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