SERIES: I Lost My Job – Now What?

Welcome to the latest series on – I Lost My Job – Now What?

In a time of increasing unemployment and job loss, I thought it might be helpful to write this series.  It is my hope that it is a help to those who have experienced a job loss.

Part One – Prioritize.  Prioritize.  Prioritize.

When one loses their job and paycheck, all expenses must immediately be prioritized.  Some might need to be reduced, and others need to be eliminated.

Let me be state some items that are WANTS.  Cable/satellite TV, internet (YES!), cell phone, home phone, dining out, entertainment (the type that costs money), and clothes.

Let me be clear, I have met hundreds of people who have “tried to hold on” to items that were WANTS not NEEDS.

Here is my general order of priority for expenses:

  1. Food & Medicine (groceries – off brand/generics)
  2. Housing/Utilities (loan, insurance, taxes, utilities)
  3. Transportation (loan, insurance, taxes, gasoline)
  4. Secured debts (boat, motorcycle, four wheeler, furniture,etc)
  5. Unsecured debts (credit cards, student loans, etc.)

Take some time to put together a written spending plan.  Once all of the expenses are itemized, prioritize them.

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  1. Dee on January 12, 2009 at 9:15 am

    I totally understand that secured debt comes
    first. But what happens when you are late
    one time or miss one payment on one of those
    credit cards, they jack your interest rate up so high that you can never get out from under them. I don’t want that to happen
    either, but I guess there are no other
    choices, when you’ve already cut out all
    unnecessary expenses. If there’s anyone
    who’s tackled the credit cards successfully
    let me know. Thanks, Hanging in there.

  2. Moneymonk on January 12, 2009 at 9:31 am

    Actually, during a job loss, the Internet can actually be a need to seek jobs and email resumes

  3. jsangl on January 12, 2009 at 12:44 pm

    Sangl says …

    Dee – If you can pay all of the bills in a given month, but just not pay all of them on time, then I would make a decision to pay the credit card on time and the car payment late due to the difference in late payment fee and interest rate modification risk. However, if all of the bills can not be paid in a given month, the unsecured debt is LAST on the list.

    Moneymonk – I can use the internet at the library.

  4. Moneymonk on January 13, 2009 at 9:20 am

    Yes, but the library only gives you 30 minutes

  5. Moneymonk on January 13, 2009 at 9:23 am

    You also cannot use the email system in the library, trust me I tried

  6. Travis on January 16, 2009 at 6:10 pm

    Moneymonk, you are right. Library internet can stink and have limitations.


    I have close friends and family that live within 3 miles of me and I suspect that they would not mind letting me use their internet. (unrestricted)

    I think that they would rather lend me their internet than for to come live with them!! lol

    The point is that there are always options and where there are no options….Create some.

  7. Joey on January 25, 2009 at 10:19 am

    Interesting series of articles and very helpful. There is a short blog with the same title published in September. The link is:

  8. Job Hunter on March 8, 2009 at 1:09 am

    You made some good points there. I did a search on the topic and found most people will agree with your points.

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