The next big thing

So you know how I was hoping that March would finally be the month were we wouldn’t have to deal with yet another “big thing” hit to our budget?

I found out yesterday that won’t be the case.

As of March 6th I no longer have a paycheque coming in.

It was the typical story of late, I was one of many let go in this round, and got the standard “it’s not you, it’s us” line – and yes, it is “them” but it doesn’t make it suck any less for “me.”

I couldn’t be more thankful that Neil and I were already so well on track with our budget – it made it much easier to know where and how to cut expenses, and put our minds at ease pretty quickly.

I’ve cut out my personal trainer and the dog walker. Those were no-brainers. We’ve stopped contributing to our savings account (and hopefully we won’t have to draw from what’s already in there).

We’ve also cut the amount we’re putting into our RRSP’s to the minimum we can contribute to avoid a huge tax bill next year.

And because our mortgage is a variable interest rate line of credit, we’re cutting back on that payment just a smidge for a few months. We were paying about 40% interest, 60% principle, and we’ve changed it to 50/50. That move gives us enough room to keep things just on the comfortable side of tight. We’re both okay with doing that, but I’m curious what exactly the implications would be carrying that extra bit of principle into the future when rates rise. Any financial-types care to do the math on that for me?

Depending on the month and when EI starts rolling in (if I’m not employed again before it does), we’ll be able to keep up with paying almost $2000 to get rid of our consumer debt (currently at a higher rate of interest than our mortgage). That’s not quite enough to pay it off by the end of the year (it gets us paid off in February 2010), so we’ll need to play catch-up with our payments once I’m working again if we want to bring it all in by the end of 2009.

That leaves us with between $800-$1000/month for our variable expenses.

Of course, we’re really hoping all these measures are temporary and I’ll be working in no time. I’ve got a great network of people who’ve already passed on a few leads, and I’m really very good at what I do (now is not the time for modesty).

If you’re curious about how you can help, please pass on any marketing/communication jobs you happen to see coming up. I really thrive working in fast-paced, mid-size high-tech companies, but have also enjoyed working with non-profits, sport & recreation and even government. If you’re interested in my specific skill-set, I’m happy to send over a resume for you to schill on my behalf.

Other than that, if you’re local, I would also LOVE offers to get together just for some company. It’s one thing to be home alone all day because I’m not working, and another to be home alone all evening because the husband is out of town, but I’m about to be subjected to two weeks of both at the same time, which promises to be lonely at best, unbearable at worst. If you want to come visit me, I’m happy to have you over for tea (or coffee, or scotch, or whatever). If you suggest going out, you’re buying!

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9 thoughts on “The next big thing

  1. ritchie

    Wow, well I guess everyone is cutting down a lot. I’m glad to hear that you got a pretty good footing on the financial stuff before this all happened. We’ll keep an eye out for ya.

  2. Michael

    Well, you already have my offer of beer. Or a pub lunch during the week, if you want to get out of the house. I’m sure we could rustle up a group of Sophites to head up to Elephant & Castle or Lennox.

    Good luck with the job hunt!

  3. jen

    Jen that sucks!! Sorry to hear about it but sounds like you recovered and got a plan in motion pretty quickly so that must feel good. We should go snowshoeing one day soon with Sasha. That’ll take care of the lack of dog walker and personal trainer. 🙂 You can use Luke’s snowshoes… no need to rent.

  4. Riann

    My man is out of town for ALL of March (lame!) so if you want to come over to help me do two-handed things feel free! I also have Spring Break off (week of March 15th) so I’ll be available during the day. Getting laid off sucks :(, but not panicking is key and it sounds like you’ve got things under control.

  5. Riann

    p.s. You can be a foodie at our expense for the cost of your labour. I’ll buy the ingredients (within reason, no truffles!). I’ll even share leftovers 🙂

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