When You Lose Your Job

Colorado Mountains

My family is in Colorado camping along the river in the mountains right now. I’ve been contemplating the fire ban that is going on right now here. The land is so dry, that campfires are banned, because it would only take one spark to set off something so devastating that would nearly be unstoppable.

This brought me around to thinking about my journey as a blogger, how I got started, and the things that inspire me to write and continue to grow my business.

When my husband and I both lost our jobs, and eventually our home as well, I found myself at the lowest point of my life, both financially and emotionally. We became dependent on some friends, and lived in a small apartment that we could barely walk around in because it was so tiny. We had to move far away from family, and I was stuck most every day in a rut that I felt I would never break out of.

The only work my husband was able to find was part-time, and we found ourselves on food stamps. This is difficult for me to admit, but there were even times when I did not want to go on living anymore. The only thing that kept me going was my precious little boy, because there was no way I would ever abandon him.

After about eight months of what seemed to be a complete nightmare, my husband found better work closer to family, and we were able to afford an apartment which gave us more space, and we were no longer dependent on the charity of friends.

Looking back on this time now, I see how this situation was preparing me for the moment that would spark a change that would become unstoppable. I was reading one of my favorite blogs, and on it was a series about blogging for business. I had plenty to say and a lot of knowledge, but hadn’t realized I could share these things with others so easily online. What flabbergasted me even more, was that I could make money while helping others.

So I invested about $10 in a domain name for my site, started my blog, and began working. Let me just make one thing clear: I worked hard. Despite what anyone may think, blogging takes a lot of work, and is a full-time job for me. But, after about a year and a half, I was paying all of our bills, my husband left the job he didn’t want to do and began working part-time at what he loves to do. He’s a part-time stay-and-home Dad, and only works because he loves what he does.

So as I look back on that time that we were devastated so terribly by something that nearly burned us completely, that time in my life prepared me for where I needed to be and what I needed to do to ensure that our family is never again dependent on “the man” in order to pay our bills and live our lives.

I know that a lot of you out there are suffering with different things. Maybe it’s an illness, a lost job or something else. Just remember that these seasons in our lives prepare us for the future and make us who we are. While I never want to go through what we did several years ago again, I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Have you experienced the struggle of losing a job? What is it that got you through that trying time, and do you have any advice for those going through this now? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

By |2014-07-20T00:24:46-04:00July 18th, 2011|Finance, Frugal Living|31 Comments

About the Author:

I'm a former sweet-tooth turned health-nut. After a difficult loss of a first pregnancy and having a second child with a heart condition, I became obsessed with health and wellness. I revamped our entire family's lifestyle, dropped seven pant sizes, and created a website where I could share our story and help support people wanting to make small changes day by day in order to live well. I also support my family by the work that I do here through advertising content, affiliates, and partnership/consultant links within content. When you click and/or order, it puts food on our table. Thanks for all your support, and may you live well and thrive!


  1. Laura July 18, 2011 at 4:40 pm - Reply

    Wonderful post Crystal, reminds me of why I have always loved your blog — and very close to home too as I started my blog under very similar circumstances.

  2. Smockity Frocks July 18, 2011 at 4:44 pm - Reply

    Oh, Crystal! Thank you so much for this honesty! I know these feeling EXACTLY. I am in the midst of hoping we can turn this sudden unemployment around, and you are such an inspiration to me. THANK YOU!

  3. Ashley - Embracing Beauty July 18, 2011 at 4:46 pm - Reply

    Thank you for sharing this! I never actually lost my job but I struggled to keep three jobs {and my sanity} while still not having enough money for food. My blog wasn’t started at that time but I used what I learned through that experience to start it a few years later. Trials bring growth and make us who we are. I really appreciate you sharing this!

  4. Emily July 18, 2011 at 4:48 pm - Reply

    Wow Crystal, I didn’t know that this is your full time support. I’m glad that you found something that works so well for you. It is certainly good for us, too!

  5. Rebecca W July 18, 2011 at 4:57 pm - Reply

    We went through almost the same thing in 2006. I was eight months pregnant in August and my husband was working at Lowes. Our son had a very bad asthma attack. As we were sitting in the ER, my husband called the store to let them know that he wouldn’t be able to make his shift and they informed him that it didn’t matter, he was laid off. I was so angry at them for telling him while we were waiting in the ER. He told me to let it go, our son was our main focus. He was out of work for 8 months. He tried in vain to find another job, but living in Michigan, it was nearly impossible. I had the baby which made our budget that much tighter. We were lucky to get unemployment but it was only 600 a month. We went on foodstamps as well. He had a teaching degree but could not find any teaching jobs. It was a very rough, emotional time.

    One day I saw an ad in the paper for teachers. Schools down in Florida were hiring like crazy due to a population boom. I packed up a resume and mailed it off. He got a call to come down for an interview session. His mom and dad paid for the flight and he had to stay in a hotel in a not so safe neighborhood. But he got the job within the first ten minutes of the session. We were estactic. Then reality set in. We had to move 1000 miles away from our entire family. And we had to do it in two months. Luckily we had our parents to help us out with the move, financially anyway. I cried when the moving truck pulled away from the house with all our stuff in it. I had to leave the house I brought my babies home too. That was gut wrenching.

