Managing Money When You Are Out of Work

When we are suddenly unemployed, it can knock us down in staggering ways. We are suddenly wondering how we will pay the bills, take care of our families, and worry about finding new employment. Additionally, we find ourselves feeling horrible about ourselves, especially as we step into the world of job hunting. Unemployment is simply overwhelming and not for the faint of heart, but it can be worked through! Today we want to focus on managing your finances and what you can do to make ends meet until you replace that income.

Take Unemployment While You Can
No matter how you came to lose your job, look into unemployment. In some states, if you quit your job you are not eligible for unemployment. This is why understanding your state’s requirements are vital. For instance, Ohio unemployment eligibility requires that you have worked at least 20 weeks and received at least $247 per week during those 20 weeks. Your best bet is to research your state and see if you can find your state government website for information. Many states now allow you to file your claim online which can save you plenty of time. If you are unable to file online or find the information, head to your local unemployment office and speak with someone there. They will need to see your paycheck stubs and verifying personal information to begin the process. They can also help you understand the requirements much better. It is important to jump on this immediately because benefits can be slow to arrive and the sooner you start the process, the sooner you will have some income arriving.

Retool the Budget
No matter what the situation is, a visit with your budget is an absolute must. Whether you are going to be tapping into savings, relying on unemployment, or are stuck with no backup and nothing coming in, you are going to have to make some changes to how you function during your time without steady employment. Now is the time to look at how to lower your utility bills. These days a cell phone is a must but is a landline really that important? If your cell phone doesn’t work at home but the landline does, then you should turn off your cell phone. Lowering your cable/satellite bill is the next thing. Can you watch television with a simple internet connection and a Netflix account during this time? If so, drop that expensive cable bill! Cutting back on nights out and clothes shopping are also on top of this list. Start monitoring your driving habits so that you can get the most out of your tank and be able to make it to interviews. Keep what you absolutely have to have and let go of what you can deal without for the time being. This situation is temporary so anything you have to drop now can be obtained later when you are in a better financial position.

Work While Looking for Work
Looking for a job is hard. It means hours of looking at ads online, in the local newspaper, and visiting employment agencies. If the interviews aren’t pouring in, now is the time to think outside the box. Doing simple “handyman” jobs can help float you along for some extra food money, gas, and even clothes for interviews. Housecleaning, house sitting, pet sitting, running errands for someone, there are a ton of ways to find little jobs that can pay you some money to help you a long. Some agencies even offer day work that you can grab until you find something permanent. Once in a while, this type of work can actually lead you to full time work or even start a business for yourself!

We hope that anyone who finds themselves unemployed has taken the time to build savings for this type of emergency. We also know that it doesn’t happen that way all the time. Just remember that your time unemployed is temporary and to keep working hard at finding your solution!

Photo by EMprize | Shutterstock

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