There are over 5.7 million unemployed people in the USA. So if you are one of them, you are far from alone. Unemployment can be a time of extreme stress and anxiety. It is reported that unemployed people are more prone to suffer depression and anxiety. And a key factor in this anxiety can be the financial fallout of losing a job.
While your savings may help tide you over, many people do not have the luxury of a savings account. Some people put money aside for emergency situations like sudden unemployment but, again, many households simply don’t have room in the budget for this. With that in mind, we have created a list of creative ways that you can save money when you are unemployed
Create a Budget
Even when you are gainfully employed, taking time to make a monthly budget plan is a good idea. But it is especially important when you are unemployed and may not have a steady source of income.
Creating a budgeting plan has many advantages. Primarily, it allows you to closely monitor your outgoings so that you can find ways of trimming back. You will almost always find unnecessary expenses when you write down all the ways in which you spend within a month.
Many people adopt the 50-30-20 rule. That is, 50% on necessities, 30% on wants, and 20% on savings. It’s a good rule of thumb but can be adjusted depending on your specific financial situation.
If you are inexperienced at creating a budget, consider researching the many different, often free, budgeting apps and websites that are out there. They will help you set up a sustainable budget when you may need it most.
Check your Utility Providers
Energy, internet, heating, phone. These expenses are very hard to avoid. But when unemployed, it is more important than ever to know that you are getting the best deal from your service providers.
Check with your service providers. See if you are able to get a better deal on your service. If you can’t, consider researching other providers that might offer a similar service at a lower price.
It is also important to know exactly what you are paying for when it comes to these bills. For example, you may find you are paying for premium wifi when you really just need the most basic service. You may find that you are paying for a tonne of unnecessary extras when it comes to your phone, and that you can get by just fine without them.
Do your research when it comes to your providers. By doing so, you may end up saving alot of money.
Deferments on Payments
Many providers have programs that can help people whose financial situation has drastically changed. These programs often come in the form of deferred payments or budget billing plans. For example, your student loan provider may put your loans on forbearance. Your utility company may postpone payments. Your credit card company may change the minimum money payment.
Consider researching the ways in which these programs can help you as you navigate unemployment. You will likely not get payments canceled, but deferred payments may give you the space and time to figure out how you will manage these payments in the future.
Food is essential, no getting around that. Expenditure on food and groceries is one of the most necessary, but also the most flexible parts of any budget. So if unemployment does hit, there are many creative ways to save on your food expenses.
One way of doing this is by finding coupons and deals on the groceries that you buy. There isn't a supermarket out there that isn’t offering a deal on one item or another. Another method is to cut out any unnecessary items that you might previously have impulsively picked up (looking at you, candy bars.)
Be smart about what you cook. There are a whole host of recipes out there that cater to individuals and families on a tight budget.
There are many ways to save when it comes to grocery shopping. It may be entirely necessary, but it is also the easiest part of the budget to adjust when times are tight.