement to you or one of your readers. http://fatchickfedup.com/2011/08/02/gratituesday-2/

    I, too, would like to make money off of my blog. It isn’t happening yet and I am trying to be patient. My husband and I had just decided to invest some money into a professional design and moving to wordpress. org when he lost his job. I am SO thankful for you that you have this extra stream of income to help provide for your family.

    Sorry, I seem to have wrote a book here in the comment section! Your family is in our prayers and I look forward to reading more!

  212. Thank you Tonya for the recipe.

  213. Heatherdavisrhone says:

    Thank you. Much needed advice for me at the moment.


  1. […] recently had to make budget cuts due to income loss or other circumstances, Connie’s post on how they are surviving an unexpected layoff will be an encouragement to […]

  2. […] by another Internet “friend”. I looked up the Smockity Frocks site today, only to find this post. Don’t you feel like sometimes you are directed somewhere for some reason? I read her post […]

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  7. […] Facebook fan page where I chat daily with my fans and post interesting links. See you there!Since my husband got laid off unexpectedly last week, several sweet friends have blessed us with groceries to fill our pantry and […]

  8. […] I am Blessed. I have a wife who loves me, a wife who is just as scared as I am, just as worried as I am. And yet she jumps in asking how we can make it work and plans accordingly. […]

  9. […] whom I only know of through their blogs.   This family had shocking news when they found out the husband lost his job.   Then I read about three of the large families who lost all their belongings in the tornadoes […]

  10. […] Smockity mentioned leaving off the AC to save a little in response to her husband’s recent job loss, I thought, Hey, I have a little experience there. Because, you see, this house came with a heat […]

  11. […] to thank him for providing daily bread. This has become particularly important to us now, since my husband’s sudden unexpected layoff. We thank God each day before we eat for blessing us with food we otherwise would not be able to […]

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  13. […] our family is in week eight of surviving my husband’s sudden layoff, this chapter really struck a chord with […]

  14. […] that happens, or another opportunity for employment presents itself, we will stick to our layoff survival plan the best we can and remain faithful that God will provide for our […]

  15. […] out her blog, and if you have any future Amazon orders, please order through her affiliate link.http://www.smockityfrocks.com/2011/04/how-to-survive-a-layoff-our-plan-of-action.htmlThank you!Posted by Elizabeth – 26/04/11 – 0 comments Log in Leave a Comment Here […]

  16. […] day my husband was laid off was terrifying for both of us. I’m not sure about him, but I envisioned our family living in a […]

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  18. 4 Moms Q & A says:

    […] husband was recently laid off, too. How can I make money with my […]

  19. […] These are 20 pound bags of beans and rice. He also wants to make sure that we are prepared if we ever go through a time of need like we did when he was unexpectedly laid off. […]

  20. […] by Smockity Frocks on December 3, 2011 WELCOME to Smockity Frocks, where you can find homeschooling tips, kid-friendly crafts, large family recipes, parenting tips and MORE. Did you know you can subscribe for FREE to get my daily updates in your inbox? Then you'll be sure not to miss a thing! And don't forget to "like" my Facebook fan page where I post interesting links and chat daily with my 6000+ fans. See you there!This guest post is from Renee. Be sure to read the rest of my series on surviving a layoff. […]

  21. […] my husband suddenly lost his job a couple of years ago, we had so many friends and even many strangers who heard about our plight […]

  22. […] any woman whose husband has lost his job. Ms. Smockity posted yesterday about her new series,  “How to survive a layoff”, since her husband lost his job last week. {MoneySavingMom.com also mentioned Smockity’s new […]

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    How to Survive a Layoff: Our Plan of Action – Smockity Frocks