Staying afloat after losing your job

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  • Out of work: do whatever odd jobs you can to help pay the bills

    Out of work: do whatever odd jobs you can to help pay the bills

Dear Dave,

Iím 23, and I lost a good job a few days ago due to layoffs. My wife has been a stay-at-home mom with our ten-month-old daughter, and we have very little in the way of savings. What can we do to keep our heads above water?

ó Seth

Dear Seth,

Iím really sorry youíre going through this. Iíve been there, so I know this is a scary time for you. There are some short- and long-term goals to think about in a situation like this, but letís look at the immediate future.

Go crazy about finding some kind of income. I donít care if itís delivering pizza during the week and stacking grocery shelves on weekends. Even if it doesnít completely replace your previous income, it will give you some cash to pay bills and stay afloat. On your off days, and before and after work, you can line up and do interviews for a more stable, full-time job. You may even have to trade off babysitting duties with your wife so she can earn some money too.

While all this is going on, have a garage sale and sell anything you donít need or want anymore. Just about anything that can be turned into income should be turned into income. In the process, prioritise your bills and other financial responsibilities. Take care of food first, then utilities, the mortgage or rent, then transportation.

You guys donít need to see the inside of a restaurant for a while unless youíre working there, and if things donít get better by Christmas, any gifts you give should be handmade crafts.

This is doable if you two work hard, pull together, and focus. God bless you guys, Seth.

ó Dave


Dear Dave,

Iíve just started my own small business. As the owner and only employee, how do I determine my profits?

ó Brittany

Dear Brittany,

Hereís a basic Accounting 101 definition for you, regardless of how many employees you have or how big your business may be. What you take in, minus expenses ó in other words, your revenues minus your expenses ó equal profit. Believe it or not, it really is that simple.

Since youíre just starting out, Iíd strongly advise you to set up a separate chequing account for your business. Thatís the only way to accurately tell exactly whatís going on within the business. When you co-mingle business money with grocery money and things like that in your personal account, youíll never have an accurate picture of whatís really happening with your business.

Good luck, Brittany!

ó Dave

Dave Ramsey is Americaís trusted voice on money and business, and CEO of Ramsey Solutions. He has authored seven bestselling books, including The Total Money Makeover. The Dave Ramsey Show is heard by more than 12 million listeners each week on 575 radio stations and multiple digital platforms. Follow Dave on the web at and on Twitter at @DaveRamsey.

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Published Oct 22, 2016 at 8:00 am (Updated Oct 21, 2016 at 7:07 pm)

Staying afloat after losing your job

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