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Finances During Layoffs

6608515Today, I am writing the second article of a three-part series about the key elements to consider when you are laid off or find yourself unemployed. Today the focus is on The Financial Situation.

  • The Financial Situation

–       Review your finances and determine how long you can manage without a paycheck by calculating your monthly expenses vs. your savings and any outside income that might still be coming in.

–       Review what expenses are fixed and where cuts can be made, removing items you don’t NEED (notice I didn’t say want. Need is different than want.).

–       Make a new budget to slow down the loss of finances and follow it.

–       Think of ways to make some money.  Do you have a skill or knowledge that others can benefit from? Use social media to get started and get the word out. You may even want to set up a website and / or blog. This can be temporary until you find a job or it may turn into your new career.

(I should mention that I started my own business after relocating to Arizona and rather than working for someone else, decided I was ready to make the move to entrepreneurship. Yes it was scary, but I can tell you I haven’t looked back since.)

–       If you aren’t able to pay critical bills like utilities or not able to buy groceries, turn to various government programs from the City, State, or County.  They may be able to help on a temporary basis with some of these essential bills, such as in Arizona there is:

Arizona Self Help.org which has programs that can help with everything from food and nutrition to housing and healthcare if you are eligible. Also try Phoenix Workforce Connection – One Stop Centers (http://tinyurl.com/ka6j77f),  which may be able to help you with training in a new field of work or help you find a job or with preparing a resume. If you aren’t in Arizona, check out programs in your own city, state, and county programs.

The point is, contact each level of the government and see what agencies / programs might be of help. Don’t let pride get in the way. If this is not something you are comfortable with, but really need the help, take the help and then when you are back on your feet, find a way to give back. So no need to feel bad for receiving services while you need it.

And don’t wait until the last minute before you check these out. Find out the qualifications and the process so if you do need to turn to them, you give yourself the lead time to apply in time.

And remember, take things one step at a time. I can tell you that when you do make it past this and find a job, a lot of times people are surprised to find they are excited or revitalized by the change. So find a vision that can help keep you focused on the end goal.

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