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Tips For Surviving a Layoff

The day my husband was laid off was terrifying for both of us. I'm not sure about him, but I envisioned our family living in a cardboard box, eating beans out of a can under a bridge down by the river.

Since then, God has shown us that he supplies our every need, and my faith has grown tremendously.

We have learned a lot about surviving a layoff since those first days. Here are a few tips for those who might be going through something similar:

  • Friends matter. We have had help from so many friends during this time. Old friends from high school, new friends from blogging, local friends, and friends from as far away as Australia. Friends have sent diapers, food, gas cards, and more. The part-time jobs my husband is working now are from friends. Let your friends know you need help!
  • Take any honest job that is offered. My husband has cleaned out abandoned rental property, stripped the paint from fences, climbed onto roofs, and worked in the oil fields. I have accepted extra writing assignments and increased my advertising and affiliate efforts. Every little bit of money we earn is just that much more toward paying our bills. Look outside your field of expertise and let your friends know you are willing to take on any work.
  • Cut back all unnecessary expenses. Our kids haven't perished because we cut out gymnastics, new swim suits, and going out to eat. Eliminating fast food and extra-curricular activities has allowed us to keep current on our bills.
  • Stay home. We have not only saved on gas, but have also avoided the temptation to buy stuff we don't need. So many friends sent or brought food and toiletries to us, that we rarely needed to go to a store during this layoff period. We have tried to make the best use of what we have been given without supplementing. This has been a challenge, but we have definitely spent far less than we used to by staying home.

What tips would you add for surviving a financial crisis?

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  1. I got this from Dave Ramsey…take care of your four walls first, then if there is money leftover, appropriate it to other bills. Your four walls include food, shelter, transportation, and clothing (if necessary). Then if you have money to pay all of the rest of your bills after that, then move right ahead. If you don’t divide the remaining money equally amongst the remaining bills. So this means you probably won’t make a full payment, but you will make something. You can also let them know what’s going on. Also, try having a garage sale or sell some items that you don’t need anyways.


  2. This is a great series even for those who have not had to endure a job loss. It will prepare them if it should occur. I’m taking heed, and saving all the money I can. I’ve written out a plan of action in case that happens. Resumes have been updated, unnecessary expenses have been targeted to be dropped at the moment it would happen. I have a plan, that’s half the battle.

  3. Love this: “Cut back all unnecessary expenses.”

    I have so many friends who have a messed-up view of what “unnecessary” means. They vent about not having money for the power bill by updating their Facebook status from their smartphone while watching cable television. Or, talk about how they need God to provide grocery money after they just got finished with a mani and a pedi.

    Geez… that sounds like I don’t love my friends but I DO! I just know that when you have a limited budget, you have to be real about what is necessary and what is not. When our family reached a very financially stressful point, we eliminated everything including our pets. To this day, we have only one TV in our home (that uses an antenna), no smart phones, no bells, no whistles because we realized during that time how much money we were wasting.

  4. Yes, we’ve survived a job crisis in the past too, and although hubby’s employed now we’re working for a ministry where the income is much less. And it’s worth it! Not only are we all see it’s just fine to survive with much less, we also see the importance of giving to things of eternal value and that being part of this ministry is much more important than any income we ever made in the past.

    My biggest advice is to pray with your children for specific, urgent needs on a regular basis – it is such a faith-builder to see God answer prayers in very tangible ways with true needs. Like when we lived up north and owned a snowplow business – every time it snowed my kids were thanking God for answering their prayer!!! (I wouldn’t mind a little snow right now :)

  5. michelle h. says:

    I agree with Gwen! When we “seek the kingdom first” God always supplies what we need. We’ve been able to raise a family on very modest income from being in the ministry. We always had what we needed (not necessarily every want!) and our faith grew. May Giod continue to bless your family and meet your every need.

  6. Good tips! I have learned to lean on God, more than ever before!


  7. People and family are more understanding of the downturn today. Back in 2001 when my husband lost his job (dot com crash) he was unemployed for 2.5 years. Our families laughed at us. Called us white trash and said we were stupid and morons for being broke. Nice.

    If it wasn’t for the kindness of complete strangers and a few close friends, we never would have made our way back up.

    Today, it is quite common to be out of work for more than 2 years. In fact, some family members have been unemployed for 3 years with no hope in sight. Watch how you treat people because what you reap, ye will sow.

    If it weren’t for the love and guidance of God and Jesus, who never once abandoned us, we wouldn’t be here today.

    Keep the faith.

  8. Last year when we struggled, I started up an egg delivery business. We had 14 laying hens, sold 5 dozen eggs at $4.00 per dozen each week and made $80.00 a month. 😉