While people often view mothers who stay home with their children in a positive way, they may look down on stay at home dads. When you lose your job, it can take months until you find another one. This can be stressful and financially difficult for unemployed dads.
Unemployment is stressful and depressing, between applying for jobs, searching for positions online, going through phone interviews and meeting with HR directors, in addition to finding ways to pay your bills and cover your financial responsibilities, you need to plan for future financial emergencies. The one upside you might look forward to spending some time at home with your kids.
Unemployed Dads Work from Home
There are thousands of jobs that you can do from home. U-Haul, 1-800-Flowers and other companies hire workers to answer phone calls and take orders from home. With the growing virtual employment sector at sites like freelancer say that you can browse over 600 categories of jobs including programming, web development, design, writing, data entry & more. While some of these jobs can pay well over $10 an hour, keep in mind that you’re usually responsible for paying your own taxes based off how much you make. You could also start your own business doing landscaping, babysitting or even pet walking from home.
Unemployed Dads Should Be Prepared
Experts like Family Financial Partners, tell us that you want an emergency fund that will cover at least three to six months of expenses, including your rent or mortgage, groceries and other expenses in order to be prepared for the possibility of becoming unemployed.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in August 2016 28.9% of those who found new jobs did so in less than 5 weeks. That is pretty good. Of course that doesn’t tell us what type of job they found, was it just moving from McDonald’s to Burger King? Generally it takes longer to find the better jobs.
Another 34.3% of the people took 5 to 14 weeks to find a new job, 11.8% took 15 to 26 weeks and 25% of the people took 27 weeks or more. So a full ¼ of the unemployed took more than 6 months to find a new job. The average amount of time (mean) was 26.7 weeks. But the median was 10.3 weeks… meaning half the people took less than 10.3 weeks and half took more. But 10.3 weeks is still almost 2½ months.
Depending on the reason you lost your job, you may be able to file for unemployment benefits. These benefits can provide you with up to half or more of what you made in the past for up to 26 weeks. Workers are eligible for unemployment compensation only if they are temporarily out of work through no fault of their own. That means you can’t have quit or been fired for misconduct. You also have to have been recently employed for a “base period” generally 1 year. Plus some states add other requirements such as that you have earned above a certain minimum during the base period. To make matters worse, the federal Department of Labor’s website says that you can expect your first unemployment check two or three weeks after you apply and you can’t file for unemployment until after your last day of work. So you need to be able to cover at an absolute minimum 3 weeks of expenses and even when you do get a check it will be only half of what you previously earned.
Go Back to School
If you cannot find a job in your field or want to change careers, consider going back to school. Depending on how much money you and your spouse made in the previous year, you may qualify for grants and loans, and you can apply for scholarships too. The school will give you a refund check for any money leftover after paying your tuition and other fees. Even if you only have a few hundred dollars leftover, it’s more money that your family can use.
Approximately 1.4 million men stay at home to raise their kids, and some believe this figure is actually closer to 1.7 million. Whether you stay home by choice or because you lost your job, you can still find ways to help with your family’s financial situation, including creating your own business, going back to school or working from home.
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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