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10 Things To Do After a Job Loss

This is not the post that was supposed to be published today.  In fact, I actually missed Monday’s post altogether.  Instead, one of the unthinkables has happened in our little world, and we are reeling a bit.  The Man has experienced a job loss.

Have you just suffered a job loss? So have we. It's an unnerving time, but there are practical things we can do to weather the storm. Read to find out several ideas for action steps to take that will ease the worry and promote progress.It’s not one of the HUGE unthinkables, like a terminal diagnosis or the death of a child, but it’s still one of those things that you try not to let enter into your mind as a possibility, due to the scariness of the thought.  But sometimes it happens; and it has just happened to us.  The dream job, the job that was going to get us out of debt and onto the path toward financial stability, is no more.

And I am still a bit numb.  Sleep is a welcome forgetfulness, waking up brings the reality of no income and huge debt slamming back into my mind.  I obviously don’t have many answers yet.  And it’s hard to be motivated to do much of anything right now.  But in the interests of healing and progress, I’ve put together some ideas for what to do about this job loss situation.

What do you do when you have experienced a job loss?

First, you cry.  For hours.  Maybe into and through the night.  Is God on His throne?  Yes.  Do we understand He has allowed this in His goodness for our best and His glory?  Certainly.  But still you cry (well, I do, anyway), grieving at the death of dreams, and because it hurts and you don’t understand and you can’t see how it will go from here.

The next morning you sit up and begin to take stock.  It’s do or die time, now.  Forget about no spend month, this is a little bigger than that.  Let’s talk about no spend LIFE until there is income from a new job (or jobs, as necessary) to pay the bills.

Here are some specific things I’ve thought of that we will need to do.  If you are going through a job loss, perhaps you can find some action points that will fit your own situation.

1) Total up every bit of money we have on hand.  Bring out the emergency fund and all of the cash for the other savings goals we had started working towards.  Figure out how much is left in the bank after paying this month’s bills.  A total for all this will give us a ballpark idea for how long we can look for a career-related job before he needs to start flipping burgers or stocking shelves.

2) Find ways to decrease ALL of the bills.  That might mean cutting off data on the cell phones.  Lowering the thermostat to chilly.  Decreasing our internet speed.  Stopping guitar lessons for awhile.

3) Call the credit card companies to ask for reduced payments for awhile.  We have no intention of trying to “settle” our debt.  To us, integrity demands that we pay for ALL of what we borrowed.  But asking for forbearance — reduced or postponed payments over a predetermined period of time — is definitely worth a try.

4) Start practicing extreme meal planning.  Yes, this is meal planning month on the blog, and every Friday we will still be discussing that.  But now I must not just remain consistent with meal planning, I also need to really pay attention to how much each meal is costing us.  We will need to eat more beans and rice and other CHEAPO meals.  I may have to give up the clean eating for awhile and just go for low cost.  I need to lower the grocery budget even further than it has already been.

5) Put together a “lean burn” budget.  This is a budget with NO extra padding.  NO “fun” money.  NO savings for Christmas or other wants.  NO eating out or extra trips to the store.  We had started to enjoy some of those things recently… it’s time to tighten that belt back up again.

6) Brainstorm job ideas.  Anything is fair game at this point.  Start flinging our pole into the job “pond” — as many poles as possible, actually — and see which one gets bites.

7) Re-visit the idea of my working outside the home.  This is something we have resisted to this point, after an attempt several years ago that caused more problems than it solved.  But maybe it will need to be a temporary reality.

8) Get the taxes filed ASAP.  That refund will come in handy to pay bills.  The more wiggle room we have until the money is gone, the better.

9) Look around the house for what we can sell.  Again, trying to build that cash cushion.

10) Increase our efforts in areas that are already making some money, so as to increase the income from them.  For us that would be this blog. For others it may be an MLM they are already doing, or babysitting, or dog-walking…  Take that side hustle you’ve been playing with and start getting serious about it.

11) (Came up with this one AFTER doing the title and image and everything else; consider it a bonus 🙂 ) Discuss lowering the price of the house.  Then we could maybe get it finally sold and downsize to a rental that would cost less per month.  All radical options MUST be considered when you are in danger of bleeding out!

