How to Save Money » Simple Living

Why My Husband Quit His Job

Statistics Canada reported that the unemployment rate rose to 7.8% in January despite employment increasing by 69,000. Employment has grown by 327,000 (1.9%) since January 2010. Employment rose in Ontario, Alberta, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, Manitoba and Prince Edward Island.

My husband is now part of that group of unemployed persons.

That’s because my husband quit his job.

My Husband Quit His Job

Why he did it:

Richard had been unhappy at his job for close to 6 months. He worked as a stock trader and he was constantly bullied and attacked.

This was the first time working in this field so he was just a junior guy, learning the ropes of the industry. Because of this, people treated him as though he was a pain in the ass. If he was unsure of how to do something and asked for help, his boss would yell at him to “pay attention”, as if he wasn’t doing that in the first place.

You see, they never taught him how to do this job. They just hired him and then pretty much had him look over the shoulders of other traders to learn how to do this job. Clearly this was not working very well because Richard wasn’t 100% comfortable doing his work.

He needed to ask questions, but was scared to do so because he thought he may be attacked for asking for some assistance.

When you constantly have someone in your face telling you how useless they think you are and how much you suck at doing your job, it can get pretty emotional. Richard came home on more than one occasion and would just break down over the ridicule he was put through all day.

What next?

I asked him what he wanted to do and he told me that his dream was to start his own company. I told him to go for it! He stood by me while I started numerous different companies (that all flopped, by the way!), so of course I would stand by him.

He was worried that we would be poor, and end up living on the street with our baby and 5 animals. Silly man. We have 6 months worth of living expenses in our emergency fund right now and I also have been making more money myself. We would be fine, I told him.

So, he quit. Just like that.

He took a few days to unwind then he started researching how to run his company.


After a few days, he came to the conclusion that he was just not quite ready to be working for himself. He was just not 100% comfortable to be doing that yet.

This realization made Richard very depressed. He felt as though he let me down, which he absolutely did not do. I tried to reassure him that everything would be fine, no matter what he chose to do.

It took a few days and then he decided it would be best to work for another company until he became more comfortable with the idea of working for himself.

What’s happening now?

Richard is now looking for a new job. I’m confident that he will be able to find something in a short while, but until then we are really tightening our belts when it comes to the budget. We have cut everything that is not 100% necessary (except cable TV – mama needs it!).

I think this will be a good test to see just how far we can make our money stretch, and you know what, I’m kind of excited about that.

What would you cut back on, if you were in this situation?


  1. s

    Best of luck to Mr. January in his search!

    I am eager to learn about your increased saving techniques and hope to implement some myself. You continue to inspire me ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Lori

    I would cut down on the amount of restaurant food that we consume and shoes… both frivilous.

    Best of luck to R in finding a new job, I am sure that he will soon (:

  3. Carrie

    Good for you hubby – work stress is not good.

    my food budjet would have to change and what i buy.
    I think tv and internet would go.

    Just a note – good for you to pull back right from the start so many people keep there life style the same and then get in trouble.

  4. Bette @ Frugal Mom X3

    Has he looked into self-employed business credit from gov’t? If he’s applying for un-employment insurance he might be entitle to it. It’s a good deal the gov’t gives out and it gives him a chance to try out self -employment while still getting paid from gov’t. I did it a few years ago after mat leave and it was fabulous. E-mail me if you want more info about it.

    BTW – I worked in investment world for over 10 years, and one of the last jobs was for a stock trader in dowtown Toronto… oooh I know exactly what they are like. I swear some of those people eat nails for breakfast and spit them out at you through out the day.

    Good luck!

  5. Theresa

    Best of luck in the job search. I can totally believe that the stock trade is vicious……money brings out the evil in some people.

  6. Diana

    All the best in the job hunt – 6 months of living expenses under your belt – you will be fine!

  7. Me Again!

    You guys are still so young and can afford to do this at your stage in life. Mr January should reconsider starting up on his own…maybe not as a trader but something less cut throat. I’ve heard there is a ton of commission to be made in selling RRSPs….?

    As for us cutting back, I just don’t know what we would cut back on? Probably the kids activities would go first, then we would sell our car, we only have one car but could manage without one as the transit system here in North Van is good and we are within walking distance to the school, church and mall. Then I would try and earn more money from home with Craigslist and E-Bay sales, maybe take in 2 daycare kids. It is good to think about these scenarios…

    Good luck to you both…!!

  8. Michelle

    Good luck Richard.. hope that you will be able to find work that you will enjoy doing and be able to start your business soon.

