My Story: Before Job Loss

contributed by Timmi Proverbs

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My Story: Job Loss Lessons

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Preparing for Layoff

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 I didn't mind outdated.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

Take the Next Step:

  • Don't be in denial. If you feel that your job maybe at risk, have a contingency plan. Learn more about preparing for a layoff.
  • Stop struggling to get ahead financially. Subscribe to our free weekly Surviving Tough Times newsletter aimed at helping you 'live better...for less'. Each issue features great ways to help you stretch your dollars and make the most of your resources. Subscribers get a copy of Are You Heading for Debt Trouble? A Simple Checklist And What You Can Do About It for FREE!

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