As many of you know, my husband has recently become unemployed. I met Amy Cooke and she had some great information for me on steps and actions we should look into during this transition time in our lives. Most of her contact information below is specific to the Nashville, TN area, but you can do searches for similar programs in your area.
Also, if you missed my last post and you are currently unemployed, Family Life will give you a free admission to their Weekend To Remember Conference. If you haven’t been, I highly recommend it, especially during this difficult time of transition. My husband and I attended last weekend and it was truly a “Weekend To Remember!”
One more addition:
I hope you find these helpful and encouraging!
Thanks – Kelly
Steps To Take During Unemployment
1. Freak out. Allow yourself some time to cry and just get it all out.
2. Stop freaking out. It will all be okay.
“If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” Matthew 21:22
3. Lower Expenses: Have a conversation with your spouse about ideas for making money. I have been selling things on Ebay and consigning some of my kids’ clothes. Also, take Kelly’s coupon clipping classes.
4. Set A Budget: Write out a budget if you haven’t already and cut out things that you don’t need. Decide what is a priority. Here are some examples: cut back on our cable bill, decrease the speed of your internet, decrease the amount of minutes on your cell phone, turn the water temperature down, etc. Dave Ramsey always says to pay for your mortgage/rent, electricity, and food. Those are the necessities of life. Also, start paying for things only with cash. It is amazing how much you won’t spend if you actually pay with cash.
5. Sign up for unemployment. I believe with the stimulus plan there was an increase in the amount of money you get recently. If you have worked in the state of Tennessee exclusively in the past 18 months than you can sign up for unemployment here.
TIP: If you have worked in another state in the last 18 months, find out if you get paid more in that state. For example, my husband worked in Texas part of last year. We found out that we would get paid more if he filed there. However, he did have to call first thing in the morning and wait for a while on the phone.
6. Talk to your children: Have a conversation with your kids (if they are old enough) about cutting back on things. (i.e. using less water, turn off lights, less t.v. time. It is the little things that add up to a lot.
7. WIC Programs: If you make $46K or less and have children under the age of 5 you can sign up for the WIC (women, infant and children) program. You do have to be drawing some type of income even if it is unemployment. I get the following free every month:
- 5 gallons of milk
- 5 cans of tuna
- 32 oz. of carrots
- 3 boxes of cereal
- jar of peanut butter
- bag of beans
- 4 bottles of juice
Some of these items I get because I am nursing. If you are using formula you get that free too. Call the Willimson County WIC program at 1-800-342-5942. Make an appointment with them. You will need to bring your children that are covered by WIC the first time. After 3 months you can go by yourself to pick up the WIC checks.
8. Health Insurance: If you do not have health insurance shop around for different policies. We looked into COBRA and it was very expensive. We ended up going with TRH (Tennessee Rural Health) which is through Farm Bureau and signed up for comprehensive coverage. It is $277/month. We felt it was the best plan for our family. Their website is www.trh.com.
If you decide not to get coverage for doctor visits ask your doctor’s office for a discount. My pediatrician’s office gave us 20% off our bill because of our situation. You will find that most people are willing to work with you if you are up front about your situation. Also, try to get the generic forms of prescriptions if possible. Obviously you need to check with your doctor to see if that is okay. Wal-Mart has $4 prescriptions for some medicines, and our doctor also has prescribed antibiotics that are free at Publix. Our pediatrician is very generous in giving us free samples of the drugs he has on hand.
10. Communication: Be honest with your spouse about your feelings. At first I cried a lot and would try not to cry in front of him. Now, the tears are not as prevalent. We have learned to enjoy this time we have together. He loves being with the kids all the time. Now, don’t get me wrong we do have our moments of worry but we go back to the fact that our Lord will provide for us. We lean on Him when we get worried or stressed. This time will pass and we will learn from it. Our Father wants us to see his blessings and to remember that they come from Him.
We have truly been blessed during this time. It is amazing to see the things we have already learned. Remember that God provides what we need daily. He is ordering our steps and planning our days.
Here are some quotes and verses that I read regularly to keep me planted in my faith. I hope these will help you during this journey.
- “I have held many things in my hands, and I have lost them all; but whatever I have placed in God’s hands, that I still possess.” – Corrie ten Boom
- Look among the nations! Observe! Be astonished! Wonder! Because I am doing something in your days-you would not believe it if you were told. – Habakuk 1:5
- “Obedience is key to hearing His voice. Easy lives don’t make good stories. Your life in Christ was meant to be a good story.” – Priscilla Shirer
- “Be still and know that I am God.” – Psalm 46:10
- “I urge you to pray for absolutely everything, ranging from small to large. Include everything as you embrace this God-life and you will get God’s everything”.
- Mark 11:24
- “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11
- Amy Cooke
Amy Cooke is a mother of a 7, 2 and 3 month old, and enjoys reading and tries her best to have one cup of coffee in silence every day!
Another great post for information is one below from Deal Seeking Mom.