Unemployed: Tips on Saving Every Cent and How to Stress Less!

It’s never fun to have to deal with the financial burden and emotional impact unemployment can cause. If you’ve fallen into this boat, there are certain actions you can take to help stay afloat. Try out the following tips that’ll help you reduce the stress caused from being unemployed and save the money you do have, better.

Plan Ahead

As soon as you become unemployed, take a look at your current funds and plan how you will make the next few months work without your previous income. This is not a time to panic. Try to remain calm and level-headed when reviewing your budget to avoid inducing unnecessary stress. Outline the hard costs you must pay and separate them from any expenditures outside of that. Then, see what emergency funds you might have saved and figure out if you can make it work for the next three months with those. Also make a plan of action as to how you’ll start the job hunt again. This could mean outlining a schedule to help keep you on track when prepping your resume and applying for jobs as well as interviewing. When you have a plan in place, you tend to stay focused on what you do have instead of dwell on what you don’t have—that way you can move forward.

Figure Out Your Benefits

If you were laid off or even fired, companies will often provide a severance package as well transitioning health care like COBRA insurance. Take a look at what your previous employer has offered and before you sign off on their severance agreement, see if there’s a possibility to negotiate more. It never hurts to try, especially if you feel like you deserve a more robust package that will help keep you on your feet. Also take a look at any pension benefits and your 401k. It’s important to rollover you 401k into another financial management company to avoid penalties that could potentially cause you to indirectly lose money.

Apply for Unemployment

You are entitled to receive some help from the government when you lose a job. There’s no shame in applying for unemployment benefits—they can be very beneficial to helping you sustain a living while you look for another job. The process of getting approved for benefits can take a while so apply as soon as you become unemployed to avoid any extended gaps of no income.

Scale Back on Expenditures

Any activity you can do at home that you normally spend money on should be taken into evaluation and cut out of your lifestyle, at least for the time being. This includes that gym membership and weekly happy hour. You can save money by working out at home or outside, and let’s face it, paying by the glass adds up, if you must have a drink, you can save a lot more by buying your own bottle and enjoying it at home.

Side Hustle for Extra Income

The job hunt can take a while. As you continue to apply, why not make some income with a side gig? Perhaps you were in marketing and have the niche skill for design. You can do freelance jobs for small businesses that need help designing some marketing collateral. Freelance job sites like Upwork.com are a good place to start looking for work. If you have a knack for sales, why not try direct selling for a company like Amway. You manage your own hours, build your own customer base and sell health, nutrition and beauty products while collecting a margin of the profits.

Relax

Just because you’re unemployed doesn’t mean you have to stop living. Don’t be so hard on yourself and remember to relax. This means still working towards reemployment but also treating yourself every so often. It’s rare to have this kind of freedom, so take advantage of this time, viewing it as an opportunity to take it easy as opposed to stressing out.

Unemployment can become a lot easier by trying the aforementioned tips. From avoiding unnecessary stress to putting an effort to finding the next job, you will get back on track soon. Keep your head up and save on what you can now, it can only go up from here.

Samantha Rivers ()

Samantha Rivers is a freelance writer who lives in Chicago (Go Cubs!) and loves writing anything in the lifestyle, tech and career realm both online and print. When she’s not running the Upward Onward blog, she enjoys reading, finding new restaurants, being active outside, and indulging in a glass of wine or two.