unemployment http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/1509/all en-US How to Prepare When Your Unemployment Is Ending http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-prepare-when-your-unemployment-is-ending <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-prepare-when-your-unemployment-is-ending" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/young_man_handled_household_expenses.jpg" alt="Young man handled household expenses" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Losing a job can be devastating. It can throw your life into a tailspin and severely delay or even kill your progress and plans for the future. Once you receive a little help through unemployment compensation, you may find yourself right back where you started when the benefit ends.</p> <p>You may have been blindsided when you first lost your job, but losing unemployment before you've found a replacement job can also be a sucker-punch. As difficult as it all is, you still have to will yourself into being proactive. Here are a few things you should do to prepare for the end of unemployment compensation.</p> <h2>Begin with the end in mind</h2> <p>The best thing to do immediately after you receive your first unemployment check is to plan on not receiving it. It is a great aid that can help keep you afloat until you find work. But, you must keep the fact that it is only temporary in the forefront of your mind. During normal economic times, unemployment lasts 26 weeks, or six months. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-long-can-you-really-live-on-unemployment?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How Long Can You Really Live on Unemployment?</a>)</p> <p>Reduce your spending and live off as little as possible. And do your best not to depend on the benefit. The benefit itself makes this easier because it usually isn't enough to cover all of your living expenses. It is only assistance &mdash; similar to someone helping you up when you trip and fall. They help you to your feet. They don't carry you.</p> <p>You have to find a way to cover the shortfall and generate your own income as quickly as possible. Put yourself on a shoestring budget. Establish spending and payment priorities, because some things may have to go unpaid. Call your creditors now and alert them to the situation and try to maintain a good relationship with them throughout the process. Downsize. Sell stuff. