Being unemployed is something no one hopes to be, but it is a harsh reality for millions of Americans each year. The idea of not having a regular income to cover your household expenses can become stressful quickly. How will you make ends meet? More importantly, how will you keep the lights on and food in the fridge? Although you may need to use more than one, there are methods you can use to survive while on unemployment. Let’s talk about one of the most important – reducing and eliminating expenses.
Apply for Unemployment
The first thing you’ll want to do is file for unemployment in your state. You’ll need to meet eligibility requirements so be sure that you’ve checked the requirements for the state you reside in. For example, if you live in Texas, you’d need to locate the TX unemployment program to see what their requirements are. General requirements might include being fired at no fault of your own, making a certain amount of income during the base period, and your ability and willingness to work when employment becomes available. Once you’ve applied for unemployment, you’ll know how much you’ll receive and can create a budget around this weekly amount.
On average, cable can cost an upwards of $100 per month. Though you might have a lot of spare time to sit around and watch television, that money you’re spending on that cable could be going towards something you really need. Besides, there are affordable and free alternatives to watching cable television. There is satellite television, streaming services, and online videos that you can view to catch up on the latest shows and movies, all for less than a few bucks a month.
Cell Phone Data
Although you may need your cell phone to receive calls from potential employers, you don’t need to have a huge and expensive plan. One of the costliest parts of a cell phone package is the data plan. With several locations offering free Wi-Fi and your home Internet connection available, hanging onto unlimited data plans that can cost you hundreds of dollars per month is unnecessary.
You’ll need transportation to get around to apply for jobs and attend interviews. Though this is true you don’t need to rely on your car if the cost of owning it is more than you can handle right now. Car payments, car insurance, maintenance, and fuel costs can all add up fairly quickly. If you need to, park the car in your garage for a while and utilize public transportation. Paying for a bus pass is a lot more affordable than paying for gas every other day.
Whether you receive monthly magazines in the mail or you’ve signed up to be a member of a gym for just $10 per month, those subscription fees really add up. Any membership fees you have can be eliminated altogether. Of course, if you’ll be penalized for ending your contract early (some gyms require higher payouts to cancel), then weigh your options on whether you should continue the service or end the contract.
Eating out needs to be banned altogether while you’re unemployed. It can be emotionally challenging to be unemployed, and relying on food for comfort is a common vice, however, it can end up eating away at your budget. To cut down on the costs of food stop eating out and start couponing while shopping for groceries to expand your budget.
You may have thought that living paycheck to paycheck was hard, but when you don’t have the promise of an income coming in each week, surviving financially gets even tougher. To try and minimize the blow, your finances will take during unemployment, start by eliminating or reducing the above discussed expenses from your household. The savings from these expenditures should help tithe you over until you’re able to bring in more money.