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How to survive being laid off work

Updated on June 19, 2022
brightforyou profile image

Retired counselor, 341 short stories published by FSU. I have 4 sons, love sharing photography, writing, love travel, sunshine, sea & Grace.

Use your computer to make an income:

Hubpages is a great website if you like blogging and where you can also generate revenue.

Sell on eBay: It's easy to learn and you can start off by selling things around your home, then progress to garage sales/estate sales… look for a bargain and resell.

Sell books on This is another good way to make residual income. I had no idea just how much money can be made in selling used books and it's easy to spot a First Edition book: Just look on the publisher's page and look for a full number run starting at 1 (for example 12345678910 is a first edition).

These books can be found at Goodwill, garage or estate sales, Church bring-and-buys etc. It's easy to find a rare book which can bring you big money. For example, did you know that the first (hard and soft back) Harry Potter books are worth $100's; you can earn big money selling books if you put in the time.

Complete online surveys: If you put in the time, you can make money and also be entered into sweepstakes for cash prizes.

Other ways to make some cash :

Offer to do odd jobs for your elderly neighbors for a fee, or start a lawn service, house-painting service, house-cleaning service or car wash service. Other ideas are to offer a car-ride service for those who prefer not to drive, or a shopping service, babysitting, pet-sitting, house-sitting, plant care or garden maintenance...Be creative.

Sell/consign clothes: Most of us have closed we haven't used or will never use again - most of us have a wardrobe full of items barely worn.

Be creative and wise when shopping for expensive items:

Shop online for most things, other than groceries. You can avoid taxes that way. The online outlet stores offer huge discounts on all products. Plus, you can find free shipping and coupons on top of the low prices and no sales tax! If you are clever, you can buy cheap and resell.

There are a large number of websites which offer the daily deals, and some have good cash-back incentives. ( or ebates, edeals). To find more go to and type in the name of the online retail store and ask for coupon/promo codes. There are many excellent sites such as,, smartbargains etc.

Car payments and fuel tips:

If you are paying high monthly car payments, be prepared to sell a car for a smaller, more fuel efficient and older model (you can upgrade once you get back on your feet). Drive at a steady, lower speed which cuts down on fuel. Turn off the air unless absolutely necessary as this also burns fuel.Walk more or cycle. Its good for you and you'll save on fuel and parking costs.

Save hundreds on your energy bills:

  • Change your a/c settings: Higher in the heat and lower in the cold.
  • Have quicker showers.
  • Lower the temperature of your water heater.
  • Only use the dishwasher when full or wash by hand.
  • Only use clothes washer when you have a full load.
  • Hands wash as much as you can.
  • Cut down on Dryer use. Dry towels, jeans and heavy items outside on a washing line or in the garage.

Money-saving phone plans:

Get off your phone plan and onto a pay-as-you-go plan such as:

Virgin Mobile, AT&T Prepaid, Net10, T Mobile Prepaid ~ you can see the top 10 best pre-paid options here.

Safelink offers a free phone and gives you approx. 150 free minutes monthly ~ if you qualify through disability or low income. You can purchase more minutes at a discounted rate.

Skype is great if you have a computer. You can contact friends in the same state, nationwide or overseas, as well as video conferencing for free (great for the armed forces, and for anyone with family all over the world).

Skype-to-go is an excellent phone service for really great low rates. You don't need a computer and you can phone any landline nationally and overseas. I use it all the time to phone my friends overseas who don't have computer access...and I've saved a fortune!

Magic Jack costs $39.99 to purchase the Jack which attaches to your computer. You need internet access and then your phone charges for local and long-distance is $19.99 for a whole year.

Shop for clothes wisely:

Buy clothes in the 75% off season change sales. These are usually cheaper than consignment and new. Look for seasonal change when the stores slash prices dramatically. Shop on the days when they have an added bonus such as holiday specials discounts. Make sure you are on the shopping mail list; many of the large stores send out coupons and money-saving discounts in the mail.

Supermarket shopping:

Buy foods which have been greatly reduced in price because they are going out of date, be sure to freeze or eat them within a day or two. Usually the date is a guideline and the food is absolutely fine.

Clip coupons from the weekend newspaper, magazines, online, stores and buy sale items, buy one get one free, stock up on special savings items - you can cut your grocery bill by more than half this way. Start a support group at home. Read more. Take up a new philosophy/religion/find purpose.

