37 of 65
BACKNEXT
Deborah Elston: No work in sight
Deborah Elston: No work in sight
Deborah (right) with her partner, Mary
Sales support representative, 49, Chicago, Ill.

In November 2007, I quit my $50,000 a year job at a mortgage company in Chicago after years of unhappiness. I saved my money for months in preparation for my departure and planned to take some time off to reinvigorate myself.

I figured I could always fall back on work as a temporary administrative assistant or executive assistant for some extra cash as I had done many months and years before in between the many layoffs I have experienced. Unfortunately, this has not been the case.

I am signed up with five temp agencies and have hardly worked in two months. What has shocked me most are the hourly pay rates -- they have not gone up since I last temped eight years ago!

Our saving grace is that my partner has a job at a university and though her salary is not enough for the two of us to live on, what the university does have is fantastic domestic partner benefits and I am fully covered for health, dental and vision on her plan. I wake up thankful for this every day.

We have stopped dining out, attending cultural events and traveling. We have had to put our health club membership on hold. Our car is paid for. We have had to rely on our credit cards a lot more now, but we have never missed a payment or been late. My partner has student loan payments. We stay at home more because whenever you leave your house, you inevitably spend money.

NEXT: Jack Ross: Banks balked at lending
Last updated November 15 2009: 6:21 AM ET
Email | Print | Share  |  RSS
 
google my aol my msn my yahoo! netvibes
Paste this link into your favorite RSS desktop reader
See all CNNMoney.com RSS FEEDS (close)
More Galleries
Some Converse copycats cost big bucks A few bargain brands got swept up in Chuck Taylor's net, but others cost a pretty penny. More
Urban infrastructure gets a second life Railroad beds become parks, power plants become aquariums and slaughterhouses are now art centers as an industrial past turns people-centric. More
Boomtown moms From working mothers raising their kids in RVs to stay-at-home moms who spend their days organizing events for the Oil Wives club, meet the moms of North Dakota's oil boom. More

Special Offer

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer.

Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved.

Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved.

Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2014 and/or its affiliates.