General Question

joybells34's avatar

In these tough economic times work has slowed down or stopped for alot of people. What is everyone doing to keep busy and make ends meet?

Asked by joybells34 (359points) April 28th, 2009

My dad is a construction worker and has been for 35 years. He is barely working and fighting depression because of it. Breaks my heart because all he wants to do is work. He has exhausted all of his unemployment and is relying on my moms job to make ends meet. I’m hoping the economy bounces back soon.

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14 Answers


volunteer at different organizations.
simply helping others can make you feel better.

or just donate plasma for money.

seVen's avatar

Hunt and fish and sell the rest you won’t eat, grow a garden, do the same. God bless .

VS's avatar

I hope things improve for your folks soon, joybells. My husband works commercial construction and while that industry has slowed considerably, he has been fortunate in that he had began some contract work for the hospital prior to the economic downturn, and consequently we have been relatively unaffected by it. My job is pretty secure and it would appear that his work will continue through at least 2010.
Anything your dad can do to stay busy will help. A willingness to accept jobs he may previously have declined is important, too. Maybe he could print some business cards and fliers and distribute them in the neighborhood. Small odd jobs and home renovations, deck building, etc continue even in a bad economy. People have to have their homes repaired and if your Dad is willing to do that, he might find a future in it.

joybells34's avatar

@VS Thank you so much VS for your encouraging words. He does do a few odd jobs here and there but nothing like before. I’m glad your husband hasn’t been effected.

RedPowerLady's avatar

I am a huge fan of volunteering as well.

I want to say that I hope things pick up for you. I just now found a job for myself and it was a very difficult road. Now I wish the best for anyone going through this struggle. I can’t imagine what it would be like for a construction worker of 35 years to be without a job.

I’m not sure how social your dad is but what has helped me is to get involved in my community. Potlucks and such. Men I know seem to like “poker nights” (or for us its cribbage) and Basketball. Oh and of course fishing and gardening. If you want to help out ask your dad to show you how to do something you know he enjoys doing. When my grandad had to quit work due to medical reasons (he worked in a mill his entire life) he started showing me how to do this one craft he’d always liked to do. It was surprising because he wasn’t very social typically. I loved learning from him and I believe he enjoyed teaching me.

To make money he could post his services in the newspaper (which I understand is expensive) or on something free like craigslist (which despite negative comments I have had huge success on).

cyndyh's avatar

We’ve been doing more of the cheap and free entertainment available in town, walking more for exercise and clearing the head, cooking more things from scratch (or closer to scratch). A lot of these things are things we’ve wanted to do more of for a long time. There’s just a bit more incentive for some people now. It’s easier to say to your friends now, “Hey, let’s go to the free movie.” You don’t have to explain it.

sdeutsch's avatar

My dad is in the same spot as yours – he’s been working steadily as a technology consultant for 30 years, and now he’s been out of work for a year and a half. He spends several hours a day making calls and looking for jobs, but there just aren’t any jobs out there…

I think @VS is right – if your dad can throw himself into looking for other ways to make money, it’ll give himself something to stay occupied, and it’ll make him feel like he’s actually accomplished something. That’s the biggest problem that my dad has – he’s been useful and productive for the last 30 years, and now he feels like he’s totally useless. Volunteering is definitely another good way to feel useful, but I know from experience that when you’re not making any money, even the smallest income can make you feel so much better…

As for me, since my husband’s job is pretty stable, I’ve been spending a lot of my time helping all of my unemployed family and friends find ways to make more money for themselves. I put together a website to help my dad market his consulting firm, I helped my mom and sister put their crafts on Etsy – it makes me feel a lot more useful to be helping them get back on their feet, rather than just watching them struggle…

Good luck to your dad – I hope things get better for him soon!

RedPowerLady's avatar

@sdeutsch Props to you for helping out your family.

YARNLADY's avatar

Keep in mind that even when doing unpaid work, such as Habitat for Humanity, or helping with Senior Projects you will meet people who are hiring or know someone who is hiring. Volunteer work does not have to be giving away free work, it can also be a way to do your job hunting and still providing a service.

DREW_R's avatar

Huge fan of seVen’s answer. I also pan and dredge for gold in the local rivers. ;)

susanc's avatar

I’m not in immediate trouble, but I will be in a year or so unless everything totally turns around, which I don’t think it will.
So I’m dividing my house into two apartments so I can rent half of it without having to have a housemate, and that’s leading me to interviews with builders, which leads them to at least some work, and it leads me to good advice from these guys about stuff I can’t figure out on my own because, sorry, I’m a girl.
Also, because everyone is scared, I’m running around checking up on people and they’re doing it for me and hey! it’s already a stronger community. HMMMMM.
Plus, growing tomatoes, potatoes and beans.

Garebo's avatar

Maybe, work with charitable organizations where he can volunteer his time and expertise and feel good helping people less fortunate than himself.

YARNLADY's avatar

@susanc Be careful to not violate your local zoning laws.

thekoukoureport's avatar

The wall Street journal reported last week that US Corporations Saved in CASH $438 billion dollars last year. If that was used for the American workforce, unemployment would be at %4.8 and the recession would be over.

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