Recession Mama

{August 23, 2009}   Mother of reInvention

From Heather

George Eliot once said  “It is never too late to be what you might have been.”

Just think about that for a moment. It is never too late to be what you might have been. Most of us spend a lot of time talking about the “would’ve, could’ve, should’ve” moments of our lives. But why not turn that into “I did, I can, I showed ’em.”

Today’s guest blogger, Tammy Jo, embodies that very philosophy. She’s re-invented herself many, many times. I’m sure she’ll never stop. When life throws her a curve ball, she just changes her approach and knocks it out of the ballpark. I think we all can learn something from her. So pay attention mamas and papas!




   By Tammy Jo

    In the last year, around 5.9 million Americans have lost their jobs.  Have you?  Or do you still work but just have no job satisfaction?  If you answered “yes” to either question, have I got an idea for you!  No, this is not an advertisement for a “make millions by stuffing envelopes at home” scheme.  This is a chance to reinvent yourself. You may ask, “How? Why?” 

     The “how” is easy.  There is no better time since the GI Bill after World War II to get government money for education. The government has a stash of cash in financial aid for students.  Even if you do not think you qualify, apply. Whether you have quit, been laid off, down-sized, suffered a redundancy, or just plain fired from a job, learn how to recession-proof yourself or at least make yourself more marketable. It is not just reinvention, it is reinvesting. 

Whatever money you use to learn a new skill, trade or career, the money is well spent.  Instead of spending $500 on a handbag, take some classes.  Whatever it takes to make yourself more marketable — do it. 

The “why” may not be as easy as the “how.” Maybe you are in a dying industry. Maybe you need to learn something new or improve a skill to stay current. Maybe you have been dreaming of doing (fill in the blank) and never had the time.  Or maybe you just think you are too old to do anything different.  Get over yourself! Even a very old dog can  learn a new trick! 


 Walk with me down memory lane.  For about 10 years, I had been working in marketing and promotions in the entertainment industry.  Ah, the stories I could tell you!  But I digress.   Eventually, I inched my way up the pay scale until I was earning high 5 figures but I realized that as a corporate marketing employee, my department would always be one of the first on the chopping block, and I would never be the master of my own destiny.  Then about 8 years ago, my husband was transferred to a new city and I did not have a job.  That’s when I decided to go to law school.  It would be a career for a lifetime, not just a job. With one license, I could practice anywhere in Texas and I could always work — even if it was for myself.   And so, at 33, I went to law school.  It was a sacrifice to live on one income for 3 years but it was worth it. I have been practicing law now for several years. But the story does not end there. 

            After having 2 children, I realized that working in a law firm and being a slave to billable hours did not give me the flexibility I needed to participate in my children’s school activities.  I wanted to be “there” for my kids, wherever “there” was. I decided to become an elementary school teacher at a private school.  The pay would be less but I would get a tuition discount which would make up the difference.  The best part was that I would be on the same schedule as my kids. Plus, there is something very rewarding about shaping young minds.  So, at the ripe old age of 40, I enrolled in an alternative teacher certification program and after 6 weeks of learning classroom management, obtaining state-mandated observations hours and passing the EC-4 content exam, I became “Highly Qualified” (according to the federal “No Child Left Behind Act”) to teach Pre-K through 4th grade.  I now have two recession-proof careers – theoretically speaking. 

            But I’m not the only one who has reinvented themselves.  Lots of people are doing it everyday.  My best friend decided to become a licensed Interior Designer after countless years in broadcast journalism.  Rather than become a casualty in a dying industry, she goes to school with people half her age but is doing something that is fulfilling a dream.  Another friend left a lucrative job in sales to pursue a dream of being a writer.  She completely downsized her life and barely made ends meet, but she eventually co-authored a published book, edited a magazine, and has opened her own public relations agency. 

