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Making Ends Meet While Struggling with Unemployment

Posted on August 12, 2019

Being unemployed is a very stressful experience. The world doesn’t stop when you lose your job, and bills can pile up to dangerous amounts very quickly. While you search for a new job, we’ve got some advice to stretch your money and make ends meet in the meantime.

Apply for Unemployment, Even if You Don’t Think You’ll Qualify

young woman sitting at a table working on a laptopIf you lost your job recently, one of the first things you should do is file for unemployment benefits through your state's unemployment insurance agency. It’s free to apply for, so even if you don’t think you’ll get it, still try.

Unemployment benefits are designed to help people who lost their jobs even though they did nothing wrong. According to Idaho’s Official Unemployment website that means: being laid off, voluntarily quitting with good cause, or were discharged but not for misconduct.

When determining who receives unemployment benefits, your financial status is not looked at. The only determining factor is if you lost your job for a valid reason. So if you lost your job for whatever reason, at least take the time to file for unemployment.

Time to Trim Your Budget

Along with your income decreasing greatly, you need to adjust your spending too. Pull out your budget and look for any places you can cut costs. The point of this is to stretch your current funds to last as long as possible until you find a new job. There are many expenses you need to keep covering, like housing, food, transportation, and internet. Your savings should be focused on paying those bills.

Examine your budget for the kind of expenses you can eliminate or greatly reduce. Often, these are things like online shopping, entertainment, or eating out. Cutting these kinds of expenses, you will save yourself a lot of money every month, which can be used in case you job search goes longer than expected. So cancel those subscriptions, hold off on big purchases, and make your own dinner rather than going out.

If you are looking over your budget and are feeling overwhelmed, get in touch with one of GreenPath’s trained financial advisers. Working with them, you can create a plan for your financial situation, get a better understanding of your debts, and plan out steps to get the most out of your savings.

Talk with your Lenders

older man in suit explaining something to another personIf you have taken out loans, including auto loans or a mortgage, it might be worth getting in touch with your lenders about your situation. It’s in your lender’s best interest to work with you so they can eventually get paid in full, and many have plans to help people out when they are in  trouble.

By contacting them, you can request lower rates, get a decreased minimum payment, or even pause your payments for a month or two. If you have a solid history of payments with the lender, it’s quite likely they will work with you to find a new plan.

For Pioneer members who are struggling and have a loan with us, we do offer the ability to Skip-a-Payment for a month. This could really help if you are struggling during one particular month and could use some extra money in your pocket.

Learn More About Skip-a-Pay!

Consolidate Your Debts

Not all debt is equal, and some are going to be a heavier weight on you than others. Especially if you have credit card debt or something with a similarly high interest rate, you need to get rid of those quickly. Missing a payment could not only hurt your credit, but put you even deeper into debt.

To consolidate your debts, you basically take out a single loan and use the money from that loan to pay off your other debts. That means you have a bit more control on what minimum payment you can afford and how long to have the loan be for.

Pioneer offers Signature Loans which are great for consolidating debts and putting you in control of your situation, which is very important when trying to make ends meet.

Earning some Extra Cash

three employees smiling with a mountain behind themWhile your main priority should be finding a new job to replace the one you lost, you likely will need or want to earn some extra money to help out with the bills. This could include getting a part time job, selling off some possessions, doing some temp work, or picking up a few tasks here and there for extra cash.

If you do end up getting a part time job and you are collecting unemployment, you will need to report it to the unemployment agency. Likely, they will remove how much you are earning through your part time job from how much you are currently collecting, but you’ll still get some unemployment money.

It’s important with whatever extra cash you earn that you don’t go and blow it on things you don’t need. While it might feel nice to have money coming in, you aren’t out of trouble yet. Save that money for future bills you might have.

If you are looking for a new job and want to be part of a passionate team, check out Pioneer’s career page for what positions we have currently open.

Visit our Career's Page!

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