We’re facing an interesting situation right now in my family. My income is down, and my husband works for the State of California. For those not familiar with the situation here, due to the annual battle over the budget not being settled on time (as usual), they’ve temporarily cut all state employee wages to the Federal minimum wage level.

That’s lower than California minimum wage, by the way.

We’ll get the usual pay back once the budget is settled, this is just a tool the Governor is using to push the State employee unions to accept new contracts. But that doesn’t make it any less painful to deal with while so little money comes in.

We’re trying to have a sense of humor about it all. He works for the Employment Development Department, which is a long way of saying he works for the Unemployment Office. In talking on the phone to unemployed people on Friday, he was getting asked how he’s coping financially. This pay cut means that he’s earning less than many people who are getting unemployment benefits.

Getting sympathy for what you’re earning from unemployed people is somewhat amusing.

But this all brings up a very good point. No one’s income is guaranteed secure, no matter how much you rely upon it.

Layoffs happen. People get fired. Injuries happen. Health problems happen. Divorce happens. Death happens. It’s not pretty, but that’s life. Sometimes it sucks.

These aren’t easy things to prepare for. You should have an emergency fund ready to deal with as much as you can manage, but what if that’s not enough or you haven’t had enough money to save up an emergency fund?

Is It Time to Go Back to Work?

One option is to go out and find a job for yourself. This isn’t a happy choice for most stay at home moms or dads. You’re there for a reason, and it’s hard to give it up.

It’s also not an easy thing to do right now when jobs are scarce in many areas. You may not be able to find an adequate jobs, although in some cases any job will do just because it helps matters.

Can You Create a Work at Home Income?

More fun for most is to bring in more money from home. It’s great when you can manage it.

The lucky ones are the at home parents who are already earning enough that even if their spouse loses their income, they can just keep working, and the family will be fine, just living on a somewhat tighter budget for a time. That’s a wonderful feeling to know you can do that much for your family and still be right there.

When you’re suddenly the main income for your family, you need to get to that level. And fast.

This is not an easy thing to accomplish for most people. If you haven’t already been earning an income from home, you have to start from scratch, whether you pick a work at home job or a home business. You may not know how to get started.

There’s a lot of work that can be done at home if that’s what you want to do.

There are a few simple ways to earn money from home, but they mostly don’t earn a lot. You can apply to write for Demand Studios, for example. You won’t earn great amounts from each article you write for them, and you’ll have to research for them, but you’ll know what you’re earning before you get started if you select an assignment.

You can write for Associated Content. You’ll generally earn less upfront, but if you’re good at picking topics you can get bonuses based on page views.

You can find freelance work at a variety of job boards. The kind of work you find will depend on your skills.

There’s  a lot of work that can be done at home if that’s what you want to do. Your challenge is to find it without falling for a scam. That means don’t be desperate. Think before you sign up for anything.

What If You Just Need to Earn More?

In many cases, you’re already doing some kind of work at home, and just need to earn more from it. Sometimes this is easy. Other times not so much.

If you have a work at home job and can ramp up your hours to earn more, don’t hesitate. Do what you have to do.

If you can’t get more hours from your current job, is a second job possible?

It may not be so easy to ramp up a home business income. Your earnings don’t necessarily relate directly to hours worked. They can, but that’s not always the case.

You’re going to have to find a way to make it happen, and fast. You don’t have time to build slowly.

Are there any possibilities for increasing your income that
you’ve been meaning to implement, but haven’t?

The first thing to look at is what you have going right now. Are there any possibilities for increasing your income that you’ve been meaning to implement, but haven’t? It’s time to get moving on them if that’s the case.

The next thing to look at is new sources of income. You want them to be pretty certain, and to come in fast. A sudden drop in income doesn’t give you the time to deal with something that you work on through all of July, but don’t get paid for until the end of August. You probably need that money sooner.

You have a few options. Selling a product of your own is a great idea, especially if you have some ideas for it already. Make it and get that product up for sale as soon as you can. This way the income comes directly to you if you sell through PayPal, or in just a couple of weeks if you go through a program such as Clickbank.

This should be something you can market to your existing target market. It might be a supplement to information you already offer. Think about the needs of your visitors and find something that they are likely to buy.

Remember that there are no guarantees that you’ll manage to sell any copies of your product. That’s business for you. A well targeted product for an audience you’re familiar with has a fair chance of doing well. It’s up to you to make it happen.

A sudden change in income is a hard time to live through. It’s also an opportunity to learn how much more you’re capable of. Make the most of it.

As for me, I’m mostly doing the working more hours thing right now. I’ve had odd luck every other time we’ve suddenly needed more income. Income goes up for the time we need it, then *poof* drops down when the problem goes away. I’m determined to make it stick around for once!