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4 Tips to Help You Survive Financially When You’re Out of Work

Being unemployed can be extremely stressful in many ways, but it is fair to say that money worries are at the top of the list.

If you are out of work right now, or you simply want to plan should you ever experience unemployment in the future, here are a few tips that can help you to survive (and be less stressed) financially:

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1. Check if you’re entitled to any help

Depending on where you are located, you may be entitled to various government unemployment benefits that will help to keep you afloat when you are out of work. Local government sites are usually the best places to find information about this kind of thing, so be sure to check them and apply for any financial assistance you may be able to access.

If you are out of work because you have been injured, if it was not your fault, you may also be able to claim compensation, and finding an injury lawyer with the qualities you need to make your case would be sensible. If you are entitled to money, then right now you need to do everything you can to access it.

2. Draw up a budget

When you’re out of work and your income has dropped, it is even more important than ever that you draw up a budget that clearly outlines all of your incomings and outgoings. Once you know what you have coming in and going out each month, go through everything to see if there are any areas you can cut down on. Ending subscriptions you don’t need or use, switching to a cheaper utility provider, and shopping at a cheaper grocery store are all simple changes you can make that will help to keep you afloat, but there are many more to consider too.

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3. Look for temporary work

It’s not always easy to find, but if you can try to look for a part-time role, temporary contract or even a few freelancing gigs, this will really help to take the pressure off. Sure, it might not be a secure job in your chosen industry, but it will help you tide you over. The gig economy is pretty strong right now, so it could be the ideal solution while you apply for something more permanent.

4. Declutter your home

If, like most people, you have accumulated a lot of stuff. Much of which you do not need, over the years, then selling some of it to tide you over is sensible. Just don’t sell anything that is actually useful to you because you will just end up having to buy it back eventually and the temporary cash injection will not be as beneficial. Selling locally is typically a better idea than using sites like eBay because you can shit stuff faster and you don’t have to pay any fees, but eBay is fine if you don’t have an easier way.

Surviving unemployment can be tricky, but hopefully, these ideas will make it, at least, a little easier for you.

4 Quick Ways To Save That Are Often Overlooked

Are you thinking about ways to save money in your budget? You might think that this is going to take a lot of work, sifting through your personal finances. But the reality is that it’s probably easier to save money than you might realize. Here are some of the key options that you shouldn’t overlook and that could make a big difference. It could mean you’ll have more money to spend each month on little luxuries as well as things you need. 

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Don’t Buy New 

First, you need to make sure that you are avoiding buying new if you can help it, particularly for expensive items. Most items that are expensive will absolutely obliterate your saving options because of the high level of depreciation. A classic example would be a car. If you buy a car, it’s important to know that cars depreciate the most in the first three years after they are purchased. That’s why it’s so much better to look at used cars. You just need to make sure that you check out used cars and ensure that there are no expensive issues lurking underneath the surface that could cost you more in the long term. Remember, you can take anyone you want with you when checking out a car including a trained expert. 

Go Green Where You Can 

You might also want to think about going green with your lifestyle choices. If you cut down the costs of your energy usage, then you’ll be surprised by how much you can save each month and even year. There are lots of ways to go green. For instance, we mentioned cars so you could think about buying a hybrid. Or, you might want to just make smaller changes around your home such as LED lights. These use a fraction of the energy compared to the typical lights in your home. 

Workout For Free 

There are certain things that we tend to pay for and there’s really no need. We can get the same benefits for free. One example worth exploring here would be the bill that you pay for your gym membership. While this might not seem that expensive, this is money that you could spend on other things or even just save. Instead of heading to the gym you could work out at home. All you need is an app that will show you the workouts you can complete without any equipment at all. 

Set Your Budget

Finally, you might want to think about setting your budget. It’s easy to forget this step but if you set your budget then you’ll be able to keep track of your savings and ensure that you are meeting your financial goals. 

Setting your budget just requires you to add up all your income options and then take off any bills that you have through the month. The amount you have leftover is the amount that you can spend on whatever you want. If this isn’t as much as you hoped, then it’s important to think about a side hustle choice. 

