Post # 1
I am feeling so uncomfortable in my own situation right now and I feel like I am not carrying my weight, I feel like I have taken a step back in my life professionaly.
I was laid off about a year and a half ago from a law firm where I worked for six years and convieniently my car broke down a few months after being laid off. I then got a job at a mortgage company, then that company closed down because there wasnt enough business…..so then I decided to take matters into my own hands and get my real estate license since I had six years experience on the legal side and experience on the mortgage side. I got a part time management position at the mall to suppliment our income while I got into real estate. I was not on unemployment.
My part time position at the mall accidentally almost turned full time. One manager left and we were short staffed so I was just scheduled all these hours without being asked. I now work 38 hours a week for the past 6 months which has made it very difficult to continue with real estate especially given all the expenses related with real estate if I dont have time to work to sell home there is no point in paying all these fees…..so I temporarily left real estate to the side and defualted to stay with the retail job until after the wedding.
FI and I made the decision to wait to get a second car until after the wedding. His student loans will be paid off right around the same time so his credit score will be higher and we will get a lower interest rate and we will also have more cash to put down on a second car, thus not needing as big of a loan. I know this is smart and I understand why we are doing it but I can’t help but feel like I am just kind of stuck and defaulted into this job without a car just waiting it out and holding onto his coattails. I don’t feel independent and I don’t feel confident, I feel like I am just a dead weight on this journey doing everything in my power to make it better. Going from making $50k a year to $24k is a really ego deflating.
I’ve applied for a million and one new jobs to go back into the legal field but its a darn free for all, a few of the positions I applied for had 65+ other applicants. I am currently making less money than I made when I was 19…..I am 26 now. When I met FI I lived alone, I had 2 jobs, was putting myself through school, and I was making a really comfortable living…this was at 23…… After being laid off its not been the same. Its a serries of just unfortunate events and FI and I are trying to be smart with every move we make so we dont financially hurt ourselves.
We are getting by, we are paying off debt which is putting us in a better position but we are sharing a car and there is no room for extras. No room for going out to dinner, no room for shopping. I havent got my hair cut or my nails done in over a year. I buy my bargain beauty products….and again thats really another kind of ego and confidence killer. To some people makeup and hair is not important but its what made me feel confident its what made me feel like I could tackle anything my day brought my way. When you feel good, you perform at your highest level at leasts thats how it was for me. Looking in the mirror at my hair that so desperately needs a trim doesn’t make me feel like I am the best one for the jobs out there. I udnerstand that we are doing whats right and even despite my lowered income we are still paying off debt but it still stinks and I know this will get better. Less debt leaves us more wiggle room to get out of this in the end.
Once the wedding is over we will get the second car which I think will help with my poopy attitude since I wont feel like im trapped, it will make my work search a little more broad since I wont be stuck looking for jobs within 15 min from home.
Has anyone else experienced anything like this? How did you deal with it? What did you do? I don’t want to start our marriage feeling like an unequal partner.
Post # 2
What? I read your title and thought you were going to be writing about being out of work entirely, or not doing as much housework as your SO, or something like that. And I was going to write that pretty much every healthy relationship has occasional periods where one person is carrying more weight than the other, and as long as there’s give and take and everyone’s doing what they can, there’s nothing wrong with that.
But you’re working 38 hours a week. That’s full time. So it’s not that you’re not carrying your weight, it’s that you’ve had some setbacks. And setbacks happen to everyone at some time or another. The important thing is that you and your partner are making smart decisions together as a team. You’re going to be fine. Just keep on applying for the jobs you want, don’t stress, and let your partner be your teammate.
Post # 3
Assuming your FI makes more than $25k, you are more affluent than a large marjority of the US (assuming that’s where you are). You should not be upset, or strained, in any way! You are making the right decisions by paying off debt, and working towards a goal.
I personally took a drastic drop in income in order to have more freedom. I don’t feel like I am not carrying my weight, even though I make less. I do have to rely on my partner (he pays rent), but that is what being part of a relationship is all about. You are working 38 hours a week, woman! That’s not chump time, that’s a full-time job. You are contributing twenty five THOUSAND more dollars than you would be sitting at home twiddling your thumbs.
You can’t help how you feel but I hope you realize you have nothing to be ashamed of. You’re working your ass off, trying to find something better, and living on a budget. If you need a hair cut, go to a beauty school – free except for a tip. I bought a gel nails kit that I saw on sale at slickdeals.net (learn it, love it), and have spent $50 for all my mani/pedis for the whole year. You don’t have to be in the dumps (mentally, physically) while living on a budget.
Try to breathe, and remember that you are allowed to have little things for yourself. 🙂
Post # 4
becca89: memorieslff: Thank you both for taking the time to respond! I know in the scheme of things I could have it way worse. There are people who are having a harder go at it than I am right now thats for sure!! My FI was waking about $80k and lost overtime a few months ago as well and is now only making about $65k base without the overtime. Before all of this happened we were making a combined $130k before taxes….and now we are making a combined $89k a total loss of $41k….which is actually a huge change. In MA what we make is really not enough to get by, its pretty terrible where we live actually. We joke about moving south because we would be living so comfortable and I think part of our joke is starting to sink in as a good idea! I think part of me feels silly because everyone is buying houses or renting nice condos and starting families, and we’ve downgraded to a super small $600 a month apartment in a bad area just to save some more money. My father is an attorney as has his own firm, my mother is a manager of a hospice company, my brother is a police officer, my sister works at an inruance company and her husband is a financial advisor in boston they are 23 and just bought a house….I come from a family where every one has great careers and works REALLY hard. Here I am folding clothes getting yelled at by the women shopping in my store like im some pesant below them. Truth be told with what I make at this sotre I cant even afford the clothes with my 50% discount! I get uncomfortable at family gatherings when people ask what I am doing now. I go from working in a lawm firm as a paralegal to unpacking shipment, folding clothes and being talked down to on a daily basis by crazy people. Don’t get me wrong, Ive had retail jobs before and Ive had quite a few less tham glamorous job. I just didnt expect to be going back to it at 26 after how hard I worked for a career. I feel like my studnt loans were all for nothing now. Though I know this will all pass and we will eventually get out of it but I can’t help but be a baby over it all.
