Jul 182011

Preface – This article is an in-your-face and was written to help to those that going through this unpleasant process.

Ok, so times can be tough and you have lost your job. It has been 6 months and you are still going through life like you still have a job, still eating out, going to the movies, having the same parties, and your mini-vacations etc. Yeah, sound familiar…you have some savings and your not desperate just yet but you know it is coming.

Your Ego has allot with what your doing or not doing now. Maybe you have 3 kids and your concerned about the backlash and how your kids, wives, and friends will view you as less of  a man or breadwinner. This can happen to the best of us and it is realizing that you should “suck it up” and do what you have to do to keep the family in food, rent, and clothes. This may mean a part time job or something but you should act now and stop the financial bleeding, so you do not pay more in the future.

So… what do you do and how do you get started? Most people avoid the reality of taking financial assessment and this should be one of  the first things you do after you pray for strength and getting a new job.  Consider at temporary but immediate financial diet, TV, kids cell phones, overpriced home and car insurance can weight you down.  These NON-Essential expenses are only realized when that steady paycheck is not coming in and you have to take money out of savings or pay with an already partially overtaxed credit card, oh yeah, the credit card. Maybe you were blessed to get some severance pay or had 3-6 months emergency, which the average family does not have, so there is that. What do you do? You start to feel squeezed and you need financial relief until after you get your new job.

First off, don’t kid yourself about looking for and finding a new job as it can be scary. The National job hunting average says it takes 6 months to 2 years to find and land a new job.  Now days you will find that there might be 5 other applicants competing for the same position. It is time to get your family and or select non-judgmental supportive, friends involved. If your married, your wife can start looking at the coupons, your kids may lose their phones, X-Box,  and your internet premium channels package get trimmed. All these reality efforts now will pay off big for you in the long run. Most people in our country do not know how to live without. Think about the daily Starbucks or Pete’s Latte you get, hmm… that is $3.50 x 20 days a month or more, that is $70 per month you can really live without. Make it at home for $15/month. It is not pleasant but you should dig into those sometimes hidden and unnecessary expenses that were “gotta haves”.

Your parents and how you were raised– Think back on your families history, Parents or Grandparents life, ranging but not limited to tough times in 1950-80’s. As a kid, did your parents get you a weekly or monthly allowance and a cell phone, car and or car insurance, XBox monthly subscription, and that Family Gym subscription that you barely used, or something like that.

Most of our older and wiser Mom and Dads, made us earn whatever we wanted over our basic needs, but not so much today. As a Father and Mother providing for their family of 3 kids, these multiple seemingly small miscellaneous expenses can add up and represent $200-$600 per month!. Money that you now don’t have and should not be paying for. Think deep and hard, is it critical for you or your family to have these things at this moment?  Really? Probably not and as painful as it is, have a talk with your family, wife, girlfriend, or whomever, and let them know you require your help.  Husbands and Wives have to get on the same page, as one maybe saving and the other spending on things that are just not necessary to a house in financial instability. Do your best to not use that Credit Card and line of Credit that is just hanging out their for you to pick.

Help your kids with ideas by suggesting they may help themselves by getting part-time work, babysitting or helping around a store or something… anything to cover their OWN, non-essential needs.

College, this is a real tough one… You have a son or daughter going to a nice school and you ONLY have enough funds to cover 3 more months? What do you do? Line of Credit? NO. Think about it now, but do something now before it gets even tougher.

House Payments, Mortgage – Yeah there is that “roof over your head” thing. Look over your current mortgage and see if you have room to refinance of your house. Many people are upside down or owe more than it is worth and you cannot qualify for an interest rate adjustment. Try anyway, by talking to your current bank or lending institution and get some ideas as to what they can do for you without going through a complete refinance. Most are upside down and in the past 15 years, jumping from job to job and bigger house to bigger house to end up with one that scoops up a large amount of your monthly income… Now that house is not as attractive now that the music has stopped. (i.e. no job) Did I say Income? Oh yeah, hello? remember you do not have a job.  Next, look at your auto and home insurances, (oh that boat insurance). A simple phone call to your agent can get you and Immediate adjustment on your insurances by adjusting your deductibles, coverage amounts, the boat, RV, or other Toys, and strip them down until you get on your feet. DO IT NOW, DO NOT WAIT.

