If you find yourself in the nearly ten percent recently laid off, you may not be prepared for the loss of income. Hopefully you are able to qualify for unemployment benefits, as these benefits will help to get you through the next few months until you are able to acquire a new job. These benefits alone will not make your life as it was but they will help to offset some of the anxieties that come with it.
If you are renting and realize that you may not be able to cover the rent and feed your family, you can appeal to your landlord for a short-term reduction or search out a different location more affordable to your current situation. If you own a home and have the same scenario, you can try to refinance if your partner is still employed.
Reducing the cost of utilities can go a long way. If you do not have a programmable thermostat you may want to install one as it will pay for itself in the first month. By lowering your thermostat before going to bed or when no one is at home, you can significantly reduce your heating or air conditioning bills. Turn off lights when you are not in the room. Lower the temperature on your hot water heater and take shorter showers.
If you have a large cable bill, as many of us do, check to see if you can remove some of the unused channels temporarily until you return to work. Another bill that can often do with revamping is the cell phone; reduce your monthly minutes and cancel any added features that can again be added back on at a later date.
When it comes to food shopping, always go prepared by checking the local flyers first to see who is offering the best deals of the week, plan your meals, cut coupons and stick to your list. Generic store brands are a great way to save money on some of the products you currently use. Budget your food shopping down to the bare minimum.
There are many ways to survive being laid off, even if it means you have to cut back. Many of us live beyond our means and do not think about saving or scaling back until it is too late. By learning to survive on a budget and a single salary, you will be able to keep your head above water until you are able to find another job.