Hope: Thriving While Unemployed by Angi Schneider and Carl Schneider (2014)
Who are Angi and Carl Schneider?
Angi and Carl Schneider know about unemployment and underemployment. During the economic meltdown of 2008, Carl lost his job. For 4 years, Carl worked several part-time jobs to support his family of 5 children, before landing a full time position, once again. A 6th child was born during this time. 4 years is a long time to keep a house and a family with part-time income. But they succeeded. They didn’t lose their home in Texas. They didn’t starve. This book was born out of those birth pains of underemployment.
Why are they qualified to write this book?
Carl has two masters’ degrees, one in counselling, and one in Christian education, and Angi’s degree is in finance. That story of the guy with the master’s degree fixing your burger, that could have been referencing Carl. But while Carl was working several jobs to bring home the bacon, Angi wasn’t slouching on the couch eating bonbons. No way. It’s Angi’s finance brain, entrepreneurial bent, and frugal living that helped them through. This is their genius gift. A guy whose willing to do what it takes to keep his family afloat, with a gift for people helping, and a gal who is willing to manage home and family to make it work. They distill that gift into this book to help you, too, thrive while unemployed or even underemployed.
Frugal Living Tips
This book is full of really good frugal living tips that anyone could use to cut their expenses, find bargains for every day necessities, and plan for a prosperous future. Although it’s written for those who are currently facing unemployment, it also speaks to the person who is working several minimum wage jobs, or the person who’s living under a load of debt.
Here’s a few of the best frugal tips that really ring true:
Manage your spending. While that seems pretty practical, Angi and Carl offer some concrete ways to do that, like negotiating with your cell phone company, cutting back on cable TV, and starting a garden to supplement your dinner menu. (For more on starting a garden check out Angi’s book, The Gardening Notebook.)
Another great tip: don’t take the first job that comes around. That seems counter intuitive, but did you know that it can sometimes actually cost you more money to work a part time job than you earn at the job? You wouldn’t think that would be the case, but Mr. Joybilee and I experienced this, too. Be patient when looking for work and investigate the job as much as they are investigating their employee prospects. Make sure even a part time job is a good fit before you jump in.
And one more tip, just because things should come in threes: Angi tells the reader where to find bargains for life’s necessities like food and clothing, including links to coupon sites, clothing blogs, and food activists sites where you can learn to cook well, from scratch, on a budget. One such site is The Prudent Homemaker, where beans and rice are managed in creative ways to stretch the food budget. Angi also mentions one of my favorite frugal living books, The Tightwad Gazette, as a positive resource. If you haven’t already read this book, you should immediately get it from your local library, or buy a copy. It’s my go-to home finance mentor, along with Living More With Less. Both are full of frugal living tips to change your thinking about joyfully living within your means and thriving.
What I love about this book:
One of the things I loved about the book is that there is no shaming. No suggestion that you are somehow at fault because your company downsized, or you can’t find your dream job. There is enough shaming going on in your own mind, when you are in that situation. The “what ifs” have no place in this book or in your thinking. This is all about looking forward to a brighter future, when this brief season is passed, giving you a map that will help you navigate through the forest, back into the clearing.
What do you need to manage if you are unemployed or under employed
My biggest take away from reading Hope: Thriving While Unemployed is that you must manage your spending first. Angi offers tips and resources to help you do exactly that. If you don’t rein in your spending, as a family, you won’t be able to thrive. But if you do rein in your spending, this brief season can be a time of fulfillment and joy for you and your family. Hope helps you figure out priorities so that you make wise decisions in knowing what to give up and what to maintain.
Resources to help
The appendix of the book is ripe with printable worksheets, resource links, and suggestions for working from home and parttime employment. And Schneiderpeeps blog has a resource page devoted to the readers of Hope. It’s as if Angi and Carl are holding your hand through the journey, from helping you decide what you can sell, to helping you figure out where to get insurance, they are leading you through the maze. You’ll make it through this testing period. And you’ll be victorious. That’s the premise of this book.
Angi and Carl, have huge hearts, too. If you are currently unemployed you can get a free copy of Hope: Thriving While Unemployed by sending an email to Angi and requesting a complimentary copy. Just tell them Joybilee Farm told you about Hope.
Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes. This book represents my honest opinion of this work. Some of the links in this review are affiliate links.