Getting By with Nothing
One of my Facebook friends, the indomitable Kelly Pettit, posed the question: How do people without jobs for years get by? If I lost my job, I would be homeless in about four months. What gives?
I was struck by the creativity and diversity of the responses. Here are selections from her “thread.”
- You learn to live on less
- Families or spouses take over paying for your life
- Off-books work
- Closet slum lords
- Cut out everything superfluous: cable, snacks, heat, trips, car
- Mommy and daddy’s trust fund
- Cashing in the 401K
- Sell your house and live a low key life for probably 15 years
- Student loans
- Family care giving exchanges
- Tiny businesses
- Carpenters always find something to do
- Renting out your family home and living with your spouse and children in another house
- Get unemployment for a while
- Spend your savings
- Juggle credit cards
- Get a bit of help from family and friends
- Foreclosures by banks usually take up to 2 years, so you can live in your house without making a payment
(my note: sometimes foreclosures move with breath-taking speed, so don’t count on that two year period of “breathing room.”)
A couple of Kelly’s respondents offer these positive perspectives:
- There are ways to make it through life on very little. I have to say I truly enjoy the simpler life, as opposed to always being on the go, and stressed beyond belief.
- Some of my happiest times in life was when I was struggling . . . and it was all about being together and it really was *good*. Later, when we were flush, not so much.
A deep bow of respect and gratitude to the contributors to Kelly’s post.