Post # 5
Footballwife: oh dear that sounds hard- I think you just need to keep trucking at retail while applying to other jobs until you get one! You have lots of experience, you can do it- just keep applying. Also you should talk to your man about maybe after the wedding him supporting you completely for a bit so you can get the real estate thing up and running. It might be really tight for a bit but you will make so much more in the long run then if you just keep plugging away at the mall. Keep your chin up and keep applying to better jobs- law firms, real estate places etc lots of people have discouraging stints of underemployment- you just don’t let it get the best of you and keep of digging yourself out. It will get better!
Post # 6
Footballwife: have you looked into temp agencies? Many many companies end up hiring their temps even if the position isn’t advertised as temp-to-perm. You’ll probably get paid more than the retail job, so you can work less if youd like to refocus on real-estate (or work the same amount but make more money!) A lot of temp agencies these days even provide benefits!
On the personal-care note: I’ve been there! I would suggest scoping our the beauty schools in your area and going to get some low-priced or free services! Haircuts should be really cheap or free, and many schools also have esthetician programs where you can get facials and massages and whatnot. Everything is supervised and I PROMISE it will make you feel like a new woman to treat yourself a little bit!
Post # 7
You are definitely carrying your share of the load. Not doing so, would be sitting at home on unemployment and not even looking for other work. Many, many people have taken a huge hit with the downturn of the economy.
As a pp has suggested, check out beauty schools for a trim, cut or style. Students are never assigned to the public until they have been approved for the skill in question.
Post # 8
Footballwife: come on down south! We make a combined income of about 60,000 and are doing fine. We’re paying 950 to rent a 1400 sq ft townhouse in a great location. Hopefully we can buy a house next summer…you can get a great starter home for around 150,000.
I was making 27,000 teaching at a private school…but quit when we moved. I didn’t get a full time teaching job here, but was hired as a part time tutor and picked up a nanny job. I’ll probably make around 20,000 this year. Going from a bad salary to worse! Hopefully next year I’ll get hired as a full time teacher and get $44,000.
Post # 9
Footballwife: I totally understand. You felt strong and independent and successful before, and now you don’t. PP already addressed that you are still all of those things, so I won’t do that. I think its really humbling to be struck down due to circumstances out of our control. We work so hard or get somewhere, it’s hard to accept it can be taken away.
one thing is true, though. You wil come through this and be stronger and you will find a new position that is just right For you. Time. Time and patience.
Post # 10
- Wedding: September 2015 - Bellagio, Las Vegas
I really like what the other posters said about your situation. If anything, it sounds like you two have a plan and are doing okay. It’s wonderful that you’re at a place to pay off debt and both of you have jobs.
Hang in there. I’m in a similiar situation. I’m underemployed and I feel like I’m not carrying my weight in my relationship. It’s temporary. I’m in an awkward spot of being between graduating from college and starting a wonderful full-time job that I got back in July. I can’t start until I pass state boards (I just graduated from nursing school), but it’s still really awkward. I *have* a good job, I just can’t start it yet! Super frustrating! I completely understand where you’re coming from.
Post # 11
Footballwife: I am experiencing some of the same things, only in a completely different situation. I was a teacher when SO and I met, and I had been commuting about an hour each way to get to work every day for the past year. Due to the stress that the commute was causing me, I started to look for other work up where we live…which ended up being a great decision because we had some landlord trouble and had to move further up into NH, which made my teacher commute impossible.
We are now renting the 2nd floor of his dad’s house for a sweet discount that will help us to get out of debt and allow us to save for a house and then a wedding! Awesome, right? However, the job that I took up here essentially meant a 33% pay cut…paired with SO’s awesome promotion/raise, he makes about 40% more than I do right now. It makes me feel like a mooch and a jerk and like I am not smart or good at what I do. The position I took is not a teaching position – they are hard to come by where I am living, as most of the schools are regional and I am certified to teach English. I have taken a part-time retail job to supplement my income, but working 60+ hrs/wk is really, really stressful.
I think the bestthing to remember is – everything is temporary. Retail is demanding. Make sure you’re taking care of yourself, knowing that you are doing everything you can do right now!
Post # 12
I can imagine this is hard. It looks like things will be getting better though. Your wedding is so close!! it would be very difficult to change jobs right now. I know it can take some time to get hired so by all means keep looking but don’t forget to enjoy these last few months!! I am not sure if you will like this suggestion because I know you want that second car. how important is it? It sounds like you wanted to wait until after the wedding and the loans but if you sharing a car is working then you could avoid adding on that other expense right away and enjoy yourselves or save more. You could still apply to jobs further away and then get the car when sharing is no longer realistic. I couldn’t really tell if real estate was the direction you wanted to go but if it is the money you saved with the car could go towards your real estate license. Like I said it really is deciding how important things are for you. I requested a transfer with my job recently to move with FI but my new office is much different and I am also doing everything to get out of there. I found a quote that hit home that I wanted to share with you. About 90% of the things in our life are right. Make sure you don’t overlook the 90% that is right by focusing on the 10% that isn’t. You will get out of this and things will get better. It is easy to see how driven you are. I don’t know how much free time you have but volunteering and networking could also help.