            If you have some down time on your hands these days, how will you use it? Will you embrace it as a learning experience and a chance to fulfill a dream or interest? Or will you continue down your path of complaints and complacency?  There is no better time than the present to reassess, reinvent and reinvest in yourself. Go ahead you deserve it!

-Tammy Jo





{August 7, 2009}   Sad News

–by Carla Marion

My heart is heavy with worry and sadness for two very good men. 

Two of my former co-workers were laid off from my old station. One had been there 31 years and is known by name more than just about anyone else in this market. He is a giant in this business. He is also practically family. He calls himself my “Dutch Uncle”. We are close. His daughter is a dear friend of mine and her daughter is around my toddler son’s age and they play together. His wife shares her incredible recipes with me and I attempt to recreate them, but with no luck most of the time because there is no better cook. I had the honor of anchoring alongside him for a few years…the best years of my news career. We are connected. And now, sadly, we have yet another thing in common. Here, Brad Barton tells us what happened and says goodbye as only he can:

“Shortly after my shift ended at 10, I was called to Brian Purdy’s office where Kurt Johnson and the new H-R director met me.  I had been out of contract since April and was on notice to expect a salary reduction of up to one-third.  I thought they might be informing me the new lower rate was about to begin.  Instead, I was told my position was being eliminated.  Since I did weather for KRLD, TSN and KVIL, had several endorsement clients and anchored a 5-hour AM drive shift, it was not exactly clear which “position” they were eliminating.  The fact is, everyone knew it was my salary that was being eliminated. 
I believe Brian and Kurt were sincerely sorry about what they had to do (to everyone) Thursday and I have no reason to think otherwise.  My high opinion of both has not changed.  They were very clear about the fact that it was strictly a financial restructuring and nothing punitive. 

I was told no one in the newsroom knew what was going on yet.  When Paul sent me upstairs, I asked him if I should finish my afternoon weather feeds before going up.  He said no.  Again, I have no reason to believe that he was aware.  Because of that, I promised Brian and Kurt that I would finish my TSN and KRLD midday weather feeds and slip out without anyone knowing what had just happened.  As my brain was descending into a kind of crisis-fog, it didn’t occur to me that I was only the first “whackee”.  It was a little more of a struggle but I recorded the last 5 pieces and logged off.   
I almost kept that promise to slip out without anyone knowing, but I told Chris Schneider privately because I needed someone I could trust to look after my personal property in the Weather Center before it would be packed up for me.  I have books, large maps, office supplies and mementos, along with 2 TVs I was donating to the station so we could replace some of the inop units we had been missing for months.  As he is a Christian brother, he and I had a brief word of prayer there in my office right before I walked out for the last time.  We both know this life is only a vapor and my career at KRLD is not the most important thing in my life.  I have a great wife who has stuck with me 32 years, two great kids I’m extremely proud of, my health and an unbelievably supportive church family, plus the prettiest 2-year old girl in Collin County.  My problems are few and small. 
Kurt and I agreed on the phone that I will continue to do spots for the clients who’ve committed to annual rates until their contracts run out and I’ve fulfilled my obligations.  I have no interest in burning any bridges at KRLD or CBS or causing any collateral damage, but you knew that already.   
Brenda was not going to be home all day, having lunch with the girls in Allen, and I didn’t want you to find out second-hand, so I called her from the road first, then I called you.  I talked with Mike last night on the Big Island. 
I wish I could express my gratitude to the listeners publicly but we know that’s not how our business works.  Bob Hathaway is the unretired champion and Neil Sperry takes my place as the second longest beard at KRLD.    
For the record, my broadcasting career at KRLD lasted 31 years, 4 months and 3 days for which I am extremely grateful.”


My other “work husband”, Mark Watkins, spent the last 7 and 1/2 years at the station. We have history and most of it includes laughing so hard that stuff came out our noses. He is a walking thesaurus/encyclopedia/dictionary. I loved working alongside him because of his brain, and because we just cracked each other up so easily. (It makes bringing you bad news every day a little easier) He and I shared the anchor desk for years.

