How I lived without an income for 3 months.

We are in an unpredictable time right now with many people not sure where their next paycheck is coming from. I want to share with you my experience of living without an income for 3 months and encourage you that you will be okay!

1 Peter 5:8 – 9 “Be on guard and stay awake. Your enemy, the devil, is like a roaring lion, sneaking around to find someone to attack. But you must resist the devil stay strong in faith. You know that all over the world the Lord’s followers are suffering just as you are.”

You will be able to get through this time with God and God asked me to share these 5 easy steps as a guide to you from my own experiences. This is how I did it by following these 5 steps.

First I invested in myself, I remember paying $37 for a budget tracker guide to get me going on this financial adventure. I am offering you our yearly budget template to you for only $25, but continue reading for my entire story to help you on yours.

Projected my Budget

Based on the money I had at the beginning of the journey, I projected my budget. I looked at my essential costs in the 4 walls (shelter, food, transportation, and insurance). Shelter was the main cost, so I looked for ways to cut it. My options to cut: move back in with my mom, find roommates, or live with friends. I reached out to my network and found someone through a job “craigslist”. My Linkedin friend had a craigslist for their employees and the employee posted looking for a roommate. I reached out to them and negotiated my rent and utilities. I remember that night going to bed in Nebraska and praying Lord if I am suppose to move into this house with the family. You will have them accept my offer for rent and it will be a safe decision even though I had not met them in person. That morning I woke up to a text saying, “We will be happy to have you live with us for $500 a month.” Yes, I only paid $500 for the bedroom!! Had the entire top floor with 1 other person, the internet, cable, utilities, and water was included. Now the family and I have a great relationship, and he treats me as the daughter he never had. It was part of the plan God had for us.

During quarantine, there are many places helping people with rent, mortgage payments, and other items under shelter. Dominion energy has suspended all disconnections for nonpayment. Bank of America is allowing their customers to hold their payment for mortgages. All you have to do is call, ask, and tell them your financial situation! Many other places are doing this as well! Landlords do not want to lose you as a renter, since people are not moving in fear! Call them and tell them you need their help. Most landlords have your rent payment as a another stream of income and can help you!

Food was another thing I had to cut. I did not go out to eat! During our time of social distancing, it is a perfect way for you to save money too and eat in. Cook meals and teach your kids how to cook. My grandma inspired me to make an apple crisp and my husband loved it! He came home from work and was like, “Why does it smell like apples? You don’t have a candle going…did you make apple cookies?” I said, “No, but look in the oven.” He said, “Oh my gosh, I love you! This looks delicious!” Give it a try!

Transportation, I had a car that was 100% paid off luckily. But if I was in a different situation, and had a loan. I would have sold my car and found a car that I could pay in cash. Making the life sacrifice for a short time. This way it would save me in gas, insurance, and taxes. Saving money in transportation can be easier right now as well because we are all to stay home and not drive unless we are going to the doctors or the grocery store. The last 4 walls is insurance, yes I kept my insurance because you cannot drive a car without it and if I were to get into a life threatening accident or disease I want my family to be able to have money for my funeral and/or hospital bills.

Anything that was not in these 4 walls, I knew I needed to cut because I needed a roof over my head. I eliminated. I disconnected. I unsubscribed. I lived without amazon, Netflix, magazines, podcasts, and Pandora. It was difficult and will pry be even more difficult right now being at home 100%, but that is the choices I had to make to make my budget work. I projected my budget to work for 9 months with the little bit I had saved.

Limited my Spending

This will be short and sweet. I did not spend money! I did not go get coffee, carry out, other food other than the grocery store. I used what I had in the cabinets. Sometimes I only had water to drink from the sink and spaghetti! Life sacrifices for a short time. You may never know that those short time sacrifices could turn into daily habits to save you big!

The yearly budget template for only $25 can help you in know where you are in spending in your 4 walls and to limit your spendings by tracking it. Don’t wait — we want to help you! You have the time to invest in your future!

Found Free Things to Do

I created an uplifting daily habit.

While it was difficult when I left my job and moved across the country, yes it was my choice, and yes it may not be your choice to be in this difficult situation during the time of unknown, but creating an uplifting daily habit will help.

I want to share the free things that changed who I was and increased my positive outlook in life. I would set about 30 minutes in the morning to listen to Joyce Meyer show on joycemeyer.org and have my bible out to listen to the Lord and create that relationship with Him. I would then read my daily devotional — at the time — I read New Day, New You devotional by Joyce Meyer. Currently, I am reading Starting Your Day Right by Joyce Meyer. You can easily find these devotionals online for under $20 or you can read it right online from her website. I would then write in my journal 5 things that I was thankful for even if it was just “Thank you for putting a roof over my head or food for me to eat.” because during this time especially 2 months in was hard I never thought I was going to find a job or have an income to come in. But I knew if I thought like this it would become true, so I changed my thoughts and said to myself and wrote in my journal. “I will find a job I will love.” “God will provide me an income.” “I am casting my cares to you.”

