You’ve Lost Everything and Have Nothing. Here’s How To Rebuild

“So that’s it then. No weapons, no friends, no hope. Take all that away, and what’s left?”

“Me.” – Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Life is hard. We may not be in a physical fight for our lives like Buffy was, but sometimes everything we hold dear gets stripped away, leaving us alone with nothing. 

You’ve lost everything, but you still have yourself. Here’s how to rebuild your life. 

You’ve Lost Everything

When life throws punches, it hits hard. 

Perhaps you’re going through a breakup and need to move out but don’t have enough money to live independently. Maybe you got laid off and can’t afford rent without this job, or your parents kicked you out of the house the second you turned 18. 

We aren’t here to judge your situation. Everyone goes through rough times. 

We’re here to tell you it’s okay. You can get through this and rebuild your life. 

No Safety Net

A lot of people have social safety nets. They can move in with friends or relatives if things get really bad. 

But a harsh reality about the world is that not everyone has that. 

Some folks lost their parents at a young age, while others got disowned over religious or political differences. People escaping abusive relationships may have been cut off from family and friends, while others might be escaping their abusive families. 

Not everyone has someone to turn to. 

But you still have someone. 

You Always Have Yourself

I know that’s dire, but it’s reality. It’s also not the end of the story, though. There’s still one thing you have, one person that you can always rely on no matter what. 


You have options. As long as you have strength left, you can keep fighting and make it through any adversity. And in reality, you don’t have to go through it alone.

What To Do When You Have Nothing

You’ve lost everything, and your heart is pounding a mile a minute. You can’t pay your bills and don’t know where you’ll live. 

Here’s what to do. 

Take a Moment To Think

You shouldn’t make decisions at the height of a panic attack.  

You know you’re about to hit rock bottom, but don’t do anything that will make things worse. 

Take time to collect your thoughts. Consider how much time you have until you face homelessness. 

If you’ve lost a job or are facing separation, you likely have a little time before you must depart. 

However, you may not have that luxury if you’re kicked out of your current home. Go to a fast-food restaurant to sit and collect your thoughts. It will give you precious time to plan your next move. 

Prioritize Spending

If you’re still housed, you have options. 

You must cut back on everything that isn’t essential. It’s survival mode time. 

Prioritize rent, food, and utilities. Everything else can wait.

Call Your Debt Company

You can’t afford to pay your credit card bills when you have no job but don’t just stop paying. 

Instead, call the company, explain your situation, and ask if they can work with you. You might qualify for a deferment or forbearance, which wouldn’t hurt your credit score as much as not paying. 

It never hurts to ask, even if the answer is no. Sometimes, the company will surprise you, and you’ll have one less thing to worry about. 

Negotiate Essentials

Many utility companies offer lower rates to people with low incomes. Call yours and ask. You might be able to negotiate a lower payment on electric and water bills. 

You can also negotiate with your mortgage company or landlord. If you rent from a small investor, you can trade services like home repair for lower rent payments. 

None of these negotiations are guaranteed to work. However, you won’t lose anything by asking. 

Rebuilding After You’ve Lost Everything

Now that you’ve cut some things back and have some breathing room, it’s time to get back on your feet. 

The first priority is finding some income. Although it may seem like you’re alone, you aren’t.

Government Assistance

Although the US government isn’t the greatest, it still has safety nets to help people through tough times. I

People say they don’t want handouts and want to care for themselves. That’s understandable, but it also misses the point of government. 

You’ve paid for these services, which were created to help people like you who have fallen into hard times. Don’t let your pride prevent you from grabbing the hand that will save you from falling. 

The government has numerous programs that can help. If you lost your job, file for unemployment. Check into HUD’s rapid rehousing program if you’re facing homelessness. Apply for your state’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (commonly known as Welfare). 

These programs are all designed to help people get back on their feet if they lose everything. I know there is a stigma attached to accepting this help, but that’s what it is there for. 

There is no shame in asking for help when you need it.


If the government doesn’t have the help you need, consider private charity organizations. 

Women’s shelters can help people escape abusive situations by offering a place to stay, and food banks can provide much-needed food for families. Community organizations offer counseling to help people find the programs and charities they need to survive. 

Explore the options in your area. There’s likely someone who can help with your specific situation.

Helping Yourself

Government assistance is a much-needed band-aid. Once you have it and have some breathing room, it’s time to pick yourself up and fix your situation. 

First, you need a job. 

Go to temp agencies in your area, scour websites like Indeed and Craigslist, and even check Facebook. If you don’t have access to a computer or the Internet, you can use one at your local library. You will also want to ensure that your resume is up-to-date and error-free. 

Head to local small businesses in your area and see if they are hiring. Many fast-food restaurants have open interviews weekly, and although it’s not an ideal work environment, it’s a starting point to stability. A job is a job; you aren’t a lesser person for taking whatever job is available. 

Explore other resources and ideas for when you can’t find a job. If you let go of your ego and take what you can get, you will find something. 

Creating Security

Once you have a new job and some income, you can start looking for a more ideal work situation. Apply for jobs in your field. Start a side hustle to make extra money, and do whatever it takes to increase your income. 

Next, you need to put money aside for emergencies and retirement to have a buffer if you ever face a similar situation. 

Start small, with just a few dollars a paycheck. Whenever you earn extra money, put it away. As your savings slowly grow, you’ll feel more secure in your life. 

You Always Have You

It’s impossible to address everyone’s specific situation, but that’s not the point. We don’t need to. 

The point isn’t to give you a step-by-step explanation of your exact problem. Instead, it’s to show you there are options. 

You may feel hopeless, that there’s no point in trying, and that you should give up. I get it. I’ve been there. 

But even though it feels like you’ve lost everything, you haven’t, not yet. You have your most valuable asset: yourself. You’re stronger than you think. You can get through this. 

You’re enough. 


2 thoughts on “You’ve Lost Everything and Have Nothing. Here’s How To Rebuild”

  1. Another idea is to check local food banks. A lot of churches have food banks once a month. If u don’t feel right accepting charity u can always help out at the food bank.

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