Dealing with Unemployment: 4 Changes To Make Now
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Who would have thought that they would have to be Dealing with Unemployment? Over 30 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits because they lost their jobs to layoffs and other problems caused by the coronavirus pandemic. This number might continue to grow as businesses aren’t faring well in this crisis. The loss of a job is an extremely stressful experience, and it might drag you under in a blink. But making some important changes in how you manage money immediately might help you pull through until you find a new source of income.
Dealing with Unemployment: 4 Changes That Can Help Your Family
Cut your housing expenses as soon as possible
Mortgage payments or rent usually are the biggest monthly expenses for a family. This is also the expense you won’t be able to cut completely. Therefore, you should do everything possible to minimize it. And the sooner you start – the better.
For mortgage payments, consider refinancing or payment deferrals offered by eligible banks. You might be able to defer payments for up to six months or reduce the size of payments significantly. But bear in mind that not all banks offer these options to their customers. Landlords similarly offer deferrals today. You’ll need to find out what the regulations for rent payments during the pandemic are in your state.
If you can’t find ways to cut payments, you might need to go house hunting in times of crisis. This is challenging and will add the stress of moving on top of unemployment. However, if this is your only option, you should start looking for a new place as soon as possible. This might be the thing that will save you from being homeless altogether in a few months.
Do the same things for debt payments
If you have any outstanding debts or credit cards, apply the same principles to reducing those payments. If possible, defer them. If it’s not possible, try to negotiate different payment terms. It might be possible to get some relief if you are eligible. Therefore, start by researching all the available support programs from the government as well as lenders and local authorities and even charities. Don’t leave a single route unchecked.
In case all else fails, calculate the minimal possible payments and stick to those. But don’t stop searching for alternative solutions. Even if there aren’t any support programs you are eligible for at the moment, they might appear soon. Also, note that some credit card companies offer different debt management help during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Cut down your food expenses
Just because you are Dealing with Unemployment, it doesn’t mean you have to starve or eat junk. A healthy diet is necessary to maintain both your physical and mental health. However, for the majority of families, the food bill can be cut by a large margin and you’d still be able to eat healthily. In fact, you might start eating healthier if you ruthlessly weed out your food expenses.
Remove all junk food, snacks, sodas, candy, etc. It’s also the time to say no to deli meats and cheeses if you were fond of those. Finally, stop with the takeout and eating out completely.
Instead switch to buying in bulk and stocking up on nutritious and cheap food, like beans and grains. Buy fresh veggies that are in season and available at a discount. Freeze what you don’t eat right away.
This would be a good time to start using calorie calculators and meal planning apps. They will help you stay on track by maintaining a healthy nutrition plan without any extra spending.
Cut down your utility bills
First of all, when Dealing with Unemployment you need to find out if your utility companies offer some kind of aid during the pandemic. If you aren’t that lucky, you’ll need to cut your utility bills the traditional way. This means not using the AC, turning down the thermostat on your water boiler, and getting savvier with water use.
Even your electricity bill could get some help from you moving to the windows during the daytime to catch as much light as possible.
Of course, you should cut all non-essential expenses, like Netflix or other streaming services right away.
Adjusting to the loss of a job is extremely difficult. But it’s not something you really should aim to adjust to. Instead, you need to stay focused on finding a new source of income. In the meantime, doing the things listed above will help you avoid complete financial ruination. But never forget that those are short-term measures.