Sunday, February 25, 2007

you're a credit to your . . .

about 3 weeks after we bought our first house, my wife and i were laid off from our respective companies within a few hours of each other. it was a pretty stressful time, but we made it. imagine draining your savings to put into a down payment and taking on the responsibility of a mortgage with no job and very little cash on hand. it was quite an experience, but we definitely learned a lot from it. here's how we did it:

the day i found out we were going to be without a job, the very first thing was call my credit card company and ask for a credit limit increase. crazy? maybe so, but i figured that if i was going to need some leverage to handle any type of emergency, i should have some more credit. this wasn't for going out or having fun, but basically a very high priced insurance policy, in the event of some major emergency.

the very next thing we both did was file for unemployment. unemployment insurance is something that you pay for in every paycheck, so it's not something that you should be ashamed of collecting. it's not much, but it helps with the necessities.

the next thing we did, obviously, was get our resumes together. considering the state of the economy at the time, we weren't going to be bombarded with job offers, or even interviews for that matter. we made finding jobs our jobs. it was a tough time, but we didn't mope about it. we sent our resumes out, made calls, went out on interviews, and made it our daily routine.

we also learned how to live on very little. it was spring time, so the weather was pretty mild. we opened the windows to cool the house, we prepared food at home, we cut out all non-essentials, but we still treated ourselves and went out every so often. i think it was important that we did that. just because we were jobless didn't mean it was the end of the world, and it helped us break the monotony of the everyday.

since we had just moved in, we didn't have a mortgage payment due immediately. you'll get one or two months after you close before you have to pay, so we didn't have that looming over our heads. and, in the end, we made it through, but what we learned was we could deal with being out of work, we could manage and make it through, and the next time we'd buy a house, we'd have more of a savings cushion on hand after our down payment to deal with just these types of emergencies.

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