Saturday, February 14, 2009

When times get tough...

I know a lot of you are losing jobs these days, myself included. I have went through two job losses. In a row. In 2 years. So I guess that would make me at least somewhat qualified to talk about how to make it when times are tough!

If your over the shock of the situation and you've moved into action mode - trying to decide what to do about your income situation (unemployment just doesn't go that far) here are some things to consider:

  • You will be spending less with out really trying - since your not going to work, your gas expense, eating lunches out, bus fare etc.. will dramatically decrease
  • You will have more time to watch what you are buying. This may include paying more attention to the grocery store ads and having the time to clip and match coupons to the weekly sales
  • You will probably spend a lot of your time on the computer because you are looking for another job - spend some time in the 'etc' section of craigslist. I have found tons of odd jobs in there to make some extra cash (think focus groups that pay you for your opinion, helping people in your neighborhood move, yard work etc...)
  • You will have lots of time on your hands. More than you will know what to do with. If your feeling productive, you could start cleaning out closets and finding things to sell on ebay and craigslist for a little extra income.
  • You could consider cutting back on some things - in my classes I never tell people what they should or should not cut out. It's up to you, you have to do what works for you. Remember this is only temporary. It might not hurt to look at your expenses and see if there are some things you can cut back on or cut out entirely.
It might make you feel a little better if you sat down and wrote your income and your expenses. Thats all a budget really is anyway. To get through this time, some tough choices will need to be made. I know its not fun. Trust me, I'm living it too.

"What does not kill us makes us stronger" or something like that.