Managing a Financial Hardship: Real Life Stories

If you get laid off or are hit with a major household expense, do you have enough saved to help cover expenses? Here’s how three people were able to cope.

(Image credit: MichaelJay (MichaelJay (Photographer) - [None])

An unexpected blow to your finances can be detrimental if you aren’t prepared. For these three people, scaling back on daily spending, sacrificing certain needs and tapping into an emergency fund made all the difference.

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Patricia Mertz Esswein
Contributing Writer, Kiplinger's Personal Finance
Esswein joined Kiplinger in May 1984 as director of special publications and managing editor of Kiplinger Books. In 2004, she began covering real estate for Kiplinger's Personal Finance, writing about the housing market, buying and selling a home, getting a mortgage, and home improvement. Prior to joining Kiplinger, Esswein wrote and edited for Empire Sports, a monthly magazine covering sports and recreation in upstate New York. She holds a BA degree from Gustavus Adolphus College, in St. Peter, Minn., and an MA in magazine journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School at Syracuse University.