Getting By with Nothing

said on March 4th, 2014 filed under: Localism

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
  • Crime
  • 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.

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