Whether you are laid off from your job without advance warning, or sales at the business you own come to a screeching halt, it can be a quite a shock to discover that you suddenly have no money coming in.
In our case, the recent manufacturing recession affected my husband's business as a designer in the plastics industry. For the previous six years, he had never been without work, and he made enough money as sole breadwinner to keep our family of six comfortable. Then one day, the work stopped. His clients had nothing for him; in fact, many were laying off their own people.
At first, he continued to write himself a paycheck each week, but as it became obvious that no work was on the horizon, he stopped. He needed to keep enough money in reserve to pay taxes and health insurance. We would need to live off of our savings.
It would be six months before my husband would find more work, and during that time, we learned to take our already frugal lifestyle to the next level. For example:
Then there were the things we didn't do:
After six months, the work started to trickle in. It still hasn't bounced back to where it once was, but our habits have kept us in good shape. Looking back, I can see that living frugally during the good years really helped us get through the tough times later on.
Three things stand out in my mind as being especially helpful.
It's easy to live large while work is plentiful and checks turn up in the mail on a regular basis. But living frugally, even in the good times, is the key to surviving the dry spells that may eventually arrive.
Barbara Frank is a freelance writer/editor, and the author of Life Prep for Homeschooled Teenagers , a curriculum that prepares teenagers for the adult world with assignments that emphasize traditional values and financial know-how. For more information, visit www.cardamompublishers.com.
Take the Next Step
Sign up for our free eNewsletter Dollar Stretcher for Parents.
Looking for an answer to a frugal living question? Click here to ask a
Dollar Stretcher Stretchpert!
Copyright 1996 - 2013 "The Dollar Stretcher, Inc." All rights reserved unless specifically noted.
Contact the Dollar Stretcher at:
PO Box 14160
Bradenton FL 34280
"The Dollar Stretcher, Inc." does not assume responsibility for advice given. All advice should be weighed against your own abilities and circumstances and applied accordingly. It is up to the reader to determine if advice is safe and suitable for their own situation.