None of us are immune from being fired, dismissed laid off or otherwise unable to work, no matter how much we might like to think that was the case. Through no fault of our own, any one of us could end up unemployed, and that’s why we need to plan ahead and ensure that we can survive financially when we can’t work, especially if we happen to be the main breadwinner in the family.
Unfortunately, many of us don’t prepare because we really don’t think it could ever happen to us. If you’re one of them, here are a few things you can do to survive your period of unemployment financially:
Look at Your Spending Patterns
The first step to staying afloat is to look at how you’re spending money right now. If you know how much your car loan payments are and how much your mortgage will set you back each month, and you also know how much you spend on utilities, groceries and other little things, you will bring greater awareness to the equation and this will help you to spend more carefully, which brings us to…
Most of us could live on less if we had to, and when you’re unemployed, you’re probably going to have to. Obviously, you should ensure that the essentials are covered, but things like cable, expensive branded products and the like can easily be replaced entirely or by cheaper options to ensure that you don’t end up down and out.
Check Your Legal Entitlements
If you’ve been laid off, see if you are entitled to any severance pay or benefits, or if you’ve been put out of work due to an accident and injury, seek legal help with your personal injury to see if you could be entitled to compensation, or check if you’re entitled to any government assistance. It may well be that you aren’t entitled to anything, but it’s always worth checking because even a little extra could make a whole lot of difference to you.
Take Advantage of Government Programs
There are also numerous government programs that can help unemployed people, particularly those who have been laid off, out, Things such as unemployment insurance, free or reduced training to get you back into work and loans are all available in various states, so see what’s on offer. If you want to survive, you need to stay proactive.
Consolidate Your Debts
If you have lots of debts that were manageable while you were in work, but which you’re now going to struggle with, talk to a professional about consolidating your debts. This should lower your interest burden and your monthly repayments. If even that is too much, then you may need to call your creditors and speak to them about reduced payments or other temporary measures to help you out until you’re back on your feet again.
It’s never easy juggling your finances when you suddenly find yourself unemployed, but if you do all of the above, and perhaps look for a part-time gig or some freelancing work to see you through, you should be able to keep your head above water.