Business in the age of COVID-19 is by no means easy. The global epidemic disturbed entire labor markets and left millions of employees without ideas of how to survive the unexpected problem.
Reports show that more than 20 million Americans already lost their jobs, but the situation is about to get worse very soon. If you are one of those unfortunate workers, you are probably asking yourself one simple question: How can I handle my personal finances now?
There is no easy answer to this question, but rather a whole set of tips and tactics that can help you make ends meet this spring. Keep reading as we are going to discuss 12 tips for unemployed to manage their finances.
- Write down all your monthly costs
When you lose a job, the first thing you need to do is to write down all your monthly expenses. Make an overview of your costs because it will help you to distinguish between mandatory and secondary expenses. It should be the foundation of your budget planning, so you better make sure to add even the smallest items to the list.
- Set a time-frame
How long does it take to find a new job in your niche? Are we talking about days, weeks, or months? You need to set a timeframe and make a rough estimation because it’s the only way to plan the remaining budget. The average job search process takes just over six weeks – or 43 days, to be exact – but that varies considerably by industry.
- Make a budget
Now that you know how much money you need and how long it takes to find a new job, you are free to make a budget based on your savings. Needless to say, you should make it as modest as you can because it’s impossible to predict all the delays or other problems you might face on the go.
- Eliminate unnecessary costs
Speaking of modesty, another important advice is to eliminate all non-mandatory costs. For instance, you need to pay the bills and loans and eat something every day, but do you really need cable TV or a new laptop right now? If you need a college paper, you better write it single-handedly instead of hiring a professional content creation agency.
- Avoid impulse purchases
Impulse purchases are yet another item that you need to eliminate if you want to make ends meet in the next few months. Impulse buying is the act of purchasing something that you had not planned to buy because you suddenly want it when you see it. That’s not something you can afford at the moment, so wait for better times to make impulse purchases.
- Don’t use your credit card
Individuals who lose their jobs should stay away from their credit cards. Although it looks tempting, a credit card will only create more debt and make you suffer even more. How come? The answer is simple – credit cards come with enormous interest rates. We recommend you to avoid credit cards even when fully employed because it’s just not worth the effort.
- Move to your friend’s place
This may as well be the most difficult thing for unemployed persons, but think about it for a moment and you will realize that it’s foolish to pay a huge rent if you have the opportunity to move to your friend’s house. Of course, it’s not a permanent deal but rather a temporary solution that should help you get back on your feet quickly.
- File for unemployment insurance
Many people find it useful to visit a local bureau and file for unemployment insurance. You can do it if you are let go by your company without making mistakes at work. This happens frequently during the COVID-19 pandemic since employers cannot afford to keep the same number of workers anymore. Support programs for unemployed last for dozens of weeks, which is a big deal for users who lose their jobs unexpectedly.
- Look for part time or remote work
After everything you’ve done so far, it is time to start looking for a new job. It would be perfect to find a position in your industry straight away, but you shouldn’t refrain from searching for a part-time job somewhere else. It will help you to earn extra money while looking for a better position that matches your skills, experience, and expertise. Consider going for remote job opportunities. Needless to say, it’ll be more practical and you might learn some useful skills for your future career.
- Beware of risky investments
Although being very uncomfortable, losing a job is not the end of the world. You shouldn’t make any sudden moves and react emotionally, so beware of risky investments in this period. Don’t go all-in and don’t invest your life savings in suspicious projects – it could harm you more than losing a job.
- Take advantage of available funding programs
State authorities from all over the world launched all sorts of funding programs for employees who got fired due to the COVID-19 outbreak. You should search for such programs locally and apply for financial assistance.
- Keep a positive mindset
The last tip on our list is to keep a positive mindset and stay healthy. Don’t let the problems discourage you and ruin your enthusiasm. It won’t do you well and you might even get sick along the way. Try to remain upbeat and exercise regularly as it’s the best way to stay optimistic and hopeful, so you’ll know how to react properly on these crisis times.
The Bottom Line
Making ends meet is very difficult if you don’t have a job, but don’t fall into despair so soon. You should stay calm and find the right strategy on how to deal with the current situation. In this post, we showed you 12 tips for unemployed to manage their finances. Make use of our suggestions and keep your eyes open wide – a new job may be right in front of you!
Leon Collier is a freelance writer from the UK who loves writing about various topics, including travel, pop-culture, marketing, business, resume examples, etc. He enjoys reading and playing tabletop games on Saturday with his friends.