tl;dr—Preparing for a layoff.
As with many wonderful people in the U.S., I'm losing my job this summer. As of July 1, I am unemployed. Our household consists of me, my husband and our dog. I am the breadwinner, making a decent salary, while my husband works part time and goes to school. Although I'm extremely marketable (advanced degree, experience in my field, exhaustive references), we long ago decided that whenever we have the chance financially, I was going to abandon my 9-to-5 in pursuit of starting my own home-based business. Of course, we would have preferred to make that decision on our own instead of being forced through "downsizing"...but we're trying to take a positive attitude and consider this lay-off an opportunity. Afterall, we have no kids, no mortgage and we're young enough to not know any better! So the short story is, I'm not going to actively pursue another full-time job. Now, my husband has already offered to suspend his education and start working full-time (in fact, he already has). This will bring our income after July 1 to about 2/3 what we are living at now. Currently, we don't live lavishly, but there are some things we could cut back on and just barely coast by on that. I do have multiple plans for ways to make extra cash—I have an Etsy shop, I'm a ChaCha Guide, and I have freelance opportunities doing what I'm currently employed doing. Which, if all work as I plan, will supplement our income enough to be at our pre-layoff levels, if not more. However, none of those things are stable. And I'd like us to have a security blanket. Currently, we have nil savings. Although I've come up with a plan that can guarantee us around $5,000 in savings before the lay off (through economic stimulus, my severance, and the extra income from him working full-time). But I'd like to build up twice that, if not three times to cover us. I know it won't happen in the next 6 weeks, but sooner rather than later, would be nice. What we've done so far: •Suspended all investments into 401(k)s and 403(b)s. We're 24 years old, we'll have plenty of time to reinvest once we are more stable. •Trimmed out budget extremely tight. Cut all extraneous spending (we envelope budget). •Lowered the interest rate on all of our debt (if we could). •Investigated how to rollover/vest my 403(b). •Made dentist and eye doctor appointments in order to get those covered before the insurance is gone. So here are my questions: #1 Any ideas on other things we can do to free up some money now in order to save for later? #2 With my layoff, we are also losing health insurance, but do not want to go without it, my husband's job offers poor coverage for a high premium, so I want to investigate some private insurers. Any recommendations of companies or ideas of where to start looking? #3 What am I missing? What am I forgetting?