Like I said before, a lot of our more frugal actions have fallen by the wayside (and new debt was incurred!) because we had been lulled into a false sense of security, thinking that Jake's job was a given.
To give some background, for many years, Jake worked for the electrician union. In our area, that meant sitting on a waiting list for 6 - 7 months out of the year, using unemployment benefits, and 5 - 6 months of work at a good rate of pay. We kept our bills at a level that we could afford even in the lean months, and paid extra on debts in the good times. We had action steps for layoffs, knowing what things we would need to apply for and what things we would have to avoid until a job would come up.
Jake hasn't been laid off since Tristan was born, and back then both Catie and Daniel were in public school, so I was able to do more side work back then. If this span of unemployment goes on for a while, I'll look for work and let Jake take over the child watching/homeschooling duties for a while. Since we use allinonehomeschool.com , the homeschooling duties mostly involve checking his work and making sure he understands the assignments.
Things that we did immediately to reduce our costs -
Lowered our thermostat to 66 (formerly 68) and are wrapping up and using our woodstove more.
Have gotten more vigilant about turning off lights (me).
Dried a load of laundry on a rack by the fire.
Called AT&T and lowered our bill $40 a month just by asking.
Asked Comcast for a better plan, but got shot down. We're in a promotional deal right now, so every other deal would cost us more.
Took a chunk of our savings (meant for building supplies for the new bedroom) and used it to eliminate a bill - the same credit card I was paying down with my side money. That will leave us with 2 car loans (about 12K total), an interest-free debt for some furniture, and some small medical bills from my recent medical testing. I'll keep using half of my side money to pay things down.
Technically, Jake isn't even unemployed until Monday, and he has 20+ resumes submitted to various companies.
Thank you for your prayers and support!