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Get Ready for Unemployment

Most of us will lose our jobs at some point in our lives. In fact, most of us will go through, at least, 2 periods of income loss during our working years. Sometimes this period can be a crisis because we do not have income to pay bills, and we can risk losing our good credit, home, or car. But sometimes a period without work is a great opportunity to grow.

I have known people who faced a layoff, and then found a better job or started their own business. Years later, they said that losing their job was the best thing because they had felt stuck. The period without work was time they used to better themselves by taking classes, looking into a new business, or finding a job that suited their personality better.

In my experience, the difference between crisis and opportunity is reflected by the Boy Scout Motto. Be Prepared!

Experts tell us to keep a cash reserve that will pay bills for 3 to 6 months. This is great advice, but it can be hard to stick to, especially in these days of rising food and fuel prices. But try to examine your expenses to see what you can cut up that would help you stash away a few dollars a month.

One thing I did was to replace one movie night out a month with a home movie party. Instead of spending over $100 to take my family to dinner and a movie we cooked at home and rented a movie. I spent $20 instead of $100, and I made sure to deposit the $80 in my emergency fund. I know this sounds simple, but that one step, alone, saves almost $1,000 a year!

However, I am aware that it can be really tough to leave the emergency fund alone. One trip to the dentist, emergency room, or even the auto mechanic can wipe out months of savings.

Some of us can collect a state unemployment benefit, but this is not a lot of money. A few hundred dollars a month may buy goceries, but is not enough to cover most people’s mortgage, car payment, and other bills.

Supplemental layoff protection plans are also available. They provide cash benefits in case of involuntary unemployment, and can provide a larger benefit than state programs. In addition, the money can be collected in addition to state unemployment payments.

Once you figure out how to protect your financial life, consider other things that will change if you lose your job. Make sure that you have a netwok of friends and associates outside of work, and that you have their contact information stored somewhere where you can access it if you cannot login at work!

Also, keep your resume up to date. Maybe you should consider a refresher class on writing or computer skills, now, while you still have a job. Future employers are sure to appreciate the fact that you keep your skills up to date. Look at your references. Are they stale, and is the contact phone number or email address current?

If you are prepared, you can survive a job loss with confidence that your whole life will not collapse. You will have the ability to pay your bills, network, and decide what your next step is.

Prepare for a Job Loss. If you lose your income, how will you pay bills. Consider private unemployment protection plans to provide you with cash if you lose your job.

Image taken on 2009-04-16 09:54:03. Image Source. (Used with permission)

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