Agreements and Contracts – You always want to honor your agreements with all the companies you do business with unless you did not get what you agreed to or you find out what it costs you to get out of an agreement. One thing to remember, if you do not have a copy of the agreement and the company wants to enforce it, it will be up to them to get you a copy of that agreement. In many cases (I.E. phone, alarm company, or cable company), will not have an agreement and will tell you they do to keep you on. Ask for it, it cannot hurt. If they cannot produce it and your certain that you are at the end of your term, pay the fee to get out or tell them that you do not have an agreement because they cannot produce one for you.

Looking for a job – This is typically not a pleasant process, and especially if your over 40 and have worked at the same job for many years. You have to learn how to network and make a resume, if you ever have done one before.

How do you go about finding a job?  Start with the Internet is a great place to start, but your best job seekers are your friends and family. Post it with your friends on your Facebook or blog page if you have one. People love to help others. Post your resume or job qualifications EVERYWHERE. An old sales saying comes to mind, “Untold is UnSold”   Your friends and family know you well and if your a hard worker, they will help you network for a new job. It is great if you have a specific skill. Sometimes you can find misc jobs you can pick up just by telling others about your situation. Ya gotta do what it takes to make it and you will have to roll with these times to keep moving forward.

Church and Food – Networking for a job is critical. Let your Church office know that you are looking for a job. If you don’t have a Church, get one. Do not be afraid to ask for meals that some churches or private food banks offer. Churches are getting strained with the great need a the time of this article. The hardest thing for the proud man or woman is to just ask.

If your not a church goer, find one and get plugged in. One of the best things you can do  is volunteer your time at anything to do with the church, meeting people that are sometimes in the same space you are. It seems that you always find a job or opening when your helping others and not actually looking for a job at that moment. When you volunteer, your guard is down and your open to things you never thought you would be. Think about volunteering on evenings or weekends. Volunteering is extremely therapeutic when your out of a job or anytime.

P.S. Find a smaller church that has missions and is actively outreaching in the community. Our family go to Calvary Refuge Huntington Beach, a non-denominational church, where the door is always open.


Dec 132010

Every time I get to spend some quality time with my kids or a person in need of listening time, it is a good day. Yesterday, my hardest to reach son, still living at home, 22 year old and I went to the beach with the potential of Surfing. Turns out, it was flat slightly windy, but a warm and beautiful day, 78 degrees in the middle of December. We sat in our beach chairs by the water talking and relating to each other. As a parent, sometimes you just need to listen period, especially if you have a girl. It was a real treat.  We had good talk, not judgmental nor condescending talk. We left the beach after about an hour and a half, ate lunch together at a hole-in-the-wall Thai place we found on Urbanspoon, and then went home.

That late afternoon, it took a little coaxing, but together we finished putting up the Christmas lights.

You have kids? Connect with them, make the effort now, for they will be gone before you know it and they will not have those small memories that are burned in for life.  I was so fortunate to have great parents as role model so it is not so much of a stretch for me, but you who struggle, get some help from others to show you how you can connect and make a difference.

Fulfilled Dad

Aug 262010

It was great seeing my son who just graduated from Gerry Katzman’s, School of comedy. Robbiek’s and all his graduates have a certain style. You can tell when Gerry has been schooling them because they do not suck. Gerry has a knack to bring out the best in even the meekest of performers.

RobbieK performed for his 2nd time last night in Hollywood at the Comedy Store and he was great and he kept it clean. See his performance on Facebook.

Or here if you can see it.

First Stand-up – Comedy Club Union August 16th 2010

Laurenne’s Blog… HumansareSoFunny.com

Dec 012009

Yesterday was fun helping sort and pack shoe boxes to distribute to needy children across the country.

A team of 17 met at the Orange County distribution center. The Christmas Child group, headed by Franklin Graham, Samaritan’s Purse is so well organized. They trained us and got us on the floor in no time.

My daughter, Kimmie 16, and I felt like we were giving the best of our time.  The biggest reward for a dad is to be with his daughter who is on fire for the Lord and a real blessing.

See a few Photos Here..

Aug 122009

Continued from Facebook, Gayle has had some help, Julie Harrington, and Julie Gibbs.

