The Village Family Service Center offers tips for surviving job lossEmotional and financial strain can be costly. Today’s economy affects everyone. As a result, individuals and families struggle, especially when a layoff occurs. Terri Heinen, a certified financial counselor in The Village Family Service Center’s St. Cloud office, provides the following tips for surviving a layoff.
Emotional and financial strain can be costly. Today’s economy affects everyone. As a result, individuals and families struggle, especially when a layoff occurs. Terri Heinen, a certified financial counselor in The Village Family Service Center’s St. Cloud office, provides the following tips for surviving a layoff.
Allow yourself to be upset or even afraid. These are natural reactions. However, if they become intense, be willing to seek professional help. Talking things through and hearing another person’s perspective can bring relief and restore your positive outlook.
Resist the urge to speak negatively of your former employer. You may need them as references for a future job.
Take advantage of any assistance your workplace offers. Many companies provide placement assistance, job retraining and severance packages. Make sure you are aware of all benefits offered.
Apply for any applicable government benefits. Your HR representative at work will be a good resource.
Resist the urge to solve your problems by spending recklessly. It may feel good for the moment, but the high of spending won’t equal the low of dealing with additional debt when there is no income.
Don’t be tempted to live off of your credit cards. If you have a good line of credit, you could support your family at the current standard of living by using credit, but there’s no guarantee a new position will materialize any time soon. One rule of thumb is to expect one month of job search for each $10,000 of annual income you hope to replace. In other words, if you seek a $50,000 salary, it may take you five months to land that job.
Take a personal inventory. Consider all assets, income and expenses. Hopefully, you will not have to liquidate any assets to survive, but it is good to know what you have to fall back on.
Drastic times call for drastic measures. Nothing is off-limits. If necessary, consider selling your second car or any recreational vehicles, real estate holdings, rental properties or jewelry.
Pay basics first. After reviewing income versus debt obligations, if there is not enough money to make ends meet, calculate how much you need to meet basic household living expenses. Your goal is to pay everyone, but if you must make a choice, pay first your rent or mortgage, utilities, child care, insurance premiums, health care, food and gas.
Have a family meeting. You don’t want people pulling in different directions, and a joint effort yields a greater result. Make cutbacks wherever possible, knowing that this lifestyle will only be temporary. Resolve to stop all non-essential spending immediately.
Track your spending. Tracking your spending is always a good idea, but when money is tight, it’s essential. Write down every cent you spend. At the end of 30 days, review where the money went and make conscious decisions on where to cut back. You’ll be amazed by how much you can save and not even feel the pinch.
Contact your creditors to arrange lower payments. Most major credit card issuers have in-house help programs. Explain your situation and what you’re doing to resolve it. The creditor may be able to temporarily lower your monthly payment and reduce interest.
Call your mortgage leader or servicer and inform them of your situation. Be prepared to provide documentation of the setback, and have a resolution plan in mind. It is smart to first sit down with a certified housing counselor and map out a plan. This way, you’ll know you’ve selected the option that is best suited for your situation.
Village financial counselors and housing counselors can help you solve financial problems. Call The Village at 1-800-450-4019 or go to www.HelpWithMoney.org.