You need to start implementing smart financial moves if you want to survive this year. This has to be one of the toughest years that we have encountered in a very long time. It seems like we are going from one crisis after another. First, there was the threat of war. Then came the health crisis brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. While that has yet to be resolved, we are now facing a new crisis – and it involves our finances.
The truth is, economic experts have been saying that the recession was bound to happen. We were actually lucky enough to have held it off for so long. But with the pandemic hitting the world hard, it pushed us into the recession. And you know what happens when there is a recession.
People start getting laid off. In fact, towards the end of April, an estimate of 26 million people have filed for unemployment.
This piece of information is making people worry about their own job security. What will you do if you get that dreaded call to inform you that you will be laid off? Well, you should not panic. Because it might be devastating to hear, there are things that you can do to help you through unemployment. It will be harder but if you are willing to make sacrifices, you should be able to get through this.
But what will you do while waiting? If you really feel like you might be part of the workforce that will be laid off, you need to start moving now. There are smart financial moves that you can make to ensure that you will not be left devastated when the time comes that you lose your job.
Smart financial moves in case you’re laid off
We are not being pessimistic about this. Instead, we are trying to be realistic. And if we maintain that frame of mind, we will do our best to prepare for the worst-case scenario. That way, we will have a better chance of getting through it.
So what can you do?
There are 3 smart money moves that you can do to help secure your finances once you get laid off. But you have to start working on it as soon as you can.
Hold on to your cash
Now is not the time to indulge in your overspending habits. It may feel like you need to spend your money to relax or feel good about things, but now is not the time to do that. Instead, you need to find a way to hold on to your cash. If there is a chance that you will lose your job, you need to have as much cash reserve as you can. Try to lower your expenses by living a more frugal life. Use it like it’s the last money that you’ll ever get. To do that, you need to take a look at everything that you spend each month. There’s no need to take drastic steps yet. But you need to identify the small changes that you can make right now.
For instance, you can stop buying unnecessary stuff – like clothes and shoes. Unless there is a need to replace anything at home, don’t buy equipment, furniture, or any appliance just yet. Even if you have the money to pay for it in cash, don’t buy it. The same is true for other entertainment expenses that you usually make. These include dining out and take-outs. The more you can cut back on cash spending, the longer you can stretch it. Consider the money you save as your emergency fund.
Take advantage of your current benefits
Another thing that you should do is to take advantage of the current benefits that you have. This is one of the smart financial moves that you need to make. After all, you are still employed. You have not yet been laid off. So you still qualify for the benefits that your employer offers. For instance, you can take advantage of the insurance benefits – specifically if there is health insurance provided. Familiarize yourself with these benefits so you can use it while you still can. If they offer dental benefits, schedule a cleaning or appointment. That way, you can go for long without these benefits in case you get laid off.
Find another source of income
Don’t think you are jinxing it by finding another source of income. Whether you get laid off or not, you will benefit from having diversity in your finances. The boost in income does not mean you should increase your spending. Instead, you should increase your savings. This will help you prepare for any crisis in the future.
You can choose to get an online job. Or maybe you can capitalize on a hobby. Get a part-time job that will not burn you out. There are so many options available – you just have to be desperate enough to find them.
Since you are not yet laid off, you can continue to use your primary income to pay for your needs. The second source of income should not be used. Put it directly into your savings account. That way, it will not be spent and it will help support your family in case you do get laid off.
Other smart moves you have to make before being laid off
Apart from the smart financial moves that you need to make, there are non-financial tasks that you should be doing as well. These will also help prepare you in case you are one of the unlucky ones that will be unemployed because of the current crisis. It will not make your financial situation harder than it has to be.
Research your unemployment options
Since the future is uncertain, you should make sure that you have plans in place for every possible scenario. This is how you can survive any crisis. If there is a possibility that unemployment will be a part of your future, get to know your options. What can you get from your employer if they let you go? What benefits can you get from the government?
With every option that you have, make sure you are aware of the process to apply. That way, if you need to, you can immediately send in your application for the benefits.
Update your information
While you are getting to know your options, make sure you keep your data updated too. Sometimes, we don’t qualify for certain benefits because our personal record is not up-to-date. For instance, the government passed a stimulus package worth $2 trillion to help Americans struggling because of the pandemic. If you are single, you will get $1,200. But if you are a couple, you get double the amount. Not only that, if you have kids, but you also get an extra amount as well. If you don’t update your information, the benefit that you will get might not be correct.
Of course, this does not include the unemployment benefits that you can get. So make sure your records are updated so you can qualify for the benefits that you really deserve.
Doing all of these tips will not be enough to replace what you will lose in case you get laid off. But it will make things easier. If you plan ahead, you don’t have to struggle so much in the beginning. You know that you have done your best to prepare and make sure your family will be financially okay. At least, for a certain amount of time. This will leave you with a clear mind so you can focus on solving your current predicament.