Ok, so GMa is doing ok now. The last few days were rough as she was very disoriented due to the Morphine and other drugs. The Doctor backed off on them. She is in the hospital for today and Thursday and I think on Friday she is going to a really nice care rehab facility on Neuman street and Beach Blvd, next to Huntington Beach Hospital, at the end of Neuman.
Gayle has been running ragged and the Water damage in our house being in a Hotel is not helping.  We moved back home without a kitchen so we will make one in the back yard and eat out. I am sick of eating out, it is not healthy.
Appreciating a home-cooked meal.
AAA has been very difficult to work with if you have an idea of what you are doing. I can see how insuance adjusters for the companies can litterly run you over. They are so ready to cut you a check and close the issue in a few days when it takes as few days to get your berings as to the simplicity or complexity of the project.
Luckily, I had Sam Bar of Clean Pro, Phone 800 949-2044, a pro when it comes to water restoration. He was on my side to guide me trough the insurance jungle. All the others that came on board with all Insurance driven persons. Being a non insurance representative, they typically treat the company like a 2nd class citizen and basically frustrate you.
Believe me if you do not know what you are doing when it comes to homeowners claims, or just not sure, get yourself an insurance adjuster.
I happened on Frank Vacarro, of Vacarro and Associates, nice guy, gave me some solid advice. It turns out he does lots of commerical property, and some personal. His phone number in the Huntington Beach, Orange County area is 714 536-3877/
G.W. Burke and Associates at 800 429-7070.
Most will not charge up front and will want 15-20% of the claim they get for you. They know how deal in the insurance companies language, which is different than ours.
More later on.
Jul 082009

People who have been affected by the softening economy are turning to new avenues for income.

Some are finding new untapped skills and reinventing themselves.  Some important things to consider when reinventing ones self.

  • Stick with what you know
  • Do not quit your current job or stream of income until you can replace it
  • Do you homework, research others that have done what you are considering for more than 2years.
  • Consider what you could do in your current job to make it better or bring in more business (sometimes this is much more productive and rewarding)
  • Listen to your gut and the little voice in your head and by all means your wife, husband, or girlfriend.

Mar 052009

Print this and post it! >> Download a file >>  Click Here to get 40 Tips for Better Life

   40 Tips for Better Life

1. Take a 10-30 minute walk every day. And while you walk, smile.  It is the ultimate anti-depressant.

2. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day.

3. Buy a DVR and tape your late night shows and get more sleep.

4. When you wake up in the morning complete the following statement, ‘My purpose is to __________ today.’

5. Live with the 3 E’s — Energy, Enthusiasm, and Empathy.

6. Play more games and read more books than you did in last year .

7. Make time to practice meditation, and prayer. They provide us with daily fuel for our busy lives.

8. Spend time with people over the age of 70 and under the age of 6.

9. Dream more while you are awake.

10. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food that is manufactured in plants.

11. Drink green tea and plenty of water. Eat blueberries, wild Alaskan salmon, broccoli, almonds & walnuts.

12. Try to make at least three people smile each day.

13. Clear clutter from your house, your car, your desk and let new and flowing energy into your life.

14. Don’t waste your precious energy on gossip, OR issues of the past, negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.

15. Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn. Problems are simply part of the curriculum t hat appear and fade away like algebra class but the lessons you learn will last a lifetime.

16. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a college kid with a maxed out charge card.

17. Smile and laugh more. It will keep the NEGATIVE BLUES away.

18. Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.

19. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.

20. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

21. You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.

22. Make peace with your past so it won’t spoil the present.

23. Don’t compare your life to others’. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

24. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.

25. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: ‘In five years, will this matter?’

26. Forgive everyone for everything.

27. What other people think of you is none of your business.

28. REMEMBER GOD heals everything.

29. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

30. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick.  Your friends will.  Stay in touch.

31. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful.

32. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.

33. The best is yet to come.

34. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

35. Do the right thing!

36. Call your family often. (Or email them to death!)

37. Each night before you go to bed complete the following statements: I  am

 thankful for __________. Today I accomplished _________.

38. Remember that you are too blessed to be stressed.

39. Enjoy the ride. Remember this is not Disney World and you certainly  don’t want a fast pass. You only have one ride through life so make the most of it and enjoy the ride.

40. Please Forward this to everyone you care about.  I just did.


Click Here to get 40 Tips for Better Life

Sent to Dad from his Daughter Carlene. See my blog www.EricKirkhuff.com to get a copy