Wednesday, July 27, 2011

What if I was unemployed?

As we all know, the economy is in tough shape. People are losing their jobs left and right. Sharon, over at Musings from a Midlife Mom, was talking about putting her emergency fund into overdrive. I get it. It's a scary time right now and I want to be prepared. I sat down this week and figured out how our budget would work if I lost my job. Since I'm the breadwinner I wanted to know what it would look like if we had to live off of the hubby's salary and my unemployment.

It was a bit eye-opening to see how little we'd actually need to get by. Which tells me we've been over spending for wayyyyyyy too long! It's good that we are on track now. Anyway, here is the breakdown:

Together we'd take home $3000/Month (based on 4 pay periods)

-$795 Rent
-$35 Electricity
-$125 Cell Phones
-$365 Car Payment
-$83 Car Insurance
-$200 Food ($50/week)
-$240 Gas ($60/week)
-$400 CC #1
-$400 CC #2

For a remaining balance of $357 per month. That would have to be for savings and misc. items that we haven't really accounted for, such as our annual car registration, oil changes, etc. Unfortunately I don't have health insurance figured in here. I believe Cobra would cost about $1K per month for both medical ($890) and dental ($100). Ouch! Luckily we are both in good health for the most part, so we could take a chance for a little while until I found a new job with benefits.

Hopefully this won't happen, but I can breathe a little sigh of relief knowing that in the worst case scenario, we'd be okay to get by for a little bit. Not to mention any income that I'd be able to generate from being at home working on crafts or something. In addition, with each pay period that goes by where we are both still employed, we're able to send hefty sized payments in to the credit cards. This is helping to lower the minimum payments due, so we may even have a little more extra wiggle room if/when that time comes.

Question: Have you taken a hard look at your bills and what your backup plan will be if the unfortunate happens and you or your partner are laid off?


  1. I would like to think my job was stable but you'll never know in this economy so I'm always running numbers in the worse case scenario situation. I think it's better to be safe then sorry.

  2. I figure I'd be okay *fingers crossed* for about two months if I lost my job but I'm very grateful that I have a fiance who would be able to help me a lot. Good job for cutting things and seeing where the money goes! :)

  3. I've also played around with this scenario when trying to figure out how much we actually NEED to live. It came out to about $3500 a month. And I also realized, wow, we need to cut down on our frivilous spending!
    I actually just posted how much we've been spending on stuff this YEAR...very eye-opening...
    And i can't believe you only spend $200 on groceries!!! I'm dying trying to get down to $300!

  4. @Newlyweds - We currently budget $100 per week for food but often have money left over, so I cut that down to $50 in our worst case scenario. It would be tough to stick to it though, that's for sure!

  5. If I were to lose my job tomorrow it would completely ruin my BF and me. At the present moment we would barely have enough to make until the end of the month. It's one of the reasons I am working so hard to get my E-Savings up to around two thousand dollars. I feel like at that level we could swing two maybe three months before any trouble started to hit.

  6. It's definitely a good exercise to figure out where you would stand. I'm glad you'd be okay. If it happened to us today, we would not last more than 2 mos.

    I have no desire to even spend any money. (I guess that's what fear will do!) Thankfully, it looks like I'll be getting more hours at work so that is more to put away in savings.

    Thanks for the shout out! :)!

  7. worse case would be both of you out of work - and it's happened to people on another board - she and he were both out of work and unemployment running out.
    I'ts just me supporting my household - me and 2 dogs - and it would be tough for me. not sure what I'd pull in unemployment(is there a place to figure this out?!) but savings are nowhere near 6 months' living expenses..Ic ould cut corners ab it more adn hit up some food pantries but I'd be hurting esp having to pay for medical and my taxes and insurance are high in my area.
    I need to challenge myself to live like worse case scenario for a while and sock the extra $ to long term savings...


  8. You know I have never done this. I don't know what we would do if we lost a job. I just always figured I would find another one. I guess that is really stupid of me.