And today they are both out of work.

Out of work + in this recession + in the radio business = not a good combination.

But they are both supremely talented men who will undoubtedly find work very soon.

{June 26, 2009}   Say What?

–by Carla

no whine 

Something hit me the other day while I was sniffing my 7-month-old son’s hair, wondering why it smelled like a pet store: I really loved Katy’s post this week about being super busy at work and not even thinking about complaining about it.  Ok, sure, we are Recession Mama, “where you can whine about your dwindling dime”. Dwindling dimes is what I’m all about. Honey, I have had a dime dwindling kind of week, so I know all about that. Whine away. But as the resident “person who got laid off”, I can tell you that it is a little nerve wracking hearing people (even my close friends and relatives) whine about “work being such a beating” or about having to pick up a weekend shift “again”. That sort of whining does sort of get under my skin these days.

As many of you know, it is in my nature to give people an honest piece of my mind, but not in this situation. I never felt like I should be correcting someone who is truly not happy about their job, even in this economy. Plus, I never ever want to be that Debbie Downer who is constantly complaining about how people should act. I just sucked it up and moved on…all the while thinking, “Man, if they didn’t HAVE that job, they’d be singing a different tune.”

So, when Katy put those exact words on paper (so to speak) earlier this week, I felt a real sense of relief. Because if you are employed right now, even if you’re doing quite well, things could change in an instant, as we’ve all seen over the last 6 or 8 months or so.

It’s really OK to be thankful for your income and that pain-in-the-ass job of yours and the piece of mind it brings you and your family. We’ve all complained about work, believe me, I’m not the exception, but maybe we could take a second to think about what things might be like if you had nothing to complain about.

** And then yesterday, with the deaths of Farrah and Michael, I know more than ever before that life is short and our time here is precious. I’ll be keeping my whining in check from now on. Now, to go hug the husband, who is working more than ever before, and has never complained once.

–by Carla

Let’s talk about Recession Mama for a second. I just want to make sure we’re all on the same lovely, virtual page. The three of us (and we’re all pretty hot, by the way. Have you noticed that? I’m just sayin’…) call this website a place where we can “whine about our dwindling dime”. Those words are actually written down somewhere on this page thingy. Anyway, that’s what we do a few times a week…we dish, we gab, we blab, we get it off our (totally hot) chests and we move on. We never said we were here to live super frugal lives, where every penny is accounted for and no mistakes are ever made. Hello…have we met? Hi, I’m the one who was making really decent money and didn’t save a dime of it. I ain’t preachin’ any sort of financial rescue advice. I do, from time to time, have totally hilarious stories about what an idiot I am in the kitchen…so those are fun. Ok, now that we’re all on the same page…

I’ve fallen back on some of my old ways, y’all. I haven’t been cooking as much and we’ve been eating out and shopping more than we should. So to help me get back on the road to saving, I enlisted the help of the amazing women in my mom’s group and asked for their money saving tips. I’ve only been doing this “on a budget, stay-at-home mom” thing now for 6 months…but these women have been doing the Supermom thing a whole lot longer. 

Today, I’ll start with tips on entertainment.


Several are loyal to Netflix, others raved about Redbox and Blockbuster Online. Here’s what Rachel, our group organizer, wrote about BB: “We can rent 3 movies online at a time and also exchange them in store for movies so we don’t have to wait and we get free in-store rentals a month for only 29.99 a month.” (I can’t tell you when I last rented a movie, so I’m clueless on that front.) It basically came down to being able to rent the most movies with the fewest strings attached.

I’m almost ashamed to admit that I have never ever used any of these companies. We’re so lame here at my house. We were so into working and working all the time that we rarely went to the movies and if we did rent something, neither one of us would be able to stay awake for the entire thing. Don’t we sound like really fun people? Our new, trimmed down lifestyle really has slowed things down for us, and it is such a positive change, I think. I can’t speak for the husband. His stories are his to tell. But I like things slow, especially with 2 little ones to raise. Maybe we’ll actually rent a movie one of these days and quite possibly be able to stay awake for the entire thing.

