Surviving without work is a challenge. If you don't have a consistent monthly income, you may have a hard time paying bills, occupying your time, and dealing with emotions. Although it may seem impossible to survive a period of unemployment, you can. Read on to learn how to survive if you can't find a job.
Method 1 of 4: Ask for help
Step 1. Apply for government help
Many government programs can help you pay for food, heating your home, or even rent. Check the government benefits finder if you live in the United States or find out the types of benefits you could receive in your country.
- In the United States, one of the programs where you may apply for help is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which is available to low-income families and individuals who need help paying their bills. food.
- The Trade Adjustment Assistance Program helps manufacturing, agricultural and production workers who have lost their jobs to gain skills to work abroad. The program provides up to 104 weeks of paid occupational training, literacy, and weekly cash payments for up to one year after unemployment benefits have ended. The United States' Job Readjustment and Retraining Notification Act helps people who have been involved in mass layoffs in industries not covered by the program. These individuals can receive free training workshops, college courses, or professional development classes.
Step 2. Apply for unemployment benefits if you can
If you quit, got laid off, or lost your job due to a layoff, you may be eligible for some unemployment benefits that will give you a little money to help you survive. Each state or country has different rules for deciding who to grant unemployment benefits to. Check with your state or country to see if you qualify.
Don't be embarrassed about filing for unemployment benefits. You have worked to receive those benefits, so take advantage of this option
Step 3. Ask for help in the community
Your family and friends can help you get through this difficult time. Talk to your family or friends about the expenses you have trouble covering and ask if they can help you in any way. Make sure to inform them about what you do to improve your situation, such as looking for work.
Some sites like Gofundme, Youcaring, and Indiegogo allow you to create a fundraising website. You can post these fundraisers on social media, like Facebook, so you can ask your friends and family to contribute for as long as you need
Step 4. Contact your credit card company and your lenders
Most credit card companies and lenders have special programs for financial hardship, when a person loses their job and cannot pay the bills or at least not the full amount of the monthly bill. To make sure you are not charged late or defaulted fees on a loan, contact your credit card company and your lenders immediately.
- When you call, say something simple like: “I am unemployed and cannot make my credit card or loan payment right now. What options are available to someone in my situation?
- Answer the questions asked by the representative of the credit card or loan company. The representative will recommend the best options available to you, depending on your situation and the type of credit card or loan you have.
Method 2 of 4: Cut Expenses
Step 1. Create a spending plan
Keep a record of your expenses to identify unnecessary expenses. Write down everything you spend and mark it as essential or nonessential to determine what you can eliminate. Determine how much money you can spend each month and create a budget based on that amount and the essential categories. Decide what you can do without (even if it's only for a few months).
- Food, housing and basic services are essential expenses.
- Going to the movies, having a gym membership and buying luxury items are not necessary and you can mark these expenses as nonessential.
- Write down all of your expenses in the expense log to make sure you don't lose track.
Step 2. Cancel subscriptions and memberships
Monthly subscription and membership fees can add up quickly, so it's a good idea to start cutting back on these expenses. Analyze the subscriptions and memberships you have to decide which ones you can do without for a while.
- Some things like cell phones and Internet services can be necessary expenses. However, you can use the Internet service for free at your local library, so you can cancel it for a few months.
- Cancel cable service because it can be expensive. Consider removing cable service and keep only Internet service. You can watch many of your favorite sports and shows online.
- Consider switching to a company that offers some cheaper cell phone services. You can make your cell phone bill less than $ 20 a month per line if you are willing to switch to a less popular company like Ting, RingPlus, Zact, Republic Wireless, or Freedompop. If you have a smartphone, you may consider choosing a cheaper plan without internet service. Be aware that there are pitfalls in these services. Sometimes you have to buy a company phone and the call service might not be that great. Read the fine print and compare prices elsewhere before deciding to switch.
Step 3. Drive less
Consolidate errands so you don't have to do individual trips. Use public transportation, bike or walk whenever you can to save money you would spend on gas.
Do regular maintenance on your car. Oil changes and other types of basic maintenance will help keep your vehicle running and can even help prevent more costly problems down the road. Schedule regular oil changes for all of your vehicles
Step 4. Consider moving
If your house or apartment is too expensive for you right now, find a new place to live that is more suited to your current financial situation. You could even ask a friend or family member if you can live in their house until your situation improves.
If you live in the United States, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) can help you find affordable housing and can even provide housing vouchers if you can't pay your rent
Step 5. Make sure you and your family members have health insurance
It may seem like an expense you can't afford, but you will be relieved to have health insurance if a member of your family becomes ill or needs medical attention. Emergency room visits and other medical expenses are extremely expensive and can put you in long-term debt if you don't have health insurance.
