Your Pink-Slip Survival Guide

We found out on Friday some more grim news – some of the grimmest yet – in the form of a government report showing that the country lost 533,000 jobs in November. The number was far more than economists expected, indicating just how rapidly the economy is deteriorating.

But we've been telling you all week that this report was going to be awful. And in the months to come, we should expect the numbers will get even worse – that’s why you have to be prepared.

On Friday’s show, Carmen gave you the four ways to stay afloat in this unstable market:

1. Live lean. Spend only on vital expenses. Hunker down. Conserve. Live as cheaply as you possibly can.

2. You must have health insurance. Northing risks your financial future more between jobs than not having health insurance for even one day. Half of bankruptcies are caused by medical debt – remember that!

3. Give yourself a career reality check. Your next job isn’t always as much about you as it is about the supply and demand of the market outside of your control. If you want to stay in your field, know that you make have to adjust your expectations.

4. Give yourself a financial reality check. Take a card look at your finances and your job prospects. Can you afford to maintain your lifestyle? Is it worthwhile to downsize along with your new income? Take it week by week, month by month, but be ready to make some big decisions.