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September 03, 2020 | Posted in:

Changing Money Habits to Get Through Job Loss

The most fruitful periods of growth often happen when they are the least expected. Teachers and parents call them teachable moments. The disruption to jobs caused by this year’s pandemic is a massive teachable moment for all of us regarding money. If you’ve lost your job, been furloughed or have reduced income, you’re certainly not alone. Here are some ways to improve your habits to get you through this period of uncertainty.

Make a family budget.

Creating or updating a budget may not be exciting but it’s important if you want to stay on track. Start by defining how much you spend on living costs per month, how much is leftover, and how much you can save. Make sure to include annual and quarterly bills as well as unexpected costs that can that pop up, like car repairs and wedding gifts.

Take a different approach to track your spending.

The pandemic has taken away the ability to spend on things we normally would, such as eating out and entertainment. It has also given us the opportunity to learn about the simpler things that bring us joy—like visiting with friends and family. Look at your purchases over the past few months and note which ones were worth the money. Then think, about the things you miss. This exercise will give you a snapshot of the type of spending that you find most satisfying and will help you with future decision making.

Postpone major purchases.

If you’re out of work or have less income than before, most likely you have more time on your hands. It may be tempting to use that time to search out great deals on something you’ve been saving for. Instead, use your time to learn a skill that will make you a stronger job candidate. Now is not the time to tap your savings, even if you can find steep discounts.

Find part-time work.

There are plenty of opportunities to earn money if you stay open-minded. A part-time, or freelance position can help fill the income gap and expose you to a whole new network of people. Don’t forget to connect with staffing companies—they are in the business of filling jobs and are always looking for candidates.

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