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During our first month of unemployment, we did the obvious. We signed up for unemployment.

Makes sense, right?

After all, that’s what it’s there for.

It took about 1 month just to receive a response from them.

Close to  20 days after we filled out the application. We finally started receiving letters from them in regard to what to do.

By the time we were approved to receive the max $275 a week, my husband managed to score a part-time job flipping burgers, while making about that same amount of money.

This is one of those “he only got the job because he knew somebody who knew somebody” deals.

But of course, he took the physical job because, at the very least, it gave him new skills and added a humbling experience to his resume which until this point was a bunch of military management experience and IT related knowledge.

lilly pig outside in snow
Our pet pig Lilly enjoying the snow outside.

Luckily it didn’t take away from the food stamp money we would be getting.

His workload just barely covered the mortgage, truck loan, and auto insurance. Leaving other bills unpaid, but it was fun having him come home smelling like onion rings every day.

I packed him a lunch almost every day to avoid him buying a meal at work. Although he did get 50% off when he bought during the shift, that’s 50% we still had to pay.

The cheaper we were, the more bills we could pay.

The job was 2 weeks slow on paychecks, meaning you didn’t receive payment until 2 weeks after you had worked it. So two weeks of gas for the truck to get to and from work was hard to come by in our current situation.

I was able to make and sell handcrafted items throughout the month to bring in a small income.

It had turned into some passive income for us.

Which helped us to not struggle so hard during this time. Keeping us out of food banks and allowing us to impulsively buy great food deals, like 2 bone-in hams for $8 each, which helped to strengthen our meal plan for the month of January. 

We didn’t physically go anywhere except grocery shopping.

We stayed local, didn’t invite our friends over for dinners and didn’t buy any new movies on the Xbox. Stayed very hermit-like and spent time together. Built puzzles, made a snowman or snowballs, watched Netflix movies together, and spent time in the kitchen together baking.

My daughter and her snowman
My daughter and her snowman

There were times when we felt like the house walls were closing in on us and we just had to get out of there and do something around other actual people. But having a then 2-month-old baby with us during flu season, helped us to fight those urges so we could keep him from getting sick.

This whole ordeal only strengthened our desire to remove ourselves from the situation. And eventually, we moved back home to Washington.

2 month old son samuel
Our then two month old son Samuel
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