As for my bump in the road, thankfully all I have to do is remember what’s most important: those 2 tiny little blessings named Donald and Dean. (They’re extraordinarily handsome, by the way, in case you didn’t already know that). They’re still adjusting to our new, trimmed down lifestyle, too. Toddler Boy still says the old housekeeper’s name from time to time. Happened just this morning. The morning after the dream I had last night in which I was actually mopping…


Got the hint, God. I mopped today. I’m hot and sweaty but it felt awesome and now my floors are clean…ish.

{May 8, 2009}   Busy, Busy, Busy

By Carla

I don’t have any hard facts on this…maybe a giant think tank somewhere will whip up a study that I’ll be able to reference down the road, but it sure seems like we’re all busier than we’ve ever been, thanks to this lousy economy.

I know for a fact that I’m busier than ever, even though I was laid off from my full-time job. Between the 6-month-old baby boy, the 2-year-old old toddler boy, the house, the laundry, the cooking (and yes, building sandwiches does count, thank you), the job training, the freelance work, all the passionate, in-depth writing for this website, and my hair fiascoes, I’m swamped.

There’s no more Suzanne to help me with the stupid mop, there’s no more eating out 2 or 3 times a day, there is even less quality time with the husband because of HIS new chores, including the lawn (no more lawn help).

We’re constantly whizzing around all day long, busy, busy, busy…too busy to stop and think about just how busy we’ve become. I don’t know if that’s good or bad. Probably good. Busy is good. What’s the old saying…idle hands are the devil’s something or other? And I always thought I was busy back THEN…back when I was riding the gravy train, working full-time. Nope. This is worse. Much worse. I mean much busier.

Do you know how busy I am? (Go ahead….I’ll wait……………………………………..thank you) I’m so busy, I’m bringing you this “Best Of” segment today. It’s one of my favorite posts to date and one I think is worth sharing again, even if it shows my orange hair again. Who cares. Enjoy: (click on the link below..but you knew that)

I Am So Much Better Looking In A Bull Market

By: Heather 

Hey mamas and papas. We’ve all had a car that we’ve loved or hated at one point. But what happens when you finally own your dream car and then LOSE your job? I’ve been there. Sort of. When it happened to me I was driving a Ford F150 extended cab, with chrome wheels and a great stereo. It had two gas tanks and I could never afford to fill them up at the same time. But I thought it was cool anyway. It was safe and  intimidating on the road. It was definitely a conversation starter.


Ok. It WAS an odd choice for a woman. It was really more of a high school boy’s dream car, but it worked for me.  I moved a lot so it made sense to have a truck. I also got a good deal. I could never count on a man to loan me his truck or help me move, so I decided that if a girl and I couldn’t move it, then I couldn’t have it. I didn’t own a full length sofa until I was married. I could move everything I owned with the truck in two trips.

He did have a name by the way. It was BART– Big Ass Red Truck. We stuck together through some tough financial times. We eventually parted ways. (he drank too much… gas that is)


My fabulous friend Marie is having a rough time right now. She’s out of work, but isn’t ready to give up her dream car. I can’t blame her. Read her story and you’ll understand why.

By: Marie

I’m not selling my car.  No No No No NO!   I love my car.  Unemployed or not, that isn’t going to happen. If I have to live in the back seat and install a commode in the trunk I’ll do it.

Her name is Sophie.  If you haven’t named your car you should.  Cars are very special people-type things.  They get us home safely in the rain and plug along during long trips.  Every time I make it home safely after a difficult drive I give Sophie a pat on her dashboard and tell her she did a good job. 

