I can finally share the news with you, my husband Denny has a new job! After 9 months of having him home, he is back to work this week! I have such mixed emotions about it, I cried all morning the day he went back because I missed him so much! We have spent so much time together as a family while Denny has been off work that it has been a really big adjustment for us to not have him home anymore.

Don’t get me wrong, I am so excited for him and this opportunity but I also loved having him around so much. When you work from home the days can be quiet and lonely so it was nice to have the company throughout the day while he was home. I also miss having my personal chauffeur around, it’s amazing how much work you can get done on your devices while someone else drives you!

We’ve been through all the motions from the stress. There has been sleepless nights, anxiety, headaches, not eating, over indulging. You name it we’ve been through it but we went through it together which makes us stronger in the end.

I want to take a moment to say thank you, to so many of you who checked in on us, who offered to help in any way you could. Whether it was job referrals or making sure our son was able to participate in a hockey tournament, even strangers who messaged to check in on our family online. Your kindness means so much to us, and we are so thankful to have so many amazing people looking out for our family through tough times.

I know our story isn’t unique, which is the reason why we have so openly shared it with you all. Through our personal experiences we hope that we can help others who may be experiencing similar situations themselves. It is absolutely devastating to lose a job, and feels impossible when you need to figure out how to adjust your lifestyle for your new reality. We’re here to tell you you aren’t alone, and if we can get through it so will you.

Here are some things we did to adjust our lifestyle so we could come through the recession in Alberta:

  1. Immediately start cutting back on everything. The day Denny found out he lost his job we cut out every unnecessary expense we had. By doing this we were able to get by much longer with his severance pay from work without touching our savings account.
  2. Start paying attention to what you are spending your money on so you can cut back. How many meals are you eating out a week? I bet it’s more than you actually realize. We cut back to one meal out a week with the kids. As hard as it was to do, we saved a ton of money by doing so.
  3. Cash in those points and gift cards for experiences! All those scene points or airmiles you are collecting? No better time to use them then now! I’m thankful we save points as it allowed us to take the kids to the movies and do other activities while not spending money.
  4. Have friends over instead of going out. We love entertaining so we would invite friends to come visit us instead of going out to restaurants or events.
  5. Find activities or experiences to do that are free like river valley walks, skating and visiting the dog park. We’ve been spending a lot of time outdoors!
  6. Buy only the necessities. I haven’t gotten new gym clothes in over a year! Guess what? I survived and you will too! Spend your money on things you need not on things you want. This was a huge adjustment for us but we learned some pretty valuable lessons about what we were wasting money on.
  7. Sell all the things you don’t need. We spent time organizing and purging all the things we didn’t need. Not only did we organize our house, we also got rid of all the clutter we no longer used or needed. Thanks to some buy and sell pages we made hundreds of dollars too!
  8. Meal Plan so you can save money on groceries and be better organized at home.
  9. Stick to a grocery list. You can save so much money by not aimlessly walking around a grocery store picking up items you don’t necessarily need.
  10. Don’t buy gifts. This was the toughest one for us but we let everyone know this year we wouldn’t be buying gifts for anyone other than our kids.

Thanks to some tough life lessons we plan on continuing with many of these even though he is working again. This experience has opened our eyes to our spending habits and helped us realize where we can cutback to save for the future.