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Surviving Financially While You Are Unemployed

Maybe you have just graduated from college. Maybe you have recently relocated. Maybe you have been a victim of layoffs. Whatever the case, if you find yourself without employment, what do you do? First of all, don’t panic.Take a deep breath. You can get through this. You will survive, and you can even thrive. If you are unemployed, here are a few practical tips for keeping your head above water financially

Don’t be shy about accepting help.

Some people feel very strongly about accepting government assistance. There are some times in your life when you need to swallow your pride. This is one of those times. Look into programs available for unemployed people in your area. Most places have some type of fund for unemployed people to tap into. Go to the office that handles that, and apply for unemployment assistance. It may not be much, but every little bit helps.

Don’t take on new bills.

Now is not the time for unnecessary spending.  If you don’t have to have it to find a job, don’t buy it. If your cell phone still rings and accepts voice messages, it is good enough for you to use while you are looking for work. Can you email a resume to a potential employer with your current computer? If yes, then you don’t need to run off and buy a new computer right now. Since you do not know how long you are going to be unemployed, you don’t want to incur costs that you won’t be able to cover in a few months if it takes you longer than you expect to find a job.

Make payment arrangements with current creditors.

Most creditors will work with you if you are willing to pay something towards your debt. In reality, they are just interested in is getting their money. Get the agreement in writing so you can have proof that they made a payment arrangement with you.

Find cheap or free entertainment.

When you are unemployed, you have to be a little more creative about how you entertain yourself. You may not be able to go to the movies every week like you did when you had a job. You may have to resort to subscribing to Netflix or using Redbox if you are a movie buff. You can also watch content online. Instead of going to the game live, you may have to settle for watching it on television. Instead of going out to eat, learn to cook more of your meals.

Buy second-hand clothes.

This is not the time to worry about the latest fashions.  If being fashion forward matters to you, resume being a fashionista after you have found a job. In order to survive this stint of unemployment, however long it may be, you must cut costs any way possible.  Go to thrift stores and see what kinds of deals you can find on clothes there. Don’t buy new clothes unless something has gotten too small or stained beyond repair.

Consider a roommate.

If you need to cut housing costs, you may have to resort to getting a roommate or renting out a room in your home to help you out during the time you are unemployed. This person doesn’t have to be your roommate forever. You can just have them live with you for a short period of time. Be clear about what you expect from your roommate from the beginning. Have everything written down so there are no surprises.

Unemployment is not something that anyone wants to go through, but it’s something that many people go through at some point in their career. Following the tips mentioned in this post can help you survive the financial difficulties of being unemployed.

If you are experiencing financial difficulty and are looking for a solution, non-profit credit counseling can help you make sense of all your options. Contact us today for a free financial assessment with one of our certified credit counselors.

 

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