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Tackling Your Finances Head On

Any time of year that you decide to tackle your finances is the best time of year. But, when New Year approaches, many people decide that will be when they make the most of the finances. 

Taking a real look at debts, income, and creating a budget.

It is important to remember not to put too much pressure on yourself. At the start of the year, people often decide to make many large changes and then can feel bad if something doesn’t go perfectly. When it comes to your finances, you can make changes, no matter how small, to significantly impact. 

Consider it like a snowball. It will start small and gather speed and size, meaning impact as you go.

Something that makes tackling your finances interesting is that it doesn’t matter how much money you have. Everyone can benefit from some actionable steps when it comes to their finance.

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So how do you get the most out of it? And what can make your financial life more comfortable? 

Read on for some simple tips. 

Debt

It is very easy to push that to the back of your mind and begin to bury your head in the sand. Even though that is a massive source of stress and can be one of the things many people struggle with. 

Unfortunately, most of the time, that isn’t going to go anywhere, and it will need to be handled eventually. It is a good idea to note all of your debts, who they are owed to, the amount that is owed, and even looks at your original agreements.

You can find many template letters that can help you to get in touch with your creditors and freeze interest, reduced repayments, and come up with a monthly payment plan that suits what you can afford. If you don’t want to be contacted by phone, you can also request that all communications come via letter.

Depending on how much debt you have and what it relates to, you might get a debt management plan.

If you need some help, here is a useful guide that can help: Struggling With Debt?

Future planning

Is this the year that you begin to save for your forever home? One of the biggest things that they wish to purchase is a house or a new car for many people. These are new financial obligations that need to be carefully planned into your future. This means when you put your budget together, there should be a large amount allocated to these in terms of monthly repayments.

In the case of adverse credit, you might be required to speak to a specialist to see if there are alternatives to help you make your future financial dreams a reality.

Banking

Many people open a bank account, and rather than shop around for alternatives, they keep the same bank account for years. This is partly out of convenience and partly out of loyalty. 

You must remember that in the end, you don’t actually owe your bank anything, and they might not be providing you with the best possible service. It is very straightforward to swap banks in most cases. 

You can even swap your bank account online in some cases, should you need to. Use a comparison website to look at all of your bank’s different offerings compared with other banking companies. You might even find that you are paying higher charges or have a low-interest rate with your current bank.

Budget

A budget is not just something for those who are on a low income, or those looking to save money. Almost anybody can benefit from a well put together budget. A good financial budget can help you with that future planning that we just recently discussed, and it can even help reduce your debts.

One of the simplest ways is to set up your budget is to look at the money you have coming into your home and where it gets spent. 

You might find that you have more money left at the end of the month than you thought if you simply skip a few of those takeaways or reduced the number of times you use the car. 

It can be surprising just how much money you can save but putting a budget together.

Automation

You can often find that you can get a discount on utilities or services if you have an automatic payment set up. Another great thing about automatic payment is that they are usually taken on a regular date every month, making it very easy to work this into your budget. And you are much less likely to spend any money that is already allocated on automatic payment.

You can also set up automated savings. There are several phone applications, and even some banking services provide this now. 

They look at your income and outgoings, and using a special algorithm can work out how much you can save safely, and they will automatically put that into a savings pot for you.

The great thing about automatic saving is you very rarely notice it, and it can be as small as a few pence or cents at a time. Even a matter of weeks or months with the small automatic saving can give you quite a little pot of cash.

Credit card

If you are currently relying on a credit card for emergencies, then perhaps it’s time to start putting cash into an emergency fund. You can use the automatic payment system mentioned in the previous point to help you build up an emergency fund

This might mean that you will need to hold off on unnecessary spending or put all of your focus on paying off any current credit card debt. Then with your spare cash, start filling it into an emergency fund.

Finance can be scary, but once you understand all of your options regarding handling your creditors and putting yourself in the driving seat with a well thought out budget, you will have your finances ship-shape in no time at all. 

Can Quarantine Improve Your Household Finances?

