As economies around the globe seemingly grind to a halt, people are finding themselves dealing with furloughs and unemployment. Joblessness has skyrocketed to a rate higher than it’s been in many years.
If you’re one of the many people who has had to deal with job loss at a time like this and you feel down and devastated, know that you don’t have to stay in this situation for long.
Being out of work is the last thing anyone wants in these trying times but there are things you can do to lessen its financial impact. Here’s how to stay on top of your finances even if you’ve lost your job during a crisis.
Create a budget
If you have never created a budget to guide how you spend money, now is the best time to do it.
A monthly budget will help you see and keep track of where your money is going. It allows you to see how much money you have to work with so that you don’t end up overspending. After all, you can’t manage your finances if you don’t know where your money is going in the first place.
A budget will also let you see the areas you can still cut back. When creating a budget, make a list of the “needs” versus the “wants”.
Your budget should be based on how much money you do have. Adjust your expenses according to how much you have on hand, not the money that isn’t there yet.
Use your emergency savings
A crisis like this is exactly one of the times when an emergency fund would come in handy.
If you were lucky enough to be in a financial situation that allowed you to maintain a cushion of at least three months worth of expenses, now is the time you can tap into these funds. These will significantly help sustain your needs and pay your bills while looking for other means of income.
Focus on the basics
When the going gets tough, it’s crucial that you know where your priorities are. Focus on the things necessary for you to survive.
Forget about the “wants” for now and prioritize the basics. Basics mean food, water, utilities, shelter, and transportation. These are the things you need to survive each day. Don’t worry about the other stuff for now like cable and internet. Remember your priorities and make sure they’re taken care of for the time being.
Start a side hustle
Losing your job may mean losing a steady stream of monthly income. However, it doesn’t mean that there are no other ways to earn money.
Traditional jobs in your field may not be conveniently available but try to look into the industries that need more workers during this time of crisis. The food industry, for example, will always be there no matter the season. Look into any side jobs or opportunities you can explore in that area that could help you earn some bucks.
Or use skills and interests you already have to start a side business. With the internet, barriers to entry have never been lower. You can quickly and inexpensively test a business idea from your kitchen table.
Sell some old stuff
Another excellent way to earn extra income is to sell some old stuff. This is the time to do some closet cleaning and decluttering around the house.
Look for items in good condition which you can still make money from such as clothes, furniture, books and other stuff that are just sitting there in your garage.
Look for ways to cut back on your expenses
The time of crisis is the best time to tighten up on your spending. Look for ways to cut down on your unnecessary expenses. If you have a subscription on Netflix or cable TV, maybe you can consider pausing them temporarily.
Having lost your job in the middle of a crisis isn’t a good place to be. It can be financially debilitating, but don’t lose hope. These tips should help you lessen its financial blow if you’ve lost your job during a crisis.
For more helpful financial tips or if you want to start building your savings, please feel free to visit Calcite Credit Union.