Due to the current recession I've been under-employed for far too long. Unfortunately it's turning out to be a catastrophically long time, and now I need to know what my options are.
posted by anonymous to Grab Bag (18 answers total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
I've had a hard time in the last couple of years after being laid-off and thought I had it mostly under control with the little money I've earned doing temp and freelance work (and constantly searching for full time employment), and a little help from friends here and there. I've also severely curtailed my other expenses, but things snowballed out of control financially anyway. I'm now facing losing what little I still have, namely my apartment, and thinking about that makes me hyperventilate, so I'm trying to look forward instead. It's go-time, and I need to be prepared for what to expect.
I don't have a family to help me out, and I don't qualify for a bank loan. My "problem" is small, all things considered (<$2K), but that's little comfort... however, I know I'll eventually recover from all of this, basically as soon as I get a job. I suppose that's how it is for most people going through this -- the final blow isn't necessarily a huge, insurmountable challenge... it's just the final one in a series. I can't borrow money from a friend because my friends aren't rich and besides, owing friends money messes with my head and plunges me into depression, and I want to avoid any added stress right now. I can't bear the thought of dragging someone else down with all this. It's my problem, no one else's.
There are no unemployment or social welfare programs available to me, I've tried. Reasons given: I've had work too recently and am registered with several employment agencies that get me work sporadically, I have no dependent children, and I do not have a drug dependency or qualifying medical condition, so I'm considered able to earn my own way. The man at social services said that there's nothing holding me back, I get work regularly it seems, so hang in there, more work will come along, and I'll be fine. That wasn't as true as I was hoping it would be. Part of what's scaring me even worse is something I read on the blue recently, about how being poor creates more debt. I'm looking at only a $2K problem right now, but how will that balloon over the next __ months or so?
What I need to know is this: what happens next? I have a 14-day eviction notice (meaning they'll file that eviction in 14 days if the terms are not met) because I owe my landlord money, and they want the back rent, plus next month's rent on the first, no negotiating that, and if it doesn't happen I'm out. Realistically, earning that much money in that little time cannot happen. So it looks like I have at least two weeks to prepare for this, which I'm grateful for, and I've started getting things around so I can begin packing up my stuff. If they evict me, am I still responsible for the full lease I've just renewed two weeks ago, but hasn't actually begun yet? (I just renewed my lease after being offered that option because I'm a valued tenant!) But what should my next step be? I don't have a lot of friends, and living with them isn't an option. Are there places I can go that aren't scary shelters like I've seen on tv? I know the eviction process can take months, but I don't feel like I should just squat in my apartment because it's not right, and I can't afford to mix more guilt and bad feelings into this situation. It's humiliating enough as it is. It would feel like theft to stay and not pay, but staying and paying whatever I do earn means I won't have any money to my name when it comes time to be forced out, and I also don't want to be forced out. I'd like this transition to be as low-impact and non-humiliating as possible. I have a tiny bit of money in my account, another $100 coming because I got a little work this week, and no future work lined up, but since I'm temping and searching, I could possibly be working next week, which would mean more income. How to best spend any money I have once I've been told to leave? Hotels in my town are too expensive, and that amount of money is not enough to rent anything that I'm aware of, not even a room.
What happens in this situation? What do people do? Is there something I'm not thinking of? People recover from this kind of setback, don't they? Alternatively, if someone can think of a way to earn a couple grand in two weeks, I'm all ears. I am in Illinois, and my throwaway email is email@example.com. Thank you.