After my job loss in April 2009, my family went into conservation mode immediately. Even though I thought that I’d find another job in a few weeks, or a couple of months at the most, we really started saving from the beginning. I think that mentality up front has set the tone for what has become our long stint without regular income. Along the way, I’ve been able to find enough projects to keep us out of bankruptcy.
I was lucky enough to have been given a generous severance when I left my previous employer, but it has long since run out. Financial experts have touted for years to have at least six months of savings in reserve for just such as occasion. Fortunately, I heeded the advice years ago and had built up about a year’s worth of savings, which we are subsisting off of now.
Unemployment checks each week help sustain our bill payment, making the savings account last longer. Four of them each month are enough to pay our house bill, which is much appreciated. Yet, we still have to eat. We still have to run the heat in the winter. There are car payments and insurance and various other fees that continue to accumulate each and every month that need to be paid.
I’ve thought several times about starting my own IT consulting business, but I don’t have enough business contacts to offer my services. Fortunately, I have a good friend named Chris. He runs his own accounting practice and has been generous in mentioning my technical talents to some of his clients. I’ve been lucky enough to perform some computer work for three of them from time-to-time. Those paychecks help subsidize paying bills.
I’m no longer opposed to contract positions. They have become more attractive the longer I search. Yet, I still long for a full-time career to save us.
If you are out of work I wish you the best of luck on your job search. If you have a job, please take my advice and save one year’s worth of expenses, if you can. As always, feel free to post a comment to our readers when you have something to share.
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