A few months ago, I very unexpectedly lost my job. Being the sole income provider in our home, this proved to be a huge problem for our family.
Shock, worry, fears and tears consumed me for a few days.
What in the world were we going to do? We had no savings. How would we survive? How would our bills be paid? How would we even afford groceries?
My husband was a stay at home dad and had been out of work since he was laid off almost three years ago. While it wasn’t our decision for him to be laid off, it was our decision for him to be a stay at home dad. It worked for us for a while, until this event changed our world.
We couldn’t just sit around and wallow in our self pity. We had to get creative and we didn’t have much time.
I pray that you won’t find yourself in a similar situation, but if you or someone you know is facing a sudden loss of income I hope you will consider these eight ideas that helped my family survive those few months of unemployment.
- First and foremost, PRAY! This loss of income may have come as a complete shock to you, but it didn’t surprise God. In fact, He is already working on your behalf. Jeremiah 29:11 tells us He has plans for our future and those plans include us prospering. Trust in Him. He will provide.
- Look at your current monthly bills. Where can you cut back? Some specific areas to consider: cable, cell phone, eating out, decreasing your grocery budget, entertainment. We cancelled our cable subscription and saved over $150 a month. We have also saved a great deal of money by focusing on wants vs. needs. Eating out and entertainment are not necessities.
- Do you have a retirement plan from your employer that you can cash in? While this may not be the smartest action in the long run, you must have food on the table and your mortgage paid NOW. I was able to cash in a retirement plan and it ended up blessing us with almost $700.
- Can you sell a vehicle? Being a one vehicle family isn’t the most convenient thing in the world, but it definitely can be done. Not only would you profit from the sell, but also a reduction in car insurance and vehicle maintenance.
- Have a yard sale. Go through your home, get rid of anything you don’t need. You’ll be amazed at the amount of money you can make off of things just sitting around your home.
- Apply for temporary assistance. Please hear me out here. We are talking times of desperation. I’m not advocating relying on government assistance for long periods of time. This is a temporary fix. You may qualify for food stamps, medical insurance, assistance with heating and cooling. Do you qualify for unemployment benefits?
- Contact your debtors. Explain your situation to them. Many are willing to work with you. I was able to get an economic hardship deferment on my student loans.
- Get creative! Do you have any talents that could bring in additional income? Could you offer babysitting in your home? Can you or your spouse do odd jobs? This isn’t a time to be picky. We decided that my husband would begin actively seeking employment. He applied for anything and everything he could find. Full time, part time, it didn’t matter. He would do whatever he could. He ended up finding two part time jobs which were a huge blessing and were more than enough to sustain our family.
Heather lives in Eastern North Carolina where she is a homeschooling mama of two little girls, a wife to her best friend and a nurse by trade. She is a devoted follower of Jesus and lives each day to point others toward him and to encourage fellow homeschooling parents in their journeys. Heather blogs at Upside Down Homeschooling. You can also find Heather on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.
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