    I’ve never been in this situation but I would have to say.. cut out on stuff like cable tv, memberships to gyms and eat at home. You already have a that makes it a little easier to figure it out.

  9. Joyce

    All the very best with your husband’s job search.:)

    My Dh lost his job right after 9/11. A difficult time for us. It took me about 5 years to feel secure again. Dh had 4 jobs that didn’t last more than 6 months each. The companies knew they were temporary jobs…they just failed to inform Dh.:( He’s been very happy in his current job for 6 years now. I will never be quite the same again though. I have lost my “innocence” when it comes to trusting any company for our livelihood.

  10. Kristen

    I just switched my home phone to Shaw Cable. I was previously with Bell and was paying $50 a month for pretty much nothing! Because my internet and cable was already with Shaw I now pay $14.95 a month for the phone. So my suggestion is try to group your home phone, internet and cable all with one company because they will give you a better dealโ€ฆalso- donโ€™t choose Bell!

    I also switched my cell phone to a pay as you go which ended up saving money.

    It may sound extreme, but I try to turn keep the lights off as much as I can,only do laundry and run the dishwasher from 9pm and later because it is an off peak time.

    I know it may seem like a challenging time, but after reading your website day after day with all your great tips,I think youโ€™ll be just fine And no money compensates for being that stressed out at your job, your husband made a wise decision and it will benefit your family in the future because he will be happier.

    P.s- i LOVE your websiteโ€ฆI love seeing all the deals you post!

  11. Stephanie G

    Oh, I’m sad to hear that richard was not happy in his job. But in the end, he made the right decision. Every time I thought about quiting a job, but never got the nerve to do it, I always think that also, everytime I did, something better came my way. I’m pretty sure something nice will come his way too! As you said, you have a stockpile, and you guys saved for your emergency fund as well! I think you are so organized that you will not see a big difference. You have been safe and made some reserve. I think you did it in case something like that happened. And next time you will talk about how important it is to save for an emergency fund, you will be able to talk about your own experience.

    I’m sending some positive waves your way!

  12. Teresa

    I have to confess in the past I’ve been secretly jealous because Richard’s job sounded so great with the all the bonuses and perks he received. Now to hear how unhappy he was and how abusive they were to him, it reminds me things are not always as they seem. No amount of money is worth that, I’m glad he got out on his terms and with his self-respect. He seems like an extremely intelligent guy, I know a really great company will scoop him up up quickly.

    Your family has an amazing stockpile on hand and you are already great at budgeting, you will be fine.

    Best of luck to Richard in his job search.

  13. Me Again!

    Doh! Meant to say RESPs…?!

  14. teachermum

    Best wishes to Mr January as he searches for the perfect job. I’m sure it is out there, just a matter of finding it. Good luck as you squeeze that budget down to the absolute minimum!

    Were we to be in that situation, I’d make a detailed list of exactly what I had on hand (lots-much more food than you show in your basement stockpile!) and I’d actually try and make a meal plan for as long as possible with what we have, only buying things when we absolutely have nothing to substitute. I’m sure I have enough for 6 months of most things, much longer for others. I’d use up all the meat we have and would only buy for $2/lb or less. We would eat whatever fruit is the cheapest (I do that now, under $1/lb) and whatever veg is the cheapest. If broccoli is .77-we eat broccoli! Having watched your posts for quite some time, I know I spend less on certain produce items than you do! It would be forever before I needed to buy soap, shampoo, deod, cleaning stuff, laundry, etc.

    Can’t do much about our cell phone bill at present and not sure I could change cable/internet either. I’d consider removing the Bell answering machine feature and using one we have on an old phone. We don’t pick up fast food much, but that would stop, so would Timmies. No pop and no beer (hubby would have to drink the wine he already has made, I guess!)

    No new clothes for anyone. If my kids were young, no new clothes until they had grown out of about everything (as it is, they are older and buy their own). Really, 3 outfits are enough (one on, one in the wash, one in the drawer) and 2 pairs of pjs if they are in diapers or in the “accident” age range. Everyone has WAY too many clothes, considering most people have a washer/dryer in their home.

    We are pretty much homebodies so don’t have much of an entertainment budget anyhow, but no new DVDs. We have TONS to watch already. Having friends over is wonderful.

    I would also not shop until absolutely necessary (or a tremendous bargain we would need before too long.) It would be a killer to pass up certain deals…but it would save the gas and money spent. Being 20+ minutes from town, that’s $5 in gas alone for a shopping trip.

    We would not stop tithing (it isn’t our money in the first place) and would try and maintain some savings if at all possible-that would totally depend on the actual situation though.

