How a job layoff can transform your views about money

As my boss called me out of my office, we started walking downstairs to HR. Not many words were said (what can you say in that situation). Although he didn't say it at the time, I knew what was happening, I knew I was being laid off. I was escorted to a conference room where the Vice President and HR representative were there to talk about what was happening. I admit it; their lips were moving but I didn't hear a word they were saying. Come on...I was being laid off!

In 2014, I was laid off from my engineering job. I was with the firm for 8 years. Being young and naïve, I never thought that a lay off would happen to me. It was scary and surreal to think that my only source of income was done...over...FINITO! How was I going to pay my bills? When will I find another job? We were a two income family that depended on my paycheck.

It was one year before I found my next corporate engineering job. Yes, a year, and it was my choice. When the dust settled and the panic of being laid off went away, my thoughts and views about money completely changed. Not getting a paycheck was not the end of the world.

Living on Less

Let me start by saying we had a fully funded emergency fund by the time I was laid off. I refused to completely deplete our savings because of this set back so I started cutting our budget. I was surprised about how much less we could live on. Before I was laid off, we dinned out a lot...I mean A LOT! It was hurting our budget. Of course I couldn't see the hurt because we had the money, we could afford it, so why not...right?

After cutting and reducing some bills and expenses, I removed $2,800 from our budget that was unnecessary spending. $2,800!!! Even after that huge cut, we couldn't live on my husband's paycheck alone. We still an extra $1,100 each month to live comfortably. And by comfortably, I mean still having money for fun things like family outings, vacations, and hair appointments.

Freelancing is Real

All my life, I was taught the only way to make money was to have a job. Being laid off from my job automatically meant no money for me...right? WRONG? I started freelancing to make up the $1,100 we needed every month. I was my own boss and it was great! Technical writing and business finance consulting was my bread and butter. I formed lasting relationships with some of my past clients.

If you have been laid off and you are looking for part-time, or even full-time, income. I recommend freelancing. We were still able to take vacations and have nice date nights thanks to my freelancing.

We all have stuff lying around the house that we don't use anymore. If you are like me, it is probably in a closet or attic that keeps piling up. Guess what, that stuff is worth money and maybe useful to someone else. So what did I do? I sold it. Yep, got on Craigslist and Ebay and sold it. Old electronics, baby gear, and books funded our long weekend trip to Atlanta. Not only did we get a vacation, but it was nice to have my closet back.

I'm not saying sell everything. Just sell the stuff that you are not using or don't need like old cell phones and computer parts. You would be surprised what people will buy.

Getting laid off from my job taught me that being laid off was not the end of the world. Although the initial shock of not having a job was scary, I made it. Having an emergency fund definitely helped hold us over until my freelancing gigs picked up. Since I was not in a rush to find a job, I was able to wait on a job that was right for me and my family.

I am happy to say that I am back in the corporate world after being laid off for a year. I found an engineering job that I enjoy and I work part-time around my family's schedule. Without going through my lay off, I would have never discovered the unnecessary spending we were doing or learn that there are other ways to make money.

What life event changed the way you view money?

The post How My Job Layoff Transformed My Views about Money appeared first on Budget Like a Lady.

RELATED: These worst purchases you can make for your financial future

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Top 5 worst purchases you can make for your financial future
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Top 5 worst purchases you can make for your financial future

"The main point is buying a home is nothing more than a savings account. It's not an investment that will consistently make you money. Meaning you're most likely sacrificing millions of dollars down the road because of your home purchase. Think about that before you commit to a 30 year mortgage and $250,000 on a house as a young adult."

Credit: Take Your Success

"Who wouldn't want to buy a brand new $30,000 car with a sleek design, flashy wheels, exquisite interior, and new car smell? I know I would. But buying a new car is like buying a stock on its worst trading day of the year. Because a new car value drops 11% the second you drive this shiny toy off the lot. That 11% loss is nothing to take lightly. Then when you add the interest rate to the car loan, things only get worse."

Credit: Take Your Success

"Buying a boat, motorcycle, RV, small plane, etc., is undoubtedly the wrong move to make as a young adult in your 20s. Save that for later when you're financially free and have more money to throw around."

Credit: Take Your Success

"Look, I get it. Fashion is trendy, it's cool, and it inspires confidence... But there's a difference between looking presentable and balling out at the mall like you're on a mission to spend as much money as possible." 

Credit: Take Your Success

"Since they get worn down and lose value with each step, shoes offer weak long-term durability and that's why they're a worse purchase than clothes. You can at least resell clothes and sometimes get 50% of the purchase price. But it's extremely difficult to recover money from selling used shoes. It's best to think of your shoes like you would your car, just a resource to get you from point A to B."

Credit: Take Your Success

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