How to Survive Job Loss: 8 Tips For Staying Financially Grounded

Single Mom Money
by Single Mom Money

In May of 2020, I lost my job. It was very disorienting, but I put a plan in place that helped me get through six months of unemployment without going into financial ruin and I still had over $2,000 in savings. I'm going to share my secrets with you about how to survive job loss.

1. Limit your commitments

Commit to shelter, food, transportation, and utilities. But you don’t need to commit to financing a new phone or furniture.

2. Set up a sinking fund

A sinking fund is a short-term savings plan where you put aside a little bit of money every time you receive it for a specific expense or purchase, such as a phone or furniture. Financing purchases means you’re committed to paying monthly bills which makes you inflexible if you have a job loss or income reduction.

3. Don’t lend money

You might know someone who always needs financial help. Distance yourself from those people to survive financially.

How to create a sinking fund

4. Save money when you have a job

Always save money. It’s what saved me because I had a fully-funded emergency fund of almost six months worth of living expenses which I leaned on. I received unemployment benefits, but it wasn’t sufficient. It only let me pay rent and my car payment. You’ll need something to supplement unemployment checks.

5. Establish a side gig

Having one income is too close to having no income. Establish a side hustle while you’re employed, not when you’re unemployed and your rent is due in two weeks.

6. Make a survival plan

A survival plan is a budget with your absolutes that you can’t cut, such as rent/mortgage, utilities, car payment, car insurance, cell phone, internet, and similar things. You’ll need the internet and a cell phone if you’re looking for a new job.

Map out what things you can put on pause or cancel, like subscriptions and gym memberships (sometimes it takes 30 days before your auto-debit is canceled).

Do this while you’re in a good frame of mind. Once I got laid off, I was in a state of grief for a few weeks and couldn’t have made any major decisions or figured out a survival plan.

What to do when you lose your job

7. Find assistance

Prepare yourself with this information in advance of any income disruptions. Housing is your number one priority so look for rental or mortgage assistance programs if unemployment would be insufficient. Find out if you have car financing that allows you to delay a payment or two.

8. Stay spiritually grounded

Keeping up a spiritual practice can be difficult during these times when you’re emotionally and physically drained from searching for jobs and being rejected after countless interviews. But it’s what kept me centered.

Do something, whether it’s journaling, manifestation, prayer, or meditative walks. It will make a huge difference in how you come out of this situation.

How to survive job loss

How to survive job loss

It’s important to talk about the struggles people go through when they're looking for new work. It's not easy.

But if you follow these tips, you won’t worry so much because you’ll have some padding and possibly another stream of income. Following these tips means you’re a mature adult preparing for the rain however it might fall into your life.

If you’re experiencing a job loss right now, you will get through this just like you've gotten through other seasons in your life. Let me know how you’re doing in the comments below.

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2 of 9 comments
  • Marion Collins Marion Collins on Sep 21, 2022

    We have been saving for about 32 years now. We got both our kids a savings account when they were babies. My Mother never taught me how to save money. Needless to say we are doing well. We are not poor, but we are not rich either. We do have investments in some property as well. Both kids have their savings and are doing well too. Hopefully they can keep it that way too. At first we were living paycheck to paycheck. The main thing is you have to plan your payments and do your best to get the best rate. Definitely do away with what you don't need. If you have to, get a second job. Check different banks on their interest rates. Some are better than others. It could give you more interest on your savings (meaning more money). Keep your head up things will get better.

  • Sharon Sharon on Oct 07, 2022

    I'm living with unemployment now. I'm single and I was barely living paycheck to paycheck. I have no savings and nothing worth selling. What I do have is a strong faith in God. I know that God is in control and that I will be taken care of. I also know that we are supposed to learn from our hardships. I'm trying to stay focused on this and my faith until things improve. I pray that others in this situation will find blessing as well. God Bless