Ways To Save When You Are Unemployed
If you have just lost your job and are currently unemployed, you may be looking for some ways to save money and get through these hard times. Most Americans when they lose their jobs do get a period of unemployment. However, for those who do get unemployment that money is a fraction of what you made while you were working full time. If you have lost your jobs, right now, you should be in survival mode. Finding ways to cut spending and save money until you can find another job.
Walk or Take The Bus To Save Money On Gas And Car Repairs
Unless you are going to look for a job, buying groceries or going somewhere you cannot walk or take a bus to, you should leave your car at home. You can save quite a bit of money in gas alone depending on how far your commute was while you were working and how much you spent in gas. Plan out your job interviews (if you can control it) so that you have two or three job interviews on the same day so that you are not driving your car everyday.
Shop At The Salvation Army To Save Money On Everything
If you or your family members need clothing or household items during your period of unemployment, you can shop at the Salvation Army or even the Dollar Store or Family Dollar. Family Dollar can still get a little expensive, however, you can get pretty much what you need by shopping at the Salvation Army or the Dollar Store.
Shop For Food Through a Food Ministry Program
Food ministry programs are bulk food programs that sell you food at a considerable discount. Food ministry programs like MidAmerica Food Ministry or Angel Food (when it was in business), offered American families great deals on food items every month. If you can still afford to buy food, then using food ministry programs will help you save a great deal of money. Also, shopping at bulk food places like BJ's Wholesale, or Costco can help you save a lot of money as well. The Dollar store also has good food options for $1.
Cut Off Extra Features On Your Cell Phone
Just stick with the basics on your cell phone program. Now is not the time to have those extra features that you really don't need. If you have a monthly plan, while you are unemployed, you may want to just switch to a prepaid cell phone with no service plan. There are even programs that you can take advantage of where you can get free cell phones.
Shop With Coupons Everytime You Shop
Start cutting those coupons! Wait until stores like Krogers has their 1o for $10 deals. You can easily get 10 cases of meat sauce for $10, $10 boxes of cereal for $10 and so forth. Shopping with coupons or shopping only when items go on sale is one of the best ways to save money on food and clothing. Shop out of season for clothes, you can get the best deals on winter clothing and shoes at the end of February. Conversely, you can get the best deals for summer clothing and shoes at the end of August. It is not farfetched for you to get a nice winter coat for less than $5 if you shop at the right time of year.
See If You Qualify For Public Assistance
This is something you should do almost immediately after losing your job. If you can get temporary help with food and rent, then the government is the place for you to go. Many people don't believe in taking handouts from the government and that's fine, but for those who do, there are great opportunities in both federal aid and grants to help you while you are unemployed, that you can take advantage.
Get Food From Food Pantries
Dial 211 or go to 211.org to see if there is a food pantry in your area. You can get the food you need from churches and other social services organizations to help you while you are trying to get by. You can also get a score of other assistance including rental assistance from 211.org as well. 39 States have this services, so you will have to either call the number or go to the website to see if your state is among those who offer this helpful service.
Try Not To Borrow Money (If You Can Help It)
Whatever you do try not to borrow money or take out a loan. If you absolutely must do it, then try a ten dollar payday loan which has a fixed interest rate. Now is not the time for you to be getting into debt, however, there may be circumstances out of your control that dictate the need for you to borrow money.
Start A Garden (If The Weather Permits it)
Start growing your own fruit and vegetables. Having a backyard garden has become more and more popular. There are easy vegetables that you can grown even on your patio or porch such as eggplant, tomatoes, peppers and squash. These can provide extra food for you and your family during a difficult time.
Get A Fishing License (Fish for Your Food)
Getting a fishing license that will allow you to fish for your food is also an option. Fish is a great source of nourishment and the best fish, is free fish. A day's fishing trip can give you food for weeks. Learning to fish when you are unemployed is a great option to consider. It may even be something you consider doing even after you have found another job.
Buy Bulk Oats, Rice and Beans
Costco and BJ's Wholesale are two examples of places where you can get food in bulk. A ten lbs bag of rice, beans or wheat can last you a very long time.
Save Money For The Future
Once you get another job, you should start saving an emergency fund. Everyone should have an emergency fund, no matter how rich or how poor you may be. This fund is to help you from being destitute if ever you should lose your main source of income. Ultimately, your emergency fund should cover at least 3 to 6 months (or more) of your living expenses. Your emergency fund is also different than your retirement fund and your savings. Your emergency fund should for just that, emergency money when you need it because of job loss or unexpected events.
You should also try to have a second source of income in the household. In this day and time, if you don't have a good solid emergency fund, you should definitely have a second source of income. These are things that you should think about once you get back on your feet.