    I’m sure I’ll think of more after I hit “submit”!!


  15. m

    Are you still going to do large shopping trips at SDM to earn bonus points for future redemptions? I find that I end up buying a lot of stuff that I don’t really need, just to bring my total up to the required amount. Or I buy stuff that I could get elsewhere cheaper, just to bring the total up. I think you probably do the same & there are some things you could cut out — like from your last shopping trip, I think you got some junk food, which you could cut out while you’re on a tighter budget.

    For now I’d probably also cut out any unnecessary spending, no matter how good the deal is, for items that you already have tons of in your stockpile. Dish soap, shaving gel, etc. Unless they’re for someone else who’s paying you back for them, of course.

    Hope Mr. January finds something soon.

  16. Cassie Howard

    First of all, I’d like to say THANK YOU to everyone that commented on this post. I really appreciate all of your kind words and I know Richard does as well.

    s – Thanks! I will post any tips that we happen to try out. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Lori – Oh, our clothing and entertainment category were there first things to be cut, haha.

    Carri – I agree that work stress is not good, which is why I encouraged him to leave his job. I don’t want him to have a heart attack or something because he is so stressed out!

    Bette – I sent you an email. ๐Ÿ™‚ And yes, I 100% agree that some people in this industry eat nails for breakfast and then spit them out at you all day!

    Theresa – Totally agree!

    Diana – I think we will be too, now I just have to convince hubby. ๐Ÿ˜›

    Me Again! – I’m still not sure which path he is going to choose. He has explored many options, so we will have to wait and see what he decides to do. I’m also going to try to earn more money through Ebat and Craigslist/Kijiji. I considered daycare, but it’s just not possible because we have 5 animals and many parents wouldn’t like that.

    Michelle – Yes, our budget definetely helps us to stay on course.

    Joyce – Thank you. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m glad you and your DH feel comfortable now, but man – 5 years?! I really hope it doesn’t take that long for us to feel comfortable again.

    Kristen – I wish we could switch. We use Rogers and I hate them with a passion, but unfortunetely they are the only company that services our area. We do group together our services though, so we get a small discount for that. I also try to keep the lights off as much as I can, but the dishwasher and laundry thing won’t work for us. Laundry.. well, if I do it that late at night, I will forget it (because I go to bed fairly early now) and it will stink the next day, meaning I’d have to wash it again, which is wasted water. The dishwasher is also run right after dinner because if I did it later, it would interrupt our evening TV time (we watch 1-2 hours per night). It’s right beside the living room and that sucker is LOUD. Thank you for your suggestions, Kristen. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Stephanie – I appreciate the positive vibes. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Theresa – Yes, the money was nice (VERY nice), and that’s the main reason Richard hesitated to quit, but I told him it was NOT worth the emotional pain it was causing him. Thanks for your encouragement. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Me Again – I knew that. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    teachermum – We also usually only buy the fruit and veggies that are on sale, but in the past I would purchase something else if we really wanted it bad enough. Now, we do not have that option. It will be sale items ONLY (I may let us splurge on one item per month though). We are homebodies as well, which is a good thing, because we won’t really miss that entertainment category too much. Thanks for your suggestions!

    m – As hard as it will be for me – no, I will not be doing any more large purchases at SDM. The only way I will do that is if I can get my total down VERY low with coupons. If not – well, it just won’t happen then. There are 20x events every month or two, so it’s okay if I miss doing a couple. We already have enough points to redeem for almost $400 anyway!

  17. Ashley

    I’m sorry to hear that he was so depressed at his job. That’s great to hear that he has quit though! I agree, no amount of money is worth that kind of treatment and stress. I’m sure you will be fine with 6 months of living expenses, plus with $400 in optimum points to redeem, that can go a long way too. Best of luck to your husband!

  18. travelgeek

    Since you are keeping your cable, call Robbers and negotiate a deal for your cable package. You might have threaten to cancel your cable, but should be able to score a discount if you’re willing to sign a 1 yr contract.

  19. teachermum

    I agree with travelgeek-we are with Cogeco (cable and internet) and while I have always read about people in the States calling and getting better rates, that never works here. Guess what, it did this last time with Cogeco! Lowered our rate a bit and got more MB use per month on internet!!! With two young adults in the house as well as a husband who like to download-that was very welcomed! We could have lowered it a bit more had we stuck with the original amount. Not a lot, but a few dollars here and there sure do add up.

