Financial

Financial Strategies During Time of Unemployment

If you are one of the millions who find themselves suddenly unemployed or have had their working hours cut severely to the point where they can’t maintain their lifestyles, you know all too well the stress and worry that comes along with such a predicament. As such, in the coming days, weeks and months, you have two equally important and essential “jobs” to do. Your only focus should be one, maintaining and managing your financial security due to your current loss of income, and two, maintaining and managing you emotional health as well. With this in mind, here are some essential steps to help you take care of both of these aspects of your life that you so vitally need to address when finding yourself unemployed:

  • File For Unemployment Benefits: If you have been working hard and paying your taxes then you are entitled to your share of unemployment benefits and you should in no way feel embarrassed or guilty in any way shape or form. The simple fact is, you have been paying into this program and you are entitled to some assistance now that you are unemployed. With recent measures from the Government, there have been some adjustments and additions to the benefits available to those who qualify for benefits such as:
  1. Coverage of up to sixty five percent subsidy for COBRA health insurance premiums for as many as nine months
  2. Longer period of unemployment benefit eligibility
  3. Increasing food-stamp benefits by as much as thirteen percent
  4. No taxation of benefits up to $2,400
  • You Still Have a Job: So you may not have your typical 9-5 any longer but that doesn’t mean you are now entitled to just sleep the day away and wait for a new job to fall into your lap. Your job now becomes to find a new job. So update your resume, keep a file of where you have applied for employment. Wake up early as if you are going to work, go through your morning preparation and set aside hours (not minutes) at a time solely focused on new unemployment opportunities. By keeping your normal “routine” and getting out of the house for appointments, interviews, errands and even just some sunshine will help you immensely when it comes to not only getting back to work as soon as possible, but also to keep your mental and emotional security strong and under control.
  • Being Frugal Doesn’t Mean You are Cheap: Now that your annual paycheck is currently no longer going to be available to you, it is essential that you begin to understand the difference between want and need. Now this isn’t to say that you are expected, or would/should be expected to give up the things that you enjoy, make you happy and keep you entertained all because your savings are now going to dwindle. But the fact is that you need to be able to distinguish between the two in order to make your savings last. With this in mind, here are a few ways to curb your costs and save you money during this tough time:
  1. Cut all unessential spending like canceling a phone line in your home and use your cell phone (or vice versa)
  2. Cancel your ultra-expensive club membership and learn to exercise in the outdoors. Your workout can and will be just as difficult and the addition of being out in the sunshine will give you an additional benefits as well
  3. Are you getting all you can out of your taxes? Make sure you are in touch with whoever does your taxes to make sure that you are taking advantage of all of the available tax rebates, loopholes and other legal tax strategies available to you
  • If it seems too good to be true then it definitely is: In times of despair and desperation, many people will make irrational decisions due to a wide variety of reasons. Now is not the time to start taking chances with your finances. Even more so in times of bad unemployment and a down economy, the financial predators will come out in force and the number of people getting scammed inevitably skyrockets. Don’t fall for the false promises. Times may be tough, but there are no magic potions and quick fixes to your problems. Don’t fall for the, “for a small fee” you will be rich or out from under a pile of debt, or suddenly be a real-estate expert with the ability to buy and flip homes and make a fortune. These are scams and will not offer you any answer or help! Save the money you have got. Spend it wisely, and stay on the path to finding another job.

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