We've been through a job loss more than once. Here's my list of steps I wish I'd taken before I'd lost my job:
Wish that we had had a larger emergency fund.
Wish that my studies had been more diverse, so that if one field of training didn't pan out, I could have switched to my Plan B.
Wish that we had not incurred stupid credit card debt.
Wish that we had bought a few good quality articles of clothing instead of a ton of cheap stuff. When the cheap stuff reached the end of its useful life and we had no money for replacements, it was a blow to an already bruised ego to be forced to wear obviously tired clothes. I didn't mind outdated. It was the tired, faded ones I could not stand!
Wish that I had discovered The Dollar Stretcher and other frugal sites.
Wish that we had been more frugal even in "times of plenty."
Wish that I had been cured of my aversion to thrift stores! (Thankfully, I got past that, thanks to some wise words from my youngest DD, about 7 at the time.)
And here's a list of the things I'm glad we did before the job loss hit:
Glad that we had always practiced a somewhat frugal lifestyle. When we made the necessary adjustments to our lifestyle, they weren't a huge shock to our systems.
Glad that I learned to sew. I could always whip up a simple little outfit for the girls from my fabric stash. I also made throw cushions, curtains, etc. primarily from fabric that was given to me. During the lean periods, I developed quite a knack for refashioning clothes for myself and the kids.
Glad that I had never cultivated the habit of weekly salon visits for hair and nails. I'd go for a rare haircut as a treat, but everything else I did at home with very good results.
Glad that DH was a trained mechanic. Our cars were old, well maintained, very reliable, and paid for in cash.
Glad that we had deferred buying a home. We would have lost our home during the lean times. It was hard enough dealing with food and the small amount of rent that my mother-in-law charged us. There is no way we could have dealt with large mortgage payments.
Glad that I kept a stash of craft supplies. Sometimes my projects brought in a few dollars, but mostly crafts kept me from losing my mind!
"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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