  20. Christina

    In order for me to stay home with our 3 children we live ‘bare minimum’ pretty much all the time. We don’t have cell phones or cable which helps cut costs. One winter we decided to get cable because I was going nuts not being able to get out but as soon as spring came we turned it off. We get 2 channels via rabbit ears and lots of movies/series from the library so we’re really not missing much. We have a phone line with 1 calling feature, a good old answering machine and basic internet (not dial up) and it comes to $39 a month. Have you tried using Skype for long distance calls it’s MUCH cheaper!

    I’m always on the hunt for activities that are family friendly and free- most cities have lots if you do a thorough search. We also only eat out once or twice a month- learning to cook your favourite ‘take out’ meal can sae you lots of money. Or trade meals with another couple to try something different or have people over for potluck- they’re always fun.

    Good luck to your husband- I hope he finds a job he can be happy with.

  21. momof5boys

    All the best to you both. My husband lost his job after 17 years with the company due to restructuring. It took two years but he is now back in the work force and enjoying it. Because we are savers (and givers!) and have been throughout our marriage, we didn’t need to get stressed out about the job loss and he had time to search. Our boys really learned from this experience, not to go into debt and learn to save because life can suddenly change. God is good….

    I should add that I have always been a stay at home mom, living frugally. As I write this, bread dough is rising :-)….

  22. Sam K

    I’d cut cable TV. Almost everything can be watched online. With basic cable, you can get it for free with a good outdoors antenna, plus get those channels in HD! Way better then paying a cable company $500-$1000 a year (for me)

  23. Cassie Howard

    Ashley – Thank you! I think we will be fine too.. I need to convince HIM of that. ๐Ÿ˜›

    travelgeek – I actually called them not long before he quit and already negotiated. Out monthly bill is really not all that bad. $150 or so for tv, internet, phone and cell phone (Richard needs a cell phone for work related stuff – he’s still in contact with a bunch of people from his last job).

    Christina – I definetely plan to take advantage of the library more. They have so many different movies, CDS and not to mention BOOKS! We don’t need a long distance plan because we don’t really call long distance. We sometimes do, but it’s long distance within Canada and we have like 500 minutes for free every month.. and we definetely don’t use that much!

    momof5boys – I’ve almost always been a frugal person as well, so I have no doubt that we can do this. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Sam K – I hate watching TV online. ๐Ÿ™

  24. Lattelady

    things happen for a reason, go with it, and see what happens.
    Thank goodness you shop and save like you do and you have a stock pile.
    Both of you will do fine, and I am sure Richard will find the perfect job .

  25. Cathy

    Sweetie!!! ohhh.. i haven’t been online for a while: oh :(.. sorry to hear that. Hmmmm.. let me rephrase: sorry, because it’s stressful and brings on a dose of insecurity, BUT it’s also the HEALTHIEST, bravest and sanest thing to do.
    ok, one could argue, could he not have tried to work for himself WHILE employed, and realize while employed that it wasn’t for him – BUT THAT WOULD HAVE CHANGED NOTHING to the treatment he was submitted to in his day employment, so the end decision would have been the same.
    I think also, that the decision he made is SUCH a good message to send to Elliott:
    . HAPPY is most important (and it IS so important)
    . money is NOT worth being BULLIED (nothing is)
    . your health, sanity and dignity is more important in the big picture than ANY amount of money
    Sure, Elliott is young, but they FEEL a lot, and he is growing up in a house with those values (as well as frugal living which i believe i learned at home)

    Happiness spreads to all aspects of your life, and work takes up SO MANY hours in a week (and in our minds when we’re not there)
    He did the right thing.
    And i wouldn’t worry if i were him, Life has such a way of working out, for the best, when we listen, and it seems he listened.
    You could even end up writing a book about this adventure: who knows??
    Life always has a way of working out…

    Hang on, good things will follow…
    life rewards courage ๐Ÿ™‚


  26. Cassie Howard

    Cathy – Thanks so much for that wonderful comment. I shared it with hubby and he reallyy appreciated the kindness, he had tears in his eyes! Thank you again. ๐Ÿ™‚

  27. nancy

    Thank you for reposting this, i’ve been thinking the same thing for the past 6+ months, I hope Richard has found something that he enjoys doing.

  28. Yvonne

    Did the same thing; I quit my job! It was a few weeks of thinking, “Was that the stupidest thing to do?” A few weeks there I regretted my decision, but now, I’m happy, and have a job that allows me more flexibility, and I don’t have to put up with the junk I was facing before. I feel like a better wife, my stress levels have decreased incredibly, and pinching pennies is such a relief compared to the burden of that previous job. You’re financially smart Cassie, and you’ll find the areas of your budget that can be tweaked. Best wishes to you and your husband.

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