    We got down to Florida, after a two day drive. My husband got a job at Pizza Hut for the summer since he wouldn’t get paid until starting school. We were still on foodstamps. We were surprised by a pregnancy a month after we arrived. It added to our stress of trying to find a house to rent in two weeks. We found a moderately priced home not far from the school he would be teaching at. So we settled into routines and things seemed to be ok. I went through huge fits of depression and homesickness. I couldn’t call up my mom and ask her if she wanted to go to the fabric store with me. The kids couldn’t see their grandparents. We got notice of foreclosure on our house up in Michigan. It was a really rough time. We also learned how much we hated living in Florida. My son is allergic to fire ants but we didn’t realize this until he woke up swollen. They were all over the house. The reason was there was an ant hill in the middle of the living room! We had to move. The new house we rented for two years, we found out was being sold so we had to move again. Our hope is to someday make it back to Michigan to be with our family.

  6. Ashley July 18, 2011 at 5:13 pm - Reply

    I didn’t know this! I have always been amazed by your blog and have referred many mommy friends! Thank you!!

  7. Drew July 18, 2011 at 5:18 pm - Reply

    Great post!
    I think I’ve commented this before, but this is the only coupon blog I still follow. Like you, I started to get more concerned about healthy and yours blog is the perfect mix of saving money and being more natural. I’m so glad it’s a successful business so that you can keep at it.
    Also, it does look like a full time job. You have a ton of information on here and I certainly never thought to myself it looked easy. All your hard work shows!

  8. Jennifer July 18, 2011 at 5:47 pm - Reply

    I have felt your pain. Three things got me, as well as my family, through the same struggle for 14 months: my children, my faith, and my writing. It is amazing what joblessness has done to our nation. It has broken otherwise strong, thriving families, torn relationships apart, and I’m sure has contributed to the loss of many wonderful people.

  9. Jess July 18, 2011 at 5:52 pm - Reply

    Thank you for this post. I am trying to finish up graduate school, and my husband lost his job at the beginning of the year. It has been one thing after another from totalled cars to ambulance rides. It is great to hear that people can get out of it when life seems to fall apart. I have been doing everything possible that I know of, but there seems to always be something new and unexpected.

  10. Lynn July 18, 2011 at 5:54 pm - Reply

    Great post! We went though similar stuff around the birth of our second child. Loosing a house is a lot like a death, and it threatened to be the death of our marriage as well. My husband was in the subprime mortgage industry. He didn’t just loose his job, the whole industry imploded. He had to start from scratch, which wasn’t easy and didn’t always pay the bills. Our saving grace was Domino’s Pizza. He took a job delivering pizza nights and weekends. The tips he made put food on the table, and his days were still free to job hunt. He actually kept the job for at least 6 months after he gained regular employment just to help dig us out of the hole we had gotten into. We are doing good now, and working towards being debt free. His new line of work has been better than anything he had before. As a whole the family is smarter. stronger, and better for it all.

  11. Whitney July 18, 2011 at 6:18 pm - Reply

    I’m glad that you shared your story. Even though it’s probably hard to put into words, I know that people like myself can really relate. I was working part-time when my husband lost his job and he didn’t find another one for over 7 months. That’s what started me couponing. Looking back God totally put me in the right places at the right time. I learned how to coupon in a MOPS group at a local church and I worked at a school that we were able to get donations from (like free diapers). I don’t know how we would’ve made it w/out those things in our life. We are also leaders of a Financial Peace University class (and have been for three years) and now I feel like we can relate more than ever to most of the people in our class. It has made us a lot tougher going through all of that, but I don’t ever care to go back:)

  12. Tina July 18, 2011 at 6:37 pm - Reply

    I love that you share your heart on your blog occasionally. It makes you seem like a real person when bloggers often seem like computer programs.

    What I want to know is where in CO you are. That picture is breathtaking!

    • Crystal July 19, 2011 at 10:35 pm - Reply

      We were in Texas Creek at a place called Sweetwater Creek. It was gorgeous there and we stayed in a Pioneer Cabin right on the river for two days. I was so sad to leave there this morning!

  13. Crystal @ Counselor Mom July 18, 2011 at 6:42 pm - Reply

    I wish you would write a blog series on how to get income like that after a year and a half. I have read so much but feel like I need more info.

  14. Amber July 18, 2011 at 7:11 pm - Reply

    Crystal, I have been following your site for a while now, and I truly believe the Lord led me to you. My husband was a superintendent for a General Contractor in AZ. He was making a lot of money, but as we all know that ended abruptly. I teach and with four kids and a new grandbaby, we could not stay afloat. With couponing and learning how to be a better homemaker, like on your site, I am able to provide MORE than we had when he was making a lot of money. Setting a budget, and sticking to it helps too : ) Thank you so much for this post, I can completely relate!

