During my marriage there have been two times when my husband and I had only one income due to job loss. Both times were unexpected, and ironically, I was pregnant both times. I’m not going to lie and say everything worked out the way we wanted, but we survived, and when it came around the second time we were way more prepared than the first. Here are some tips that can help anyone experiencing job loss whether you are married or not.
1. Write down all of your bills
You have to know how much money is going out each month. This includes all of your bills including subscriptions, groceries, gas etc. Get as much as an accurate total as possible and subtract that amount from the income that you still have left over (if there is any). If you are single, you may not have any other income, but you still need to know how much money you need each month.
2. Cut back on unnecessary expenses immediately!
Instead of stopping for that cup of Starbucks it’s time to get some use out of that coffee pot.
One of the first things my husband and I did was pull our son out of daycare. We no longer needed that expense now that one of us was unemployed and at home everyday.
Another expense you may want to cut is cable. You may want to keep the internet to continue to look for work, but cable is not a necessity.
There are many streaming services that you can choose from. Try narrowing it down to one streaming service if you don’t want to completely go rogue.
If cable is something you just can’t afford, it’s ok, get an antenna that way you can still watch local channels. If you cannot afford the internet, take a trip to the library, or go to a coffee shop that offers free wifi to look for work. There are many options, be resourceful. Whatever you decide to do, be honest with yourself, and remember that whatever cuts you make are only temporary.
3. Apply for Assistance
Let’s be real, not everyone has family and friends that can help financially during job loss so applying for assistance is a sometimes necessary option. Depending on how much income you or you and your partner makes, you may qualify. Research your state’s government assistance programs. Programs like EBT & WIC offer food assistance. If you may make too much money to qualify for assistance local food banks and churches with food pantries are another good option. Medicaid offers free health care to qualifying families. Some states offer cell phone assistance, and assistance that can cover or reduce internet costs especially if there are school aged children in the household. Rent assistance is also offered through certain state programs. Seek help in any way you can. The more assistance you have, the less you will have to ask family or friends for help.
4. Meal Plan & Coupon
Meal planning is not only helpful for knowing what you are going to cook, but it also keeps you from spending unnecessary money at the grocery store. Trust me with gas prices rising in inflation out of control, saving money is a must for everyone at this point. Make a list of what you are going to make prior to buying groceries. This way you only buy what you need. Switch to less expensive brands when possible.
Using coupons allows you to still get the brands you love while saving on them. I love using the Ibotta app. Ibotta has tons of digital coupons that you can use. Your amount saved is stored into your account, and once you reach $20 savings you can deposit the money directly into your account. Click this link to join ibotta app now, and receive 10 dollars once you submit your first order!
Downloading apps from the stores you shop at regularly is also a must. Grocery store apps also have built in digital coupons that will help you save money. Even restaurant apps like McDonnalds often have reward programs that give you free meals after so many purchases. Use these to your advantage.
5. Save Half of Your Rent or Mortgage
One check may not be able to cover your rent or mortgage, which was the case both times my husband and I went through our spout of unemployment. To ensure that our rent didn’t get behind, we took half the income we had left and split that check in half. Moving half of the rent check into our savings account was our way to ensure that we could make the rent on time, and not be flat broke when trying to buy groceries and pay other bills at the beginning of the month. .
6. Prioritize your Bills & Communicate
Pay the necessities first! This includes: rent/mortgage, utility bills, and car payments. Whatever is left, use it for food, and then work on the other bills. Communicating with your bill collectors may be uncomfortable but it is necessary. I know it may be tempting to ignore the people that you cannot pay, but this only makes matters worse. You do not want to go into collections, or possibly get the income you have left garnished. Explain to your bill collectors what is going on. Often credit cards have insurance plans for situations like this. One credit card company paid my bill for me after speaking with them as a courtesy. You never know what assistance is available unless you communicate.
7. Update Your Resume
Now that you have lost your job you going to need to update your resume. Obviously, you are going to want to add your latests job to your work experience.
Add any skills that you gained from your last job. Add certificates that you may have earned, add any operating systems that you’ve used at your previous job.
When you are applying for new jobs check so see if you can reword your skills to match the skillset that is required of the job you are applying for. This way if they use an automated system then your resume will show matches to the skillset of the job you are applying for.
8. Go to Job Fairs
Everyone nowadays is looking for jobs online. No one really fills out paper applications anymore.
Your application often goes into a pool of other applicants who are just as qualified as you are, and you can go months without hearing anything back from anyone.
Often the best way to snag a job quickly is to put yourself out there and network face-to-face. One of the easiest ways to do that is by attending local job fairs.
Local job fairs are a great way to meet people, find out about opportunities you may not have known existed, and leave a lasting impression.
Speak directly to the hiring manager if possible, introduce yourself, and give them a quick rundown of your qualifications. Print at least 10 to 20 resumes on official resume paper to hand out to employers. You do not want your resume on plain white paper. Having it on resume paper, makes it stand out and looks way more professional.
All of my husband’s serious job offers were received from him attending job fairs. When I lost my job, I snagged a dream job by walking directly inside a child care center, and speaking to the director of the center.
9. Change the way you think!
It’s not about what you don’t have or what you can’t do anymore. Losing a job truly changes your mindset. Once my husband and I both went through job loss, there was a lot that we learned that we really didn’t need.
Till this day, we still do not have cable tv, even though we can afford it, we realized that we didn’t use it enough to pay for it. I still use coupons to save money even though we have enough to afford what we need, but I take advantage of saving and put the extra towards paying down things like credit cards.
We have two cars, one that is paid off, and although we want another car, we are in no hurry to acquire another car payment. Changing your perspective will not only benefit you during your time of unemployment but after as well.
10. Have multiple streams of income
Losing a job teaches you that you cannot solely depend on your nine to five for income. Getting a business plan together during your time of unemployment is ideal because you have the time to do it without distractions of a day job. Figure out what you are good at, market yourself, and start your own business!
During my husband’s time when he was laid off, I encouraged him to start his own YouTube channel. After a year of committing himself to his YouTube, he was able to get his channel monetized. Youtube is a great free resource where you can find like minded people who are into the same things you are in. I used Youtube before I started my own blog as a free learning platform to learn as much as I could before I launched my website. Research how other people have started their business, and start working on your business plan.
Once you start generating income again, look into investing into stocks and bonds. This is another great way to make passive income. There are several well knowledgeable YouTubers that you can learn about investing in stocks. Some of my favorites are: The Dream Green Show, Marko Whiteboard Finance, and Black Girl Stocks.
Unemployment is not easy, in fact it can be very stressful, but by making some temporary adjustments, and changing your perspectives and how you move can make it easier to manage. Job loss can end up being the biggest blessing of your life. It can get you off a dead end job, and launch you forward into something you’ve always wanted to do but were too occupied to achieve. Being without a job gives you time to think, and readjust. Don’t look at it as a loss, see it as a gain.
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I write not only because it’s my passion, but also because I am really tired of only seeing picture perfect versions of people. YouReallyReddit is a place where you are going to get the real take on life, marriage, parenting and anything else that I want to write about!
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