If you’ve ever lost your job or just recently got laid off, you more than likely experienced an overwhelming degree of anxiety. You rattle questions around in your mind such as How am I going to pay my bills? and How will I support my family?
It’s certainly an uneasy feeling, but one you can tame once you’ve had time to collect your thoughts. The good news is that there are practical ways to handle losing a job. Read on for advice on how you can still manage your personal finances during the uncertainty that is unemployment.
Finding temporary solutions to buy you a little more time and keep extra cash in your wallet is a very practical course to take. If you have credit card bills or other payments that accrue interest and you are paying more than required, try paying just the minimum for a couple of months. This may seem counterproductive but if it gives you an extra $75-$150 for that month to pay your utility bill, it’s a smart move.
If you have a car payment or other major expense in which you pay interest, contact your loan officer to see if you can defer payment. This will certainly give you more cash flow to use on food, gas, or even taking care of other necessities for your family.
No matter how tempting it may be, do not dip into your retirement fund. Many who panic at the news of losing their job take this route only to regret it much later. Leave your retirement and investments alone during this time of unemployment.
If you have money set aside to do some remodeling or spend on your family vacation, it may be smart to put those plans on hold. These items can certainly wait for a later time. If you’re married or have a significant other, sit down and talk about ways that you both can cut out unnecessary spending.
Remind yourself that your unemployment is not forever. Adjusting your way of living to accommodate the lack of cash flow is only temporary. With that said, look at picking up some side jobs that don’t involve a ton of training and investment.
If you have a particular set of skills, look at doing some freelance work. Other options for extra cash include driving for a ride-share service, delivering groceries, or taking care of local pets by dog sitting or walking.
Hopefully, these nuggets of advice give you a certain level of peace as you transition from being laid off to finding a new job. If you have children in school, reach out to your student loan adviser and share with them your current situation. Exhausting all options is always a good path to take.
You’ll bounce back for sure. Just take your finances by the horns and get it done!