Managing money while unemployed

Retirement planning
Personal finance

Middle-age can bring along a new set of challenges, and unemployment can be one of them. Being unemployed and not having a regular income can be hard, especially if you have substantial financial commitments and dependents.

Save while you can

It may not be easy to find a new job shortly after being laid off. Therefore, it is always prudent to have sufficient reserves that can last for 6-9 months. This is when emergency funds will come in handy to tide us through.

Coping with unemployment

Look at ways to save money to avoid falling into an even bigger crisis.

  • Rework your budget

    Review and make changes to your existing lifestyle to cut down on non-essential items so that your reserves can last longer. Basic everyday expenses have to be incurred but ensure that bills and repayments are paid on time to avoid interest and penalty charges. Reduce other expenses as far as possible and do not be tempted to ease your stress through shopping.

  • Stay healthy, stay positive

    Unemployment can often bring about stress and negative emotions. Be careful not to let this affect your health and wellbeing. Stay healthy by exercising, maintaining a balanced diet and keeping an active routine. Seek help if you feel upset. You can talk to people who have been through the same situation or join a support group. Stay focused on finding a new job.

  • Evaluate your investment portfolio

    Do not rely on your investments to resolve your financial stress. Stay away from high-risk investments and do not increase your investment capital. If you are in need of cash, consider cashing in on investments that do not involve penalties or result in too big a loss.

  • Find part-time work

    It may take some time to land a new job. If you cannot find your desired job after a while, consider part-time positions or freelancing to help support your daily expenses. You may want to consider job reskilling or taking some courses.

Unemployment can be a stressful time but it is not the end of the world. You can make it through this difficult period by budgeting and managing your money wisely, and most importantly maintain a good support structure. Be honest with your partner and your family about your situation so that they can provide you with the encouragement and support to help you overcome this difficult period.