Our economy isn’t in a fantastic place. It seems every month I’m seeing another major company announce 500+ job layoffs. If you think it sounds bad, it’s even worse for those it happens to. If you find yourself in a sudden financial emergency such as job loss, here are a few things you can do.
If You’ve Been Fired
The most common instance of a financial emergency is a sudden job loss. The job market today isn’t as easy as it used to be. An entry-level office job back then only needed someone who knew how to read a floppy disc, now it requires a bachelors degree and 5 years experience for $25,000 a year. It might be a while before you find something new.
Often times, a company will have you sign papers to “finalize” unemployment with them. READ THIS VERY CAREFULLY. This document might include changes to your wages, 401k, and other benefits. They might be trying to trick you out of obligations they have. Make sure you understand everything in a document before signing.
Once you have the old job dead and gone, it’s time to file for unemployment. The government has programs in place to help people. Disregard the stigma behind using the program and the complaints about folks who abuse welfare. Pride shouldn’t stop you from getting help. The process and available options vary by state, so visit www.usa.gov for more details.
You don’t have the income you used to, which means you need to get a grip on what you have and how long it lasts. Create an Excel spreadsheet with all of your monthly expenses on it. Separate the necessary expenses like utilities and food from the luxuries like fast food and movie tickets.
From now on, you should think about your spending habits. It’s easy to spend money, corporations like Amazon are working very hard to make it that way. That’s why they’ll save payment info, enable automatic payments, suggest “one-click purchase” options and more. Don’t fall into these habits.
Every time you have to make a purchase, think about how much money you have saved up and how it fits into your budget. If you don’t need to buy the thing, and it doesn’t fit into your budget, then don’t buy the thing.
The last thing you can do is make some side cash. There are a few ways of doing this. Some go for freelance trade, such as graphic design, writing, and woodworking. We wrote more in-depth about freelance work in a separate article.
Some non-job methods also include roaming neighborhoods on trash day for scrappable metal. Local scrapyards will pay decently for enough metal to melt. This can be a time-consuming process, however. Another is sample group testing. Products need to be tested, and companies will pay folks to participate in their tests. Search online for local product testing groups.
Check out local listings in community centers/libraries for one-time work. You can also check online places like Craigslist for gigs. These are one time jobs that range in pay.
Losing your job isn’t fun. If it’s happening to you, we wish you luck.