When my husband informed me that morning that he no longer had a job, my first reaction was,“Weh, di nga?”
I thought he was just joking. But when he showed me his chat conversation with his boss, I knew it wasn’t a joke.
I remained calm though and whispered in faith,“This is no surprise to God. God is in control and He has a good plan.”
In spite my poetic faith reassurance that God is in control, we were not instantly transported to heaven. We were still in our bedroom with the truth that we had lost 80% of our family’s income.
After running the numbers, we figured that we could make it a few months with my husband’s unemployment. We would most likely get behind on everything, but we would make it.
Although I do work from home part time, he makes significantly more than I do and the loss of his income is a big deal. I knew I needed to think about how to save money.
With 80% of our income gone, there was no time for whining. I pulled up my budget binder and started analyzing our actual numbers.
While we had been working on beefing up our emergency savings, we were less than halfway towards our goal of having enough to survive for six months (ironically enough, in case something like a layoff or job loss ever happened – and it happened).
Still, something is better than nothing, right? This is why an emergency fund is so important.
No one could have told us this was coming, the only way we can prepare financially is by having an emergency fund.
Now we need to evaluate our financial situation by asking these questions…
- How much do we have in our emergency fund?
- How much do we have in other savings that we can pull from?
- How much are our expenses each month?
- What is the minimum that we need to live on?
At first, I wanted to freak out that we have to use our emergency fund. But I realized that’s what’s it’s there for! We worked hard to save up this protection, so might as well let it protect us at this time of need.
So how do we budget now?
Well, my budgeting method remains the same. The only difference is that instead of budgeting our paycheck, this time we are going to take out cash from our emergency fund and budget it as income.
Why? Because that’s what we’re replacing right now.
- READ: How to Make a Monthly Budget for Beginners
- READ: How I Manage Our Family Budget And Pay The Bills
But first, I need to know how much our expenses are this month and what is the minimum that we need to live on. This means we need to focus on covering our “four walls” including our food, utilities, shelter and transpo, and cutting out all unnecessary expenses.
This is where it gets hard but we need to get to the bare bones of our essential expenses and save as much cash as we can to survive.
Before, we allocate funds for the following expenses:
- House – ₱9,000
- Family Support 1 – ₱5,000
- Car – ₱10,500
- Electricity – ₱3,000
- Internet – ₱1,100
- Water – ₱500
- Laundry – ₱500
- Food & Groceries – ₱14,000
- Misc. Fund – ₱5,000
- Tithes/Offering –
- Savings –
- Husband’s Personal Fund –
- Wife’s Personal Fund –
- Family Support 2 –
Since we have lower income now, we’ll have to cut back on the following expenses:
- Misc. Fund
- Husband’s Personal Fund
- Wife’s Personal Fund
- Family Support 2
Yes, this is tough. But we know that if we want to make this work, we are going to have to make some sacrifices.
We also believe that this is only temporary, and with God’s help, we will make it through this, and we will be stronger when it’s over.
- READ: 17 Tips On How To Save Money on Groceries
- How to Save and Earn Cashback Paying Utility Bills Online
The Lord’s Provision During My Hubby’s Job Loss
It is no doubt the Lord cares for us, even during job loss. We are in the palm of His hand and, truly, even job loss is no surprise to God.
Some of the provisions mentioned below are undoubtedly miracles of our faithful and loving God. Others are through wisdom and creativity the Lord gives us during this challenging time. No matter, the Lord gets the glory.
1. I received my salary
My husband, John, was terminated from his position on January 20. Since then, I have been praying to God about our situation and God spoke to me through His words in Genesis 26: 1 & 12,
There was another famine in the land besides the earlier one during the time of Abraham.
Isaac sowed crops in the land, and that year he harvested a hundred times as much as he had sown, because the LORD blessed him.
With 80% of our income gone and our finances being uncertain, I obeyed God’s command in Malachi 3:10 to give my whole tithe and offering when I received my income on January 22.
Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.
By God’s grace, He has been pouring out blessings upon blessings to our family these days. Thank you Jesus!