In the afternoon to get fresh air, I would take a walk or a run around the lake that was 2 blocks away from our house or drive to a trail that was a short distance away from the house. This would allow me to talk to God and listen to uplifting music or a podcast or even call my family back home. I had to force myself to think positive and be uplifted. The lake was also calming because it is water and water is calming to me. Check it out for yourself I bet it calms you down too!

Paid Monthly Minimum on Loans

I had student loans at the time. I stopped my extra payments, and only paid the minimum. I was in a position, my minimum was lower than it was to begin with because I had paid ahead. If you have not put any extra payments before this time, do not start. Just pay the minimum! Please only pay the minimum and do not create any other debt!! Do not put groceries on a credit card unless you can pay it off 100%.

Also, I want to share with you during this time of quarantine, you are in luck! President trump announced he is waiving interest on federal held student loans for 60 days! Still make your payment, but you will not have to pay interest getting you a bit ahead for 2 months! Hands up — clap your hands!

Good decisions now will make you in a better place later.

Searched for Options to Limit Cost on the 4 Walls

As mentioned above, I found a roommate to cut my shelter cost. Maybe for you, you have a house payment and cannot move or do not want to move. Place an ad for a short amount of time, 6 months to a year, to have a roommate. You create an income and save someone else too who is in a time of need. Be sure you have a lease and google more about becoming a landlord.

Food can be hard to cut the cost, but there is a way. Meal plan. Bagged Lunch. Pinterest has so many options to help with this. Currently, my family is learning how to cut cost on food. It has been hard! I will be totally honest. It was a lot easier for me when I was single to cut this cost because I did not eat a lot. But when you’re feeding a spouse and kids it can be more difficult. But who loves pizza, tacos, baked chicken with potatoes and veggies, Korean beefs bowls, spaghetti, or even nachos? You can find easy things to cook at home and if you do not have everything in a recipe — modify it! We have definitely modified a lot of our meals. Like last night when I made blueberry chicken. Yes, blueberry chicken sounds gross but it was actually really good!! I had just a little bit of blueberry preserve left over and wanted to use it so I looked up recipes that included it. I did not have raspberry vinaigrette so I substituted red wine vinaigrette. I did not have fresh basil, but I had Thyme. I had butter, but did not want to use it so I used olive oil. I used regular mustard instead of dijon mustard. Crazy how much I changed the recipe and it still tasted good and was a win for me because my husband loved it!

As mentioned above cutting cost for transportation was not very difficult for me at the time, because I had already paid off my car and had cheap car insurance. The biggest cost for me was when I had to license my car in North Carolina because it was way more than in Nebraska. It was a huge shock for me.

Ways to cut cost could be selling 1 car if you have 2. This would save you money in several ways such as insurance, gas, plates, taxes, and payment if you are still paying on it. If you only have 1 car, search for a car you could pay cash for if you sold your current car. Find ways to cut cost on maintenance — search around for how much oil changes are or find someone who could do it at their home for a trade. My husband now changes our oil and we only have to pay for the oil $20 and the filter every so often! Huge savings as we used to both go spend $40 – $60 easily at jiffy lube or take five. If I was still single, I would look for coupons and plan the oil change instead of going to jiffy lube for convenience.

Cutting cost in insurance could be looking for ways to find a way to cut cost in car insurance by shopping around. There are many different websites to compare insurance companies and cost to help you! Here is 5 saving tips for auto insurance!

About 2 months into living without a job, I thought I never was going to find an income I decided it was time to find a job for some kind of income to come in. I applied for a host position at a bar. I will tell you to be honest I pry spent my entire paycheck at the bar meeting people. However, it was a win for me because I was able to meet people in a new state. For todays circumstance, now if you do not have an income coming in, maybe you have to get a job at a grocery store, distribution center, delivery driver, or even be a truck driver. There are jobs out there and it may not be your forever job but it will get you by and maybe you will find a little “win” out of it when you look back just like I did. I know Kroger is hiring, and they have even made it a faster hiring process. Amazon is hiring.

Hebrew 10:35 ” Keep on being brave! It will bring you great rewards.”

Overall, I know this time is stressful, but do not fear. Looking back in my journal I even wrote on June 29th. “Stressed/difficult time — let me just vent Lord!” “I cannot find a career. My goal was to have a career within a month of being in NC…I understand you want to give me the wisdom to be able to find a career soon. Please help me. I need you Lord. I am starting to fall to pieces. I feel worthless. The devil is getting to me. Please show me where to network to find a career…the Holy Spirit will teach me. Your wisdom will guide me and your love will move me.” Looking back, I had already met the network on June 17th that I had prayed for, and by July 29th I was offered a full-time position. I am hear to tell you that if you have faith, if you pray, if you follow this easy steps that I’ve already gone through and know they work. You will too have Lord be on your side and get you through this time. I appreciate you taking the time to read our blog without you I would not be doing what I am doing today. I appreciate your love and kindness in following us.

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