- Some government programs can help you with the cost of insurance. Options may vary by state or country, but find out if you can apply for help with a low-cost insurance program.
- If you have insurance for your car or home, you can consider modifying the plan to have a higher deductible and thus save on monthly premium expenses. Keep in mind that if you need to file a claim, you will have to pay that higher deductible. This strategy is not a good long-term solution to saving money, but it can help you for a short time.
Step 6. Shop the deals and use some coupons
Another way to cut down on monthly expenses is to buy essentials when they are on sale, when you have a coupon, or when you can save money in the long run by buying in bulk. Look at the local ads, clip out some coupons, and compare the prices of essentials to make sure you get the best possible prices for what you buy.
- Consider buying in bulk from some retail stores. If one of your friends or family has a membership, ask them to drive you so you don't have to buy your own membership. You can buy some things inexpensively at these stores. However, be sure to factor in the unit price because not all items sold in these stores are cheaper.
- Buy generic brands. Most supermarkets offer their own brand of products at prices much lower than other brands. This can be one way to cut down on grocery expenses.
- Give up certain things. Because you try to cut down on expenses, you can't buy everything you normally buy. Items like soda, expensive meats, and snacks are unnecessary expenses. Instead, buy what you need to feed yourself and your family. Additional items can be omitted for now.
Step 7. Cook at home
Plan before you go grocery shopping. Make a meal plan so you can cook everything at home. Doing so will take a little more planning and work, but it will save you money in the long run.
- Pack a lunch and some snacks if you are going to be out and about for the day. The cost of a lunch at a restaurant plus the cost of a few small snacks every now and then comes in at a fairly high total. Bring a cooler with sandwiches, snacks, and drinks from home if you are going to be out during the day.
- If you go to the cafeteria for coffee every day, start making coffee at home. This can help you save a great deal of money each week.
Step 8. Keep what you have
Think carefully about the things you do. Keep the air conditioning or heating off to save energy. Use some candles or lamps that run on batteries, instead of electricity. Use the water only when necessary. These small changes can produce big savings on your utility bills.
Be moderate with food. Food is an expensive part of life, even if it's generic and you buy it at discount stores. Don't eat because you feel depressed or bored. Eat only because you have to
Step 9. Prioritize your invoices
Due to your financial situation, you may have bills that you cannot pay. You should prioritize the bills that you must pay first. Bills that relate to vital matters, like paying for the house, utilities, and groceries, should be your top priority. Then follow the medical expenses. Credit cards and other loans come after living expenses.
Method 3 of 4: Find Ways to Make Money
Step 1. Accept a job with a lower salary
If you can't find a job in your field, take a lower-paying job in the meantime. Most likely, they will offer you a fairly low salary or minimum wage. Sometimes you have to swallow your pride and find a way to temporarily pay the bills. There is nothing wrong with having a temp job to support yourself and your family.
- Find a job that makes a contribution to your resume. If you work in a retail store, use it as an opportunity to develop your customer service skills and inventory skills. If you work in a fast food restaurant, consider that you are learning to work in a team and under pressure.
- Take time to look for work. This is only a temporary job. You still need to spend some time looking for a full-time job.
Step 2. Consider selling an additional vehicle
If you have more than one vehicle, consider selling one. Not only will you earn a little money from the sale of the vehicle, but you will also save the cost of maintaining and driving that vehicle.
Step 3. Sell some items online
Selling items online can be a great way to earn money to help you through tough times. You can sell clothes, shoes, collectibles, games, electronic devices, furniture, just about anything you have around the house. Try sites like eBay and Craigslist to sell your items.
- You may have to sell some things that you want to keep. Create priorities. Sell the items you can get rid of first, then consider the most important ones. This can make the difference between having something to eat or paying rent and keeping an item.
- Look for any collectibles or antiques you have around your house. Some toys, souvenirs, and antiques can sell for a few hundred dollars.
Step 4. Sell some crafts online
If you have manual skills, try selling a few things online. Some sites like Etsy are craft markets where you can sell jewelry, clothing, candles, soaps, paints, or anything else made at home. Make sure to balance the price of the materials with the sale price. Start small and build up gradually.
You can also go to your local craft fairs. This can be a great way to earn money, but be aware that booth prices at some of these fairs can be high
Step 5. Rent a room in your house
One way to earn extra money is to rent a room in your house. If you live in a city, a popular tourist spot, or a college town, this might be a good option. Many people rent rooms for the short and long term.
- Some sites like Airbnb.com allow some private local hosts to offer their homes as bed and breakfast places to stay for people just passing through.
- Keep in mind that renting a room to someone can be a serious commitment. Take a good look at this plan before allowing someone to live with you. If you want her to move out after 2 months instead of 12 or 24 months, this may not be the right option for you.
