So you’ve found yourself without work. The bills keep coming, but the paychecks have stopped. It’s stressful, but no need to panic. There are steps you can take to make your emergency fund and limit the financial damage. The important thing is cutting out unnecessary expenses wherever possible. Look for ways to earn or save a couple extra bucks here and there.
It won’t be easy, but with discipline and determination, you could get endure this difficult time without draining your savings or going into debt. This blog post provides practical advice to help you save money during unemployment so you can focus on finding your next job. No need to rush to take out personal loans -- with the right mindset and these money-saving strategies, you could be back on your feet in no time.
Get Creative With Meals and Entertainment
When your savings account and retirement account are struggling, getting creative with meals and entertainment is essential. There are many ways to reduce costs in these areas without feeling deprived, like:
Cook more and eat out less
Cooking at home is one of the biggest ways to save money. Try making extra portions of meals to freeze. Bulk cooking dried beans, rice, pasta, and lentils is also budget-friendly. Stock up on staples when they’re on sale.
- Consider meatless Mondays or try plant-based recipes. Veggies and legumes are cheap.
- Host potlucks with friends instead of going out. Ask everyone to bring a dish to share.
- Check out library books on budget cooking for inspiration.
Find free or low-cost entertainment
You don’t have to spend a lot to have a good time. There are many enjoyable activities that are cheap or free.
- Visit some local parks and recreation areas for walking, hiking, biking, etc.
- Check if your local museum, zoo, fare, or aquarium offers free admission or has discount days.
- Ask if your library hosts free events like book clubs, lectures, story time for kids, crafts, movies, etc.
- Have game nights at home with friends playing board games, cards, video games, etc.
- Explore your neighborhood and go sightseeing. You would be surprised at what you discover close to home.
- Look for free local festivals, parades, concerts, and other community events.
Start a hobby that you can do for a small amount of money like photography, gardening, bird watching, or learning to code. With creativity, you can save a bundle on food and fun during unemployment. Remember, your situation is only temporary, and with time and persistence your savings accounts will regain some color.
Develop a Lean Budget to Prioritize Savings
Reducing costs on entertainment is helpful. But if you want to take saving money to the next level, you're going to need a proper budget. Developing a lean budget to prioritize your savings and spending is important. Here are some tips to trim away your budget:
Check bank statements and credit card bills from the past couple months. Look for expenses you can reduce, at least in the short-run. Things like eating out and travel are good places to start spending money carefully. See if you can decrease or cut out cable, switch to a cheaper cell phone plan, or refinance high-interest debts like a personal loan or home equity loan.
Spend on essentials only
Focus your budget on absolute essentials like housing, food, and transportation. Limit spending on non-essentials as much as possible. Buy store brand items instead of name brands. Cook more meals at home using fresh ingredients instead of pre-made or frozen dinners.
Take Advantage of Government Assistance Programs
If there's no room in your budget to reduce spending, there are plenty of government programs that could help.
Apply for Unemployment Benefits
The first thing you should do is apply for unemployment insurance with your state's program. Most people who lose their job from no fault of their own qualifies for benefits that replace part of your reduced income. The amount and duration vary by state but can provide critical financial relief.
Look into SNAP Food Assistance
If money is narrow, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps, is here help put food on the table. The program provides monthly benefits on an EBT card to use at grocery stores and farmers markets. Eligibility depends on your income, family size, and some other factors.
Explore Medicaid and CHIP
Job loss often means loss of health insurance too. Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) provide low-cost or free health coverage for qualifying individuals and families. Requirements vary by state but are based on income and family size. These programs can ensure you still have access to healthcare during this difficult time.
There are additional federal or local resources like welfare or cash assistance, free employment training programs, tax credits, and housing assistance that could be available depending on your situation. So don't hesitate to explore your options to get the help you need. With the support of government aid, you can make ends meet until you find your next job.
Find Ways to Earn Extra Income
If you lose your job, saving money and applying for government programs is a good first step. But you only can stretch your dollars so far -- eventually you will need to find another source of income to tide you over. Here are some ways to generate extra cash until your next full-time work:
Do odd jobs or freelance work
Pick up some side work to earn money, such as:
- Dog walking or house sitting
- Yard work and gardening
- Driving for a ridesharing service in your spare time
- Doing freelance work like tutoring or freelance writing
Rummage around your attic, garage, and closets and look for valuable items you no longer need. Sell them on websites like:
Price items competitively and be open to offers. Every dollar is helpful!
Ask friends or family for small jobs
Don’t be afraid to ask close ones if they could offer opportunities to earn some money, such as:
- Helping an elderly relative with chores like cleaning, cooking meals, running errands
- Babysitting for a friend’s kids
- Tutoring or teaching music lessons to neighborhood kids
- Doing handyman work like painting, carpentry, or landscaping for people you know
Let them know you’re unemployed and looking for ways to generate income. They may be happy to pay you for jobs they need help with.
Start Saving Money Today With EASY Wireless!
Finding yourself unemployed is always stressful. From starting your job search again to desperately saving money, losing work is nothing short of a challenge. But hopefully EASY Wireless can help!
By offering free phone & data plans, we hope to make connectivity access to those facing financial obligations. If you're approved to receive benefits, here's what you access:
EASY Wireless Unlimited Plan
- FREE Unlimited Data
- FREE Unlimited Talk
- FREE Unlimited Text
- FREE SIM Card Kit and Activation
- Choose to Keep Your Number or Get a New One
To start with EASY Wireless, apply online by clicking the below:
Start Saving Today!
Or you can come to one of the EASY Wireless's retail stores, where our customer service agent will help you apply for your benefits.