How to adjust your budget while unemployed

How to adjust your budget while unemployed

During this global pandemic, a lot of Americans have lost their jobs. Being in this situation is tough, but there are some helpful things you can do to adjust your budget and make the most out of it.

When you lose your job, the first reasonable step for you to take is to apply for unemployment. This will offer you funds to help you make payments while you look for a new job. The amount of the benefit depends on where you live and the salary you had.

Calculate your benefits

Determine how much you will receive from the unemployment benefit. You can also qualify for a SNAP and get food assistance. Once you have these numbers, you can have a more accurate look at your budget.

Make a list of all your expenses

Review your expenses for the last 60 or 90 days. Check all your statements and take note of every item you spend money in. You can divide them into two big groups: essential and not essential spending.

Essential expenses are usually housing and utility bills, insurance, transportation and food. Not essential might be a gym membership, dining out, etc.

Add up all the essential items and that will be the number you’ll live by. At this difficult time, you might want to leave the not essentials aside for a while. Of course, you can add some things like maybe a coffee run once a week.

Check your money sources

Take the time to do an inventory of all the money you have or you might get, even if it’s not a traditional income source.

Check all your accounts and take note of all the money you currently have. Include any side gig or extra cash you might be getting.

Compare this with your essential expenses and how well they balance. This will give you a good idea of how far your money can take you at this point.

Lower your payments

Check all your payments and detect any room for improvement. The recent coronavirus stimulus bill just put federal student loan payments on pause until September 30. Some credit card companies are also tending to work along with you to make things a bit easier. 

Make a few phone calls and find out which payments can be put on hold during this time. 

Don’t feel bad if you are struggling right now. This outbreak has changed the economic climate and it’s taking a toll on all of us. Your safest bet is to adjust your budget as much as possible and remember: it’ll pass.

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