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How to Survive in a Poor Economy

It’s no big shocker when I say that the economy hasn’t been too great these past few years. In fact, many U.S. citizens have lost their jobs, their life savings, and their homes! The poor economy has sparked many to beef up their savings in the event that an emergency should come their way.

Foot-in-Mouth Financials

In general conversation, my natural tendency is to begin talking about money and finances (I’m finally understanding that many people find this topic of conversation awkward and uncomfortable. Oops!). Through this fault, I discovered that my friend has been through many tough times and encouraged me to beef up my emergency savings in the event of job loss.

Now, if my wife lost her job, we’d be able to survive on my income. In fact, if I lost my job instead, we could survive on her income as well. But, what if we experienced the worst case scenario… complete job loss – both my wife AND I. Would we be broke immediately? Or would we be able to survive for a while?

How Long Could We Survive With No Jobs?

Since my wife and I are still focused on paying off our debts, we do not have a ton of money in reserves. Most of the time, it’s about $2,000.

And, if we both lost our jobs, I would immediately take drastic action and sell our one and only vehicle, the Jeep (we own it free and clear), and buy a moped instead (gas savings and a cheaper ride).

So, with the Jeep sale (conservatively at $6,000) and the moped purchase ($1,000 total after license and registration, and maybe a couple helmets), that would give us $5,000. Tack on our savings of $2,000, and we have $7,000 to survive on.

Currently, our expenses are approximately $2,300 a month (which is pretty low from what I understand), but I think we can live on less. Our utilities would stay unchanged, our food budget could go down to $300 without much adjustment. We would no longer need vehicle insurance (don’t need insurance on a moped with less than 50cc), and we’ll cut out the Internet (the library will accommodate us nicely for this luxury). Our gas bill would go down considerably (nowhere to go, plus we’ve got a gas saving moped!). We’d still keep our cell phones and we’d have to pay rent, but we do have an unused bedroom that we could rent out.

So, here’s the new monthly survival budget! 🙂

The Moment We’ve All Been Waiting For

With a monthly expense of $998, it looks like we could survive 7 months! Hopefully that would be enough time to find some work. Either that or concentrate on my online income. It would definitely be a good reason to get my butt in gear!

How long do you think you could survive if you and your spouse lost your jobs?

Budget Money


My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.


  1. I like that you have “thought” about this situation. Not everyone has – again, you would be making a conscience decision to do without, and work with less to stretch your time out of work – good for you.

    • Thanks Johannah B. I’ve often thought about what we would do if one of us lost our jobs, but only recently have I really thought about us both losing our jobs. Chances are, it won’t happen, but it might! Thanks for dropping by and commenting! 🙂

  2. We recently had to raid our emergency fund…for an emergency. So I’d like not the think about that while we rebuild it. However, since you brought it up…I can’t stopped wondering. I’ll have to figure that out. Good question. I’ll have to let you know.

    • Haha! I know it’s not the most warm and fuzzy thing to think about, but it’s good to have a plan! I guess it’s kind of like a fire escape plan in your house – not fun to put together, but you’ll be glad you did if something happens. 😉

  3. You are not paying for internet? I wish we wouldn’t! we pay 50/month and I consider it not a bad deal.

    • We are currently, but I would ditch it if I had too. We live pretty close to the library, and I could just head over there to do what I had to do.

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