Anyone else feeling the hit of the recession...really feeling it?!?!?


#1

I work from home doing a type of freelance work. 5 years ago I was picking and choosing clients and having to turn down work. Now I am calling old clients to see if they have something, anything for me. It is horrible!
My husband’s job, thankfully, has remained steady. But, he does not have any option to leave it (hates his work), as there is nothing else out there and he knows to be grateful for what he has.
Our bills our mounting and our saving is very minor.
This is the first time we are having to make some big choices.

Anyone else really taking a hit?
Ann


#2

Yes, last year my company put a freeze on raises, bonuses, promotions, and 401K matching. Earlier this spring, we got an e-mail saying that the company was doing better, the future looks bright, etc.(standard executive BS) and that raises would be reinstated. Yay!

Then barely a week later, we got another e-mail saying that the company needed to do a second round of downsizing. By the end of that day, one of my team members, my boss' boss, and our administrative assistant (who had been with the company for over 10 years) were gone. Two other co-workers were so disgusted that they quit within the next month.

My projects are all over budget and behind schedule due to the shortage of available help, which in turn pretty much guarantees that I have no chance of a bonus or a promotion. It's a catch-22 that works out to the company's benefit financially, so I don't expect to see this fixed any time in the near future.

I'm a single mom, and in this economy and dicey job market, I don't dare look for another job--even if I find one (my friend who was let go 2 months ago is still looking), I'd be setting myself up for a "last hired, first fired" scenario if the economy doesn't improve.

I'm going to have both daughters in college this fall and I'm terrified.

Miz


#3

Australia’s doing pretty well. I for some reason thought that America was steadily getting better until a friend from the USA yesterday told me that it’s still pretty bad there, prayers for you guys…


#4

[quote="Suspicious_Mind, post:3, topic:200900"]
Australia's doing pretty well. I for some reason thought that America was steadily getting better until a friend from the USA yesterday told me that it's still pretty bad there, prayers for you guys...

[/quote]

Do yourself a favor and ignore the press. They and all the business shows are clueless about the economy and its affects on the average US citizen.


#5

Not personally, but I feel like I'm walking around with an anvil hanging over my head, and a candle is slowly burning the rope that holding up the anvil.

I'm especially worried about some of the predicted tax increases. This could really wreak havoc with our finances. Just as my husband and I are freed from paying for college bills and finally have some freedom to start saving for a retirement, we will have to give that money to the government and watch it frittered away.

I wish the government would open their eyes and see that if they would GIVE our money back to us instead of taking it away, we would spend it and that would make more jobs, as someone would have to make all the parts for all the things we want to buy!


#6

So close to my story! :frowning:

Last year I was stuck in a horrible job that took away every perk we had ever had, froze raises, had two rounds of layoffs, and we worked horrendous hours all year long. I hated the work itself, was stressed because of worry over getting cut in the iminent “next round” (because I hated the job I was worried my performance was suffering), was gaining weight, very stressed, had no free time, and cried all the time. After three months of searching, I found a new job.

New job was like heaven! 40 hour weeks! Higher pay than my last job! Great benefits! Last Thursday this great job announced impending layoffs, and I am pretty sure I will be fired. (last hired first fired) So before at my last job I probably had better job security than I thought - I thought the economy was improving. I never dreamed this job would lay people off! For one, they had been so “upbeat” about how they had managed to ride through the recession.

And there is another result of the recession. The job markets are flooded, so yes it’s hard to get a job. But I found with the job I got - I was over qualified! Even though the pay was better, this was really an entry level job. I am so bored and don’t even use the degree I have, let alone the three years experience I gathered! Companies are taking whatever candidate has the most experience without actually thinking about the job description. Then all candidates lose out - less experienced candidates just don’t get the job, and those hired are over qualified and bored. :mad:

My boyfriend is also looking for a new job (we used to work for the same company and he is still stuck there) so we can spend more time together. He hasn’t been looking as long as I had when I got my job, but he’s had way more interviews. It’s emotionally exhausting looking for a job!

I am SO ready for this recession to be over!


