This is in regards to the "Potential Layoff" article. I was in that same position a few years back when my company was bought out. At first we thought our department was safe and then later we found out that my department was "small beans" and would not be asked to stay.
I agree with all of the suggestions about cutting back early, downsizing your unused items, etc., but there was one thing not mentioned that we did when I knew I would lose my job. I contacted the credit card companies and the mortgage company to see about getting "unemployment/death/disability insurance." I paid extra with each payment every month, but when the time came, I didn't have these bills to pay for six months. That freed up our money to use on other essentials (or make extra payments on the bills if we could), especially since I was pregnant with our second child and my husband's insurance alone would only cover 80%. When my unemployment benefits ended, I dropped the extra insurance.
My husband is in a position where he cannot be laid off for the duration of his apprenticeship so we were not worried about his job. He is almost finished with his apprenticeship, however, and we are again looking into getting the extra insurance to cover if we need it. The extra I paid every month was well worth not having a payment for six months.
Here is another thing you might want to consider. In the event that it is needed, this type of insurance may prevent you from going into serious debt or losing your house. The various insurance programs had different rules about how to qualify, so it's best to check as early as you can. Of course, the best scenario is no debt, but until you reach that magical moment, it's best to be prepared.
"My Story" is a regular feature of The Dollar Stretcher. If you have a story that could help save time or money please send it to MyStory@stretcher.com
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