How to manage money while searching for a job

Many people find themselves on the job hunt at one point or another. Money can get pretty tight until you find another job. It can get a little scary opening the mail while searching for another job. Bills need to be paid whether you’re employed or not. 

There are many things you can do to manage your money wisely in-between jobs. No matter what, you must budget what money you have. Panic is not necessary, simply think before you open your wallet.

Spend wisely

Don’t splurge on things you don’t need. Stop shopping sprees altogether, or at least shop at discount stores like thrift shops and dollar stores. These are great places to find good merchandise at a cheap price. Almost anything you need, you can find. Everything from clothing to laundry soap is offered at deeply discounted prices. It may not seem desirable at first, however, it will save you money.

You may need to think twice about what you normally spend money on. For example that morning cappuccino may have to stop. It also probably means no more pay-per-view movies. In fact, it could mean no more cable at all for a while. 

Eat out less

Even going to fast food establishments and ordering off the value menu still adds up. Buy groceries and cook at home. You will save money in the long run.

Most cities have discount food markets. These markets are great places to find off-brand food items. Buying name brand is more expensive and often the quality is no different than off brands.

The trick to shopping at any grocery store is buying only what you will use in perishables. This way, you use them up before they go bad. Having food go bad is like throwing your money in the trash can. 

Stock up on non-perishables like dry pasta, rice and canned goods. This way you don’t have to shop for these as often. Living on canned soup and cooked rice may not sound appetizing, but it is cheap and you won’t starve.

Cut expenses

Entertainment is where people tend to spend a lot of money. Cable television is great, however, it is not necessary. Going to clubs, concerts and other social events can also get pretty expensive.

Find places and events that are free admission. You are trying to watch your spending, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun. Check out your local museum(s), parks and community center.

Job hunting can be stressful in itself, having to cut spending can make it feel worse. There is nothing wrong with getting out and having some cost-free fun. The break can be relaxing and let you forget the stress for a bit.


Save the gas in your vehicle for interviews and for going to work. Walking is healthy and can sometimes benefit the job search. It is sometimes easier to spot “Help wanted” signs while you are walking past stores and businesses. Pick an area close to where you live and check out the businesses to see if they are hiring.

Getting out and walking is a free form of transportation and it also gets you out of the house for awhile. It can become depressing sitting at home waiting for the phone to ring. Take evening walks around where you live and enjoy some fresh air.

Turn off lights at home

Using less electricity will lower your utility bills. Conserve water. Many people waste gallons of water everyday without realizing it; then they receive a high water bill. Only run air conditioning when you are home.

Turn the heat down a little and grab a sweater if it’s winter time. Make sure your windows are insulated. It doesn’t do much for your bank account if you are heating or cooling the outside.

These are just some of the many ways you can manage your money while job hunting. No matter how good you are with your money, things will be tight until you have a steady income again. This is why money management skills are so important. 

Budget what you have by cutting out unnecessary spending, eating at home and doing your best to reduce your bills. Chances are you will find a job soon and get back on track. However, properly managing your money is always a good idea.