In August 2008, my husband lost his job. His employer, due to financial problems brought on by the economic conditions, owed him over four weeks of wages. A check he was paid five weeks earlier had just been returned to our bank as NSF.
I had just sent out our house payments. When his check was returned NSF, it bounced all three payments, four or five others, put us overdrawn 500.00 and all of our bills were now due again.
It is the middle of January, after over 1200 job applications, interviews, phone contacts, endless footwork and networking, he will finally be getting his first 6 day workweek check.
In the meantime, we almost lost three homes, damaged our credit, starved and still trying to survive. These are the steps that we had to do to survive our own personal economic crisis and are currently taking to correct our situation.
Keep in mind his job search as continuous, throughout this whole process. We filed a complaint with Labor commission to try to get wages. (takes five months,moving on). Next he filed for unemployment and was denied because his previous earnings were from self-employment income.
To save our houses (three of them) and our credit, we immediately contacted our mortgage companies and credit union for a work out plan. Consolidated our personal loans into one payment and applied for deferrals. Two of our mortgage companies did a work out, one did not.
Prepared four seperate resumes for more job search options. Sought the guidance of an employment counselor.
We applied for foodstamps, financial and medical, we were starving and we were denied (3 houses) . At this point we used the last of our savings, for bills, food and job searching.
We enrolled the kids in the school breakfast and lunch program so they could eat and made sure they were up on time to get to school and eat so we would only have to worry about dinner and days off meals.
We completely changed our food menu and shopping habits, everything including bread was to be homemade. We had to feed four of us on $200.00 per month and sometimes less (bulk chicken saved us).
Took any temp jobs and worked on bills with the money. We rented out part of our driveway for $50.00 a month, as trailer storage and family for side work. We went through every item in the house, (unused,unattached to) and sold some online for bill money (four-wheeler, car etc.). Our fourteen year old son, solicited work from the community to help.
Signed up online to try to make money at two sites, one Helium.com, the other google adsense. We put houses up for sale for exactly what is owed to save from foreclosure. Informed my ex his kids were starving and going to be homeless, in order to get him to pay child support. We then got shut-off notices. The utilities made payment arrangement and we recieved a HEAT program benefit.
We played yatzee as a family for some family time.
Found JOB YEAHHHHHH. Worked one week, and this company lays off everyone and plant shuts down. My husband began CRYING in front of everyone. Makes us all cry. Everyone pulls together and tries to be positive.
We were desperate, no food or money, so we sold a family heirloom for less than it was worth for food and to make the utility payment. Cried for a week about it and still haven’t told my dad.
We played with kids sledding, laughed a lot and had a great time. We were praying a lot.
We got a couple of more temp jobs. We had to put the cats online because we couldn’t afford to feed them either.
For thanksgiving, ourextended family brought all of the food up to our house, we hosted and they provided the meal. They kindly feft us with the extra food, to help us out.
Nailed a great interview, called for a second YES!
Our family begins to crack under pressure, husband, wife and kids begin to argue and blame each other for no reason. It was close to Christmas, feeling extra stress anyways, for not being able to provide the basic needs and just a general feeling of being inadequate. Had a nervous breakdown in December, vented on craigslist rant section, to avoid family conflicts.
Two days before Christmas, my husband got a job. He worked one day. Then his employer gave everyone two weeks off for the holidays real work to start up Jan 2. Got the job YES! Job search continues (just in case).
Found Christmas for the kids on Craigslist in the free section. We got a free turkey and 30 dollar gift card from a generous couple that works for America West Airlines. Words can never express how grateful, we were, Thanks for picking my family and the extra’s you so kindly sent to my kids. Otherwise, my kids would not have had a single thing and we would not have had Christmas dinner.
Like I said, here we are in January, we have an offer on one of the houses (at a loss). We’re still broke. We have jobs and we have each other, our love- we WILL be all right. Somehow or the other, this too shall pass. If you stay focused and together, you will survive.