Lost Your Job? 3 Ways To Secure Yourself Financially

Layoffs are a reality in today's job market. No matter how well you perform at your job or how long you have been with the company, you may not be immune to layoffs.

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Lost Your Job? 3 Ways To Secure Yourself Financially

Losing your job can be a scary experience.

One minute you’re employed, with a regular income coming in, and the next minute you’re unemployed and facing an uncertain future.

You might initially feel shock and disbelief, and then you start worrying about how you’ll pay your bills and support yourself.

Yes, losing your job can be a major setback, but you can survive it by taking some proactive steps to secure your finances.

Handling Job Loss

Layoffs are a reality in today’s job market. No matter how well you perform at your job or how long you have been with the company, you may not be immune to layoffs.

In fact, in the current climate of economic uncertainty, job loss is a real possibility for many people. According to a report by the CBO, as many as 3.4 million people could lose their jobs in the event of an economic recession.

So, what should you do if you find yourself suddenly unemployed? Here’s what to do immediately:

Acknowledge and give space to your emotions:

First and foremost, don’t panic. Yes, it’s a difficult situation, but it’s important to keep a level head and not make any rash decisions.

While at it, give yourself some time to grieve. A job loss is a major life change; feeling sad, angry, and scared is normal. You might even feel betrayed and abandoned by your employer. Be gentle with yourself and allow yourself to feel whatever emotions come up.

Talk to a trusted friend or family member about what you’re going through and allow them to support you. Remember, this might not be a good time to isolate yourself from your loved ones. It would help if you had all the support you can get to process your emotions and get back on your feet.

Don’t make any major decisions immediately, as you might not be thinking clearly. Once you have processed your emotions, you can start to take concrete steps toward financial security.

Calculate your finances:

An audit of your finances is crucial in this situation. You need to know exactly how much money you have. As you are out of a job for the moment, your income has decreased. You might want to take a close look at your expenses at this point and see where you can cut back.

Do you have any subscriptions or memberships that you can do without? Are there any unnecessary expenses that you can eliminate? Now is also a good time to start tracking your spending so that you can plug any money leaks. There are many free apps and software that can help you with this.

The goal is to find out how much money you have presently and how long that will last you, and this will help you make informed decisions about your spending going forward.

Evaluate your next career move

If you have been laid off, it’s a good opportunity to really take some time to reassess your career.

Ask yourself if this job brought you happiness and purpose. Were you challenged and growing in your job? This is a great opportunity to make a career change if that’s something you’ve always wanted to do.

If you want to go back to the same industry, start by evaluating your skills and experience. Are you ready to go up a level in your role?  It’s also a good time to update your resume and LinkedIn profile.

When you’re ready to start job hunting, keep these new desires in mind when applying for roles..

Applying for jobs can be a full-time job in itself, so you might also want to consider temporary work or freelance gigs to tide you over in the meantime.

Securing Your Finances

Taking concrete steps to secure your finances is crucial in this situation. Understand that this is a challenging time, but it’s not the end. With careful planning and execution, you can get through this and come out stronger on the other side.

You can take the following steps to secure your finances:

Monitor your financial position

It’s best to keep a close eye on your finances when you’re unemployed. Track your inflow and expenses so that you can make informed decisions about your spending.

You might have to make some difficult choices about where to cut back, but it’s important to stay on top of your finances. Your bank or credit card statements can be a good place to start when it comes to tracking your spending. With careful analysis, you can identify any problem areas and work on fixing them.

Use your emergency fund wisely

Having an emergency fund is a crucial part of financial security. Although you may be tempted to dip into your emergency fund to cover your living expenses when you lose your job, it’s important to use your emergency fund wisely. Only use it for emergencies—true unexpected expenses that you absolutely cannot cover any other way.

If you do need to use your emergency fund, make sure to replenish it as soon as possible. You never know when you might need it again.

Avoid investing recklessly

Investing can be a great way to grow your wealth, but it’s important to avoid investing recklessly. When you’re unemployed, you might be tempted to take on more risk in the hopes of making a quick buck. But that is often a recipe for disaster.

If you do decide to invest, make sure you’re investing in something that you understand and that has a relatively low risk. And, as always, consult with a financial advisor before making any major decisions about your finances. A professional can help you figure out the best course of action for your situation.

Revisiting all benefits and entitlements

In most countries, government initiatives are in place to help those who have lost their jobs. Take the time to research what benefits and entitlements you might be entitled to—you might be surprised at what’s available.

In the United States, for example, there is unemployment insurance available to those who have lost their jobs. And in the United Kingdom, there is the Jobseeker’s Allowance. There are also many other benefits and entitlements available in different countries, so make sure to do your research.

It’s also important to keep in mind that government benefits and entitlements are often temporary, so they should not be relied on as a long-term solution. Take advantage of them while you can, but also make sure to take steps to secure your finances in the long term.

Making a Plan

It’s important to have a plan when you lose your job. But it’s also important to be flexible and adaptable. Things might not always go according to plan, but having a plan will help you stay on track and make the best of a difficult situation. Your plan should include:

A spending plan: With a budget in place, you’ll have a better understanding of your financial situation and where your money is going. The result? You’ll be better equipped to make informed decisions about your spending.

A savings plan: You should always have a savings plan in place, regardless of your employment status. But when you’re unemployed, saving becomes even more important. Try to put away as much money as you can each month, so you have a cushion to fall back on if needed.

A debt repayment plan: The sooner you can get rid of your debt, the better. When you’re unemployed, it can be tempting to let your debt pile up. But that will only make your financial situation worse in the long run. Come up with a plan to pay off your debt as quickly as possible.

A job search plan: Finally, make sure you have a plan in place for your job search. Having a clear idea of what you’re doing will help you stay focused and motivated.

Control day-to-day costs

When you’re unemployed, it’s important to be mindful of your day-to-day costs. Even small expenses can add up, so try to cut back on unnecessary spending. Take a close look at your spending plan and see where you can make some adjustments.

One easy way to save money is to cook at home more often. Eating out can be expensive, so try to limit yourself to eating out only on special occasions. You can also save money by cutting back on your entertainment expenses. Instead of going to the movies or out for drinks, try staying in and renting a movie or having a few drinks at home.

There are many other ways to cut costs, so get creative and see where you can save some money. Every little bit helps, and the more you can save, the better off you’ll be financially.

Keep the lines of communication open

Think about the people in your life who you can rely on for support, both emotionally and financially. These people can be valuable resource during tough times. 

Whether it’s a family member, friend, or financial professional, make sure you keep the lines of communication open. It can be difficult to ask for help, but it’s important to remember that you’re not in this alone. There are people who care about you and want to help you succeed.

Losing your job can be a difficult and stressful experience. But it’s important to remember that you’re not alone. There are many resources and support systems available to help you through this tough time.

Take care of yourself—physically and emotionally—and make sure to keep the lines of communication open. With a little planning and some creative cost-cutting, you can get through this tough time and come out stronger on the other side.

Sam Garrison

Sam Garrison

Sam Garrison is the President and co-founder of Stackin, a financial wellness company. Before Stackin, Sam built and launched new ventures at BCG Digital Ventures, the venture and incubation arm of The Boston Consulting Group, where he also supported the executive team as strategic program lead. As a lifelong millennial, Sam has tried to solve most of his problems through technology instead of waiting in line at a drab office.