September 6, 2021

Preparing for Furloughs and Unemployment

When an emergency comes your way, here are some helpful tips to having some of the toughest of times.

8 min read

Qoins Staff

@qoinsapp

We are living in uncertain times. Some employers have furloughed employees, while others have laid off employees. Some employers are able to give their employees some notice while others do not. If you think this could happen to you, what should you do now, before it does happen to prepare?

Here are some ideas:

Budget:

  • If you don’t have one already, write down all your current expenses. Go through bank and/or credit card statements for the last 2-3 months in order to get a clearer picture of all that you are spending and where.
  • Think about the next 2-3 months and whether there are any specific expenses (especially those that do not come up monthly) coming up such as a bi-annual insurance payment or vet expense or birthday gift so that you can include those in your budget.
  • Then once you have them all in one place, start figuring out which ones can be eliminated. (Remember, this elimination does not have to be forever, just for now. Or maybe if you do eliminate it now, you will find out that it really was not as important as you thought.)

Emergency Fund:

  • Determine the best way to build this up now before you are unemployed.
  • Add this as a line item in your budget in order to make it a priority.

Increase Income:

  • Determine some ways to bring home more.
  • This may be a second job, side hustle, or turning that hobby into something more.
  • Perhaps you can sell some stuff you already have that you don’t need or use anymore.

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Debt:

  • It may sound a bit counterintuitive to try to reduce debt if unemployment is looming but it may help in the long run. You want to balance your savings versus debt but if you can pay off some smaller debts while still employed, later on when you are actually unemployed, having less debt to pay will be a big relief.
  • You will also want to make a list of all your creditors and their contact information in the event that later you find you are not able to pay. And if you do lose your job, you will want to start having conversations with them immediately to avoid surprises later.

Research:

  • You may want to take a look at some unemployment resources and information now. Find out more about unemployment and benefits. Here is one resource but you may want to see what else is available in your community: https://www.usa.gov/unemployment.
  • Depending on you and your families’ health, if you will not have health insurance during this time, you may need to determine how best to plan for that too. One place to start is https://www.healthcare.gov/unemployed/cobra-coverage/. You have sixty (60) days from the date of unemployment to find and sign up for health insurance. After that date, you may not get as much say in what plan you get until the next open enrollment date.

Plan:

  • Start thinking about what your future will look like.
  • Do you want to stay in your current field for your next job?
  • Do you want to look into another area? If so, is there additional training or education you may need?  If so, maybe budgeting for an online class now will help you later?
  • Maybe you want to start your own business?
  • A little brainstorming and thinking ahead here will go a long way.

A change in employment, especially if not expected or planned, may not be fun but you can plan ahead for it.

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