Sophie getting Marie into trouble

Sophie getting Marie into trouble

Sophie is a magnetic grey, tan topped 2008 Toyota Solara Convertible.  Sexy.  And when the top is down and it is 103 degrees in Dallas I look hot!! 

So when one of my friends says “you can always sell that car of yours” I say NO! 

What does it matter that I umm…. paid cash for the car.  I don’t like debt.  I like money, but I don’t like debt.  Dad taught me to only charge  if I could go home and write a check for the same amount.   

Two weeks after Sophie came into my life my company announced it was closing.   Yeah, yeah, yeah there were signs.  But we thought we could pull it out.  Didn’t work.   When I said two weeks, I meant two weeks. Sophie came home on November 26thand CompUSA announced it was sold/closing on Dec 7th.    

I volunteered to stay on and go down with the ship.  I did… and the ship did sink.  My last day was mid-February, 2008.  We’re in 2009 now.  So I am quite qualified to be a Recession Mama.   According to that is 440 days.  Of course that includes weekends, and when you are counting the days of unemployment you like to subtract out the days of the week you wouldn’t have worked anyway.  It’s a psych yourself out game.  

I’m working a temp job now.  And I have to tell you, it ain’t me.  It is 33.454% of my old salary.  I know because I constantly do the calculation just in case division tables have changed.  They haven’t.   

Thanks to Dad’s financial lessons I still have the first dollar I ever earned.  (I did come close to spending it one time)

  I’ve always been able to find a job. And I’ve been offered every job I’veapplied for…except for one time.  Well, maybe two times.  I don’t count the time that my infant nephew drooled in my eye and gave me pinkeye.  Apparently it wasn’t the look that Neiman Marcus wanted when I went in for my interview the next morning. 

So, tomorrow morning I will trudge to my temporary job. Sophie will be waiting for me at the end of the day.   I will put the top down, crank up the tunes and smile all the way home. 


{April 13, 2009}   Recession Re-invention
The view from the roof of my loft

The view from the roof of my loft

Since Heather, Carla, and I launched this blog, officially, a week ago, I’ve gotten some questions and concerns about my work status. (Even my own mother has said she didn’t realize how many times I’ve been laid off and how incredibly depressing it is!) Well, let me assure everyone that I am working on a show, and I am not here to depress anyone. In fact, the opposite is true. I’m hoping to help and get help with living WELL in this recession.

I want to first explain that I have only been laid off (fo realz) once (the news job in D.C). But I’ve had to look for a new job about 11 times in the last five years. That’s because TV shows end. If I’m lucky, I’ll work on a show for an entire season or two because that show is doing well and has gotten picked up for an extra season . If I’m not lucky, or if I’m just working on a pilot, that show will end in a month or two. Believe it or not, even though I’ve had to look for work 11 times, I’ve only been out of work for only 3 or 4 months in the last five years.

Here’s what I’ve learned from constantly changing jobs:

  • I really enjoy it, and it’s not for everyone. I used to be commitment-phobic. Now, when other people (usually guys) say they’re commitment-phobic, they’re usually telling a girl that they’re not that into them. For me, from the ages of 22-30, I couldn’t commit to cities, jobs, OR boyfriends. During those eight years, I moved NINE times, lived in 8 different cities, and had maybe 8 boyfriends (well… I don’t know if I’d quite call them boyfriends but there I go again with not really committing to them). Well, you get the point. Being a freelance producer fits my personality to a tee. I am a super hard worker, but I do get bored easily. As a TV producer, I am never bored. I’m doing something different every single day. TV is perfect for the A.D.D. personality. And… since I am freelance, I always have the option of moving on to the next show. Now, Fiance, if you’re reading this… I am not commitment-phobic anymore. I have lived in Los Angeles for six years now, and I actually do want stability. That’s why I bought a loft a year ago. Having a mortgage is a BIG responsibility and makes me want to have more of a full-time job… but this is also why I’ve saved up a year’s worth of expenses and why I’m thinking of postponing the wedding. It’s also why I’ve paid off my credit card debts awhile ago, which takes me to the second thing I’ve learned…

