How Do You Survive Without A Job?

bread line unemployment depression
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We thought this post at Ask A Manager was thought-provoking.

A reader asked:

I have a question that I do not mean with any snotty tone, whatsoever. I am truly curious because it’s something I’ve always wondered:

For those of you unemployed for lengthy periods of time, how do you survive?…I have often wondered this as I contemplate what would happen if I lost my job. I have probably several months of savings built up (as I continue to build it), but I don’t know what I would do much beyond that….?

Readers chimed in. One, who was attending grad school and working part-time, took out extra student loans (which now have to be repaid at “exorbitant” interest). Others relied on emergency funds (which many have said are now drained dry). Others just cut back expenses to the bone—nothing but mortgage/rent, food, and utilities. Many are saying they’ve moved back in with their parents. One woman says that she’s survived 18 months of unemployment…because she religiously saved 1/3 of her income in an emergency fund. That’s huge, and probably not feasible for most.

What are your coping strategies?