To cut down on sugar intake and stretch your dollar, juices are just as good watered down and re-bottled. You can make your own bottled water - keep them in the fridge, wash and refill.


Stay in with a movie rather than go out to the movies. Invite friends around for board game evenings - buy cheaper wine/beer. Have 'bring your own' evenings where each person brings a food course and/or bottle. You local movie theater offers free films for the kids in the summer. Click on this link to get a free movie ticket in your area.

Vacation ideas:

Have a "stay-cation". Its amazing how much more tourists enjoy where we live! If you can't afford to go away for a vacation, act as though you were vacationing in your own hometown. You don't need to spend much and you will be amazed how much fun you can have.

Cruises are a really great deal for the whole family as children often travel free. You kids are entertained by the staff for most of the day, so it's a good deal all around. Great cruise deal websites include: (they have the lowest prices and don't charge any booking fees) and cruiseonly.

Don't forget to check out the airline companies you have mileage with. They often sell cruises and you can get miles for taking a cruise. (I got 20,000 sky miles with Delta on my last cruise using delta skymiles cruises).

All of the above companies offer a price match guarantee (which means if you find the cruise you booked for a lower price anywhere else, you get back the difference ~ some even offer a 110%).

Stimulate your mind:

Learn something new ~ you could end up being paid for your services. There are literally hundreds of free online courses; for example, itunes has a free University. has free online courses. There are many opportunities free opportunities for learning some of which include certified courses - including a new language to add to your skill set.


1. Budget : How much do you need to survive weekly/monthly for the next 3/6 months? If you have a Laid-off lump sum, savings, residual income, this will be your budget. If not, then you'll have to get creative.

2. Sign on : Don't be proud. You'll get a small income. Job Centers offer support, training, counseling and work.

3. Be aware of what you are entitled to. You may get help with rent/mortgage payments (depending on your local city/state laws). You may quality for a government grant.

4. Keep your medical insurance: If you can afford it, pay Cobra for your continued medical insurance. At this time the government is paying 65% of your Cobra payments. If necessary, you can get food stamps, Medicaid, free counseling both financial and emotional.

5. Prioritize Debt:

*If you are making mortgage payments these need to come first.
*Next fuel costs and house taxes.
* Unsecured Loans
* Credit Cards
* Store/catalog cards

6. Stay in a routine: Get up every weekday at the same time as when you were working. Eat breakfast, Lunch and Evening Meal (sounds simple, but it's very easy to lie in bed, skip meals, get stuck on TV, the Internet, poor me and eventually depression.

7. Stay busy: Job Hunt, Volunteer: Meals on Wheels, Hospitals/Hospices have many opportunities to serve, get out of the house and meet other people who are worse off.

Read to the blind, help the old folk in your neighborhood, help out at the local animal shelter/humane society, become a Big Brother/Big Sister, and help out at the local soup kitchen.

8. Get out of the house: Talk to people. If you're feeling low this can be nipped in the bud by a friendly chat. Don't let rejection get you down. Making the effort will eventually pay off.

9. Be persistent in your job search: You never know when a company may need your exact skills.

10. Work a humble job: If necessary, just to keep the 'wolf from the door.' Supermarkets are usually always looking for staff.

11. Can you retrain ? There is a government incentive of over $5,000 for anyone willing to retrain - plus if you qualify, your education will be free with Pell grants and FASFA. Research all applicable free educational government grants and buy the book 'Grant writing for Dummies' then write off for all grants that apply to you.

12. Is relocation an option? Certain parts of the country/world may have more employment opportunities for your skill set. If you are free to travel, it may be an exciting opportunity for you to start over.

13. Become an entrepreneur: Start your own home-based business. Find out what the start-up costs are, (do you need to purchase inventory, how long before you start to see income etc).

14. Do not cash in your 401k (or any other retirement plans ): Whenever possible, it pays to keep your 401k and try to survive by becoming creative using some of the ideas in this hub.

15. Take up a new hobby: Not only will this keep you amused and occupied, but it could end up making you some money or become a business opportunity. Here are some ideas: Bake, paint, draw, sing, dance, basket weaving, gardening (offer your services in the neighborhood), handyman, dog walk/sit, house/plant sit, Yoga.

16. Learn to play a musical instrument: Do something you've always wanted to do now you have the time: guitar/piano/any musical instrument.

17. Stay positive: We never know what's just around the corner.

Good luck everyone ~ I hope these tips help you thrive and become creatively abundant!


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