When you become unemployed, your first concern is how to deal with day-to-day debt without having to give up anything like your home or your car. There are things you can do to deal with day-to-day debt and you can start by putting it in the right perspective. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office” />
The state of unemployment is real and it is challenging but you need to focus on it being temporal and not a permanent way of life. You need to hub in on getting through it with the least amount of damage and not let it consume you.
1: The first thing you need to do is prioritize your spending.
Write out a list of all your monthly expenses and debt, beginning with living expenses such as mortgage or rent, electricity, groceries etc., followed by bill payments and debt.
Highlight all the expense items that you and your family need to live such as mortgage or rent, food, electricity, etc.
2: Cut the expenses of the “needs” list to bare essential.
Begin by speaking with the bank to have your mortgage payment adjusted to be as small as possible just for the period that you’re unemployed. Many banks will comply because of the urgency of the economic state and the need to keep it going.
You can also cut down on your monthly cost of living expenses by monitoring their use.
Energy costs: Begin cutting energy costs by turning off lights, computers, TV’s and appliances when they aren’t being used. Turn the furnace down a notch and wear warmer clothing indoors.
Water: Cut shower times in half, bath small children together, do laundry in cold water instead of hot, use the dishwasher sparingly, and only water outdoor gardens when necessary.
Car and car insurance. If you have more than one vehicle, keep the most economic one going and park the other and cut the insurance temporarily. You’ll save on insurance expense as well as gas and maintenance. And then opt to drive only when needed by making all your stops in one round trip or by walking or biking when possible.
Groceries: Limit treats and cut out dining out. Cut back on expensive meals and get creative with meals that are inexpensive but delicious. Put one night a week aside for a treat so that you don’t get frustrated during the layoff time with nothing special for your family to look forward to.
3: Call all your debtors and make payment arrangements.
Explain your circumstances to your debtors such as charge cards, bank loans and other debts, and arrange to pay the interest only on your accounts until you are employed again. Most companies will oblige this because of the state of the economy and they’d rather keep your account active than have to write it off.
4: Take on a small, part-time job.
You can deliver flyers or newspapers or even pizzas to give you some extra money. It might not be the prestigious job you’re used to, but it will help to keep you going while you’re waiting for the permanent, full-time job.
5: Take some extra courses.
If possible, take some upgrade courses so that you can improve on your skills while you’re off. This will keep your mind occupied and less frustrated, while better qualifying you for available employment.
6: Hold on to your belongings.
Don’t sell your things unless you have extra to sell and unless it’s absolutely necessary. If you don’t really need the second car, it might be an option, but if you know you’re going to need it when this period is over, then it’s going to hurt you more in the long run to sell it now.
7: More family time.
We need to keep the moral of our family up and protect them from the elements of unemployment by keeping them busy with fun things. The crunch may surround you but you can bring joy to your family by spending more time with them such as outdoor events hiking, walking, playing outside; and indoor events – a movie and treat together once a week, board games, exercise, reading.
Remember to focus on the positive things in your life your family and your future. Don’t let the temporal frustration of being unemployed replace the eternal love and joy of your family.