If you’ve been laid off from your job, or just finished school, you need to quickly learn how to survive without a steady paycheck. You need to do everything you can to save money while you search for work, but you don’t have to feel like saving money is impossible in this situation. Here are six ways you can save, without having to make your current situation worse.
1. Use Alternative Means of Transportation
Gas is very expensive, especially if you are unemployed. In such cases, try not to drive unless it is absolutely necessary. Use public transport for traveling to interviews or the library as it is much cheaper. Check if your state offers discounted passes for public transportation for the unemployed as well. If you live close to the center of town, try riding a bike more, or just walking if possible.
2. Reduce Your Bills
If you are unemployed, you have to be careful on how you use water, electricity, and other vital utilities since they take up much of your bills. Research shows that most people use more water and electricity than they need in a single month, and you can easily cut back and save money here. This is not the time to leave the heater or TV operating throughout the day, and it is also not the right time to spend one hour in a hot bath. Be mindful of when you use appliances and be sure to always operate them on full loads of dishes or laundry.
3. Put Away Your Credit Card
This is not the right time to spend money that is not yours. Forget about the credit card or any other form of loan. Instead, live on cash. This way, you will be in a position to conserve while spending and will be more aware of handing over your money. This can help limiting you from overspending at the grocery store or other places you frequent.
4. Eat at Home
Avoid going out for dinner or buying fast foods. Eating out frequently can be expensive compared to cooking at home. If you don’t know how to cook, you can outsource simple recipes from food shelf organizations within your area. You can also check with the unemployment office for food stamps.
5. Create a Spending Plan
This is a good time to budget if you want to manage your finances effectively. You need to start limiting yourself by creating a spending plan because it is much easier to save, knowing what you are allowed to spend on. Check out local coupons and be sure to take advantage of sales.
If you left your last job in less than favorable circumstances, check with a lawyer to help you review your severance package. If you know how much you should be getting as you leave a job, you can know how much you can anticipate spending.
6. Utilize the Local Resources
In every community, there are certain organizations set up to help financially strapped people with basic needs such as food and housing and job search clubs. Such organizations have also made it easy to find such resources within the neighborhood. Be an active participant in such organizations if you want to save.
7. Leverage Online Tools
There are many many free tools on the internet for job seekers to take advantage of. If you can't afford to hire a resume writer consider these free resume builder websites. You can get a good looking resume for zero dollars.
Unemployment can be scary. You might not know where to look for work next, and being without money is always a little frightening. Use this time between work to find ways to save and spend money wisely. If you are a little more aware of your circumstances you make your budget work no matter how strapped for cash you are.