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Sunday, January 10, 2010

Emergency Preparedness; Unemployment

For some of us, this article comes a little too late. But some of you are fortunate enough to have not yet lost your job, and fingers crossed, you will not get laid off.

Unfortunately, I know many people that are currently walking around in anxiety. They know that layoffs are coming, they just don't know when. And I think that might be the worst part of it, the wait.

Even if you have a secure job, it doesn't hurt to be prepared for what might happen. We thought my husband's job was secure because of many different factors, but that wasn't the case, we also thought we were prepared for unemployment, we made 1 major mistake, savings.

I was always told that one should have at least 6 months worth of living (finances) saved up in the event you lost your job. I suggest 1 year worth of savings. What you think 6 months is, could actually end up being only a couple of months to about 4 months with the rate that prices tend to change.

If you know that a layoff is coming, starting looking for other means of employment, with an up-to-date resume. Don't bother applying online right now, many employers are disregarding online applications. Many want to see you in person, to take the initiative. Even taking on a part time job after your main job could be beneficial. Tiring, tedious and you'll miss your family, but it could be an important part to your future life.

Talk to your friends, family and co-workers. (Networking). They might be able to help you if you do get laid off.

Try not to stress over it. If you know it is coming, mentally prepare yourself. If you need to, stock up on food and other items while you still have a paycheck. If you don't know it's coming, go ahead and do the same. It doesn't hurt anyone. However you do want to limit your spending and try to pay off your debts as quickly as possible. The less debt you have, the better thing can be for you.

Make sure that you have a good working car. Have it checked over and fix what needs to be fixed. The same goes for your home. Stop putting off important fixes, do them before your income is limited. Get your propane tank filled if you got one, then use it sparingly.

Talk with those you do business with, propane, electric, the milkmaid. Explain what is happening, and see what can be done to help you, either holding back one bill, or getting you on a payment plan. Once the lay off happens, call all those you owe debt to, and work something out. Sometimes you just have to do it, not fun, not pretty and no you are not less of a person because of it.

And that is a huge thing. Remember that the lay-off is not your fault. Be determined to get you and your family through this obstacle. Depression could rear its ugly head, but if you can keep that dragon at bay, the better things will turn out, and the quicker.

Utilize your skills to open a small business from home. Use what you have and have garage sales and the like to raise a bit of money. And de-cluttering means de-stressing your life. Sell things over the Internet as well. There are still buyers out there, if you have the right items.

Talk with your family, explain what is happening to your children in an age appropriate language. Attempt to get them to understand that you have to cancel the cable and cell phones because they are not important (or give up the land line) getting rid of unnecessary expenses is also important. No more eating out.

If you haven't learned to cook, do so. Gardening is also a good way to stretch your new budget.

If you do face unemployment, stay positive, and have a plan. Keeping yourself busy will keep you going.

Good Luck.

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