What went wrong?

The end of the year is almost here. Many of you are planning for your Thanksgiving meal and/or on buying Christmas presents. Some of you might want to do these things, but don’t have any money to do them. At the beginning of the year, you came up with a resolution that this year would be different. You would not overspend. You would pay down your debt. You would live off a budget. You would create an emergency fund. However, something happened. Maybe it was a job loss. Maybe it was an illness. Maybe it was a divorce. Perhaps you just couldn’t stop spending or rather charging up the credit cards.

Any of these might have happened or maybe a myriad of things might have occurred. The question is what can you do about it now. If you started following the advice given on this site, then you most likely are living on a budget and have saved some money in your emergency fund. You are not using credit cards to supplement your income and you started paying down debt. However, the unexpected happened. Maybe you went from a dual income to a single income because one of you lost their job. Your budget was based on the dual income. Now, you have to base it on the single income. Examine your budget and see what items you can cutback or cut out completely. How much money is in your emergency fund? How many months of living expenses will it cover? Trim the budget down to the bare bones. Include in it only those items that absolutely necessary to run your household.

You might be too embarrassed to tell your friends and family that you were laid-off. Don’t be. They are your best chance of getting you re-employed. They might know of a job opening at their work site or of an opening at firm where one of their friends or family member works. This is networking. Another thing you can do is join Linkedin. Job posting are often popping-up in there. Don’t be afraid of taking on  a lower paying job. At least it’s providing some sort of income. Do you have a special skill that you can turn into a self-employed job?  If so, then get that going. Also, go and apply for aid from food banks or from the government. It might be embarrassing, but if your child is hungry a little embarrassment is worth it to have food for him.

Don’t worry about cooking a Thanksgiving dinner with turkey and all the fixings if you cannot afford it. Every meal can be turned into a Thanksgiving meal. Pray and give thanks for the meal you are eating. If you really want turkey, several places around your town offer free Thanksgiving meals. Accept invitations to Thanksgiving dinner from friends from your church or other friends. When planning on Christmas presents, don’t buy for extended family members. Explain to them about your situation. Buy small items for your children only or make something for them. Let them know that you just don’t have the money to buy the latest X-Box or Playstation or whatever large item they want. Remember to use your budget. Don’t charge up your credit cards. Use cash. God loves you and will provide for you.

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