#7

My DH's company has cut way back on quarterly bonuses and overtime. The only thing I don't like is when they do mandatory maintenance shutdown for all workers because OT is a must which we are grateful for BUT then the company tells the employees all vacations that are planned for that time period are null and void which really stinks because airfare has been paid for in advance as well as hotel reservations and such. Nobody can call in sick or even for a family emergency which I truly feel is unfair. I mean, people do get sick and emergencies do happen. (sigh)

At least it's a job, but still, if employees work over 40 hours, they should be allowed to go home for 8 hours to sleep and then go back instead of pushing their limit.

We count our blessings daily though as well as our health. Thank God for that. :)


#8

We are starting to "feel" it. We are realizing our dollar isn't stretching as far as it use too. Thankfully we started to get out of debt and for the last few weeks we can honestly say we are CREDIT DEBT FREE!! It took 19 months and over $12,000 to get here, but we are here. We have a personal loan, car loan, and house mortgage left now. Our next goal to get rid of the personal loan followed by the car loan. It would be nice to say mortgage too, but that's one debt we can live with right now.

Even though we have gotten rid of debt and have reduce our monthly bills it's still not enough. We've had to cut this week those thing we were paying for like our gym membership, cutting back on the cell phone plans, and even looking at cutting cable TV.

On one hand it's nice to know we are getting rid of our debt, but on the other hand it's frustrating, because even with the debt gone we are still struggling and are faced with making more cuts in our monthly bills. A dollar just isn't worth much and I have a feeling it's going to get worst not better!


#9

Oh yeah. Unemployment in my state is at 10% maybe over that even. A few years ago places were begging for part time workers now they have their pick and any job is far and few between. I just feel grateful to have income. I wouldn’t have a savings to live off of if I lost my job. :eek:


#10

I was working in a hospital, as a Physical Therapist Assistant, that kind of job is always a 'work if there are patients' sort of thing. You're never guaranteed a 40 hour work week. However, I usually had about 30-35 so it wasn't so bad. Well, from about October until I left that job in April, I think I averaged about 20 hours a week, and sometimes I had even less. People are not having optional surgeries as much as they were before, Medicare pays for 80% but often people have stopped their supplemental insurance and 20% of a $15,000 surgery is A LOT. It was especially hard for me because I was working 2 hours from home so I was gone all week and my (new) husband and I only had a couple of days a week together. I wasn't bringing in enough money to make it worthwhile. Now I'm a stay at home wife-almost mom, and working every once in a while at a local nursing home. The pay is high, but the hours are super low, and if we had to depend on that income, we'd be out of luck!


#11

Yeah, we are. :( My husband left his job in January and hasn't been able to find another one since. This is in a small town in England, where the job market is even worse than in the States. The UK and US economies are so closely linked that the recession/boom trends are always along similar lines.


#12

:gopray2: prayers for us all!!

[quote="Cat, post:5, topic:200900"]
I wish the government would open their eyes and see that if they would GIVE our money back to us instead of taking it away, we would spend it and that would make more jobs, as someone would have to make all the parts for all the things we want to buy!

[/quote]

Don't you mean, quit taking it away from us? How can they give what is not rightfully theirs?! ! (Cat, I'm not trying to mince your words, but more of us need to realize our money, the fruits our labor, does not belong to the goverenment!!)

We are self-employed with 7 employees and are mangaing with the Grace of God. Compared to my brother who was let go 1.5 years ago, we can't complain.

We had to get a different insurance plan for the employees and ourselves as the old one is going up with all the changes coming. :( We are getting jobs, but clients are taking longer and longer to pay. Some months, only the employees get paid along with the bills, and we are left with nothing for our budget. My dh and his partner are doing all they can not to let any one go, but then the employees complain about their hours, their healthcare plan, the work they were hired to do, and go off for smoking breaks that last well past the time they should. He's said it's really hard to still have compasion for the employees when he has to juggle the numbers he's juggling. He comes home quite often to tell me wich business has closed their doors in the downtown area. Oh, and did I mention how high our taxes were??? UGH...they gov't is bleeding us dry and then mad that we can't hire anyone. :mad: Please pray we won't have to let anyone go. We already know who would be let go first, but they don't want to do it.


