Wednesday, March 18, 2009

My own personal bailout

Today I got a package in the mail from my soon-to-be former employer. Much to my surprise, I do get a severance package. The conventional wisdom this past year has been that laid off part timers would not get severance pay. I'll get two weeks pay for each consecutive year I worked there. That adds up to 10 weeks. My last day will be in mid-April. And now, thanks to the latest porkulus bill out of Washington, part time workers can file for unemployment benefits. According to the Employment Security Commission site, my weekly benefit will be almost $100 less than what I was making. And I'm not ashamed to take it, either. I have been working steadily for almost 20 years now. I've earned it.

So it looks like we'll be fine financially for a while. Even so, we want to put most of my last paychecks and the severance straight into savings. Meanwhile, we're trying to cut the fat in our already lean budget. Funny thing ... the first thing I did Monday was turn down the thermostat. Cable TV is now gone. We've been trying to break up with them for years. Good riddance and hello to an extra $75 a month. Now I need to find cheaper Internet. I had already cut our cell phone bill by using a pay as you go phone. I'm trying to trim the grocery budget. So far, I've come up with a savings of about $60 a month by cutting out ice cream and snack crackers and making yogurt instead of running through six containers a month for Danny's bedtime smoothies. Next step? Potty training. No more diapers ... $30 a month. Luckily, we do cloth with Fiona. Eating out will be rarer than it already is. We're selling one of our three cars. (Anyone need a 1998 Ford Escort?)

This turn of events has given us the urgency to make some changes we've talked about for quite some time. As for me, I am now forced to believe there are good opportunities that I'm qualified for outside the news industry. I'm actually happy to be leaving the job, but cry when I think about leaving my colleagues behind. That is a wound that will take time to heal.


The WilsonFam said...

Here is a website that i use when money is tight. She has some great recipies and they are cheap to make. I cut our grocery budget by about $40-$60 by using this. Hope it helps

Anonymous said...

brian may be interested in your car...--Kelley