preparing for unemployment

This month marks the third December in a row in which we do not know if Keith will have any work in the new year.

His work is seasonal, although it doesn’t have to be. It really all depends on who is giving out contracts at what times and for how much. It’s really not so scary as it sounds, although it does require a lot of flexibility and planning.

It’s kind of an interesting balance, though. In the midst of excitedly planning for Christmas presents and Rilla’s second birthday party, I am also minimizing our outgoing expenses: pausing contributions to Keith’s Roth IRA, minimizing the amounts we put toward debts, and putting our NetFlix account on hold.

I am always surprised at how this is still such a learning process for me. I’m not (so) afraid of the possibility of Keith not having work for the next month or two or three or four; we have weathered it for the last two winter seasons, so I am sure we will make it through this one too. It does surprise me, though, to find myself fighting having to put the brakes on so many little outgoing expenses and return to the bare minimum costs for everything. Maybe I am not so frugal as I think I am? Or maybe I just don’t enjoy it all the time. I hate to use the term “feast or famine,” but I do tend to enjoy feasting a little more in the summer and fall months. Preparing to return to the famine of the winter and spring months is a bit less appealing, but that’s okay; we will make it through again.

I find myself thinking now of lots of little ways to make it through better this time. I have a big pile of things that we can put on eBay sometime in February when there’s not much else to do. Maybe I can make some cards or sew some things to sell on Etsy. In many ways, I have been looking forward to the winter months of having Keith at home – maybe I can get some writing done, maybe we’ll finally get Abraham moved into his own room, maybe we can make it through Season Three of 24.

We have made some good progress on debt this year, although with the snow slowing down production in November and December, I probably should have held back more for savings sooner… but oh well. You learn as you go, right? I am getting excited to tally up our headway on debt this year and write a post about that sometime in January. Stay tuned.

Published in: on December 8, 2010 at 3:39 pm  Comments (1)