You can tell yourself that you’re ready for the worst, but it still doesn’t change the fact that when it happens, hanging on is tough to do.
But there really are ways to help yourself in advance of losing your job, whether you hold a regular 9-5 job or you do seasonal work (roofing, construction, landscaping) where you know you’ll face time off every year.
Useful ways to keep hanging on
The fact is, it’s never a bad idea to start socking away a little extra cash each pay period, even if it’s as little as $10-$20 every week. It doesn’t sound like much, but it can be a big help later on.
You might also consider a serious review of your monthly expenditures. If the worst happens, what are the non-essentials you can easily live without?
Can you disconnect from cable or other streaming services?
What about public transportation instead of an Uber, or joining a carpool?
Instead of eating out a couple of nights a week, make dinner at home, and make something that will generate some leftovers for another meal.
Keep hanging on by using coupons and rebates.
Unless it’s an absolute emergency, don’t use your credit cards for purchases or cash advances. If you don’t pay the full amount of the purchase or advance off by the next billing cycle, the interest is going to add up fast.
Acting on it
Don’t wait until the money starts to run out. That can lead to reckless decision-making.
If you don’t already have one, create a budget. Write out all of your needs and essentials: insurance, car payment, house payment, utilities, food, credit card bills, etc. Then make a list of all of your other expenditures. You may be surprised by how much money you spend each month without even realizing it, and that money can be better utilized replacing your lost income.
In addition to applying for unemployment, which could take several weeks to kick in, be creative and come up with your own money-making opportunities to keep hanging on. It’s not glamorous, but pick up a couple of shifts with a food delivery service, or even a ride-sharing service. This will help generate some income and still leave you time to search for a new job.