Tax time is a good time of the year for most people, as they often get some money back from the taxman. However, for us, it has been a terrible time for the past three years, with my wife being laid off each tax season since 2015, followed by a period of several months without an essential second income.
This time, the manager that she had previously worked under had moved to another property, and the new manager immediately laid off my wife, stating she wanted her own person as her assistant manager. Although we had a feeling it was coming, due to a bullshit situation that had arisen two months earlier.
Again, our tax refund is our saving grace which will tie us over until my wife can find another job. However, our financial situation is worse than 12 months ago, we have about $1,000 of credit card and loan payments, which accounts for 1/2 my income, the other 1/2 is taken up by rent. This means that if my wife can not find employment in the next 3 months, my income will no longer cover our outgoings.
I am not putting any faith in my wife getting unemployment benefits due to the way the system works, it took 10 weeks for her to get unemployment this time last year, which would have broken us if it were not for our tax refund. Our tax refund was earmarked for debt reduction, that’s now gone up in smoke.
We have an additional problem, my wife has fibromyalgia and requires a number of tier 3 drugs that cost thousands of dollars without medical insurance, and Obamacare is useless as that insurance won’t cover any drugs outside of tier 1 until the substantial deductible is satisfied, plus the ACA is not really affordable anymore. The cost of these medications is one of the major reasons why we have so much debt.
This job loss also means that our kids no longer have medical insurance, they were both on my wife’s workplace insurance. There is no way I can add them to my insurance, it’s too cost prohibitive, $944 for myself and the kids and $1,411 for the wife, kids and I and that’s the cheapest premium. To cover my family at the highest premium, it would result in me taking home less than $100, obviously not an option.
The wife and I have decided that apartment management is not for her. In my view, looking at the Wichita apartment management community, I wouldn’t be surprised to find out it’s a race issue, my wife being African American. The lack of diversity in the Wichita apartment management community is astonishing.
We’ll get through this, we have to, giving up is not an option, especially with two kids to support. But, why does life have to be so damn hard just to break even, in fact, we are not breaking even, our net worth is -$40,000+ due to debt, which is likely to increase, bills still keep coming in despite the lack of income.
On a personal opinion note; I hate the way that US employers are allowed to terminate your employment without any notice. You literally turn up for work and they tell you that your services are no longer required. Clearly, this particular situation was planned, and although I don’t know this for sure, I suspect my wife’s replacement was already hired and ready to start work. I can live with the manager wanting her own choice of assistant, but the way it was handled is bullshit, European law doesn’t allow for this kind of treatment. US citizens have very few employment rights, all the power lies with the employer.