Reached a Financial Breaking Point

I had (well, still having) a breakdown today. I actually started writing this through tears and didn’t finish the next sentence until 8 hours later. I have reached a financial breaking point. I’m absolutely upset at my current situation. I’ve been unemployed for 6 months, either not receiving call backs or being turned down for positions left and right. I’ve submitted hundreds of applications. There are 249 messages in my Job Search folder of my GMail and those are just Craigslist postings where I sent my resume. That doesn’t include applications I filled out on corporate websites, temp agencies I’ve applied with, or LinkedIn positions I felt I applied for.

I get an unemployment check that is less than half of my previous monthly income. It’s 40% of what I was making as an intern, so it’s about 35% of what I was making a month. Bills have not ceased, although I do have protection on some of my accounts. When I tried to use the protection before in my previous bout of unemployment, a customer service rep rudely said “but your minimum payment is only $xx; you can’t pay that much?” I could’ve swore the description of the program said no judgement but hey, who am I kidding?

By the time I get my check it’s virtually gone whether completely to rent, groceries, gas, or bills. It’s depressing! I’m doing some freelance writing on the side but obviously it’s not helping much. My aspiration of being a successful Internet entrepreneur is starting to look unrealistic to me. I’m learning from the best of them, people who are making anywhere from $1,000-$10,000/month from their online business. I would love to make $1,000 from my online business, which is still less than half of my previous monthly income but more than I’m getting from unemployment. It’s very hard for me.

Being in debt with $20 in savings, no emergency fund, and no job is rough. I’m at rock bottom. I can do what some of the other personal finance blogging greats have done and sell everything and buy nothing. I could develop an unhealthy habit to extreme coupon. I can regret my latest purchase of a new dog (which I’m definitely starting to feel guilty about). Honestly I don’t know what helps. I’m getting discouraged from applying, I’m getting anxiety when I have to spend money on anything.

I cried, actually sobbed uncontrollably this morning. It actually concerned Frankie who came over to lick my tears away. I can only ask my husband to do so much. He’s on 8 hour restrictions at work which means no overtime because of his back. My mom, thank goodness, is helping me where she can, and I feel absolutely horrible about that. I moved out to be independent and was independent but now I’ve lost that. I officially depend on those two to make ends meet. It’s absolutely embarrassing.

I’m looking around to see what I should sell. There’s a few things I’m looking to hock on Craigslist or Amazon like I did when I was unemployed last time, but hopefully I’ll yield a better buck.

Have you ever reached your financial breaking point? What did you do to keep your sanity?

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13 Responses to Reached a Financial Breaking Point

  1. Have you tried writing stories for Demand Media? They pay $15 a story, which isn’t great, but if you can write one story per hour … well, that’s $15 an hour. That’s the equivalent of earning $30,000 a year, which is a respectable salary. (40 hours per week x 50 weeks per year x $15)

  2. It can be really rough… my fiance has been really depressed about not having a job and steady work to help out with everything…

    You just have to have a routine and get out of the house and get some sunshine every once and a while… 

    Maybe you could post your budget and we can all weigh in and help ya that way?

    • I think I will. I’ll probably make it a series and ask for any assistance. One PF blogger just game out with a new software and I’m gonna try it out.

  3. I think I am still quite lucky to be living in Asia, where the recession ain’t that severe yet. But I really feel sorry for all the situations that burst out, just like yours. I know how hard it is to be limited when it comes to financial matters, just remember that you can get through it, turn to others and ask help. Going through it alone might just depress you more. Pray. And may God bless you. (:

  4. We have been there and are still working our way back up and out of our hitting bottom. Although it is hard the biggest thing that helped me was to work really hard at remaining positive and believing that something would come through and things would work out.Everyday I would tell myself that we would be okay as long as we had each other.  I also did some serious looking at needs vs wants. Many things we considered a need at one time became a want while we were struggling with the finances.

    • We went over the needs/wants when I first got laid off, but you’re right; as long as we have each other, we’ll be fine. I’m considering doing yoga again for my health and my mental well being.

  5. I hit bottom like you have too.  I remember totally just mentally breaking down and it’s not pretty and it doesn’t feel good.  BUT it is healthy to talk it through.  Okay here goes…

    Making money on the internet is not easy.  There, I said it.  Everyone that tells you that you can make money easily is WRONG.  It’s worse than a full time job and your competition is worldwide. 

    Sending out the resumes are probably like dropping them into a  bucket at this point because you are also facing a lot of competition for work.  Now is the time to ask, should I change gears?  Should I rethink what I am doing?  Should I change careers?  What am I doing that is not working?

    The fact is this, it will take some time before the blog starts making money and you don’t have time to wait and waste.  Perhaps, now is a good time to get a part-time job somewhere doing something that doesn’t have to go on the resume but that would make money.  I took a part-time job bartending and working at Macy’s to make ends meet.  It is what it is, but it was money and no one was the wiser.

    Also, I highly suggest checking out this list from the Saved Quarter on how to make extra money.  It’s 4 parts.  (http://thesavedquarter.com/2010/10/make-save-extra-1000-month-part-1)   Run down it and see what works.  Good luck!  Hang in there…and keep the puppy. 

  6. Of course, I have to catch myself up on the rest of your posts, since I don’t know what your qualifications are. But would you be willing to take work cleaning houses for example (typically can work out an arrangement to get paid cash) where you don’t need any special skills and can do it a couple days a week and still make finding work a full time job the other days of the week?

    The situation sounds rough, and hopefuly things will turn around for you with the job hunt.
    In the mean time, I imagine at such a breaking point, any work that could get you an extra hundred bucks or so a month would be useful.

    • I’ve considered it, but things are slowly looking up for my writing. I get pretty creeped out when I go into other people’s dirty homes. I keep mine very clean so I may have performance anxiety haha.

  7. Can you take in a roommate? It’ll lower the cost of your rent. When I hit financial rock bottom, downsizing saved me. If you still have several months on your lease, moving isn’t really an option, but with a three bedroom place for only two people, a roommate seems like a really viable option.

    I also cut my grocery budget significantly but not buying ANY convenience food and very little meat. Even now, I only eat about a half a pound of meat a week on average. We eat filling and healthy pasta dishes, potato dishes, and bean and rice based meals. We suppliment with lots of inexpensive fruits and veggies (like cabbage, carrots, bannanas and apples.) We also drink water almost exclusively. Milk, juice, and soda are expensive.

    To take in some money, I would ask around for babysitting  or lawn mowing jobs. Have you thought about  pizza delivery? (Apparently the tips can make this worthwhile. Check out the website http://deliverawaydebt.com/about-jeff-kosola-and-deliverawaydebt/.) An out of the box idea I’ve had for some time to make money (my husband is against it though) is to try selling donuts in the morning near a subway station or busy intersection. I admit it sounds a little crazy, but Krispy Kreme’s fund raising donut sales have a pretty good profit margin.

    • Unfortunately, no. We’re renting from a former coworker’s mom and she made it clear she only wanted a couple renting, not more people from past experience. Downsizing also won’t help, as we’re paying almost $300 less in rent than we were paying for an apartment half this size. We’re getting a huge deal with this place. We’re working on cutting the grocery budget, especially since I’m trying to lose weight. I can’t mow the lawn (bad allergies), my husband used to do pizza delivery and gas is just way too expensive right now. Babysitting, I’d try.

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