This morning I was dreaming about getting fired. Then I woke up. And it wasn’t a dream. That really sucked. I laid in my bed for awhile crying and spooning my Wally. Wally is not a man – he is my dog. I have no companion to help me through this.
Guess what else I did today. Yep, I walked. A lot. Don’t know what’s up with me, but I like it. I also hooked up with some friends to talk about a big fundraiser we are working on. The key here, folks, is to keep busy.
You know where I find myself getting the saddest? Sitting in my car. It’s the strangest thing. In those rare instances during the last few days when I happen to drive somewhere, instead of walking, everything hits me all over again in the time it takes me to shut the car off and get my things together once I’ve reached my destination. I find myself staring off into the distance wondering how the hell this happened to me as the tears flow down my face. Then I wipe my face off and go about my business.
Guess what else I did today? I actually made it to the grocery store (after I sat in the car crying for a few minutes) and cooked dinner for my kids for the first time in three days! Yay me! Speaking of my kids – I just have to give them kudos. They are amazingly supportive. They are old enough to understand – 21, 18 and 15 – which means they are also old enough for this situation to frighten them. But, they seem to have faith that I will figure it out.
As I was thinking about my shattered career, it hit me today that I no longer want to work in the nonprofit sector. It’s more cut-throat than the corporate world and I just won’t put myself through that again. With that being said, I have no idea what I want to do.
Most of the people I’ve reached out to so far are folks I’ve met through my work over the past 15 months. The best people have come into my life because of this job and for that, I’m incredibly thankful. Maybe that was the only reason I got the job. Have you ever heard of how people come into your lives for a reason, a season or a lifetime? Well, maybe it’s the same with situations, right? Maybe I had that job specifically so I would meet some of these amazing people. I feel like they really have my back and will be instrumental in helping me figure out what to do with my life.
Regardless, I’m not going to rush into anything. Even though I have zero savings – hey I’m a single mom of three who has worked at a nonprofit for the past 10 years – my soul is telling me I need to slow down and just let things work themselves out. I can survive for about a month thanks to the vacation days I had accumulated, but I want to make that stretch. So I’ve been brainstorming some easy ways to make and save money.
DAY 2 ACTION ITEMS:
- RETURN – Look around your house (especially your closet) to see if there are any recently purchased items you can return. No matter how helpful/stylish/discounted/super awesome it is, you can live without it. You need to focus on increasing your monetary resources right now and not your material possessions.
- SELL – As you’re looking around for items to return, consider also what you might sell. My town has multiple very active Facebook exchange groups where you see anything and everything. There’s also good ol’ Craiglist or eBay. I suggest listing the items as soon as possible because sometimes it takes several weeks for the right person willing to pay your price to come along. Pretty much anything will sell at some point, as long as it’s reasonably priced, so don’t get discouraged. Keep re-listing it. And, don’t overlook the bigger ticket items – maybe you don’t need your car now that you don’t have a work commute. What about that second or third TV? You definitely have stuff to sell – just be open to the idea.
- REDUCE YOUR BILLS – Consider areas where you can cut back. Maybe you can live without HBO or even cable altogether. If you have multiple streaming services, narrow it down to one. You should also research low-income services through your major utility companies. Most utility companies have low-income programs, but you might need a couple of months to pass before you qualify.
- CLIP COUPONS – I’m a horrible coupon clipper, but there are other ways you can do this nowadays. Check out these apps:
- Target’s Cartwheel (and get their Red Card for 5% off)
- ODD JOBS – There are SO many things out there and they are literally accessible right at your fingertips, thanks to the World Wide Web and phone apps.
- Job Spotter – Yes, this one is just downright silly but it’s so easy I just can’t resist. All you do is take pictures of any “Help Wanted” signs you see. And with all the walking around I’ve been doing, I’ve seen quite a few. I have a whopping $1.09 in my Wallet, but hey, it only took me about a minute so I’m making $60/hour, right? You can redeem your earnings for an Amazon gift card and I’m addicted to my Kindle so will be very happy to get a free book here and there.
- Care.com – Helps families find child care, senior care, special needs care, tutoring, pet care, housekeeping, etc. I haven’t been matched with a job through here yet, but I know people who have. I’m really hoping to find a good pet or house sitting gig. How awesome would that be? You can make $15/hour and more, just for doing really easy tasks like grocery shopping or picking someone’s kid up from school.
- There are 100s of other options – just search the internet. You can be a Nielsen family or complete surveys or mystery shop or test websites or get paid to do internet searches. And let’s not forget Uber or Lyft, if you have a vehicle!
I get that compared to what you are making, the money made/saved though these ideas is probably peanuts. But remember, we are talking survival here.
Do what you’ve got to do and do it NOW.