What to do if you suddenly lost your income

Apr 1, 2018 | Income, Living with Less | 20 comments

Have you suddenly lost your income? Well first you might”stress” But don’t be anxious. Change can lead to resourcefulness and to think outside the box. You can change your situation!

Tell me this – did worry ever change a situation? Well if you think it can – I want you to stop and try this. Try as hard as you can to worry. You might have a little smile – but it’s true – people try to solve a problem by worrying first. Particularly us Girls! But – it certainly isn’t a good strategy to use. So let’s press further on for much, much better strategies.

It can be stressful to lose a job for any reason or if your business does a downturn for quite a variety of reasons. But look at solving the problem – not being enmeshed in it.

You have suddenly lost your income so

First – Do some Evaluating

First of all:

  • Consider your position.
  • Do you have debt? Large or small?
  • Have you any savings?
  • When is your mortgage or rent due next?
  • Commit to paper an evaluation of where you stand. How soon will you need to pay bills?
  • Who do you need to contact if you need to put bill-paying off for a bit.
  • Are there ways of earning income you haven’t even thought of?
  • What cash do you have access to or who could you borrow from if things were really difficult?
  • What items can you sell that you currently have in your household that you no longer need or can do without?

Don’t be anxious

One of my favorite Scriptures in unexpected hard times is Phil. 4:6 “Don’t be anxious about anything”. It is wonderful Wisdom to commit to heart. Instead, think of what may be next in your life’s journey. What you can learn from the situation and how you can plan your next step to make right and/or change the situation. You’ve got this sister!

Take a long hard look at your “Expenses”.

This is my first thought when coming into an acute situation.

I was in charge of finances for 8 years for our home-based Business. We used no over-draft which was a saving. The Accountant said we spent 2 of those years on the poverty line. We however amazingly were able to be very generous with our finances to help others. Actually extremely. One-tenth of our income was also given to our Church and also donations as well. We also supported children through Primary School in India. All on the poverty line.

My best business advice is “tell the money where to go rather than wonder where it went”. Yes do keep account of your finances so you can see where the “holes” are. I do so even today in my household finances.  I use Neil Rothman’s free True Budget Spreadsheet (I notice he has an update) The link comes with 14 other free ones which you might try if you want something different. I like Neil’s because of how it updates all your monthly expenses at the same time and shows your budget whether over or under. It has a yearly summary as well. Once you set up it to how you want it – you are good to go from year to year. Just save as the New year each time. It would take me about 5 minutes per week to enter up any receipts and accounts I have paid. It gives you a bit of a pull – not to spend so you don’t have to enter up any “bookwork”.

See what expenses you need to “change”.

One item that contributes to a high expense is food and what you spend is changeable. Consider which meal offers the most Nutrition per dollar and is valuable in the health sense. You need a clear mind while making wise decisions. You can do this by including healthy prepared food at home. This is not a time for take-out and it is a valuable skill in finding new ways to be sensitive to what you spend.

Utilities can be very costly with extremes of weather. Australia, where I live now, has the highest power cost in the world. The highest power cost by state is South Australia. I live in South Australia! So you can see I am very aware of costings!

  • Consider warmer or cooler clothing. Blinds up or down in season.
  • For cold weather – wear warm underwear, consider onesies, make use of hot water bottles, blanket windows, do some dancing or work-outs periodically to keep yourself warm.
  • If possible only warm or cool by room (we have extremes of temperature) – thankfully we have shade for summer. Close off all doors. Periodically though do open them to gain a breath of fresh air. Do use draft stoppers. Keep heating at a minimum – going over even a little can increase cost 10%
  • Use energy efficient lighting
  • Turn off all switches when finished
  • Wherever possible line dry – even if you have to put up an extra line in a sunnier spot in winter (we have)
  • Rinse dishes in cold water before washing – not hot
  • Make sure your dishwasher (if you have one – we don’t) is full before using
  • Leave your mixer tap in bathroom and kitchen on the cool setting for washing hands etc so it is used first
  • Have shorter showers and at a cooler temperature. I tell you – it is healthier! does that help? (Grin)
  • Switch off all computers, consoles, printers when not in use.
  • A fan-forced oven saves energy as does a microwave. I use a small smart oven instead of a microwave which heats up quickly and is energy efficient.
  • Keep lids on pots you are cooking with.
  • Make sure fridges and freezers are on an economical temperature
  • Do full loads of laundry – since half loads use the same amount of energy

This is just a few on utilities – there is, even more, you can do if you are mindful

Cars can be expensive, so

  • Drive economically – no over-accelerating and over-braking
  • Make sure your car has been regularly serviced (if you are in a tight spot – it can go longer – but it saves money in the long run)
  • Make sure tyres are inflated correctly. Normally once per fortnight, usually in the morning
  • A no-brainer – but use your car less OR
  • Trade in your car at this time and take public transport or work in with neighbours or friends for any out of the way expeditions!

Other expenses are variable. But see if you can cut down to cheaper plans on phone or net plans; insurances and any ‘wish list’ items at this time. We piggyback off the neighbours net plan -but we have our own cheaper plan for back-up but at 1/3 of the cost.  Consider cheaper entertainment options. If you haven’t a garden – consider slowly starting one as it is like having a cash flow which you can exchange items of with others and saves your outlay on food.

