UNEMPLOYMENT / JUL. 18, 2014
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How to Support Your Family When You Have Been Fired

When a person is let go from their company, the government offers various social safety nets to ensure that they won’t land on the streets in the event of a job loss. On top of this, financial services firms offer plenty of insurances for credit cards, mortgages and auto loans in case of unemployment.

However, in today’s economy, unemployment can lost a long time and potentially exhaust these outlets of financial and obligatory reprieve. When an unemployed individual has a family to look after, a lot of the burden is allocated to the spouse, but sometimes their own income may not necessarily suffice to maintain their standard of living.

This is where the downfall begins: savings are used up, credit cards are maxed out, household items are sold off and the children do without. When the cost of living is going up and interest rates are starting to rise, it’s a terrible time to be out of work.

As soon as a worker becomes jobless they must adapt to the situation or risk facing serious monetary consequences. There are plenty of measures to take to ensure that the household doesn’t enter into a pit of disarray and the possibility of filing for bankruptcy.

Here are seven tips to support your family when you have been fired or you have lost your job:

Budget

Sit down, lay out income stubs, highlight household expenditures and other monthly expenses and determine where you can make the necessary cuts. If you have a gym membership, your household maintains a top of the line cable package, your spouse spends $100 a month on an unlimited data plan and your child has expensive French lessons then now is the time to take the axe to these things.

By lowering your monthly expenses, you can limit the amount of damage that joblessness will do to your household and family. Once you perform an extensive inventory of your finances and what you spend, you could very well discover an immense sum of waste and possible savings.

Who knows? You may be richer than you think.

Prudence

If you’re used to spending $5 a day on a Starbucks latte or go out twice a week to a restaurant then you better become accustomed to eliminating these pleasures. Partaking in fiscal prudence is the key route to take until at least you have found another employment opportunity. It’s important to stretch every single penny you have.

Couponing

Couponing is considered an old-fashioned practice that doesn’t really save consumers any money. This is wrong because five cents there, 25 cents there and an item free once in a while can do wonders for a household that has at least one person who is out of a job. Not only can you get coupons in weekly flyers but also by browsing Save.com, RetailMeNot.com and Coupons.com.

Generic brands

Many families opt to pay an extra dollar or two so they can consume a well-known brand even though a generic brand would do just fine. Whether it’s canned goods, potato chips or frozen food, generic brands are cheaper and usually have the same ingredients as the more established brands.

Freelancing

Although freelance gigs may not offer the same levels of income and steadiness as your previous job, freelancing opportunities still allow you to bring home some of the bacon. There are an abundance of writing, marketing, administrative and editing freelance gigs on Elance, oDesk and Craig’s List. Any kind of income is better than having nothing at all.

Brown bags

In many instances, when two-parent households are working full-time jobs, it’s likely that the children will just be given lunch money to buy food. The cost of this adds up over time (think of it as buying coffee everyday). Now that one parent is at home this means you can make lunch for your kids, cook dinner for the family and prepare meals for the next day. By incorporating this into your daily routine, you save money by not spending as much money on groceries, restaurants and takeout.

Benefits, severance and more

The realisation that you’re out of work may have conquered your mind, which also means you may have neglected to file for unemployment benefits and to research if you are eligible to receive some sort of severance package from work. Do the required paperwork, perform the necessary research and find out if you or anyone else in your household can apply for various types of benefits.

Unemployment doesn’t have to equate to poverty. As long as you make cutbacks, live within your means and be smart with what money you currently have in the bank account, your family can survive the storm. This may even be a wakeup call to start organising and managing your money correctly.

If you’re employed now and fear joblessness then simply add these three tips to your life:

-  Save a minimum of 10 to 15 percent of your income each paycheck

-  Put away any rebates or benefits you receive for a rainy day

-  Live within your means now as opposed to when times are tough.

How did you financially handle joblessness? Let us know in the comment section!

 

Photo courtesy of Kate Hiscock via Flickr.

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