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Rethink how to live when you lose your job.

Updated on May 12, 2014

No money, no job and the bills are piling up.

Ok, no way to pay even the electricity and put gas in the car. I lost the job because I made a mistake. The boss in this environment can get someone fairly easy, and the boss does have a bottom line. So, I am unemployed, no unemployment benefits. Bad. Bad. Bad.

After three months in this situation, I decided to do some things.

I followed up on every job lead from day one, anything I could possibly do, part time or full time. I stopped all payments to everyone. I applied for all benefits I could qualify for. Ended up with two broke down cars, family bought a great running older van for the family. A couple thousand in family help and I finally was able to land a job.

Sold everything and accepted charity help.

Local interfaith agency kept the lights on. Ended up with a couple hundred a month in food stamps. Sold things on Craig's List. Yard sales and sold some scrap gold.

Mortgage and car gas, keeping the lights on.

So, went to the bank and explained the situation, we have a great track record with them, so they gave us some time on the house loan. Scrambled to keep the lights on, and scraped the bottom of the barrel to get gas in the van.

I am working now, 28 hours a week.

I am working, fewer hours, but proud to be making money. No money for several credit cards we owe. Can't pay all these bills, so, what to do?

We made some really hard choices.

We didn't stop giving to the church, it's that important to us. So we give our 10%, and we put 10% away for savings. Now we are paying the rest.

Church

Savings

Electric

Phone

Mortgage

Car gas

If we have something left we pay on bank payments first then credit cards. We owe this money, and we ran up these bills. We are trying to keep the house, if we can.

Now the hard climb back up out of the hole.

While we continue to try to get more income, we are battening down even more on expenses. Things are getting better. Just really slow. We haven't been sued yet, by the credit card companies, but it's just a matter of time. We are talking to the bank, partial payments on the mortgage are really helping us to get the extra time we need to keep the house. I am talking to everyone else, one time each week, no point in telling them I can't pay every day. So I take any and all calls on Monday, about credit cards. the rest of the week I don't answer. I have to tell them something. I do still have a bankruptcy I can file, hoping not to use it yet.

You can only do what you can only do.

I am way better off than some, I have family help, church help, community help, and a low standard of living. I'm in rural Tennessee, so that helps. I also have a low budget life style, no one smokes, or drinks, and my hobbies are reading and online. So we are under a roof and the lights are on, and I have gas in the car, for today. I am so thankful, to God, and to all those that have helped me to work this through.

I follow up on EVERY job lead, and social program I qualify for.

Anything and everything. We have seven people in our home, and we need to use everything available. No lead is unexplored, jobs, or help.

The major paradigm shift, for me, is pay the family first.

My credit is crashing down, and I won't have a way to repair anything, or allow for sudden expenses. So, the old 'save 3 to 6 months expenses in an emergency fund', teaching is still true. I didn't do this before the job loss, and it is costing me ,big time, now. Pay the family before you pay anything else, then work out the rest. My sad story would have been a little less sad if I had done this before.

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