#13

We were not hit until last week. I live in Michigan, the highest unemployment rate in the nation. Last week, after 17 yrs of teaching, DH’s job was eliminated. We are at least lucky that I have a really great job that I love (nurse) and so I’ll be able to get benefits if we can’t afford COBRA. We are prayerful that another position will present itself, and by some miracle, little opportunites are starting to make thmeselves known. We are hopeful that a new job will be offered swiftly as we have a pretty HUGE financial mess with credit cards and though we are getting them paid down, there is still over 50k in debt. We will certainly continue to pray and ask you all to join us. We pray daily for all people feeling financial/employment/economic problems. God bless!


#14

There is a line in the movie Cheaper By the Dozen about 12 being their magic number including "how many times they zero out their bank account per year". Well, we don't have 12 and we don't hit zero (but pretty close). Our savings is way low (not even enough to cover a mortgage payment). I work in daycare which we're struggling to get kids (because of the economy, parents who are laid off stay home since daycare is an expense they can't afford, so the same number of providers for less need). I'm not worried about my job (my mom is my boss and because of some of her physical abilities (or lack thereof) she couldn't do the job without my help, but she's struggling to pay bills and though I don't make much, I feel guilty for my pay. My husband is a musician and thank God that he's still getting jobs, but things have been noticible this year, especially during the summer. Many festivals are not going to happen because of budget cuts which was a BIG source of our family income during the summertime. I just did the budget for the remainder of the month and we'll just barely make it (thank you God!!!). I know plenty who are in a worse position than we are so I am grateful.

However, it's times like these that I get frustrated with all the family parties where presents are expected. Most in my family have not been hurt much if at all by the economy so for the few in the family who have we have to either look like jerks (and be gossiped about for not bringing a gift of going to a party) or spend money we don't have to "make face". I have one cousin who was out of a job for over a year and his family is hurting terribly, many, in the family, don't seem to factor this in when planning their big events. However, all my relatives who work for some form of the government are not hurting at all (heck, my dad's pension per year is more than mine and my husband's income combined, and he still has two active jobs with the government). Many of my cousins work for country governments or police or fire departments. They're not hurting at all.

I pray that everyone reading this will be able to provide for their families with a little extra for saving and fun. I know that I dream of the day I will be able to stay home with the kids and have a "normal" family life (right now I work weekdays, my husband weekends and while the children never are without one of us, we DESPERATELY need a date or any time together where we're both awake and alert and can focus on each other).


#15

I'm college educated and working in a call center, so I do feel it.

I personally think that all student loans should be forgiven. :p Then college graduates would have money to spend. It is frustrating that I went to college, did what I was supposed to do, and for what? To work with people who barely graduated high school. It does drain me emotionally at times.


#16

oh yes, we are.

:shrug:
All in God's time.


#17

They did both and it’s not helping… some of the best economist in the world are stumped lately it seems and the right-wing propaganda machine is hard at work making sure that those who choose to watch their shows feel as negative and depressed as possible.

Things are getting better but slower that had been hoped for, however the American taxpayer got more money back or kept it than anytime since Harry Truman… so it’s not the Government taking your money, it’s giant corporations who are not hiring for fear of another dip which if they continue at the pace they are at they will cause and there is not much the Government nor anyone else can do about it.

Look up what Hoover did while in office, it’s exactly what most Fiscal conservatives suggest we should be doing now or rather than the stimulus (either one the Bush one or the Obama one)… and it sunk us deeper into the great depression.

And yes I work for a large corporation, I owned or co-owned over 350 million dollars (TCV) worth of new logo business last year for my corporation but my group had commission taken away a couple of years ago so I got nothing, we haven’t had raises in 3 years (2 kids since then) and we took a 3% pay cut last year and my second son will join the oldest (we have 4) next year at our Parish School… if we can afford it (he is enrolled, praying that we will be able to figure out a way)… so yea it’s hit us pretty hard as my wife works FT as well for the same company.

