This pandemic has been going strong for a year now and quite a few people still find themselves reeling. Even though the massive job loss that struck back in March 2020 has slowly been getting better, chances are still pretty high that you know at least one person who lost their job due to COVID-19.
You might even have lost your own job for it. If you’ve been impacted by a job loss because of the pandemic, here are a few things you can do to help feel as if you haven’t totally lost control of your destiny.
Look to the Future
Even though this might not seem like the right time to tackle your financial goals, like finally talking to a financial expert about paying off your debt with a consolidation loan. You might also want to start doubling down on your savings once you’ve gotten a bit more familiar with exactly where your money is going. Or you might just be in a better position than you were in order to set yourself up for success. For example, using a system for cash flow can assist with creating a plan for how you’d prefer your finances to flow from now on.
Take a Deep Breath
It’s actually rather common to feel depression or anxiety when you lose a job, even if the rest of the world isn’t exactly burning. If you feel as if your world has turned upside down because of this massive sudden change, attempt to be easy on yourself. You’re not alone. Right now is a hard time for everyone else on the planet too.
It may be worth your while to check into your eligibility for unemployment benefits. That could help both financially and emotionally because you won’t be worried about where your next meal is going to come from until you’re able to rejoin the workforce.
Right now, because of the pandemic, people like independent contractors, who before may not have qualified for unemployment, are eligible.
Once you’ve done that, the next thing on your financial checklist should be your budget. If you don’t have one, now’s the time to make one. What could you possibly adjust so that making ends meet will be a bit easier during these lean times? When (in times like now) your income might be at a minimum, finding areas where you can cut back to make your dollars stretch is where you should take your first steps. This is also a good reason to have an emergency fund because if you had one, it might be able to sustain you for a couple of months until you’re able to find a new job.
Seriously though, look closely at the budget. Do you really need Netflix and a venti latte from Starbucks every day? Just think how much those two things alone could save you if you cut them out. Look for other areas where you can tweak the budget and it might surprise you just how much you can save.
You should never take out a loan if you can’t afford to repay it. However, if your significant other or another household member is still employed, they could take advantage of short-term loans for bills. Eligibility requirements are minimal and applicants can receive money in as little as 24 hours to cover expenses. They then have the option to repay in installments when they don’t have the cash upfront.
Keep Calm and Carry On
Losing your job can seem like it’s just the latest in a long string of tragedies from the past year. However, you need to remember that you’re not alone and there is help out there – both emotional and financial. For example, there are professional career coaches out there who can assist you not only with gaining employment again but possibly even with landing the career of your dreams.
Since this past year has shown all of us just how much can go wrong, it might also have shown you the importance of having a backup plan. If you go to a company like WesternShamrock and get them to help make it easier for you to pay your debt off, you’ll be in a better position to create and maintain a backup plan that includes an emergency fund. Then when the next catastrophe strikes, you’ll be better prepared to deal with it financially, and that means less stress too.