This article is by staff writer Kristin Wong. A few months ago, I wrote about a job loss. It was a first for me. To recap, a high-paying client let go of the majority of their freelancers, which included me. I felt rejected, but I quickly came to terms with it: It's business. However, since I'd been focusing 90 percent of my work life on this client for the past couple years, I consequently lost 90 percent of my income when I lost the job. It sucked. I went from saving a ton of money to only being able to pay my bills after drastically reducing my budget. But something surprising happened. Despite losing so much of my income, I was still meeting my savings goals each month. I thought that was pretty cool, so I figured I'd share how I did it. Yes, this is only what worked for me, and of course, these tips might not work for everyone. But hey, if some of them work for some of you, it's worth sharing, right? Here we go.
I got over my fear of investing
Before the layoff, I'd started educating myself about investing. I invested in index funds. I researched them. I considered their long-term and medium-term return, buying accordingly. Throughout the year, I paid attention to what worked and what didn't -- and I tried to understand why they did or didn't work. Sure, there's only so much that's dependable when it comes to investments, and I considered that fact, too. One of my medium-term money goals is to save for a down payment on a home. For the past few months, I haven't been able to set aside much toward this goal. But in December, I looked at my progress. The two savings accounts I have allocated toward "Home Down Payment" earned $966 in dividends. I thought that was pretty good, considering that, with holiday expenses, I was barely paying my bills that month.