NDSU Extension Service - Ramsey County

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Between Jobs

Between Jobs

 

          Losing your job or facing a drastic drop in income is one of the most stressful events a person can experience. Unemployment can mean sudden lifestyle changes for the entire family. Because there is less money to spend, you must decide how to spend what you do have.  Whatever changes unemployment brings, everyone feels the impact.

          When you are in between jobs, the paychecks may stop coming, but the bills don’t. When you do not have enough cover your monthly expenses and pay creditors, you face some tough financial decisions.

          Concern about how to pay bills and meet day-to-day expense can become overwhelming. You may be tempted to use credit cards, take out a home equity loan or borrow money but taking on more debt is generally not a good idea.  Generally, taking on more debt only creates bigger problems.

          Until your financial situation improves, a sharper focus is needed on cutting your spending and working with creditors to reduce your payments.  Act quickly to cut expenses and make a spending plan so you can pay bills when they are due. Studies have found that many families do not adjust their lifestyle to cut spending until almost six month after their income has dropped.  Those six months can spell financial disaster for the future.  Small steps can make a major difference in any financial situation.  When unemployed, small steps include:

          Talk with your family about the situation and set goals as a group so that everyone understands and supports the decisions being made.

          Review your income and expense and balance them as much as possible.

          Try not to use credit while you are unemployed.

          If you think you may have difficulty with payments to creditors, talk to them right away. Have those conversations before you fall behind on payments.

          Discuss a partner’s employment situation and consider whether income can be generated by overtime or reviewing monthly employer deductions.

          Find out what community resources are available to help extend family resources.

 

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