Personal Economy From the Recession and Beyond

U.S. Distribution of Wealth, 2007

By Guest2625 (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
By Guest2625 (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Barack Obama speaks to press in Diplomatic Reception Room 2-25-09

Pete Souza [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Pete Souza [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

I am Watching Dr. Phil Today. The show is about a couple of families that have suffered financially because of the economy.

This is such a relevant topic to me. I am (as I probably said before) laid off from my job for the first time in fifteen years or more. This is a challenge to me in many ways. I have to job hunt, which is something that I don’t have a lot of desire to do. As a middle aged person, I don’t have a lot of confidence in my ability to get hired in a place where I can make a living.

I had to move in with my sister. I am not thrilled about sharing a home at my age. I know that there are some cultures where the family is supposed to live together and support each other, but that is not our country. I feel as though I am missing out on a big part of my life because I’m not able to support myself right now. I feel as though I have lost my personal power.

This is also a challenge to my faith. The faithful side of me really does believe that God will get me through this, but my inner child is afraid that I won’t have a future. I have to fight with all my might to avoid the temptation to curl up in a ball and lie there paralyzed.

I am also a little bit of a material girl. I‘ve had to cut way back. I can’t afford my medicine anymore. My car broke down and I can’t fix it. I was once a bit of a wanderer; now I am almost a total homebody. Life just isn’t the same right now.

Thank God for Dr. Phil. I need some advice on how to look at this in more positive manner. I need to make a list of things to do that will move my life in a forward direction. I need the encouragement.

I am going to finish watching and head straight for his web site. I will work on that list tonight so I can get going. Wish me luck!



Make a Shoebox Budget

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Where I am Now

I first wrote this hub several years ago during one of the most important financial crises of my life. I was laid off from work for approximately 18 months. During that time, I had to struggle with the Unemployment Bureau, I had to take a horrible part-time job, I had to cut way back on everything, and I had to do some really unpleasant things in order to survive.

I have been back to work now for about two years, maybe a little longer. The company I work for has had a remarkable upsurge in work, and I am fortunate to say that my job has become reasonably secure. I'm still staying with my sister, but I was able to buy a new car and to deal with my health issues. This is been a remarkable learning experience for me. So, I want to put a few things in this hub to help people in case we should have future troubles.

How to: Organize Your Home Finances - Creating a Budget

How America's Cheapest Family Lives - part 1

Steve & Annette Economides Video for Speakers Bureaus

How Did You Do?

How did you survive the recession?

  • I had no problem.
  • I struggled through it and survived.
  • I am still homeless and out of work.
  • I quit working by choice. It's not worth the rat race.
  • Other. (Feel free to talk about it in the comment space.
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The Bank

By Post Frame Advantage (www.postframeadvantage.com) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
By Post Frame Advantage (www.postframeadvantage.com) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

The Economy Now

Do you feel that Congress has done enough to pull the economy out of the recession?

  • Yes.
  • No.
  • They are still clueless.
  • The Congress can't help us- we have to help ourselves.
  • I left my opinion in the Comments section.
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Workers unemployed by the freeze in California

About Budgets

One of the things that I learned while I was struggling with unemployment was how important it is to be careful with your money.

Think about it. Newly rich people do not become rich by squandering their resources. This is a fact. Wealth is accrued through saving, hard work, careful planning, and careful investment. If you only make $10, and you squander $10, what you have at the end of the day is nothing.

One of the most important things that we can learn is how to keep track of our money. Increase comes from having more coming in than you have going out. It's a concept that even the non-math thinking person like myself can understand. So what we need to learn is how to budget.

A budget, simply put is something visual that can show us where our money is. It will show us how much we earn and what the source of that earning is. It will show us how much we save and where we saved it, and it will show us how much we spend and what we’re buying. All of these elements have to be present in order for budget to work.

I am no financial wizard. I just barely know enough to survive. So I am offering you a few tips that I do know, and then I would encourage you to browse through the resources that I have offered with the rest of this hub. Check out the links. Watch the video clips. Feel free to comment on any additional tips that you would like to offer. We are all in the learning curve on this one.

Here are the few tips that I do know:

  • You have to know how much you're spending and become aware of where it’s going. Save all your receipts for month. If you have an expense for which you don't get a receipt, write it down on a piece of paper. Make sure you record both the amount and what you spent it on.
  • Also write your income on a slip of paper. Record every cent that you received as well as its source. Also write down income that has gone into a savings and where it is. Remember the goal at the end of the month is to be able to identify the income and the outgo.
  • Another thing you will need is a list of all of your debts. Write down credit card balances, loans, mortgages, and unpaid medical bills. Anybody that you owe money to that you will have to pay eventually should be on your list.
  • Finally, make a list of the things that you wish you had that you haven't been able to buy because you don't have the money. One of the most satisfying things you'll ever be able to do is to buy something that you really, really want after you have saved and scraped and sweated for it. Therefore, when you make up your budget you'll want to set up some of these things as goals to be achieved over a period of time.
  • When you have all these lists together for at least a month, then you need to find a method to create a balanced budget that will help you reach your goal of financial independence (or survival).


I can’t help you with this, but I have attached some web addresses and some videos that have ideas for you. You really should give them a try. I am going to be doing the same and after a while, I'll let you know what I used and how well it worked for me. In the meantime, you will have to do your homework.

Besides the creation of a budget, here are a few other tips for you:

  • Learn from whoever is available to teach you. Get books or watch videos from people like Suzie Orman, Dr. Phil, or the Economedes. If you can't afford them, don't let that stop you. Go to the library or borrow a computer from a friend. Whatever you do, don’t stop learning.
  • Find ways and places to save. Keep pennies in a jar, save your excess change at the end of the day, use your W-4 to create a savings amount with the IRS that you can’t get back until the next year.
  • Don't buy anything on impulse. That may be one of the hardest things of all to do. I know it is for me. If you do, remember that impulse buying has to be part of your financial plan and make sure you record it in your budget.

That's all I have on the subject for now. Good luck to you. But then, not that much of it is really luck is it?

How To Find And Do Work You Love: Scott Dinsmore at TEDxGoldenGatePark (2D)

Home Management / Budget Binder

About Job Hunting and Job Creation

With the downturn in the economy, millions of people lost their jobs. This job loss was no respecter of persons. People who have been working for decades lost jobs that they had since they were young. Young people just entering the workforce either lost their first jobs or were not able to find work it all. People who were wealthy ended up in the street. And while things may be getting better, there are still a lot of homeless and struggling people out there.

I was fortunate. I had help from the employer that let me go. I found the little part-time job for extra income. And I was able to sell some of the things that I did have. While I wasn't exactly in paradise, my family and I were able to keep a roof over our heads, and we had all the necessities.

I'm no expert at job hunting. There is one thing I did learn, however, that I feel it’s important to share.

You have to keep an open mind. Do not refuse work because it doesn't pay enough. The longer you are unemployed, the harder it will be to get someone to hire you. It's a lot easier to get hired if you're already working.

There are also a lot of creative, yet legal, ways to make a living. I know a few people who survived the recession and kept their homes by going dumpster diving. They would take metal that they found to recycling centers that would pay for it. They would repair trash furniture and make found art, both of which they were able to sell for income. I know another person that made a clown suit and hired himself out for children's parties. And I have known writers that have hired themselves out on the lecture circuit, or that have created graphic arts and greeting cards.

The point is that there is always work to be had for anyone that wants it if we can keep the faith and hope alive, and if we can apply some hard work and some creative inspiration.

From homelessness to an executive suite. Make your dreams come true.

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