Losing your job can be an extremely traumatic experience, often a feeling of dread creeps over you as you ask yourself “where am I going to get money from to survive?” Unemployment rates are currently extremely high due to the economic crisis and many hardworking citizens are finding themselves being made redundant. If you’ve recently lost your job and are worried about your finances you needn’t feel so low, there are many ways in which you can manage your finances without completely changing your lifestyle.
Assessing a Budget
Firstly, you’ll need to assess your cash flow to determine a feasible budget. Accurately calculate your current balance, any income and your total expenses. When analyzing your expenses don’t forget to include any monthly bills and direct debits. Once you’ve subtracted these from your monthly balance you’ll then need to assess your average cost of groceries, which probably amounts to a significant proportion of your balance. Once you have a rough budget it’s time to assess ways in which you can reduce the costs of certain necessities.
If your previous job provided you with a comfortable amount of money to spend each month, it’s more than likely there’ll have been luxurious items on your grocery shopping bill. When browsing through the supermarket, look out for deals which can help to get necessary items for cheaper or more items for the same price. If you see an item which you would usually buy but isn’t an essential ask yourself “do I really need this?” Many people overspend when shopping due to temptation of tasty treats. The best way to avoid this temptation – never go shopping on an empty stomach.
Utility bills are arguably a costly monthly expense so shopping around to make sure you’re on the best plan for your household can help you to find a better deal. In some cases, you may find that internet, telephone and television packages are cheaper if you get them all from the same provider. Always check however, that you’re on the lowest plan for your family’s needs – it’s pointless spending excess money on a service if you’re not using it to its full capacity.
Coupons are the hottest trend in terms of saving money, for both luxury and necessary items. There’s a coupon for just about anything right now, as more online voucher websites emerge each day. Before buying anything full price check on money saving forums, where people share news of the latest deals and discounts, to see if there’s a coupon for your product, service or outlet.
Coupons enable you to indulge in products, services and events which may be considered as a luxury, even when money is tight. Discount vouchers for restaurants and bars are currently extremely popular as fewer people can afford to dine out at full price. Vouchers are becoming more competitive than ever, which is great news for bargain hunters, with steals such as “buy one get one free main courses and free starter” arising. It’s important to keep your life as normal as possible when unemployed to avoid feeling down, dining out can be affordable for any budget with the help of coupons, so why not live a little?
Find a Job
It’s needless to say that the only way to escape unemployment is to find a job, so you mustn’t forget this! Explore every avenue of offline and online recruitment to find hidden gem vacancies which “every man and his dog” don’t apply for. Social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter can be great places to subscribe to live job feeds which alert you of a vacancy as soon as it appears – meaning you can be one of the first candidates to apply!
The key to managing your finances when unemployed is to combine common sense with thinking outside the box. Try out new ways to live your normal life at a lower expense – the more creatively you think the more normally you will be able to live whilst unemployed.