  • You do need an emergency savings and not rely on credit cards. It’s too difficult to pay off those cards once you’re working again. And c’mon, when you’re working… don’t you want every penny to belong to you and not to some credit card company? The interest on those cards add up pretty quickly. If you charged a burger on a credit card and didn’t pay off that card for a year…you’ll end up paying something like $100 for that burger! Better be the BEST burger in the world, huh? (If you’re trying to get rid of c.c. debt, read my last post or check out Suze Orman’s site. She has a great system that helped me too.)

  • Network. It may seem like an easy thing to say, but since I’ve started working in entertainment, I have never gotten a job without being recommended by someone else. I’ve never just applied for a position and gotten it. I’ve landed a couple of interviews without knowing anyone, but eventually, they seem to just go with someone they know. And just in case you were wondering, networking goes both ways. If someone helps me, I’m more than likely to help them. I also love having mentors, and I love mentoring. But I don’t always know when someone needs a job so it’s important to put it out there. It’s really no shame to be out of work. Work is work. It shouldn’t be who you are. And if you think you’re not good at networking, take another look at how you network. It’s about establishing relationships, not perfecting small talk or winning a popularity contest. I like to network with good people whom I’d like to be friends with anyway, which makes it easy to ask if they want to go to lunch, have a drink, or send a resume to their boss.

  • Re-invention. This recession, for me, is all about re-invention. Madonna is the mother of re-invention, and it’s really the reason why she still sells out stadiums. With my first lay-off as a national radio news anchor, I had to figure out what I really wanted to do. Within the last five years and a dozen jobs later, I’ve had to learn and adapt to new technology and ways of thinking. I am learning all of the time, and reinventing ways of becoming a better, more efficient producer/writer. Now, I have also never understood people who complain about their jobs. I’ve always thought that if you really hated your job, you should quit. If you were laid off from a job you hated anyway, I think this is the perfect opportunity to find what you truly love and what you are truly meant to do with your life. It’s such a cliche by now that it’s always the most fulfilling to have a job that you would do for free…but it’s so true. Think of this lay-off as a blessing. If you have kids, you can now spend more time with them. If you’ve always wanted to be a stained-glass maker, you can learn how! I have a friend who went to massage school when she thought she was getting laid off because it’s something she’d always wanted to do. Several friends applied to law school, and another friend is starting her own business. Think about what you’ve always wanted to do. What do other people tell you you’re really good at? Write down your thoughts, dreams, fears, and goals. Put together a game plan, a business proposal, or just go for it. I’m trying it out, and I believe my dream and yours will all come true.

{April 9, 2009}   Recession Proofing a Marriage


Today’s Oprah was all about recession-proofing marriage. Is that even possible? Now, I’m not married, but I am engaged. Since we all know that couples fight mostly about money and sex, my fiance and I have extensive discussions about finances. We’ve even gone to pre-marital counseling. Now, I’m a realist.  I’ve had to be, and although our financial picture has not changed that much recently, we are closer to each other now, more than ever, in this recession.

Before I worked freelance as a TV producer, I didn’t really know much about money. I racked up credit card debt in college, like a Freshman adding the inevitable 15 pounds. Looking back, I laugh because I think my best friend Ryan and I thought we were rich! We took cabs, instead of the subway. We ate out at nice restaurants a LOT. I mean we were going to Ye Waverly Inn before it became a celebrity hotspot with its own Vanity Fair blog! Now, I even worked my way through college with THREE jobs, so you’d think I learned something about the value of money. But it’s difficult when no one ever wants to even approach the subject.

