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When no money comes in how do you cope?

October 1st, 2008 at 07:19 pm

In this economy with people being laid off left and right, how do you cope if both people in a household lose their jobs? That is a very difficult situation to be in. In 2001, my husband and I moved to Washington state. Unfortunately, 9/11 happened a few months later. We ended up living on our savings for 2-1/2 years. It was really really hard.

Now we are back in Atlanta, but I really feel for people in that situation. Especially if they do not have money saved. Here are a few suggestions to make ends meet and bring in extra income, if you are in that "season" of no income.

- Still track your expenses and budget your money
- Rent out a room or two if you can (do you have a basement?)
- Sell things you do not want, use or need
- Get part-time jobs and still look for full-time jobs
- Have garage sales
- Baby sit kids for money (if you love kids)
- Try to get contract work

Have you ever been in that situation? What did you do?

3 Responses to “When no money comes in how do you cope?”

  1. merch Says:

    I have actually never been in that situation. I also believe the unemployment isn't that high. I believe that the current rate is 6.01%. The early 90's was closer to 8%.

    With that said, I work in an industry that has been losing jobs quite quickly and at one point almost accepted a job at Lehman in NY.

    So, my thinking would be that your in survival mode. I would start cutting all the fun out of the budget. I would then rank my expenses by priority Food, shelter, utilities.

    Next I would start looking for income. Unemployment checks, severance package. I would also start reaching out to my network. Do they need a consultant for 6 months?

    I would also talk to my wife about her picking up a couple of hours.

    I would also look at getting certifications or more education to make me more marketable.

    But remember, for every 6 people that are unemployed, 94 are.

  2. fern Says:

    After more than 30 years of working, i've been laid off many times...5 times, to be exact. I'm single, so it's definitely an emergency situation.

    Of course, i file for unemployment benefits immediately. I would stop prepaying my mortgage. I would ramp up my freelance writing income. Of course, I cut expenses in any way I can. No eating out. No clothes shopping. Most importantly, I could never have weathered my periods of unemployment as well as i have if it weren't for my savings. The time to think about unemployment is BEFORE you're unemployed. Make sure you have plenty of cash on hand. Unemployment is the biggest emergency i can think of.

  3. monkeymama Says:

    Unemployment is a pretty big emergency, indeed.

    My spouse was laid off, but was no biggie, since we never lived off his income. He has actually tried to find work from time to time, but not very long or hard. Though, mostly it is our choice he does not work, it hasn't always been the 100% plan.

    I mentioned recently we stay away from long-term commitments, and this is one reason why. Our house is a big commitment, but it is something we could pay on 2 minimum-wage jobs, if need be. (Well, the payment is less then minimum wage, but I am thinking food and gas and mortgage we could swing). Or on temp work. We have no other commitments. We have a decent amount of assets to sell off, too, if times were tough. A large reason why I prefer to be debt-free. IT just creates more flexibility in hard times. (Likewise, in extreme hardship would be the time to utilize debt, not when times are good. From my perspective).

    Our second plan for hard times is family. I mean, that's what family is for. We would be willing to help anyone in the family that suffered a great hardship and we know that they would be willing to return the favor. Sometimes I think it is very hard to make in this world alone. & I am grateful we have such a large, close, and primarily fiscally sound family.

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