Being unemployed is one of the most difficult positions for a former breadwinner, and it can often lead to a cycle of debt and overspending which makes it difficult to get back on track. Reliance upon benefits will only make it harder to get back in control, and could make it difficult to accept jobs if you do have offers. Experts recommend that you should try and enough money to cover three months of unemployment, but this money can quickly run out if you don’t spend wisely and watch your budget. The current financial climate also makes finding a job within three months harder, and so you would be wise to try and save money while you are unemployed, even if it means tightening the belt just a little bit tighter than you might have thought possible. Making these savings will not always be easy, but you have to make the choice to act now.
Cut Down On Expenditure
The first step in saving money while being unemployed is to cut down on your expenditure. Many people continue to live their life as though they were still employed, and this includes using things that are no longer within their budget. If you really want to save money, then you are going to have to select the things which you cannot live without, such as food and heat, and sacrifice the things which you only want to have. The latter include items such as:
- Your vehicle. Even if you really have to have a car, you should consider reducing the distance you drive, and the amount of hours you spend in the car. Not only is gas very expensive, but if you are caught up in an accident, or the car breaks down, then you will have to pay for those costs as well.
- Your TV and Internet. Television is not a necessary expense, and you can cut down on your monthly bills by cutting off the cable. If you are looking for work through the internet, then you might still need to stay connected, but you could swap your internet supplier for a cheaper version. Cut back on your mobile phone use to save even more money.
- Dining Out. Eating out has always been a popular way for people to relax, but if you are living on a tight budget, then you will need to cut back on social occasions. This means eating in, and saving your nights out for when you are celebrating finding a new job.
- Grocery budget. If you have been shopping in the same store for years, it is easy to fall into the same habits of impulse buying and treat purchases. Cut back on things that you don’t need, and avoid expensive trips to convenience stores and open-all-hours shops.
Ways to Keep on Budget
In addition to cutting back on the amount that you spend on various items, you can also help yourself to keep on budget by adopting a number of strategies. These are designed to ensure that you keep your spending as low as possible. These ways to keep on budget include:
- Make your own meals. In the modern busy lifestyle, convenience foods are often seen as essential items. Pre-made pizzas, pasta dishes and even whole meals can be bought from supermarkets, but they are often very expensive, and full of fats and salts. Rather than spend all this money on an unhealthy product, slim your waistline and your budget by purchasing ingredients separately, and then mix them together at home to make meals.
- Do It Yourself. There are always little things around the home which need fixing, or need updating. Our grandfathers used to do this as a matter of course, but most modern people prefer to call in someone else. Save money by making those ‘quick fix’ repairs which can save you from spending cash on a tradesperson. A patch-up job today can mean that you make your home and car go that little bit further for less, and if you feel capable, might even encourage you to start doing bigger DIY jobs.
- Share your budget. You are not the only person out of work in your street, or in your neighborhood. Get together with others, and make your budget go a little bit further by bulk-buying items, and sharing them around. You might not want to put your entire budget into the pot, but in addition to the cash, you could also trade your skills, your time, or your experience in exchange for similar favors.