As of June we are still ahead on our savings plan. In fact, we have almost double the amount we expected to have at this point. Tomorrow we will be writing a check to pay off one of our two low-interest debts. With the local real estate market preparing to tank, Husband and I were feeling pretty excited about our prospects.
And then life threw us a curve ball. Husband returned to work on Wednesday after our holiday to find out he’d been laid off.
It’s actually not a bad thing. In fact my husband was ecstatic. He really did not enjoy working for this company but the pay was just too good to pass up. Seeing our savings grow gave him resolve to keep going for a while longer, but now that the decision has been made for him he’s pretty excited.
And here you have one of the myriad benefits of being frugal and saving money. We are in excellent shape to weather this storm. He got a nice severance package, but we also have a big cushion saved up. Worst case scenario we lose our savings but it would take well over a year for that to happen and at least we’d end up still in the black. Since prospects for a new job are already coming in it’s doubtful we’ll have to survive more than a few weeks before he starts working again. In the meantime I have a built-in nanny! Life can change unexpectedly, but being financially secure (and, importantly, knowing how to make a dollar stretch) turns what could have been a panic situation into an exciting opportunity for change.
There are still uncertainties, however. I’m not sure if we’ll be able to stay in Vancouver – yes, we were planning on leaving but not this soon. The current prospects range from the eastern US to the area we were planning on buying our acreage. But while the latter would bring us closer to our goal, it’s a lousy time to buy and we don’t have enough for a comfortable mortgage yet, so it would mean moving into another rental – something I was hoping we’d done for the last time when we moved here.
The other issue is one of salary. It’s unlikely he’ll end up with the same salary he has now (or had, rather) nor will there likely be the same sort of bonuses and stock options. Those are the trappings of big business and my creative man is much happier in smaller start-up and independent companies. His salary will still be good, and our living expenses will have dropped due to paying off our debts (assuming he doesn’t need to use up the whole severance package we’ll pay off the other outstanding debt), but the RATE at which we’ve been socking money away will almost certainly slow. This means that purchasing our dream property might take a bit longer than we’d hoped.
So, exciting times are ahead. In the meantime we’re going to enjoy the summer and the extra time we have together (and I’m enjoying being able to run the store without the kids in tow!).