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For those with unemployed FIs/DH

How are you handling it? I know it's easy to say just be supportive...but its an extremely stressful time for us. Being engaged is supposed to be a happy time but this past year has been nothing but STRESS and not much fun. FI made 4 times as much money as me and now I'm not sure how he is going to pay the mortgage/other bills. We don't live together now, and I'm more than happy to give him money but even if I gave him 100% of every paycheck it wouldn't pay for everything. I'm just beyond stressed out. I need some advice from people who are in the same boat, because my parents/friends just don't understand.
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Re: For those with unemployed FIs/DH

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    January BrideJanuary Bride member
    First Anniversary First Comment Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    Obviously your first step is cutting back in every way you can.  My DH lost his job a month and a half before our wedding, so it was already too late for our wedding...we'd signed all the contracts, everything.  We 1000% had a wedding we could afford based on generous gifts from family and our salaries, but when he lost his job it was a tight squeeze, I will admit.  There are probably a lot of wedding contracts you have signed already, and that's fine.  Cut back in the rest of your wedding choices and just cut back in general wherever you can.If your FI made 4 times as much as you, you will both have to make lifestyle cuts, unfortunately, since your income cannot cover your current lifestyle (and I do not mean this in a rude way...I hope it comes across that way).  We cut out a lot of things, such as cable, netflix, vacations, presents, eating out, going out, new clothes, air conditioning...etc.  We are scraping by now because DH has tons of school loans and I do, too.  I do feel happy knowing that we are doing everything we can, though.Not everything has been a "sacrifice", though, and I think it will help both of you if you can view this as an adventure.  My DH has cooked us some amazing meals at home.  We go on walks and explore the city (for free!).  We go to museums and do things like that during free days and we have just been so much more creative about our dates.  I love that.  You will go through enough stress while he's job hunting...the last thing you guys need to do is have more pressure to spend money on dates or presents for each other.  Do whatever you can to make your time together positive, because there will be more than enough negatives coming from other sources.I know what you mean about the stress thing.  My 1st year of marriage?  Not the newlywed bliss I was hoping for.  :)  But in the long run I will look back on this time as proof that we can make it through anything together, and I am sure you and your FI will feel the same way. Anyway, that was a novel, but I hope you realize that there are SO many others out there going through the same thing right now.  It is stressful and you don't have to be "supportive" all the time...you are allowed to feel frustrated yourself.  Just try to do whatever you can to mitigate your financial burden and to help the two of you remain allies during this time.  Good luck to you both...hang in there :)
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    edited December 2011
    Thanks for the advice! It totally helped for me to write my OP and hear your feedback. We have been cutting back for several weeks in anticipation of this (it was going to happen we just didn't know when.) We never eat out, buy clothes, only shop for groceries at discount places or walmart, etc. We did a lot of planning ahead for the wedding so nearly all of our vendors are under contract. I know his family will help us out if needed, but I really don't want to go there. His house has been on the market for about a month and I'm hoping someone puts an offer in soon so that burden can be off of our shoulders. It's helpful to know that I'm not the only one in this situation..and I'm hopeful that we'll land on our feet soon!
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    Elizabeth7277Elizabeth7277 member
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    edited December 2011
    My FI was unemployed for the first 2 yrs of our relationship. We were living together at the tail end of him being unemployed and relying heavily on my income (which I make enough but not a lot). Trying to pay for EVERYTHING including stuff for the house, mtg, then a used car that needed to be bought, on top of starting to plan a wedding it was really really tough and I know he was trying hard to find a job but he has been self employed and making huge money for a long time (before me). As the new year started things looked on the up and up. He got a job at the board of trade and my tax refund was huge because I bought this house in 2008. The he quit his job (stupid I know) and things were ok, I still was by his side on the decision though not necessarily thought it was right. Now though he is not unemployed  but just the past 3 mos has been getting his business rolling, which by the way the company he quit from is one of his clients. However, sure he is bringing in a lot of clients, but the money is slowly trickling in when I thought it would be coming in a lot more. He reassures me that we should be fine, but I am a complete nervous wreck knowing that we still need around $6,000 in a little over a month and my paycheck goes to bills. I know I should be greatful that at least both of us are working and I am but its different owning your own business when the money is not a consistent factor. Anyway, I feel your pain and day and night I am a complete mess over this. We started out fine, but being so close to the end and not knowing if we are going to do it is adding on top of the stress I am already going through. I guess my advice is just be suportive and try and budget any which way you can. I am sure it is hard on him as well, both financially and mentally as men tend to think of as being providers. Good luck and everything will be ok since you have each other. Don't let it get between the both of you. What doesn't break you makes you stronger.Sorry so long. Now I am late for work after writing this...lol!
