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.




3 thoughts on “Preparing for Partial Layoff

  1. I feel for you. It’s great that this is something you’re able to prepare for and have the ability to see possibilities to make it work. When we were young and newly married I found myself off work while Ryan was a student. We’re still carrying the debt from that year. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Goodness, this is a late reply! That’s awful. I was particularly lucky to go in eyes wide open. I think your experience is one of the reasons that I’m so cautious with my savings. We’re fortunate to be older but I recognize that losing a paycheque would take a considerable toll on us.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: The P Word – Saving Without Scrimping

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