Sunday, June 27, 2010

Back At Last

Well, life has certainly been  -  interesting.  As in, "May you live in interesting times."  But I did finally figure out what I was doing wrong, so now (fingers crossed) my posts will at least stay posted and not disappear any more.  I'm not going to try to re-create what vanished, just take it from here.

When I was first laid off, I fully expected to have another job within a month.  But that was ten months ago ... there isn't much out there, though I dutifully go on line every day to do my two hours of searching and applying.

Then I started examining the household budget, looking for ways to cut costs and do without spending money on things.  And I realized  -  there weren't many costs left to cut.  We'd already been living pretty frugally, since we really want to reduce our debt load as quickly as we can. We heat with a wood stove most of the time, we turn lights etc off when we leave the room, we don't let the water run, we don't water the lawn, we shop at thrift stores, dollar stores, Costco, we never shop without a list and only get what's on it, my car is twenty years old & we do all the maintenance ourselves, we only do laundry in cold water and hang it all to dry.

I do see myself getting more vigilant about water usage once the meter is installed.  Indications are that choosing to go on a water meter (installed free by the city) instead of paying the flat yearly non-metered amount should save us a couple of hundred dollars a year.  We won't know for sure until we get next year's water/sewer/utilities bill, but paying almost a thousand dollars this spring was a real eye-opener!  I just wish there was a way to reduce the property taxes as well.

So, not finding many areas where we could spend less than we do now, I've been doing whatever I can to bring in a little income over and above my EI benefits.  I'm a rep for a well-known cosmetics company (no, not Mary Kay)  -  have been for years  -  but business has been pretty minimal lately.  I had two local bi-weekly paper routes for a few months, but had to give them up; doctor's orders as I was doing too much damage to my already bad knees.  Lately I've been doing a lot of cleaning and other odd jobs for my Mom, which she insists on paying me for even though I'd do them for nothing; things that actually do need to be done, like windows and drapes and cleaning out her storage locker. She's been having some health issues that kept her from doing these things herself, which is why I offered to do them in the first place; I never expected that she'd pay me to do them, but I am grateful.

And I've just signed up to be a consultant for a gourmet food products company (no, not Pampered Chef).  Had my "launch party" last Friday night  -  more about that, and the rest of last week, in my next post.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Starting Over

On August 31, 2009, everything changed.

I was laid off  -  actually, the paperwork says "Position Eliminated", which amounts to the same thing.

The financial repercussions weren't immediate, thanks to a generous severance package, but the emotional effects were something else.

I went through several stages ... I was determined to have another job before my birthday. Then before Christmas.  Then before Easter.  Then before Canada Day.  Now?  Well, before my EI runs out, I hope ... But the jobs just aren't out there.  My field has shrunk, as I put it to friends, like a cashmere sweater in a laundromat dryer; every job posted  -  and there aren't many  -  gets an average of five HUNDRED applicants.  The odds are not in my favour right now, but that doesn't stop me from looking, nor from breaking out of my comfort zone to apply for jobs outside my field that I think I'm qualified for.
It's hard.  It's discouraging.  It's brutal on the ego.  But I WILL NOT let that stop me.

In the meantime, I'm doing whatever I can to minimize expenses, bring in extra income, and increase my chances of getting a new job.  And that's what this blog is all about.

Being frugal.
Being determined.
Being adventurous.
Being creative.

And  -  with a little luck, and a lot of hard work  -  being employed again.