"Like so many others, I sort of knew it was coming. When I was laid off in October, I figured it would take about three to six months to find another job. Initially, I felt pretty good about it. But then December and January came and went, and a lot of big corporations had hiring freezes.
Back in early 2006, my brother sent me a bunch of articles about the economic collapse that was coming. We bought gold and went into savings mode. We stayed away from the housing market and got rid of credit card debt. Unfortunately, the predictions came true.
Unemployment has allowed my family to retain a humble, but comfortable, lifestyle. We are able to pay all our bills, and we're actually netting more money than when I had a job, since we don't have to pay a small fortune for daycare. One of my daughters stays home with me and the other attends only part time now.
My wife, Michelle, works as a senior staff accountant, but we are expecting her to lose her job any quarter now. We're clipping coupons and not going out to eat so much. Michelle is from California and we used to go there three to four times a year. Now we haven't been there in months." --J.P.
NEXT: Gregory Prescott