As I mentioned in a previous post my husband is an auto factory worker in the small town we live in. So being laid off or the rumor of being laid off is not unusual for our family. We have dealt with the knowledge of at leas one possible layoff each year since 2008. We have simply learned to be prepared.
You may be wondering why he stays employed where he is. Quite simply it’s because for our area of the country he earns a decent wage for his profession, we have great health insurance and his employer has always been good to him. Those three things are hard to come by in most job environments today.
Tips To Plan For A Short-Term Layoff
Make A Plan. The best thing you can do for yourself and your family is to be prepared. Quite often you will hear of an impending layoff before it is officially announced. Take advantage of this time to look at your financial life and create a game plan.
Prepare A Crisis Budget. If you have never made a budget, now is the time to start. If you have been living on a budget already, then now is the time to reevaluate your budget. During a layoff whether it is a short-term or long-term interruption it is important to prioritize your monthly expenses. The three monthly expenses that need to take priority is: food, rent/mortgage payment, and utilities. Once those three are covered you can move onto car payment/transportation, credit cards and loan minimum payments, TV, internet and finally kids activities that you already have scheduled and promised to pay for such as ballet lessons.
Stop Paying Extra On Debt. If you are facing a layoff you need to immediately stop paying extra on debt and instead start saving and setting aside that “extra” income. You will need it for day-to-day expenses when your income is decreased during the short-term layoff period. Once you return back to full time employment and your able to pay the minimum payments on everything, and your baby emergency fund is topped off then you can return to making extra on your debt again.
Find Your Money Leaks. The little things really do add up, and they can add up very fast. That quick run through the drive threw for lunch, a trip to Starbucks for your morning coffee, or that cute $3.00 clearance t-shirt for the kids all steal money from a very tight crisis budget. Often we make money leak purchases without even thinking about it, they are just a part of our normal routine. However, when you are laid off every penny counts and they can wreak havoc on an already very tight budget.
Find A Side Hustle. For most people the unemployment benefits payment they receive will not cover their fixed monthly expenses. Finding a side hustle is one way to make ends meet. In 2009 my husband was laid off and by the summer had been laid off for several months. To help make ends meet he shoveled snow in the winter, mowed lawn for my grandparents and other people in the summer, and when the fall came he even raked leaves. I was a full time Pre-Nursing student but still found time to have a private elderly client who I did housekeeping and meal prep for. I also saw a few massage therapy clients (I’m a certified medical massage therapist) and clipped coupons to help with our bottom line.
Fallowing these five simple steps can help you more easily navigate through a short-term layoff.
Have you ever been laid off?
What are some things you have done to get through it successfully?
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