one girl’s guide to surviving unemployment

everything old is new again

The first economy was based on bartering: I’ll trade you something of mine for something of yours.  This is a perfectly applicable framework for getting the services that you need when you’re facing unemployment.

Talk to your service providers, whether they’re your hairdresser, doctor, babysitter, massage therapist, gym, whatever. Before you give up the services that you need in order to remain happy and sane through this time, see if you can’t strike a bargain.  

A few samples from my own life:

  • I’m doing some Web work for my acupuncturist in exchange for discounted treatments.
  • I have a friend who owes me money.  There is no way that he can pay me back right now as his economic circumstances are not great.  However, he just finished cooking schools, so is working with me to prepare some healthy, reheatable meals so that I’m not subsisting on cereal or frozen dinners.

Need some ideas as to what you can offer?  Check the list below.  Chances are you can do AT LEAST one of them.

  • Cleaning / laundry
  • Errand running (dry cleaning, grocery shopping, etc.)
  • Transportation
  • Babysitting
  • Pet sitting / dog walking
  • House sitting
  • Yard work
  • Cooking
  • Filing, organizing and office work
  • Data entry
  • Tutoring

It never hurts to ask whether your service providers can work with you on a reduced scale.  Bartering services shows that you value the time it takes them to do what they do, and illustrates that you’re willing to meet them half way.


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