Dear Dave,

Earlier this month, my husband and I both got laid off from our jobs within days of each other.

The cuts were not our fault. The company is laying off several people as a cost-cutting measure. We cashed in the annuity because our finances have been tight, but the good news is that he started training for a new job last week.

We don’t have children, so every day I take interviews or fill out applications. Should we use the cash from the annuity to live on until things stabilize again, or should we use it to pay off debt?

Anjaneta

Dear Anjanet,

If you haven’t already done so, contact your creditors and explain what happened. Let them know that the layoffs weren’t because either of you did anything wrong, and that you’ll get back to them as soon as possible. This is a scary situation you’re dealing with, so make sure you both keep the lines of communication wide open and encourage each other while you work through this.

The good news, though, is that it looks like something might look good. Support your husband in everything he does as he takes on his new job, and make sure you continue to look for work as well. A little extra money never hurts, so taking on a temporary part-time gig while you’re looking for a permanent position isn’t a bad idea either.

Of course, you must be honorable and pay your debts whenever possible. But it may be delayed for some time. Right now, the important thing is to keep food and light and heat on in the house. Hug each other, stay determined and keep each other’s spirits up. You are a team and you will get through this.

Always remember also that prayer is a good thing.

– Dave

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