5 Tips for Surviving a Layoff

Just about everyone in America is waiting at their desks wondering if they’ll be next on the list of layoffs. People who haven’t been able to, or haven’t had the foresight of creating an emergency fund wonder how they will survive if they are laid off. Everywhere you go, you’ll overhear conversations depicting this general concern.

Here are 5 tips for surviving a layoff:

1) Start reducing expenses immediately. You can eliminate all unnecessary expenses even before you are laid off to help you start an emergency fund; but it’s imperative to reduce your living expenses when you are laid off. Going without luxuries may take some getting used to, but it’s in your best interest until you find a job to replace your current position or get rehired after the temporary lay off. Take a very close look at your outgoings and prioritize expenses. If you don’t need it for the mortgage, utilities, food or monthly debt repayments – chances are it’s not an absolute necessity.

You can reduce expenses by paying off smaller bills all at once. While this may not seem like a good thing to do because it uses up a bulk of money all at once, the future months with less monthly payments will be easier to budget for on lower income.

2) Pay the minimum amount due. This is counterintuitive. In order to pay off your accounts you know you need to pay more than the minimum amount due. While you are laid off and living on a reduced income though, you should just pay the minimum amounts to avoid late fees and once you have a normal income stream again, increase your repayments or pay them off completely.

3) Don’t neglect your emergency fund. If you don’t already have one, even when you are laid off you should try to contribute some money into a cash reserves. If something happens and you need access to cash – you may not have credit available or be able to get it while laid off. Do the best you can to store some cash for these unexpected expenses.

4) Begin the search for a new job. If you are not on a temporary lay off, you’ll need tos tart job hunting immediately. You’ll want to find a job that will become a “career” and is in the field of your choice – but in the meantime, while you are hunting for work, you may need to take an interim job to provide an income to meet your basic income needs that you listed above. You may need more than one job.

5) The whole family must be on the same team. Everyone in your family needs to understand the seriousness of the situation and do what they can to reduce their own expenses and to contribute to the needs of the family as a whole. Those who are able can look for jobs to add to the household income, but at the very least – if everyone is able to cut back their expenses, the income you earn will go further.