  15. Christy Kramer July 18, 2011 at 7:24 pm - Reply

    I have been reading your blog for a little while now and can really relate to what you’re saying. Without going into specifics, we are not exactly in the same boat but a similar one right now.

    I’ve always loved to write and only recently wanted to start sharing it with others. I created a blog at http://waitingforherwings.blogspot.com and am just starting to get a few (literally) followers. It’s confusing trying to navigate what to write about and how often and how to garner interest, so I really appreciate you sharing your experience and that link. I will definitely be checking it out!

  16. Crystal @ Counselor Mom July 18, 2011 at 7:25 pm - Reply

    Oh forgot to mention, of course congrats on your success! I admire what you have accomplished!

  17. Tricia Steele July 18, 2011 at 8:23 pm - Reply

    For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the LORD, “and will bring you back from captivity…… Jeremiah 29:11-14

    • Crystal July 19, 2011 at 10:34 pm - Reply

      I love this verse Tricia, and it was in my mind as I was writing, so thank you!

  18. Amber July 18, 2011 at 10:09 pm - Reply

    Thank you for the post Crystal and thank you so much for your blog. It has been a blessing in my life! How do you go about getting a domain name? I am new to blogging, but I’d love to give it a go! If anyone can help direct me I’d sure appreciate it!

    • Crystal July 19, 2011 at 10:33 pm - Reply

      Hey Amber, you can buy a domain from a lot of places online. GoDaddy frequently puts out coupon codes to make them less than $10 so you might want to start there.

  19. Lisa July 18, 2011 at 11:26 pm - Reply

    Thanks Crystal for your blog of encouragement! My husband & I lost our jobs & our home 9 months ago. Friends provided us with a place to live, & thanks to couponing & living frugally before all of this happened we’ve had plenty to eat. It’s been a tough time, but the Lord has been faithful. We’re finally starting to get our feet back on the ground; I have a part-time job and my husband is persuing a new career path. Thanks again for your honest sharing.

  20. Chasity July 18, 2011 at 11:44 pm - Reply

    Your words mean more than you will ever know. Reading your experience lets others know they are not alone. THank you for for your wise words and the heartfelt emotions .

  21. Nicole July 19, 2011 at 9:12 am - Reply

    My husband lost his job in July 2009, when I was newly pregnant with our third child and our other two were 1 and 3. It was a long, challenging 13 months. I couldn’t work because of the pregnancy, although I did try to get a holiday job at Macy’s when I was 8 months pregnant! That was a dumb idea and didn’t last long. All I can say is that we relied on our faith in God, the kindness of family and friends, and our trust in each other. We were also deeply grateful that we had been living a frugal, debt-free lifestyle, so we just had to keep up with our mortgage and bills. We had savings and we did our best to preserve them, although we used quite a bit. We still emerged debt free and are building back our savings now. It showed me that living within our means is a good idea not just in the day but in times of crisis as well.

  22. Heather July 19, 2011 at 9:24 am - Reply

    Great post! There are a lot of people struggling in tough situations like this. So inspiring to see someone make it to the other side & be the better for it.

  23. Margarita July 19, 2011 at 11:36 am - Reply

    Thanks for your post, I am a single mother and have been for several years. I have been where I did not need any help and had an okay lifestyle. But, it seems the last few years has been a constant up and down journey and I feel like it will never end. I am glad that you have gone through a journey that you are wiling to share with everyone, to give them some type of hope.

  24. Deb July 19, 2011 at 11:55 am - Reply

    My husband suffered a severe back injury while running his construction business about 9 yrs. ago. We lost just about everything and had to move in with his sister. We have 5 children, 3 at home at the time. The past 8 yrs. have been extremely difficult as he had back surgery and is now trying to change careers to get out of construction. My only comfort through all of this has been God’s Word, prayer and encouragement from Godly people. I could not have made it any other way. We are still in the midst of this trial as he can’t work the way he used to. I just finished up homeschooling the last of our 3 homeschooled children and am looking for direction as to what the Lord would have me do to help my husband financially.

  25. Aleda July 19, 2011 at 5:18 pm - Reply

    Thank you. I too was permanently laid off 13 months ago. Your post and the replies are great at letting me know that I’m not alone in this. The Lord will provide.

  26. […] The Thrifty Mama posted about her journey over the last several years and it prompted me to write this post. The […]

  27. Diane July 20, 2011 at 1:56 pm - Reply

    Thanks for being so candid and sharing. You inspired my post 🙂

  28. Wendy Darling July 22, 2011 at 8:19 pm - Reply

    I can’t believe I am just now seeing this post. It slipped by me. Thank you so much for sharing this experience with us, and what a blessing that you are able to help support your family with your blog, as well as help us. 🙂 I believe everything happens for a reason; God has a plan. It’s not always pleasant for us at the time, but necessary for what God has in store. He is using you in more ways than you know. 🙂 Blessings to you.

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