Tuesday, October 4, 2011

A Change of Pace

Hello! We have just gotten back from a weekend away visiting my family. We went grape picking with my grandparents (more on that later!) and got in a great visit with my parents as well. However, when I was away I received notice that I will be laid off in 3 weeks due to my workplace having a financial crisis. I had a feeling this was coming from recent talks these past couple weeks, so I was not surprised, but definitely disappointed and a bit concerned. I have been working at this same job for the past 3 years and really have no experience outside of my field, which is veterinary reception. But, I have decided to take this as an opportunity to slow down a bit more and really think about what I want to do with my life's work. I am still going to school working towards my B.A., so that will continue, but until I can find another job I will have to change my lifestyle a bit to make up for the fact that my pay cheques will no longer be coming in.

Here are my plans:

1. Use public transit whenever possible to save gas (I pay for a pass in my tuition every semester, so I might as well use it!)

2. Frugal meals! This is already a staple in our household, but I will be extra conscious of using whatever we have on hand and trying to make as many freezer  based meals as possible. This also means no more eating out, no more buying bread, and making everything from scratch. I will also be relying on my canned goods and pantry to get us through rough patches.

3. Cut my cell phone down to the bare minimum. We do not have a land line and I have a contract so I cannot cut it out entirely, but there are some cheaper plans that I will be researching.

4. No more paying for tea/coffee. We have tons at home, I do not need to buy it.

5. Stay in! We hardly ever go out, but from now on it is cheap home entertainment.

6. Focus on my studies as much as possible, as this is the path to my success.

7. Write, every day. I am constantly making excuses as to why I don't write, but now I will have more spare time, so I need to dedicate myself to it. My last professor told me I have the talent to be a professional writer, and I need to hone my skills and get my creative juices flowing!

8. Enjoy this time! I need to realize that this has happened for a good reason and I need to embrace this stage in my life. I want to enjoy being at home and make myself relax and slow down more.

I will also be scouring Rhonda's blog for more tips on frugal living, as she really is the master of it.

I would appreciate anyone's input on this, and would love to hear your tips and tricks to frugal living! Have you ever been in a situation similar to mine? How did you manage?



  1. I think you've got a pretty good starter-list there and will hopefully make good use of the 'spare time'.

    Good luck - you just never know what's around the corner.

  2. Hi Brenna,
    I'm so sorry to hear about your being laid off. I've been there, and it totally sucks! However, I think your attitude is right, in that this is a time to really contemplate changes and take the opportunity to explore new options. Matt is in the process of changing careers right now too, it's difficult but also very freeing I think.
    I actually came over here to reply to your comment on my blog about school- I've never asked you what you are studying! And yes, it is so so good to be in classes with people whose interests and passions are the same as mine!

    Enjoy October!

    P.S. Do you use a menu plan? Matt and I have found that that is the single biggest prevention we can do for eating out. Since we've started doing it, we eat out maybe once a month, if that.

  3. Hi Brenna, I found myself in your situation 10 mths ago but I am 50 something much harder than 20 something. You might think at my age why not just retire, well I did, but alas it's not paying the bills. I haven't spent any money on clothes, hair cuts, makeup, beauty treatments over this 10 mths. I'm also healthier have not been to the doctor since I've been home, hence saving money. I walk every day, I have no stress and I am very happy. It's hard to get a job at my age so I too am thinking of returning to school, or I might start looking for work. Either way I still useful and have heaps to offer with my experience. With the positive attitude that you have, make the most of this opportunity. I think you will find in the long run it's a blessing in disguise.

  4. Thank you so much for your input! Liz, I am in the process of getting my English degree. We used to use menu plans religiously, but seemed to have fallen off the band wagon a bit lately, so I am going to make sure we get back on that, as it really does make a massive difference. Thanks for the reminder!

  5. Hi. I have been trying to think of some words of wisdom to share as a similar thing happened to us when the kids were little, but you seem to have it all well thought out and under control. I wish I had been as organised as you.
    Take care