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Out of Work? 5 Ways to Stretch Your Budget until You Find a New Job

It’s not fun to experience the stress of unemployment. You’re not sure where your next check is coming from and there’s no real certainty regarding when it’s coming. Though being in limbo feels terrible, if you stretch your budget wisely, you can make it through without worrying.

Clip Coupons to Cut down on Costs?

Many people don’t realize the power of couponing and how much money you can truly save. There are tons of websites and apps that will guide you through the process of taking advantage of the best deals. But remember that coupons are usually for name brand items. Often you can find a store brand or generic brand for less so it pays to compare. The problem comes with quality. often the generic or store brand is the same quality as the name brand but sometimes it isn’t. For instance often the cheap dishwashing liquid is watered down so you need twice as much to do the same job (not a savings). Also store brand Tomato soup just doesn’t taste the same as good old Campbells.

Cook and Eat at Home

Though McDonald’s fries might be your favorite, it’s still cheaper to purchase a bag of potatoes and make fries at home. It’s also healthier as well. Take a look at the more inexpensive foods and create more dishes that include them. If you are home use that time to prepare healthy home cooked meals. Remember the less processing the cheaper it is (and healthier too). So rather than buying Bush’s Baked beans you can get dried beans (often for 1/10th the cost) and then cook them yourself.

Take Advantage of Free Resources for Entertainment, Education and More

There are so many resources online so that you can find out about free events and live entertainment happening in your area. If you love audiobooks, cancel your audiobook subscription and check out YouTube, the library and other free online book databases. There are tons of ways to get your content for free.

File for Workman’s Compensation or Unemployment Insurance

If you were injured on the job, you should always be able to gain worker’s compensation. Contact your company’s HR and legal department to get a clear understanding of your rights and what you’re entitled to from a legal standpoint. Talk to your physician to get medical documentation of your injuries and any doctor’s orders. But remember that according to Attorneys Oxner + Permar, LLC in some cases employers can talk to your doctor behind your back. So you need to know your rights and possibly seek help from an attorney.

In the United States, there are 50 state unemployment insurance programs plus one each in the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and United States Virgin Islands. Though policies vary by state, unemployment benefits generally pay eligible workers up to $450 per week maximum. Benefits are generally paid by state governments, funded in large part by state and federal payroll taxes levied against employers, to workers who have become unemployed through no fault of their own. Unemployment benefits are generally given only to those registering as unemployed, and often on conditions ensuring that they seek work and do not currently have a job, and are validated as being laid off and not fired for cause in most states.

Talk to Your Bill Collectors

Make a list of all the bills you pay each month including rent, cell phone, electricity, etc. Find out if you can work out payment arrangements until you get back on your feet. Consider reaching out and applying for public assistance for certain bills. Reach out to your local church and explain your situation. Some churches have a small reserve to help their church members get through challenging times. This process of eating humble pie might feel embarrassing, but remember that it’s just a temporary situation. Before long, you’ll be in a position where you can help someone else.

Be intentional about looking for work. Even if it’s just a part-time job, any income stream is helpful at this point. As long as you follow these steps and search diligently for work, this time in your life will be temporary.

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