Yesterday my husband came home with news that absolutely shocked us. He has no more work. Well, he has 1 shift next week, but not to expect anymore. He rang his other job where he has done casual work with since we moved and they have pretty much nothing. He has 1 shift at a place he has never worked at through an employment agency, so he has at least 2 days work next week, but other than that there is nothing.
His job had been up and down since we moved. When we first moved we were told it would be a straight transfer and it would be fine. We moved and it took 6 weeks for the transfer to go through. He was still getting paid as he had almost 6 weeks holiday pay saved up. At the end of the 6 weeks they said they had no work until after Christmas. He had been transferred, but they now had no work. So he got work with somewhere he used to work when we lived here in 2007. It was very casual and he got a few shifts here and there, averaging about 1 a week for 3 months.
He got more casual work on weekends with a friend. It was rough and he did not like it at all. He had 4 shifts there, and he could not do it anymore. He was too exhausted and it was too dangerous.
After Christmas he landed some more regular work. He was still classed as a casual, but it was enough to pay our bills and it was more than 1 shift a week. Then 2 months ago, the ‘transfer’ finally happened and he was told he had full shifts each week. So he left his casual position and went back to the job he was supposed to have when we first moved.
Yesterday they said that’s it, no more.
During this time, in hindsight, we were silly with our money. When we first moved our house was so trashed we had to spend a bit just to get it to a liveable standard. We got some, not all of what we spent back through the tenants and things. We will get more back next month (Australia’s end of financial year is June 30th, so we lodge our taxes after July). We can claim a fair bit, but at the same time, this year has been the lowest my husband has earned putting us in a lower tax bracket, meaning the return is less. Plus it was only a rental for 4 months, so we can only claim 1/3 of the expenses and even then only get about 30% of that third back.
At the time, when we moved, we were under the impression my husband had a full time, guaranteed job at the end of the 6 weeks, so we decided to use the 6 weeks to renovate what we could. We wanted to sell this house asap, but instead, we discovered my husband has no work so we cannot finish renovations and cannot move.
Then when he had the casual but permanent hours job we needed to replace our car, so we redrew on the personal loan we had paid out and got a Camry. I LOVE this car and do not regret buying it. Not long after we purchased it our other car died. We were going to sell it anyway, and even dead sold it for what we could have sold it still working, so it didn’t matter too much. It was second hand, cheaper than it should have been and if needs be we could sell it for more than we paid, as we bought it out of area. If we sold it we would still need to buy another car and frankly, I have had enough bombs to last me a life time. I realize Dave says to sell it and get a bomb/beater, but considering how much cheap cars have cost us and those I know, I would rather keep the cheapish car I own and know it is in perfect condition than sell it, buy a bomb that will send me broke trying to fix it all the time.
Anyway, we have been paying down the debt and knocked a bit off it. The $20,000 that I made in the last few months covered some of the debt, the bills we needed to pay and some renovations, as our aim was still to sell the house. So that $20,000 is not actually cash in my hand right now.
Now it looks like anything I earn will go towards basic living expenses. We have a minor buffer, but I also know we have some large, unavoidable expenses coming up, so need to keep the buffer for that.
This morning I went around our house and looked at everything we could sell, took pictures etc… I already sold a bunch of books. I have much more to list. I went into a slight panic mode.
I am still in shock, as is my husband.
We feel stuck. We can’t quite sell our house as the kitchen is not finished. We don’t have the money to finish it. His work is so random, there is no real stability or guarantee of work anywhere.
I am in the middle of my book coming out next week, my studies as well as being the one doing all the cooking, cleaning etc… which he just does not do. I am the one who makes money on the side with various projects and I am also the one with a qualification which would get me work tomorrow. (Seriously, I keep getting offered it but always declined due to my husband’s work). All these things have made the thought of full time work too much for me to do. But I know I don’t really have a choice.
With my book and a few other things we have planned for next year, financially we are ineligible for assistance, because if we claim, then earn over a certain amount, (and we expect to) we will have to pay it back.
In the next few months we will do our tax returns, I will launch my book and I will go to work, so we will be ok.
It just feels like a punch to the stomach at the moment. There was no warning.