How to Live After Losing a Job
Thursday, March 27, 2008
More and more people are worrying about losing their jobs - and even though I am a bit more stable nowadays than I was in many years of artistic "freelancing" in which I was ALWAYS losing a job(s) - I thought I would look back on what those years taught me. What DID I DO?
- Sold stuff- I had yard sales and thinned my vintage clothing and costume jewelry collection. I recycled my can and bottle collection when I needed a few bucks for gas. I sold old books to used book stores. I sold anything lying around, like my ex-boyfriend's motorcycle engine. I sold the old junker of a car when I got my new(er) one. I even tried to sell blood (not good at that). You get the idea. You have a lot of $ hanging around in extra stuff, and the only cost to you is your labor - and you will have lots of time on your hands.
- Got funny jobs - I did promotional "modeling" - and handed out coffee and samples. I was a spritz woman in a department store. I sold Mexican flowerpots. Look on craigslist under miscellaneous, and you can pick up $ to supplement your unemployment ins. money.
- Oh - of course - get your unemployment $. Follow the rules. Notice that you can make up to a certain amount and not jeopardize your benefits, only make them string out a little longer...
- What aid do you qualify for? Check out local clinic(s) - food plans. Also see if whatever professional or other organizations you have been a member of can help you out if the going gets really BAD. (I was helped by my church, a local clinic and an artistic organization...)
- What can you now get for free? I was able to qualilfy for free medications through the drug manufacturer of my medication - check out yours.
- Or - get your meds through Walmart's $6 generic program, even if you have to switch meds (many are interchangeable). You can even do this by mail.
- If you need a break - take an inexpensive vacation, like a weekend camping trip. All you really need is a tent - the rest you can fake...
- Make your hobbies pay - I made $ appearing at Ren Faires - which was a bus man's holiday - as I got to camp on the site, too! And they are always in lovely places.
- Do chores for others - I picked up $ ironing once - Maybe you could clean a friend's house - haul something - garden....
- Institute immediate austerity measures and count every penny. Empty the penny jar if necessary. Remember, change is money, too. And don't pay for anything you don't have to. Look for free entertainment - stay home and watch movies on TV -
- Do surveys, sign up for survery research (good up to about age 50, then you are over the hill).
- Write articles for sites like www.associatedcontent.com to make some pocket $ - Good practice and you can say you have been writing, which sounds legit...What do you know about? Share it?
- Teach/tutor. You can do that informally - or though an agency. It helps to have degree(s) for that.
- Babysit?? Mow lawns? (Remember the old days) Cut someone's hair? Turn up a hem or mend???
- You can even go to a pawn shop and take your jewelry and valuables in for "protective custody" for a while until things improve. They only give you 10% of the value - so don't let them keep the stuff - that's how they make $. My instruments used to go in and out. But I always redeemed them.
I hope this will give you some ideas that normally wouldn't occur to the more or less middleclass. But I assure you, go on in the underground economy all the time. Oh, that's another thing - look around and see if there are any "underground economy" outlets (yard sales, sidewalk vendors of organges, swap meets) you can use right now - they are usually a lot cheaper than even Target....
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