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I get a lot of email from people who have either lost their jobs or are losing their jobs. Their 401K is gone, their savings is zeroed out or maybe their unemployment checks have run out. This is becoming a common situation for a good part of our society as unemployment rises. Many people are facing a lack of employment and a lack of funds. Yet their family still needs to eat and the bills still have to be paid. Does this apply to you? I hope it doesn’t. But I am betting that you know someone who is in this situation.

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It’s too late to tell people they should have saved more (six months cash set aside to cover your monthly expenses.) It’s too late to say you should have worked harder or smarter or better so you wouldn’t have been the one who got laid off (not always the case but it is often the case.) It’s too late to say that you shouldn’t have spent so much money on stupid stuff – that you shouldn’t have wasted money on things that gave only very temporary satisfaction – that you shouldn’t have gone out to eat 4 nights a week or bought that car you couldn’t really afford or that house you knew you couldn’t make the payments on if anything happened to your income. It’s too late to beat people up about any of that stuff at this point, so I don’t and I won’t.

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Instead, it’s time to give folks some ideas they can use when it’s crunch time, they are scrambling and when survival is the main concern. So here you go:

1. When it comes to looking for employment, get your ego out of the way. The fact is that your family needs food and your bills need to be paid. You have something called “commitments.” Which means you should be committed to paying them. You have “obligations.” Which means you are obligated to pay them. When you got married, I am betting that your vows said something along the lines of “for richer, for poorer.” That is the same vow you take with your other obligations and commitments as well. When you had your kids you didn’t agree to make sure they had food only when you had the job of your dreams and times were good. You also didn’t sign a contract with your mortgage company, bank or credit card company saying you would only make your payments when you were employed. You just committed to taking care of your obligations. There were no conditions associated with your commitment.

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