According to Statista, the unemployment rate in the U.S was 5.2%. To put this in perspective, there are roughly 205 million adults of working age, which means that around 10,660,000 are unemployed. This is a startling statistic, especially in the wake of Covid-19. Many of those unemployed from Covid-19 may be experiencing unemployment for the first time.
If you are unemployed for the first time, below are some tips to help you make sense of this period of “downtime” between jobs.
Regardless if you have a job or not, bills still need to be paid. As we will cover later on the page, building up credit card debt and unnecessary spending can end up backfiring if you do not find yourself back into a job quickly. Depending on your situation, you may want to talk with a bankruptcy attorney to determine your best course of action. In some cases, filing for bankruptcy can relinquish your responsibility to pay your debts and relieve some money stresses from your day-to-day life.
While it may seem obvious, budgeting is crucial. When you do not have a consistent cash flow, setting a budget is essential to manage the money you do have; we cannot stress this enough. First, find out what your expenses are. Expenses include, but are not limited to: rent or mortgage payments, utility bills, car payments, insurance payments, groceries, and pretty much anything else you need to live. Once know this, you can compare the total to how much savings you have and find out how long you can live on the savings you do have.
Credit is NOT free money, and it is NOT a replacement for your income, so when you spend, you must eventually pay. There are good ways to use your credit while unemployed; most importantly, we recommend staying on top of your minimum payments. As you spend more, however, your minimum payments will increase, so keep that in mind. Spend cash when you can because spending physical money offers more of a connection to the money you’re spending.
It may not be ideal, but there are gig-economy opportunities for you to pursue to bring in some extra cash while you hunt for your next job. Why gig jobs over a part-time job? Simply for the flexibility. The flexible schedules enable you to put most of your effort toward job hunting, and free time can be applied to jobs with Uber, Lyft, Instacart, or Shipt. If you need to schedule an interview, there are not any set shifts you need to worry about; instead, when there are lulls in new job postings, you can spend more time working as a gig worker.
While no one wants to be unemployed, some excellent opportunities come with free time. For business professionals, it can be a great time to catch a breath or even work toward building new skills. Using these tips and staying on top of your new job opportunities, unemployment doesn’t have to be as stressful and overwhelming as you might think.
About the Author
Veronica Baxter is a writer, blogger, and legal assistant operating out of the greater Philadelphia area.