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Are you newly unemployed? First, I am sorry and I hope the unemployment tips below will help you survive this difficult time. Second, you are not alone (not that it helps). Over the last month, over 10 million people filed for unemployment. Third, this is not your fault.
The home quarantine orders are crippling many industries. We can only hope and pray that the economy bounces back within the next 6 months and jobs are again available. Until that time, here are several steps you can take to financially make it through this extremely difficult time.
Save this article now as it will get updated as new information and links are made available.
8 Quarantine Unemployment Tips
1. File for Unemployment
This cannot be stated forcefully enough. You paid in and earned this benefit. There is no waiting in a line. Filing is done online, so no embarrassment.
Additionally, you want to get in the system so you are designated as part of the government-mandated quarantine to maximize benefits.
Do this action first.
2. Create a Budget
Creating a budget is boring. This site veers away from discussing different budgeting strategies as it is such an uninteresting topic. However, it is time to create a budget.
The least complicated way to create a budget is using pencil and paper and creating two base columns of income and expenses. The important aspect of budgeting is to brainstorm and research all expenses.
There are a lot of expenses that can be missed, so review all your bills and credit card statements. There will be some potential
If income is more than expenses, happy dance. If not, it is time to do some work. How to
This is the tricky part. Four areas to consider: cut expenses, find money, make some side cash, and finally dip into savings. Dipping into savings is the least desirable option of the unemployment tips. Let’s cover all four options.
3. Start Cutting Expenses
Cutting expenses to make ends meet is not a fun task. It is important to save as much money as possible during this time. This is the time to renegotiate services. It is not the time to ignore bills.
Don’t let your credit score be destroyed by taking missteps during this time.
On-time payment is the biggest credit score factor. Remember your employment or salary has nothing to do with your credit score.
The largest expense is typically mortgage and rent payments. Lenders and landlords want income streams. During this time, they will likely be open to renegotiating terms. Take advantage of this opportunity.
Many saving money tips require mobility and relate to spending money. How many times do we need to read buy a used car versus a new car? This type of advice is not useful or helpful at this time.
To that end, we created a list of 60 Quarantine Money Saving Tips that can be done at home. These are
Once you have exhausted trying to save money to survive. It is time to move on to one of the more interesting unemployment tips which is finding money.
4. Begin Finding Money
For many people, this is the first time being unemployed. Start by researching the government benefits available as there can be money available through its program. Most benefits and how the benefits are implemented depends on the state, so start with your state’s website.
Finding money takes some creativity. The less obvious opportunities will be specific to you, so take the time to brainstorm.
Recently, WhipperSnapper Finance published Find Money During a Quarantine. The article outlines ten different places to find money around your home or on the internet. The ideas are limited to finding money while stuck at home, so no recommendations to get a metal detector and search for coins or collect scrap metal.
At this point, we have slashed expenses and found all the money under our couch cushions. Still, there is probably not enough money to make it through until the next unemployment check. So, now what needs to be considered?
5. Make a Little Side Money
There are many websites that claim the ability to make hundreds as side cash. This is not our area of expertise and we cannot speak to the merits of these claims. Many bloggers cite Survey Junkie, Mistplay and Swagbucks as legitimate sites to make a few extra bucks. Of course, these bloggers might also get a commission from these sites, so be aware.
Here are a few websites that have articles listing sites to help make a little extra cash: Green in Black & White, Budgeting Couple, and Totally Spent. Never pay to join a site that is supposed to make you money, and please be mindful of scams.
The most creative way to make a little side money is by using your skillset. Kids can be tutored by via internet, yards still need to be maintained, and people get tired of cooking.
Just make sure your little side job does not interfere with your unemployment check.
6. Review Your Emergency Fund and Retirement Savings
Hopefully, there is an emergency fund available to tap into during these times. It is important to budget how much of your emergency fund that will be used every month.
Ideally, the answer is zero. In reality, create a plan to spread the emergency fund across a minimum of 6 months. There does not seem to an easy answer to this virus issue, so we need to stretch our emergency funds.
Most are probably thinking that their emergency fund might last 2 months. I get it. This is where the ugly last resort comes into play: retirement savings.
There are numerous rules and regulations regarding early withdrawal or loan from any retirement savings vehicle. Normally, it never makes sense to use money from a 401K, etc. The reality is these are not normal times.
Honestly, consider all other options including moving your entire family in with your in-laws in their 2 bedroom apartment before using
If retirement savings are the only option left for making it, please, please, please consult a financial planner to understand the financial and tax implications. This decision should not be taken lightly. Seriously, this should be a last resort.
7. Career Evaluation
There are going to be many tough money conversations if unemployment hits you or your family. It might be necessary for the stay at home parent to start working again. It might require moving to get another job and trying to sell a house in a tough housing market.
The hardest question might be will your profession/job thrive again anytime soon? Portions of the economy will probably recover quickly, but other sectors may take a year or two. Is it time for a career change?
Additional recommendation, there are many online training courses being offered for free. Take advantage of this time and free courses to upgrade your skills and to pad your resume.
8. Mental and Physical Health
This whole situation is rotten. Everyone will know many people impacted financially and/or physically by this stupid virus.
It takes a toll and the worst thing to do is let your health go sideways. Stay physically active. It might not be the wisest time to visit a doctor’s office. However, doctors are only a call away for both physical and/or mental concerns.
Make sure to get the help you need. We are all going to need help to get through this awful situation.
These are difficult times and job loss just compounds the stress. Following these financially focused unemployment tips will help. As a recap, the 8 unemployment tips are:
1. File for Unemployment
2. Create a Budget for Your New Situation
3. Start Cutting Expenses to Make Ends Meet
4. Being Finding Money to Help
5. Make a Little Side Cash Until Employment Can Be Found
6. Review Your Emergency Fund and Retirement Savings to Make Your Money Last
7. Career Evaluation as Some Careers are not Going to Come Back Anytime Soon
8. Mental and Physical Health Focus is Important for Everyone
Below are a few additional articles that are relevant. Stay safe and healthy. There are better days ahead.