Guest post from Ai of Less to More
When my husband’s job ended almost two years ago, the outlook on our future seemed bleak. I didn’t work outside the home, and we had four young children. One thing we kept asking ourselves was, “Will we make it through this season of unemployment?”
Perhaps you are facing this season right now. And even if you are happily employed, it doesn’t hurt to be ready. There are things you can do now to prepare for the unexpected event of losing your job.
If you have not been keeping a budget, it’s time to start now. With the absence of a stream of income coming in, the remaining money in your bank account, your emergency fund, and your severance pay will eventually disappear.
Be a wise steward of what you currently have. In other words, this may not be the best time to go on a tropical vacation just because you now have the time off from work.
Having a budget written down will help you stay on track and keep yourself accountable concerning your goals.
Simplify Your Life
As you are working on your budget, you may have some hard decisions. What are my needs? What are my wants?
It is obvious that during these lean times, you need to focus on needs over wants. But it may be necessary to ask yourself more than once if a need is truly a need. Discuss with your spouse, or ask a trusted friend to give you objective advice.
It’s quite freeing when you realize that many of your so-called needs are actually wants that you can live without.
Save With Coupons
One obvious way to stretch your dollar is with couponing. And if you are a regular reader of this site, I don’t think I have to convince you that couponing will allow you to get those basic necessities for less money. If you’ve been out of practice with couponing, get out your scissors, warm up your printer, and start studying those store ads.
Search for Other Sources of Income
Our period of unemployment occurred in the beginning of the holiday shopping season. This was tough for us, as parents, because we knew we wouldn’t be able to get gifts for our children. We prayed for God to provide, and we realized that He already did. There were unused gift cards in my wallet and unspent reward dollars from various stores.
In the end, not only were we able to purchase gifts for our children, but we were also able to give to friends and other family members.
Have you considered other potential sources of income? Perhaps you can collect items and bring them to the recycling center for a small profit. Or a baking hobby can turn into a small business. Or maybe it’s time to break open the piggy bank. Get creative, and think outside the box.
Have you ever been in a season of unemployment? What have you done to make ends meet?
Ai is a follower of Christ, a wife, and a homeschooling mother of 4. She loves to spend time with her family, savoring every moment that she has with them. One great lesson in life is that everything is a gift, whether money or time or food or shelter or relationships. She blogs about making the most of the gifts that we have at Less to More.