There are heaps of “little things” you can do. Things you have never thought of before. Amy Dacyczyn’s book “The Tightwad Gazette did some amazing things following a frugal lifestyle (the most stolen in some libraries in the USA!) She had previously had a healthy love of spending – but dreamed of a beautiful house without the crazy two income/daycare laden life. I picked up her book in the mid to late 1990’s and was heavily influenced.

It’s worth looking at her short 5-minute interview here. Go to your library and get a copy of her book. It will help keep you motivated in the cutting of spending. Remember that some people who have made use of her principals have been without a job for months.

Colored Sticky notes

Look at different skills in your life.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Look at your skills

You will see that there are people who have been out of work for months and don’t know where to turn. Start looking at your skills that can branch out to job ideas you haven’t thought of.

These are some skills:  * Communication *Time management skills *Organizing *Practical hands-on skills *Event planning *Money skills and management *Self-motivation *Creativity *Administration *Thriftiness *People organizing *Home economics *Writing

Network like “crazy” if looking for a job placement.

With all the resources at your disposal start getting around to “advertise” that you are available for work.  Your friends, family, neighbours, local pin-up boards. Next is free online sites that you are happy and familiar with and then also outside of this circle. Enlist the help of your local Facebook chat groups.  Ask them places to advertise – if anyone can give input. You might be linked to an Employment Agency or a Government body in the new Employment hunt.

Make a list of Businesses or Companies you would like to approach and get a resume ready and cover letter. You have no competition in this regard and you would be surprised how people have got work. Be pro-active with this and do let the business know how you could be of benefit. Do your research about them first.

Consider approaching businesses personally – small business is often best for this as you may be successful in obtaining an audience with a decision-maker – “the owner”.

Advertise with your skills in your local paper.

Present yourself well

In all ways – whether written, personal appearance or the information you give – do it in style.  Work on being mistake-free, clean, with well-styled clothing and find ways to make sure your information and input is right up there in being the best you can be.

If you need to do some paying work – while awaiting work

You may want or need to do some work that pays as in a business or personal income format.  As I’ve written in “present yourself well” – be on the ready in case an opportunity comes up in this sphere.

Consider anything and everything if your income is cut. Don’t be proud. These jobs can be a stepping stone to bigger things – plus you are networking.

Here is a list of ideas to consider:

  • Freelance photography – sell your photography online.  Consider Foap , Dreamstime , Shutterstock
  • Advertise to sell items for people with a charge for photography and a percentage of sales
  • Sell your own items – you can also include items you have “smartened up” with a paint-job or neatening
  • If you are a crafter in any way – work on selling your items. Remember also that crafted items are unique and not mass-produced and a lot of people are happy to pay for the privilege.
  • Pet walker – do this also for your health’s sake
  • Advertise to ‘grocery shop’ for people or run errands
  • Rent out your driveway or part of your shed if you have room
  • Rent out any items you have that are rentable. Look at sites such as Rentmyitems and Moneypantry which has a list that might have some suggestions that work for you.
  • Are you good at cooking? – maybe a cupcake business in the making. Have you thought of bread? Everyone eats it. You might be onto a nifty side business here.
  • Consider Garment steaming or ironing. Contact shops – not just the domestic market – sometimes they can outsource. I have done work for a shop myself.
  • Cleaning – Many, many people are looking for cleaners. I have done quite a few jobs myself when wanting to free myself from debt.
  • Sell on Etsy. Anything from Vintage clothing, designs Tee shirts, Sewn items, prints, photographs and more.
  • If you are typist – advertise to type newsletters, essays, flyers etc
  • If you can do some Spreadsheet work (not difficult to learn) advertise to do some data entry
  • If it’s near holiday season advertise to keep an eye on someone’s place – water, take the mail in and put the bins out and even mow the law. House-sitting can fit into the equation – while you do other work. You may have to look after pets as well. Remember this is also – networking.
  • Barter anything you can – whether your produce, items you’ve made etc. It saves cash.
  • Consider looking at the Virtual Assistant market. You may be skilled in Social Media Management, Research, Answering emails, Travel arrangement etc This can be work in itself and is worth educating yourself on. There are many groups on Facebook which can help you. One I recommend is Abbey’s Virtual Assistant Savvies which is full of information, networking, and feedback.
  • As a filler do some surveys. They have a threshold before you can get paid – but just small amounts of money do add up and you can do them after hours. Here are just some –  Swagbucks  Opinion World  Toluna  The rewards for each survey will vary and a Paypal account is often needed though some do have Gift cards. If you wish to check which are well regarded and in your country check out Survey Police


Consider your loss of income an “opportunity”. Don’t be desperate. Let it increase your knowledge base and management skills. Consider people of the past who never gave up through failure. Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, J.K. Rowling, Oprah.

Remember the hard times of our countries – during war and depression. It taught people skills of resourcefulness and creativity.

Remember “you don’t Fail unless you no longer try.”

Until later!

Deborah Hunter Kells

I have a wide range of interests and the top of my list is people and relationships. I appreciate our big wide world and nature which tries so hard to deal with what we do to it. I enjoy learning and am a “forever student”. I would love to hear about you and what you have experienced – that one or both of us may learn.

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