No matter how well or how bad the economy is doing, there is always a distinct possibility of losing your job. If you find yourself in this situation, the first place to go is to your state unemployment agency. These days you can even apply for benefits online.
Many states now offer programs to extend unemployment benefits so that you could go back to school and learn a new trade or skill. Be sure to ask about any special local programs currently being offered.
Although unemployment benefits can make a short-term difference they are usually much lower than your normal salary. However, there are several other sources you can also take advantage of in order to help you get by during this rough financial time.
Here are some options to consider:
1. Reduction of monthly expenses.
Take a serious look at what things you can live without for a while until you get back on your feet. Go through every single bill and cut out the things that aren’t necessities. Some of the first places to look for cuts are:
• Cable or satellite television
• Cell phones and landlines
• Unlimited texting and data
• Transportation costs
• Dining out
• Air conditioning and heating of your home or apartment
2. Save money with meal planning.
Save more than $100 on each trip to the grocery store simply by planning meals ahead. Use coupons and shop your grocer’s weekly sales flyers. Plan meals so that leftover ingredients from one night can be used another day.
• Not only will you be reducing how much you spend on food, you’ll also reduce some weight around your waistline as well. Who couldn’t use that added benefit of weight loss?
3. Waiting tables.
Working in a restaurant is one of the fastest ways to earn quick cash. Bartending may not be glamorous, but it can bring in some immediate cash. Many restaurants beef up staff for the summer months or tourist season.
4. Community agencies.
If you’re in truly dire straits with mounting bills and no income and you need immediate assistance, there are probably local agencies you can turn to for additional aid. The United Way and Salvation Army have locations in most urban areas. Both groups offer a variety of programs that may be able to help you.
5. Government agencies.
Besides an unemployment agency, most cities have a Human Resources Department, Social Services, or local Health Department that can help or guide you toward assistance.
6. Sell unneeded items on Offer Up, Craigslist or eBay.
Take a good look around your home, shed, or garage. How many boxes do you have taking up space that you never use? You might even be able to downsize your apartment to one with less storage. You’d be surprised at what people will pay for what you consider junk! One person’s trash is another’s treasure.
7. Have a yard sale.
A yard sale is basically a super-local eBay swap. You may be able to make a hefty chunk of change by selling off furniture, clothing, and other household items you don’t use any longer.
8. Set up an online or offline craft shop.
If you have the ability to make arts and crafts, sell your homemade items on eBay, Etsy, or at local craft fairs.
With some research, and creativity, you can take advantage of your time off to learn a new skill or start a new venture. Have some fun and maybe you won’t need to find another job after all if things really take off.
Loss of a job doesn’t have to be devastating. Use these tips to take advantage of the resources available to you to reduce the negative impact on your life. You may even look back on this time as the lucky stroke that pushed you toward success in a new business or a new career!