Preparing for Partial Layoff

I took a new position this year that has a partial summer layoff. This means that for May, June and July I will be bringing home around $700. To put this in perspective, my pay is going to be about the same amount as someone who is currently working for minimum wage in my community.

The last time I worked for minimum wage I was living at home with very limited financial responsibility. My goal at that time was to save as much money as I could while contributing to the household by taking over one bill payment and taking care of the majority of my personal expenses.

This time around, I am responsible for:

  • Insurance for the house and car
  • Internet and cell phone bills
  • Netflix
  • Groceries
  • Pet care
  • Home maintenance
  • My Clothing, personal care items, entertainment and  life insurance policy
  • Savings for gift giving, home renovations, car care, medical costs, vacation fund, rainy day fund

This seems like a lot until you take into account that ML pays:

  • The mortgage
  • Gas for the car
  • Electricity
  • Gas for furnace
  • Water
  • Rental for water heater
  • His life insurance policy, personal care items, clothing and entertainment

The split we use is based on our incomes. Basically ML keeps us housed and I do the rest. It’s worked for our entire marriage and I don’t intend to shift it now.

As you may know I love seeing how our spending stacks up against conventional wisdom so when I got an email from a bank indicating the breakdown of funds to ensure that you were living within your means I plugged in my numbers (ML’s aren’t included).

Annual Budget March Budget
Housing (land tax, house insurance, mortgage top up) 35% 15% 15%
Household (internet, cell phones, Netflix) 5% 10% 13%
Food (groceries, entertaining, eating out) 15% 14% 12%
Transportation (gas, car repair fund) 15% 10% 10%
Personal  (pet, fashion/personal care, misc. fund) 10% 7% 5%
Savings (short-term emergency fund, home reno, vacation, medical, summer layoff savings) 10% 36% 36%
Debt  (As we don’t have debt I moved this to be Long-term savings) 10% 4% 4%

“Pretty good!” I thought before remembering the upcoming layoff. While these numbers work well with my current salary my projected income isn’t going to hold up. The savings will be decreased a bit as 20% of the current amount is actually money I’m putting aside to help with the layoff. The other 16% goes towards vacation, emergency fund, medical savings and gift savings. None are things I feel totally comfortable cutting as they’ll just end up on credit if we don’t have the funds available.

I’ll spend today playing with numbers and realizing how fortunate I am that both ML and I are working at jobs that pay above  minimum wage and are able to enjoy the lifestyle we’ve grown accustomed to.

It’s also a great reminder that I really do need to be careful with my money. My $300 shoe extravaganza yesterday while fun and useful suddenly takes on a different tone in the light of my upcoming change in circumstances. $300 could be the difference between putting an unexpected fee on credit versus using our savings to fix it.

I’ve got 3 more full paycheques to go so I’ll be very conservative from now on.




Monthly Debrief: February 2019


  •  # Buy nothing days :14 (50%)
  • # times ate out/purchased take out: 6
  • # activities with loved ones: 2 really meaningful activities
  • $ saved at Costco: No Costco visit this month
  • % over or under budget:1% under budget (This is the first time in about a year that I can put it into my Fun Fund)


  • Usually February is a bit of a mess as I go to a conference and end up overspending
  • We’ve been eating healthier, going to a local zero-waste store and sticking pretty close to the budget
  • I have been kinder to myself


  • Medical cost – I’m exploring a therapy that isn’t too expensive but isn’t covered by my insurance. It may be a placebo effect but as it’s helping with my mental illness I’m using it.


March is Costco renewal month and I just got a crazy cell phone bill as I haven’t been making frugal phone choices. If I keep my budget and goals at the forefront I can keep the momentum going in March.


This month was pretty good. I’m beginning to feel as though we’re missing out on experiences (dances, movies, theatre) as I’m being pretty strict with myself. It does help to look back at 2018 and realize that we for a $30,000 anniversary gift to ourselves without going into debt. Missing out on a few experiences is totally fine compared to the stress I would feel if I was $30,000 in debt.


SPENDING CATEGORIES (according to my credit card company)

Screenshot_2019-03-03 Transactions

As I mentioned, this feature doesn’t totally align with my own tracking. However, it’s a great way to see where most of my money goes. Household and Services both hold a lot of money for car repairs.

If you change household to Car Repairs and made Services everything else in those 2 categories my list would be:

  1. Car repairs
  2. Groceries
  3. Restaurants
  4. Services – Medical appointments; Netflix
  5. Transportation – gas
  6. Shopping
  7. Other

This does not include all the things I pay from my bank account but it does give a pretty good snapshot of my spending.