So how did I learn? Well, essentially by getting laid off for the first time in 2002. I was a news anchor in D.C., and right before the country went to war, this company (which will not be named) laid off the entire news staff. But their questionable decision was my path to a new world — the world of television and entertainment. I loved it. My first job was on a style/fashion type show, and if you know me…that’s always been one of my passions! I know designers like a 6 year old boy knows Hot Wheels. After two years working on that show, the network decided to move it to New York City, and that’s when I began to realize the importance of networking. I also figured it was necessary to have some savings. Now, I was still living with my parents then, and they will always support me. But it was time for me to get my own financial situation under control.

My first step was to figure out how to get rid of my credit card debt. I transferred everything onto a 0% card, and I applied anything extra out of my paychecks towards paying this card off. I, eventually, even transferred my student loan onto a 0% card. I don’t know if that’s a wise move these days because financial experts always tell you not to move your money from secured debts to unsecured ones. However, this really helped me.

My brother also helped. He consolidated one of my student loans with his, paid it off, and I just paid him monthly (without interest). (My brother is really the financial guru in the family. I hope to be him one day.) Soon, after paying off all of my debts, I started saving, and I now have roughly a year’s worth of expenses saved up.

Now, here’s the dilemma. My fiance and I have been engaged for a year now. We wanted to get married this August. But with the recession, we’d like to have an even bigger emergency savings because my savings would only cover me. If we were both out of a job, it definitely wouldn’t cover him. Most of you are probably thinking this is a no-brainer. We should just wait to get married, right? Well, not so simple. A lot of wedding locations, florists, photographers, etc. are offering deals THIS YEAR. And I’m a sucker for a bargain. So, to get married or not to get married. That is the question. And…just in case you were wondering. The question is NOT to have a cheaper, lesser wedding. I’m all about getting the BEST for LESS. I just need some help. ~Katy

{April 6, 2009}   Meet Katy

katyI’ve lived this recession over and over since 2003. OK you’re asking yourself…2003? Wasn’t that when the economy was still strong? How in the world could I have lived this recession already? Well, I’ve been out of a job 11 times in a span of five years! Let me explain. I get paid to be a television producer in Los Angeles. Most of the time, I work freelance gigs, which means I’m working two to three months on a project and then moving on. Sometimes, the production company or television network will pay to give me benefits, and I’m considered “full-time” or “staff” but that never guarantees I’ll have a job for any specific amount of time. The show I’m working on could get canceled or not get “picked up” for another season. So for anyone who’s ever been laid off even once, I get it! I’ve seen the same look of pity amongst my friends and family for 5 years now! Every couple of months, when a show ends, all I hear is…”Oh, no! You’re out of a job again?!” I know that sense of uncertainty, wondering if I’ll ever work again?! But when I land another gig in a week or two, I know I’ll hear people either say, “Congratulations!” or that all too familiar look that tells me, “Welcome back. You’re one of us again.”

{April 6, 2009}   Meet Carla

Picture 6

I was supposed to have my hair done at my fancy Dallas salon just before Christmas, 2008. In fact, my appointment was for 10:30 the morning of December 12, 2008. Cut, color, style, the whole mess. I would drop about $200 including tip that morning. But the universe had other plans for me that day. I was called into the office (a major radio chain) for a 10:00am meeting on the last day of my maternity leave with Dean, my 2nd son. My highlights would have to wait. My “position had been eliminated”. I had just been laid off. And just like that, in the snap of a finger, my life was sent spinning. Everything was up in the air. And since no one is exactly handing out radio news anchor jobs right now, for the first time in my life, I’ve joined the ranks of the unemployed, just like millions of other hard-working Americans.

I’m Carla Marion, wife and mom to 2 super cool baby boys. I’ve never had to budget or save money a day in my life. Until now, that is. And boy what a learning experience this has been so far! (Coupons, seriously…? And I have to cook my own meals now? Lovely)

I will, at times, be brutally honest about this new journey … but most times I try to laugh about it all. So join me on my penny pinching adventure as my family and I learn how to make do with the money we do have.

et cetera