August 02, 2011

Advice Needed for the Unemployed

What happens when you have done everything to cut back and still, your expenses are more than your income?

I have an e-mail address for my blog and I have been contacted my individuals who have said that they are going through unemployment and they have cut back to the bone on their expenses, but still are short money every month. When I say cut back, they have shared with me what they have done and I can say emphatically, yes, they have cut back to the bare bone.

The only seeming answer is to bring in more income which is easier said than done these days. If you were in this situation, how would you bring in around $300 to $500 more in a month?  This is something that is becoming more and more common. 

This is a priority for me to help these individuals as more and more people are finding themselves in this situation and the rest of us could easily find ourselves in this situation too. 

7 comments:

Granny said...

We're retired and our income isn't going as far as it used to be. We've started listing items we no longer need on craigslist to sell.

Kris Watson said...

I have sold things on craigslist as well. Getting ready for another round. Had a yard sale last year to pay for my new roof, and got rid of anything I had not touched in a year.

IO am sure many people have done this, but chosing either a cell phone or a home phone saves a lot. I chose home phone and then picked the basic plan, which is less than $10 a month, without long distance.

Of coursee I do not have cable TV.

But the greatest help was definitely the low income program that all of my utilities offer. They set a maximum income level (for a single person, it is $34,000. My annual is $14,000.) You get a flat 20% off your bill. Each utility offers it, including electricity, gas, water, sewer and garbage. And I began practicing extreme conservation skills, such as saving non-soapy shower water and using it to water my front yard beds.

I think what helped most was a mindset change. I started researching The Great Depression. It seems inevitable that we are heading to the same place. I started living like we were there already, even washing and saving aluminum foil.

It's all about creating a miserly mindset! By consciously deciding to be extremely frugal, you feel less like a victim and more like you are in charge of your life.

Phoebe said...

oh goodness. There are a few retail places here in the Raleigh NC area that are hiring part time workers, like Target. Don't know if the hours they'd offer would coincide with what your posters' needs are.
Taking a part time job out of the conversation.
Do they have any items that could go to a consignment shop? used book store? Also craigslist.
Donate plasma? Offer to mow lawns, yard work, run errands, watch children, wash and detail vehicles. Maybe do some cooking for a busy mom that works outside the home. Are they crafty? sell some crafts using supplies they already have on hand so they won't have to spend $$. Yard sales.
Now all of these won't bring in $300 a month but I guess it could possibly help.

Anonymous said...

It would be helpful if you could anonymously list their expenses. Sometimes seeing it in black and white can be very helpful and it would give others the opportunity to share advice too. Just a thought if they are willing for you to post. I know I am a visual person and without knowing their details, it is hard to give advice.

Lyn

Juhli said...

Something people may be reluctant to do but that I have seen work well for others is to get a roommate - or become one. Ask yourself what you have that others would pay money for - sewing or gardening skills, babysitting,etc. It is tough no matter what but more income generally has to be brought in somehow.

Anonymous said...

Hi Martha,
I believe you when you say they have cut back to the bone.
I also agree with Kris Watson and Lyn.
It is a mind set. Post the income and expenses, sometimes writing it down allows you to see things differently. If possible maybe it will be just a small change that will make things easier. Maybe a bigger change might be too hard to examine alone.
Good luck
barb

Rose said...

I am one those that are newly unemployed, and it is definitely impacting our way of life and spending patterns. Just yesterday I called up our insurance to see if we upped the deductible on our cars, how much would we save. $74 over six months. So, $13/mo is not enough for us to worry over. I did go to the store yesterday and today and buy toilet paper, tomato paste, toothpaste (.68/tube), cheese and some lunch meat. I forgot to buy milk. Oh, and I got some fruit on a great sale. I canned some jam today with strawberries and rhubarb from my garden. I also baked bread. Actually, I do enjoy making things from scratch and being in the kitchen, so I that does not feel like a burden. It is mostly our big expenses that hit us, like our fuel bill, pick up payments, taxes and our student loan bill. But I think we will be okay, as long as I can come up with some work and we can cut back on any extras. We are on the level payment plan for our propane and I pay a flat rate every month for electric, regardless of what our bill is. Right now, we need to save for wood pellets to heat our house this winter, and pay property taxes and irrigation.

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