I understand what you're saying... I was unemployed for years after the tech bubble burst. I went through my stock money and into debt which I'm still paying off to this day.
But I didn't get that stock money saved overnight... I saved for 10 years.
Think of any discretionary expenses you made last week, last month or last year.. Each pay period you could have saved a little for a rainy day. Not saying you can't do without, but it takes consistent discipline.
Fore yers I bailed out our excessive spending with stock sales, and never cured our problem... I finally took over finances, and we're paying down debt. It's hard, being forced to do without, but that's the consequence of not having good discipline.
Now, having said that, take a look at this site: http://www.providentliving.org/
It has a LOT of really great resources, and it's not just for Mormons. Mormons are always laughed at for saving food storage, but in times like this (and when I was laid off), we used our food storage to augment our expenses. We also bought a little extra a little at a time and stored it. Same principle.
Learn to do without a lot of things. Be willing to drive an older car for a bit longer. What comes from that are skills in self reliance as you learn to do repairs yourself. I now rebuild my own transmission on my minivan when it goes out. Haven't had a car payment in years. And it's wonderful.
I learned a lot of skills over the years - never stopped learning. It's an investment in my future, as are classes I took along the way (little by little) for advancing my career or broadening my skills.
Being out of work that long is VERY demoralizing and stressful...especially with a family of 7. I should have been willing to flip burgers, but I was too proud. My wife worked two jobs. I look back in regret at the debt we have today, which could have been lessened had I been less proud.
But invest in yourself, little by little. Education. Maybe tools to do your own work, which pays off in the long run. Self reliance. Saving a little of each paycheck. Doing without, or making it last longer. Find enjoyable outlets for your spare time, and see if you can market a job you love. A woman I recently met online has just impressed me with her creative cake making, quilting, embroidery (with a machine she paid for years ago), and many other things.
She looked for opportunities. And has had doors opened up to her.
And don't care what the neighbors think... We tend to build up these notions that others will look down on us or we have to "keep up".
When the rubber meets the road - you have yourself and your family to take care of, and they - theirs.
You'll feel a LOT better about yourself in so many ways... even as tough times swirl around you.
Been there, done that, and still digging my way out...
Keep Up with TechRepublic