However we still have a roof over our heads and while bills are stacking up, we have good food for our kids and are able to do a few things here and there so I praise God that we both still have our jobs!


#18

[quote="CountrySinger, post:15, topic:200900"]
I'm college educated and working in a call center, so I do feel it.

I personally think that all student loans should be forgiven. :p Then college graduates would have money to spend. It is frustrating that I went to college, did what I was supposed to do, and for what? To work with people who barely graduated high school. It does drain me emotionally at times.

[/quote]

I have a daughter who owes around $40,000 in college loans, and we owe close to the same amount after paying for a lot of the college expenses for both of our daughters. So I share your frustration and suspect that we will die in deep debt. With a lot of discipline, we should be able to pay it off, but that assumes that we will both stay healthy and keep our jobs, and both of those are very big assumptions!

I think that in the future, there will be some forgiveness of some college loans. I think that it might happen for students who graduate with degrees in health fields or in teaching, and are actually working in these careers years after they graduate.

But think about it. Various organizations and companies LOANED you (and my daughter) the money and these organizations expected to someday get their money paid back again. There's nothing wrong with that. These companies have every right to expect that their loan will be paid back.

If you loaned someone a great deal of money, someone that you didn't know personally and had no friendship with--in other words, it was strictly a business loan--wouldn't YOU expect that person to pay you back? (If you loaned money to a relative or friend, it's realistic that you might just forgive them the loan for the sake of your love for them.)

Companies (banks, loan offices, etc.) in good faith, gave money at a very low interest rate, to strangers. That's how the people who run these companies make a living--they loan money and people pay them back with interest. It's an honest job (assuming they are charging a reasonable interest rate).

If people don't pay them back, they don't earn any money. And that's not right. It's stealing--those who don't pay them back have essentially stolen their money. It's not right.

So as much as I wish it were otherwise, I think that those of us who borrowed the money are obligated to pay it back.

Another possibility is that the government will step in and pay back the loans. But where does the government get their money? From taxpayers. And it's not right to ask taxpayers to pay the bill for my daughter's college education, or for your college education. It's just not right. My husband and I could have made a series of different decisions while our daughters were growing up, and we could have saved the money up so that we didn't have to borrow money. But we made decisions that made it necessary for us to borrow money to pay for college. And we encouraged our daughters to attend expensive private colleges out of state instead of local state colleges. That's OUR bad, not the taxpayers' bad! Other people shouldn't have to make up for our stupid financial decisions.

Please don't get the wrong idea--we have no regrets. For example, we spent a lot of money (and still spend a lot of money) on the sport of figure skating while our children were growing up. (Around $25,000 a year when the kids were teenagers.) We don't regret that. And we sent our kids to a very expensive private prep school while they were growing up ($10,000/year tuition each girl). We don't regret these choices. We would do it all again. But probably what we would have done is plan more carefully so that we didn't blow money on foolish purchases (those little doo-dads really add up!), and we would have made a more serious effort to save money for college. We definitely would have moved to a different city, and I would advise any of you who live in a city which is facing a deseg lawsuit to MOVE now unless you like throwing your money through a shredder.

But I don't think others should have to pay back any of our loans. We just have to get serious and pay them off ourselves or die trying.


#19

I still think of my aunt when she found she had an deadly brain tumor, was laughing because she didn't have to pay back her student loans. That is so going to be me! I just need to die young, and my evil student loan company gets NOTHING! evil laugh

Or I could just join the PeaceCorps. Or teach in some school in the middle of nowhere.

I'm almost done paying off my credit cards, then I can afford to pay my loans. But I'm still frustrated to be in a job in a call center.


#20

Amen! I have 6 figures in educational debt that is gaining interest by the day, am a qualified lawyer and I’ve given up hope that it will ever be paid. Looked for a job for 2 years and make smoothies at minimum wage (only job that would hire me) whilst getting the student loan creditors calling multiple times a day demanding money that I could never afford to pay. Can’t even make interest-only payments right now - it’s so depressing!

I try not to think of this and contemplate the people who have families and are worse off, but it is depressing sometimes. :frowning:


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