Step 6. Offer your services in your community
You can try to find a job in your community by doing various tasks. Try to offer your services to walk the dogs, take care of pets or houses, clean, take care of children, take care of the elderly and mow the lawn. Pass out some flyers in your neighborhood to advertise your services, put an ad in your community newsletter, or use social media, such as Facebook, to try to get customers.
Step 7. Have a garage sale
Take some time off to do some much-needed cleaning in your home. Instead of throwing away or donating items you no longer want, have a yard sale. This is a great way to earn extra money to buy food, gas, or to pay your bills.
Method 4 of 4: Occupy Time
Step 1. Apply for a job every day
The best thing you can do to survive a period of unemployment is to apply for as many jobs as you can. Take a little time each day to browse job postings and apply.
- Submit your resume in person. Call or email a few people to ask if they are hiring, even if they don't have a job posting.
- Use online job search sites like monster.com and indeed.com. Not only can you search for jobs and apply online, but you can also post your resume so potential employers can search for you.
Step 2. Take a class to acquire new skills
A great way to fill up your time while looking for a job is to take a class where you can learn some new skills. By filling your time with something productive, like taking a class, you will show potential employers that you are motivated to learn and work. Some of these classes are offered for free or at very low prices.
- Consult with the career centers "One-Stop Career Centers" of the United States Department of Labor. Many of these centers offer free classes on some subjects, such as computers and basic academic skills. They also provide career choice advice and information on available jobs.
- Microsoft's "Elevate America" program works with US veterans and community nonprofits to help people get job training. The program offers low-cost or free online training programs to help people develop technology skills. They also have a state voucher program to help people receive vouchers for training and certifications.
- The Monster.com website offers free online learning courses that can teach you important skills to enhance your resume.
Step 3. Find an apprenticeship program
Another way to receive training on the job, and perhaps for a new job, is through an apprenticeship program. The United States Department of Labor website has a compiled list of hundreds of apprenticeship programs. Most apprenticeship programs offer a salary, although many of them offer a low salary to start with. However, due to the benefits of on-the-job training, it is a worthwhile opportunity.
Step 4. Start your own business
You might consider starting your own business if you have a skill that you can use to earn a little money while looking for a full-time job. Consider your skill set to determine what you can do to earn money while looking for a job.
Step 5. Volunteer to gain experience
If you don't have a lot of work experience or would like to learn some new skills, volunteering is a great way to make yourself more attractive to potential employers.
- Consider volunteering at a local hospital, animal shelter, or other nonprofit organization while looking for a job.
- Volunteer work will look great on your resume and it will also be a rewarding experience for you.
Step 6. Improve your resume
One of the reasons you haven't been able to find a job could have something to do with your resume. Take some time to review and rearrange your resume. Try to look at it from the perspective of potential employers and highlight the things they might look for in a new employee.
- Look online for some how-to guides, templates, and examples. There are many websites that can help you create an effective resume for any career. You can even find some forums where people can view your resume and comment.
- Correct grammar, spelling, and usage errors on your resume. Employers will scrap a resume if it has too many glaring mistakes. Make sure it is well reviewed and perfect before sending it out.
- Review the resume format. Make sure it looks professional. Look up some templates online if you're not sure. Make sure you use the correct fonts, font sizes, and spacing.
Step 7. Focus on your appearance
Before going to interviews or handing in your resume, make sure you look well-groomed and professional. This does not mean that you have to spend hundreds of dollars to buy a suit. Make sure to wear business casual attire. If you are a man, wear nice dress pants and a collared shirt or a jacket and tie. If you are a woman, wear a skirt and a blouse or dress. Don't wear jeans, sneakers, or sandals.
- Make sure your hair is clean and combed, shower before you go out and make sure you have clean clothes.
- Iron your clothes before going out. Wrinkled clothing makes a bad impression.
- If you don't have enough money to buy nice clothes, visit garage sales or thrift stores. You can find many low-priced business casual outfits at any of these locations. Or ask a friend or family member to lend you some clothes.
Step 8. Stay busy
Many unemployed people get depressed because they don't have a job. This causes them to lose motivation and do not want to leave the house to apply for a job. Instead of sitting around and feeling sorry for yourself, get out of the house or get involved in a new hobby.
- Go out to walk. It is very important that you stay active and healthy during this time.
- Don't ignore your friends, family, or the community. Remember that when you go out you will be able to make contacts and find new opportunities.
Step 9. Go to your friends and family for moral support
Being unemployed can cause depression, which can make it harder to survive this difficult period.
- When you feel discouraged, be sure to go to someone to discuss your situation.
- By telling a friend or family member about your problems, it will be easier for you to survive this difficult time.