The loss of a job comes with more than just a loss of income. It brings with it a cloud of uncertainty as you wonder how you’ll manage to pay your bills. If you are in such a situation, you can take heart, because there are things you can do to make ends meet, even when you’re between jobs.
EVALUATE THE SITUATION
The first step involves taking a comprehensive look at your financial situation. Whatever you do, make sure that you have a level headed approach; excessive worrying just distorts your view. Don’t be a maverick and gamble on your future, take a look at all of your bills and see where you can make immediate cuts. Can you cut cable? Cancel magazine and newspaper subscriptions? Temporarily put your weekly night out on hold. Now that you’ll be at home more, can you take your little ones out of day-care for a while? Write everything down and formulate a concrete budget. A handy article on making ends meet between jobs also suggests that you talk to your creditors. It’s better to talk to them and let them know what is going on rather than just not paying them. They might offer you some options to help you get through your financial rough patch.
CUT YOUR EXPENSES
Granted, this suggestion is a bit of a no-brainer for those period between jobs. Don’t just look for big cutbacks, though. Think about other things you can do. Some steps you can take to save money are: Make a list before you go shopping, and resist the urge to deviate. Use coupons. Give up expensive habits like smoking, alcohol, and your daily stop at the espresso stand. Yes, this suggestion presents a challenge, but the money saved and the sense of accomplishment make the effort worth it. You can also consider:
- Exercise diligence when it comes to turning off lights and appliances when you’re not using them.
- Buy clothing second hand
- Buy generic instead of name brand items.
- Check out free entertainment options in your area, like parks. Maybe your library has free movie showings once in a while.
- Adopt driving habits that are easy on the gas tank, like accelerating slowly and not stopping suddenly.
INCREASE YOUR INCOME
An article at USA News offers some suggestions on how to quickly make some money. Sell some things online. Open a new bank account at a bank that offers a cash bonus for joining up with them. Look into the possibility of becoming a mystery shopper.
There are also things you do not want to do to get extra money. FoxBusiness says, “Tapping into retirement funds could be a mistake.” Also, if one person in the household is still working, that person should not stop contributing to their retirement fund just to cover immediate expenses.
If you’re between jobs, don’t let yourself become overwhelmed by the situation. Know where you stand, cut expenses, and think of creative ways to make income while you search for employment.