Today’s post is an important one for all of us to read. Don Ceaser writes about strategies for careers and small business, money management, and lifestyle. Here, he shares crucial information about what steps to take if your partner loses his or her job.
If your partner recently lost a job, you don’t want to sit around and wait to act. The economy is rebounding, but times are still tough and finding a job in the current labor market won’t be a walk in the park. How you react and handle the weeks and months to come can go a long way toward easing the blow on your finances, and help bridge the gap until you’re secure again. Learn how to position yourself and your partner most effectively during this time by reading the following tips.
1. File Immediately For Unemployment
Make sure your partner files for unemployment immediately. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 37.3% of unemployed Americans have been out of work for at least 27 weeks which means there’s a clear likelihood your partner could be jobless for an extended period of time. Unemployment benefits are not issued overnight, so don’t delay – depending on your local unemployment office, it could take as long as two months to begin receiving payments. If you end up finding work quickly simply cancel your application, but don’t let the opportunity for financial assistance pass you by.
2. Cut All Expenses
Cut back on your smartphone data plan, cable TV package, and Internet connection speed, and consider eliminating your home telephone, as well. All of these services take a back seat to essential expenses when you’ve lost a significant chunk of your monthly income. Get yourself by with bare bones plans and know that you can reestablish your old service levels after your partner finds work.
3. Prioritize Your Bills
If you’re going to have trouble paying, be sure to prioritize all your bills. Focus on the things you need to sustain your life, like housing, groceries, and utilities such as heat and gas. Suspend your gym membership and Netflix account, and put any credit card balances on the back burner – you can get by paying the minimum for the time being.
4. Suspend Long-Term Savings Goals
Although it may seem painful, suspending goals for your retirement savings or college costs for the kids is a must. You may want to adjust your own 401k contributions, if your company allows you to do so on a monthly or quarterly basis. You’re going to have more than enough time to get caught back up after your partner is working again.
5. Contact Your Mortgage Provider or Property Manager
If you’re a homeowner, contact your mortgage provider immediately, even if you’re not currently behind on payments. Let them know what happened, and they might be able to offer some advice on what you can do to ease your burden and ultimately avoid foreclosure. If you rent, make that same phone call to your property manager. They may be willing to work with you, and letting them know as soon as possible can give you the best chance of a positive outcome.
6. Eliminate Personal Purchases
This should be a no-brainer, but it’s going to take a bit of willpower on your part. All personal purchases should be halted at once. Forget about new clothes, electronic gadgets, and vacations. Then, take a look at your daily routine and eliminate purchases you might not even be aware of. Skip the convenience store entirely unless you’re filling up your tank and cross Starbucks off the list, as well. Little things like these add up, and you want to be sure to trim all the fat off your budget.
Dealing with a job loss can be catastrophic, but only if you let it. By being proactive and making smart financial decisions, you can lessen its impact and better weather the storm. Once your partner finds work again, it’s going to be that much easier to get your collective heads back above water.
What do you think should be done if your partner loses a job?