I wish I had some insight or tips to share, but I don’t. I’m just hustling. I have had my nose to the grindstone, trying to get all my ducks in a row. Today is the first day that I don’t have an appointment or urgent business to take care of.
Here’s how I spent my first week after being laid off:
Monday: I volunteered at a local nonprofit where I would like to work. I met another attorney for coffee (networking!).
Tuesday: I registered for unemployment and calculated how much I can expect in benefits each week. I slashed our budget, and applied to three jobs, which involved updating my resume. I opened a business bank account.
Wednesday: I checked in with the clients that I am keeping, prepared for court the next day and opened a post office box.
Thursday: I represented a pro bono client in court and scouted locations for client meetings until I get a physical office.
Friday: I met another working mom for coffee (networking!) and met a potential client, who unfortunately did not hire me. But he did pay a consultation fee!
I learned from my last layoff that there is no telling how long the layoff will last, so it’s important to do what you can now to make it work financially, instead of dwindling down emergency savings while looking for the ideal situation. It’s also important to note that we no longer have a cash liquid savings. We have Roth IRA’s, which we can withdraw contributions from, but we really don’t want to do that.
Not having a cash emergency fund motivates me to be less complacent because I am taking each month and hustling to financially “make it work” (as Tim Gunn would say). This means that I slashed our budget, calculated what I would receive in unemployment benefits, and determined how much shortfall we will have each month: $130.
Unless there are extra expenses in one month, all I need to do is net $130 each month for us to break even. I can make that happen with a yard sale, selling more expensive items that we don’t use, or working with clients. Rest assured, that’s exactly what I’m doing!