the financial impact of being laid-off

18 09 2007

After hearing about me being laid-off at work, several people have asked me how I will manage financially.  I want to address that here, because it’s something to think about and be prepared for just in case you have to go through something like that.  I’m glad that I already thought about such things, because it means my budget isn’t going into a crisis situation right now.

First of all, I don’t have to worry about my needs being met, because I have a relationship with God, and He has promised to meet all my needs.  I have been in a much worse situation financially, and God took care of that, so I’ve seen Him be faithful in my life, in addition to knowing His promises.

Second, I haven’t put myself in a position where a layoff jeopardizes my finances.  I know it’s the “American way” to live at or above your means, but that’s not healthy nor stable.  (I say it’s the “American way” not only from observation but from knowing that in September 2005 the national household saving rate was -0.6 percent, which means the average family was spending more than they were making.)  Most financial experts recommend that you have at least two to six months of your normal income in savings, in case you lose your job or face some other financial emergency.  I realize that’s difficult to do, but saving a little bit here and there adds up, especially when you make it a regular part of your monthly budget.

Now, before someone takes what I said to the extreme, I’m not suggesting that you quit buying stuff so you can save every penny.  We should still enjoy life, and it’s not wrong to spend a little money on yourself.  But we are called to be wise stewards of all God has entrusted us to manage (and we will give an account for that someday).  And let me add this — God blesses us so we can bless others.  So it’s not all about saving money.  When we learn to spend less, we put ourselves in a position where we can give more to help others who are in need.

I realize there are many factors that can cause someone to have to live month-to-month or even paycheck-to-paycheck.  It might not even be their fault, or it could be something out of their control that put them in that situation.  I’m not saying it’s wrong if you’re in that situation.  But I was there during my college years, barely able to pay my bills each month, and I don’t want to live that way if I can help it.  That’s why my spending philosophy includes spending less than I make.  So when an unexpected expense comes up, it’s not a crisis.  Or if I feel led to give to a particular ministry or need, I can give easily.

There’s a lot more that could be said, and of course I didn’t cover all perspectives and situations, so if you have something to add to what I said, feel free to put your thoughts in the comments section.

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2 responses

18 09 2007
Chris Davis

Been praying for you. As you said… Jesus will provide. He’s cool like that. 🙂

25 10 2007
Justin Jordan

I asked God today to forgive all my debts. I didn’t realize it was not in God’s plan, and now I do. I’m actually kind of heart-broken at all the money I have wasted…

I told myself I would never get into credit card debt, and now I am. I have no savings either. Consider yourself blessed, because you did what the bible instructs! Now that I know, I won’t be making the same mistakes again, but I am going to have to walk this one through:(

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