My Fiancé Was Laid Off Before We Could Walk Down the Aisle
A few months ago, in the middle of wedding planning, my husband-to-be was laid off.
It was a hard pill for me to swallow. I left work and ran outside to talk to him on the phone right after he broke the news. We had vendors to pay for the wedding on top of our regular bills and expenses. Needless to say, this news couldn’t have come at a worse time.
Being Blindsided by a Layoff
Ironically, this happened right around the time I was pressuring my husband to ask for a raise. When he started working there, they promised him a pay bump after the first 60 days, and he was way past that point.
It completely blindsided us when his employer decided to cut his position. My husband started applying for jobs as soon as he got home that day. But even if he landed another job that week, I knew we wouldn’t see any new income until three or four weeks after he started working, depending on the pay period.
Being the financial nerd I am, I tried to stay calm. I immediately started crunching numbers and developing an emergency plan to help us survive this layoff and continue planning our wedding.
Developing a Post-Layoff To-Do List
I asked my husband to do a few specific things immediately while we tried to figure out what we were going to do. I had him:
- Write out a bare bones budget so I could see what his mandatory expenses were.
- Call his student loan servicer, explain his situation, and apply for a deferment of his federal loans.
- Call his medical insurance company and the marketplace to see if he could reduce his premiums while out of work.
- Apply for unemployment.
- Make a list of all the temporary side hustles he could do to bring in some extra cash.
Cutting your expenses when you lose your job is a must. Odds are, there is something you pay for each month that you don’t really need to spend money on when money really gets tight.
I asked my husband to create a bare-bones budget because we were not yet married at the time, and we still had separate finances.
It’s important to have this budget on standby at all times in case you ever need it. I have one prepared. If I ever lost a large source of my income, I know I can cut my basic expenses down to $1,000 per month.
Applying for unemployment is also important to do quickly, as the process takes time.
And as much as I dislike postponing debt payments, I know that at the end of the day, it’s more important for us to eat and have a roof over our heads.
Bouncing Back After a Layoff
My husband applied to 20 jobs during the week he got laid off. He didn’t experience any luck at first. I knew since I still had my job, side hustles, and our plan-of-action in motion, we just might be able to squeeze by for a little bit more time, but not for too long.
The problem was that we didn’t have much saved. We were actually in the process of rebuilding our emergency fund and we had extra expenses due to the wedding.
Luckily, after about two weeks, my husband’s former employer called him back. He offered him another position that would allow him to obtain his CDL (Commercial Truck Driver’s License) and get further training.
I wanted to be done with that company. But the opportunity for him to get his CDL, which he could use at any other job he landed in the future, seemed like a good option. Plus, it would allow us to become a two-income household again. Then we would pay all of our bills with ease.
While we got lucky (in my opinion) in that we only had to deal with him getting laid off instead of a long-term problem, we are now committing to preparing for the unexpected at all times.
We now live off my income and use his to save and to pay off debt. That way, if we ever get blindsided again, it won’t be so devastating. We should reach our emergency fund goal by July. I plan to just let it sit in a high-interest account.
I’d say we’ve almost completely bounced back from a rather scary financial situation. Even though things are going well right now, we’re much better prepared for the next shock.