Losing your job can be devastating–especially if you weren’t expecting it. Searching for another job can be time consuming in 2012 the average duration of unemployment was 40.2 weeks. So you need to put your finances in order immediately. If you are newly unemployed, the following tips will help you keep your head above water.
Newly Unemployed Tip #1 Reduce Expenses
If you find yourself suddenly unemployed, one of the first things you need to do is find ways to cut your expenses. There are some things that may be set in stone, such as your rent, but there are many other things that are negotiable. Start by making a list of your bills. Flag things that can be reduced–electric, water, gas, telephone, internet. Get your entire family in on the plan so that you can brainstorm money-saving ideas and put cost-cutting measures into action right away. Finally, reduce your other bills. Contact various insurance companies for better rates. Call your credit card companies to ask for a reduction in interest or payments. Refinance your loans (if you can do so cheaply) to get a lower rate and a lower monthly payment; If you can’t refinance, request an extension.
Newly Unemployed Tip #2 Eliminate Expenses
There are many things we enjoy when our lives are in good financial order. These things aren’t necessities and should be dropped as soon as you know your income is changing. Luxury items that can be eliminated or cancelled may include cable bills, gym memberships, magazine subscriptions, etc. You may be surprised how much of your income these things were consuming. Getting rid of them early on will help you breathe easier.
Newly Unemployed Tip #3 Apply for Unemployment Benefits
In many cases, you will be able to collect unemployment benefits if you suddenly lose your job and cannot find another. But before you can begin collecting, you must first file a claim. Application rules can vary from state to state. Contact your state agency to get instructions. And then, don’t delay. File a claim as soon as possible. It may be awhile before you are able to begin collecting. The longer you wait to file, the longer you will have to wait for your first unemployment check.
Newly Unemployed Tip #4 Get Counseling
You may have to give up a few things when you become unemployed, including your home. If you rent, and downsizing is feasible, do it. If you own your home and can’t make the payments, selling may be an option. If you can’t do either of these things, you should do your best to avoid foreclosure or eviction. Begin by contacting a HUD-approved housing counseling agency. They will be aware of programs that can help both renters and homeowners stay in their homes.
Newly Unemployed Tip #5 Contact United Way
United Way is a national system of volunteers and charities dedicated to helping local communities. One of the main goals of United Way is to help low-income or no-income families become financially stable. If you are unemployed or underemployed, you may be able to get financial assistance with childcare, rent, utilities, and other basics. Of course, United Way is not the only organization dedicated to this cause; other groups that can help include but are not limited to the Salvation Army, the Amber Foundation, and religion-based charities.
Newly Unemployed Tip #6 Look for Income Opportunities
If you have lost your job, finding a new one will be a top priority. Develop a job hunting plan that will help you achieve your goal. Keep in mind that you may not find the perfect job right away. In the meantime, look for other income opportunities. You can sell some of your unwanted items online or in a yard sale. If you have some old Silver coins or jewelry you might be able to raise more cash than you would think by selling your silver. Perhaps you have a special talent that can be used to create a product or provide a service. Or maybe you can pick up odd jobs to help pay for things like groceries. There are lots of different ways to make money; if you can’t get a regular 9 to 5, be open to other ideas. Every little bit helps when you’re short on cash.
Newly Unemployed Tip #7 Stay Calm
Losing your job can be extremely stressful. However, it is imperative that you stay calm and not let stress get the best of you. Being unemployed is not the end of the world. Quite the contrary. It could lead to opportunities and experiences that you never expected perhaps even a new and better Career. Do your best to relax. Take care of yourself, and try not to let this one problem make you forget how good life is.
About the Author:
Guest post from Alex Storm. Alex writes for BestCreditCards.net.
Image courtesy of Winnond / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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