These are uncertain economic times for everyone. With the global pandemic affecting nations and business, no one knows quite how the next few years are going to play out. Even with government backed stimulus packages in place for a lot of countries, the stock markets are suffering and businesses are failing. Even if you haven’t suffered being made redundant, you may have seen the value of savings and investments fall, and be worried about the long term outlook. Thankfully, you can take steps to prepare while in quarantine, to ensure that your finances are in the best possible shape for whatever the future may hold.

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Overhaul Your Budget

Living a simpler life during lockdown conditions has made many of us realise how wasteful some of our pre-pandemic spending habits really were. It’s a time when rampant consumerism has been exposed as unfulfilling, and what we’ve really missed most are simpler pleasures like seeing our friends. With a bit of space, it’s the perfect time to give your personal budget an overhaul. You should currently be making savings on things like eating out, so make the most of it by channelling those into separate account to create a financial cushion for the future. And with a bit more time on your hands at home, it’s an opportune moment to go through all your fixed outgoings like energy bills, insurance cover and credit card debt and shop around using price comparison sites for a better deal. It doesn’t take long to save on things like car insurance – click here to see what cover might suit you.

Look Into Transferring Debt

If you have outstanding debt you’re looking to pay off, you should prioritise securing the lowest interest rate possible so that more of your money goes to making a dent into what you owe rather than servicing the interest. Hunt for a balance transfer to a zero per cent APR card if you can manage to pay off the balance before the term comes to an end. If you can’t, then it can be a better option to seek a bank loan at a lower rate to pay off credit cards. This move can also free up more cash each month should you need it in the future. 

Hold Steady With Investments

If you do have investments, you may have been watching with concern recently as the markets have plunged. But resist the urge to cut and run at all costs. In most cases, if your investments are for the medium-to-long term, it’s better to have them stay put and wait for the market to recover. If you have a short term need to access money, you may need to do some juggling, but it’s wiser to leave as much as you can invested and ride it out. If you have concerns, speak to your financial advisor for some guidance on switching to safer options – for example investing into precious metals rather than stocks. 

Planning For Your Retirement: Steps To Take Now To Benefit Later

If you’ve got 20, 30 or 40 years of your working life left, you might not think that you need to start planning for your retirement yet, but getting started early is hugely beneficial. If you’re looking to lay down foundations, here are some steps you can take now.

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Investigate pensions and employee benefits

If you’re employed, you may already be paying into a pension pot, which your employer is also contributing to. If this is the case, make sure you understand the terms of the agreement and you know how much you’re putting into your pension each month. Read the terms and conditions and consider increasing your contribution if you tend to have money left over at the end of the month. If you’re self-employed, it’s important to investigate the options open to you and to find a pension that works for you. If you’ve been paying into a private pension, read the small print carefully and make sure you haven’t been mis-sold a pension. SIPP claims are increasingly commonplace. If you were advised to move your money into an SIPP (self-invested private pension), and you believe you were given inaccurate or unhelpful advice, you might be eligible to claim compensation. 

Budget

Budgeting is one of the most effective ways to take control of your finances and it will stand you in good stead for years to come. With a budget, you can set spending limits, set aside money for your savings account and plan for the future. Use your budget to compare your income with your outgoings and calculate how much disposable income you have. If you have money left after paying your bills and household costs, you could transfer cash to your savings pot or to a retirement or an emergency fund. When you draw up a budget, make sure you include every cost, and try to use accurate figures, rather than estimates. Update your budget as you go. 

Clear debt

If you’re in debt, it’s wise to try and clear it as quickly as possible. If you have credit cards, for example, you might be paying a lot of interest, which makes it more difficult to get back into the black and start saving. Check all your accounts and balances and note down all your outstanding debts. If you’re paying back a loan or a mortgage, and you’re meeting the deadlines, carry on as normal. If you’ve got additional debts, which are costing you money in interest or late payment fees, tackle these as a priority. For those worried about money and spiralling debts, it’s wise to seek expert advice. There are solutions available if you’re anxious about missing payments, you’re falling behind with your rent or mortgage, or you’re resorting to using credit cards.

If you’re in your 20s, 30s or 40s, retirement may seem like it’s a lifetime away, but time flies. It’s never too early to start planning. Taking steps to clear debt, save money and boost your pension pot now will benefit you later. 

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