Jobless & Poor

"Anybody who tells you money is the root of all evil, doesn't fucking have any." - Jim Young, Boiler Room

Before I begin this tirade, I'd like to say upfront that I have been without work and the money didn't look so good.  If you read my Jobs page, it's spelled out right there.  Things have came my way that compelled me to remedy the situation, and quick.  It doesn't matter if you're flipping burgers at Ed's Grill or if you're the CEO of a Fortune 500 company, when you suddenly become unemployed, you need to take of it.

By taking care of it, I don't mean that you run down to the welfare office and starting mooching off of the rest of us until you're kicked off the role.  Sure you can sit back and bellyache about how bad "the system" treated you, or you can get your ass out there and start looking for jobs.  Start sending your résumé out there to companies.  Start calling some of your old business contacts and begin networking again.  If you're not in the line of work that necessarily requires you have a résumé then fill out applications until you get hand cramps.  Companies are always hiring people.  I hesitate to say "quality people", because I've experienced some pretty sad hiring practices.  If all else fails, take a lower paying job until you find the right one.  The best way to avoid any financial setbacks is to slowly accumulate enough money to keep you going for six months.  If you do that, you can relax a little bit and not have to be stressing out over the possibility of getting kicked out of the house or having your car repossessed.  Don't relax to the point where you're down to $100 and then say, "Gee, I need to start looking for a job".  By then it's too late, and you may as well start moving yourself into that old refrigerator box underneath the bridge.  There's no glamour in being poor, so don't expect people to be proud of you.  If you can't immediately find a job, keep looking because they're out there.

Once you get the job, there is another easy trap that people fall into.  That all too common trap is not being able to budget wisely.  Let's say that you have a net monthly income of $2000, but you have $2500 in expenses.  That doesn't add up.  There's a couple things you have to do.  One, get a better paying job, or at least keep your current one and get a part-time job.  Or two, start eliminating some extraneous expenses.  Do you really need that cell phone that nobody calls you on?  Do you really need cable TV with the 20 movie channel package, that you never watch?  Can you somehow survive not going out to eat everyday?  Is the next big movie so big that you can't wait until it comes out on DVD and rent it.  You'd be surprised how much money you would save without these luxuries.  Start working some overtime in your current job.  I've been called a "Corporate Whore", but at least I'm not homeless.

But even with the best jobs, there are always those unexpected expenses.  For instance, you're driving back from work and end up getting sideswiped by someone driving one of those damn trendy PT Cruisers.  Or speaking from a more personal experience, having my furnace crap out on me during the winter, or having to spend bucks on my sewer line.  Certain things can come out of left field and are completely unavoidable.  They just have to be dealt with as they come.  With a little luck, you'll have people who are willing to work with you on getting these things paid off.  Credit cards are nice in situations like this, but if used on everything under the sun or they're maxed out when you really need them, that puts you directly up shit creek.

Use your talents and knowledge to get the job you want.  If you're a financial wizard and that's what line of work you want to be involved in, why are you baking cakes at HyVee?  I guess that's better than not doing anything at all, but I bet it's a rather crooked career path from Baker to the Chief Financial Officer of a company.  As long as you're not utilizing your talents, someone with your skills is probably already being interviewed instead of you.

 to Quit Yer Bitchin'