2. My mother-in-law gave me a cash gift
On January 23, my mother-in-law told me that her SSS retirement benefit has been finally approved after two months of processing, waiting, and communicating with the SSS personnel via email. Surprisingly, she gave me a cash gift for all my help. I refused to accept it but she insisted, so I got extra cash. That’s the favor of God!
3. A relative paid her loan
A relative who owed me money from months back paid me unexpectedly last week. The amount she gave was enough to cover our utility bills this month. That’s another favor from God!
4. Abundant blessings of food supply
We were supposed to go to the wet market and grocery on January 23 to buy our food supply for the week, but God gave us unexpected blessings through friends and family who gave us food and invited us for free lunches and dinners.
- My mother-in-law’s friend gave her plenty of vegetables and fruits and she gave us some.
- Last week, a friend came over with her electric griller and hosted an unli samgyupsal dinner at home.
- On Saturday, while I was in the garden, someone knocked on the gate and it was a food delivery from my husband’s Aunt who was celebrating her birthday.
- Yesterday afternoon, we left the house to go to UP Diliman for a quick picnic. We were a few meters away from the house when John remembered that he needed a load. I tried to buy him a load through GCash but I couldn’t connect to the internet so I asked him to drive back home first. To our surprise, we saw his cousins and relatives from Bulacan in front of our gate who came to visit my mother-in-law. And guess what, they brought plenty of food! We stayed for another hour to have kwentuhan at siyempre kainan 🙂 before we headed to UP for our pre-planned picnic. Before they left in the evening, one of John’s older cousins, who’s also Macey’s Ninang, gave her a cash gift!
- Today, my sister-in-law and her partner hosted a sumptuous seafood boodle fight for lunch.
It’s been a week since our scheduled trip to the market, but we still have more than enough food for tonight’s dinner and even for tomorrow’s lunch – all by God’s grace!
5. My husband received his paycheck today, in full!
Since my husband’s termination from his job on January 20, he never heard from anyone from his company anymore.
He wasn’t expecting for any paycheck, but yesterday, he thought, since he still reported to work on January 16, 18, and 19, he sent an invoice hoping to get a paycheck for three days’ worth of work.
This morning, while I was preparing for breakfast, my husband kissed me and smilingly said, “Good morning, I have good news!”
At first, I thought, “Is this really good news?”
But as he continued speaking, I realized he said, “They sent me my whole paycheck!”
John and I couldn’t stop thanking and praising God for this unexpected blessing. I’m in awe of God’s goodness and faithfulness.
Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us. – Ephesians 3:20
6. I got extra cash for selling unused items in my closet
Just when I thought that was it for today, God gave me another blessing this afternoon. My friend sent me her payment for some unused items I offered to her last week. It’s just ₱600 but that’s another favor from God! Those items have been sitting in my closet for over two months and I never thought I could convert them into cash.
7. My husband will start giving tithes
While we were eating breakfast, John and I talked about how God has been blessing and providing for us these days in unexpected and miraculous ways.
Of all the surprises and miracles that God has shown me during the past few days, this was the most awe-inspiring by far:
John finally said that he is going to start tithing. That he is giving me permission now to give the firstfruits of our harvest to God through tithes and offerings.
I have been praying for this for a long time, and God has finally answered my prayer today. To God be all the honor, praise, and glory, in Jesus name!
And this reminds me of what Jesus said in Matthew 19:26,
Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
My husband was out of work earlier in our marriage for 10 months and we survived and grew tremendously in our spiritual walk during that tough time.
Although I didn’t want to relive that challenging time, it reminded me of how I wished I would have handled the job loss situation last time differently. Needless to say, I wouldn’t have won any ‘Wife of the Year’ trophy in those 10 months.
God has provided for our family and we have never gone a day without a meal. God is good.
My husband is still unemployed, but we are praying and anticipating a breakthrough for our family – maybe a new job opportunity for John, or a breakthrough in my online business, or a new family business. Only God knows.
We don’t know what God has in store for us, but we will continue to pray for wisdom and guidance as we hold on to his promise in Hebrews 13:5,
Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”