"When I was laid off in September from AOL [a division of CNNMoney.com parent company Time Warner], honestly, at first I wasn't too depressed. We got two months severance. I had some interviews right away, although nothing came through.
My wife, Stephanie, is a nurse and is working toward getting a graduate degree. She's been working about 50 hours a week, picking up overtime. But as she gets further into her graduate program to become a nurse practitioner, it will require her to miss more work.
I'm also a part-time DJ, and I had some jobs lined up in October and November, which helped to carry us through. But December through March are really slow months for DJs. And I started realizing that the treasury jobs just aren't there.
There are days when it really gets me down. You get 15-20 resumes sent out, and you don't hear anything back. We'd prefer to stay in the DC area, but I need to expand where I'm looking.
My unemployment kicked in--about $320 net per week--and that meets some of our bills. The rest we are letting roll through to the credit card and we're just trying not to let that balance get astronomical. We've cut back on eating out, and we get Netflix instead of renting movies. Stephanie and I didn't do anything for our anniversary, and we didn't exchange gifts at Christmas. We canceled a partial season ticket package for the Washington Nationals.
So far we've been able to pay for daughter's college bills with cash, but we might need to resort to student loans in the fall.
For me the key is to stay busy because it can be hard to stay upbeat. I found jobs around the house and painted the whole interior. While it didn't pay any bills, it sure looks a lot nicer! --J.P.
NEXT: Tim Purkis