Any others you can tell me that I haven’t thought of?  Any ideas are welcome at this point.  The brain might be a little foggy due to feeling a bit overwhelmed

Oh y’all, I am not succeeding very well at being strong through this.  It has been building up for several months, and so I am weak and weary from the emotional roller coaster.  And yet a new war — the job search, and the struggle to keep up financially — is just beginning.

But this job loss will give me a new opportunity here on the blog.  In future posts we will be getting down to the nitty gritty of survival mode.  If you’re in that spot, too, then let’s do this together!  Sign up for emails in the sidebar.  Comment below.  Follow me on Facebook and/or Pinterest and/or Twitter.  Let me know you’re there… and together we can face the financial storm, fight the  discouragement battles, and work on clawing our way out of the morass of debt.  It may take awhile, but we won’t be alone.  Are you with me?

About the author

Ann Karako

Ann has been homeschooling for 20+ years and has graduated four children (one more to go). She believes that EVERY mom can CONFIDENTLY, COMPETENTLY -- and even CONTENTEDLY -- provide the COMPLETE high school education that her teen needs. Ann's website, AnnieandEverything.com, offers information, resources, and virtual hugs to help homeschool moms do just that. 

Ann has written Cure the Fear of Homeschooling High School: A Step-by-Step Manual for Research & Planning and Save Your Sanity While Homeschooling High School: Practical Principles for a Firm Foundation. She also founded the popular Facebook group called It's Not that Hard to Homeschool High School, which now has over 27K members; and recently she started the It's Not That Hard to Homeschool High School Podcast.

She and her family, including two dogs and three cats, live in rural Missouri.

16 Comments

  • My family has been in this position before, too. One thing we did that really helped was to use bartering. My husband chopped firewood for a farmer friend in exchange for frozen beef. I baby sat for a woman who raised chickens, and she paid me in eggs.

    • Thanks, Deb! Prayers are ALWAYS appreciated. God is already showing us many things about why this is happening, and so we will continue to trust and obey. 🙂

  • Here in Vineland there is a site called Free cycle. People post items that they are giving away, and you can also sign up to receive emails when something new is posted. We picked up an office chair, a big box of books and some potting soil. Maybe there is something like this in your area? Never know, something you need might turn up there.

  • I’ve only been a subscriber for a couple of weeks, but I will be praying for y’all! Don’t forget to continue your daily intake of God’s word – maybe even use the ‘extra’ time in the morning/evening to read together as a couple or even as a family.

  • I am with you! I lost my job (and thus we lost half of our income) almost exactly one year ago – February 6, 2015! I was 9 months pregnant at the time, had just lost my dad to lung cancer, and would give birth to a critically ill baby 3 short weeks later. But we survived! And you will too! Your list of things to do is great, stay on top of them and get it all done! Stay strong! Is unemployment on option? What about monetizing your blog? Sending lot’s of love and positive thoughts your way!! <3 <3 <3

    • It’s so encouraging to know that you are looking back from a year’s time and can say you made it! Hopefully we will, too! Thanks for all the good vibes, Erin!! 🙂

  • I remember as a child my dad had several periods of redundancy due to the contractual nature of his work. Everything would tighten up when he was off work, no vacations, store-brand food etc. But I’m really grateful for this lesson because I reminded me that we didn’t really need all those things we cut back on they were surplus.

    • So true, Rebecca! It’s at times like this that you realize what is most important, which is always a good reminder. Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

  • Praying for you and your family. As a single homeschooling parent managing on a low income has certainly been part of our journey. One source of reliable, well compensated work is tutoring. Not with a company, however. If interested, let everyone you know that you will be offering these services. This has allowed me the freedom to continue homeschooling.

  • Came across your blog today. Thx for words of encouragement. On medical leave theb recieved notice my job was going to be eliminated. After 18+ years. What a journey I will be on for a while.

    • Oh, I’m sorry, Loretta. Yes, we are still on our own journey. Although my husband has found a new job, the pay is very low for the several months he is in training — so we are still in recovery mode… but you are on the right track by doing research! Hang in there! 🙂

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I’m Ann (aka Annie), a veteran homeschool mom of five. I believe YOU can do this homeschool high school thing!
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