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    stinad1983stinad1983 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Well, it is SO nice to know I'm not alone!  Our wedding is 11/28 and my FI just lost his job on Monday!  I'm SO stressed out.  We are paying for 95% of the wedding ourselves and I budgeted it out for us and we would've just made it with both of us working and now I'm super stressed and not sure we can make it.  And yes we are under contract with all our vendors too. Sooo, keept the good thoughts coming...I know if we can get through this, we'll get through anything!
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    edited December 2011
    My fiance lost his job last August.  Well, actually he quit without discussing it with me and went back to school (the school part, we had been talking about forever).  We were supposed to be talking with real estate agents to buy a house because we had been saving up money for a down payment.  Needless to say that's been put on hold.  It's definitely been stressful because he's not really contributing anything to the wedding financially, so sometimes I feel like he shouldn't have as big of a say in the wedding plans.  Or I feel like if we can't decide on something together then I get to make the final decision because I'm the one paying for it.  I know it's a terrible way to think, but I do.  We've also been getting into a lot more arguements over little stuff because I feel like he's not really trying to find a job, and it drives me crazy.  I am hopeful that his school will be able to help him find something soon though, hopefully before the wedding.
    image "Always love. Don't wail til the finish line."-Nada Surf
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    edited December 2011
    I agree with everything January Bride said! My hubby was laid off a month after the wedding and it took almost 6 weeks for unemployment to be paid to us. We paid for 60% of our wedding and did that with cash but had to charge our HM (I do not recommend this but we were stupid and did it anyway). So we have been paying that back. I make enough to cover our monthly bills & expenses and his unemployment goes toward the credit card & savings. It's been tight & stressful but it's making us stronger. The hubby has changed fields and hopefully will start a new job in a week or 2, it'll be for less than he was making but he'll be more secure in this new field. We cut back in alot of places: cell phone, cable, no more netflix, cut back grocery & Target weekly trips, cut down weekly allowance amount, only go out to eat once a month if at all.They say the first year of marriage is the hardest and adding in one being unemployed doesn't help that but getting through this will only make it better in the long run!
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    edited December 2011
    In our situation, I was the one who quit my job and went back to pharmacy school full-time.  I taught for ten years.  We discussed this before we got engaged and my husband said he would be comfortable with taking care of me financially while I was in school for 4 years.  We are managing fairly well, but he did sell his condo (he had a roommate who was a coowner) and we are renting now which was a big help.  Our lifestyle works very well b/c our rent is less than half of what a mortgage, assessments, taxes, insurance, etc. would be.  He HATES renting, though.  Many people have such negative feelings about renting but I think you can save a lot of money and make a lot as well, but you have to be willing to invest large sums of money monthly.  He feels like he's throwing his money away, but I keep telling him that we are making more than he would get in a tax return if you consider the money we save each month.  Plus, with me not working our lifestyle is so much more fun and generous than it would be if we owned something.Despite that, we are casually looking for a condo now.  So, if we do buy while I'm unemployed and in school our lifestyle is going to change drastically.  I have lived in my apartment for almost 5 years and I love it--it's a 2400 sq foot duplex in a great neighborhood, but it's outdated.  I would love to live in a modern condo so I'm also willing to trade some things for that.  So, when we look it's frustrating to not find anything, but at the same time, I'm always a little happy we don't b/c I think renting is very helpful with our situation.I also thought I'd feel weird not contributing anything financially and didn't really know how he'd be with his money when it actually came time to share, but it really worked out well.  Plus, I had to start to rely on him before we were even married.  I was so relieved that that transition occurred smoothly.  We do argue/disagree about money issues, though.A lot of people go through this income change when they start to have kids.  One person, usually the wife, often quits working and the family lives on one income with an additional person to support.  Everyone always finds a way to make it work.  I really think for us we spend so much money on food and alcohol--we go out a lot but we also spend a lot on groceries.  We're actually trying to live on a budget and we haven't been as successful as we'd like but we're still trying.I also think it feels worse when your engaged going through it b/c your money is still kind of separate.  Also, since I am the one with no job I sometimes feel bad.  I was going to get a part-time job a few times, but my husband told me to just concentrate on school b/c I spend so much time in school and studying.  If I did get a job, that would also mean less time for us to spend together. 
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    edited December 2011
    OMG--my post is embarrassingly long and doesn't even say much!
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