Going from two incomes to one, or a reduction in income of any kind, can be a definite shock to your finances. Don’t let this loss get the best of you. With proper reorganization and budget evaluation, you’ll be able to stay afloat until your circumstances improve.
Reorganize your banking situation.
When a job is lost, banking reorganization is often in order. Things like automatic debits, transfers and BillPay need to be adjusted. If you don’t already have a joint account, now might be a good time to consider this option.
Adjust your retirement situation.
While it’s always important to put money into your savings, during this time of depreciated income, it’s okay to scale back on your monthly contribution in order to meet your other financial obligations.
Reduce unnecessary expenses.
Like any time of financial strife, cutting down on unnecessary spending is a helpful step. Look at your monthly budget and expenses and see where money is being spent. Seriously cut back on things like dining out, shopping and entertainment. The budget might not always be so strict but, while finances are tight, it should be monitored closely.
Make a list of frugal things to do.
When someone loses a job they often find themselves spending more money out of sheer boredom. Don’t let this happen to you. Keep yourself occupied with free or inexpensive things to do.
Can you make major budgetary cuts?
While whittling away at the family budget helps, ridding the budget of a major expense, like a car payment, is even more helpful. But before making a bold move, first weigh your options. Realistically predict how long you’ll be out of a job and see if going down to one car would even make sense for your family. If there’s no work in the foreseeable future and one car would suffice, nixing a car payment could be a smart move. Also look at things like cable and Internet as other possible cuts.
Consider working from home.
If you have the time and ability, think about taking on some part-time or freelance work during your unemployed or underemployed period. The added income helps relieve your financial pressure while keeping you busy.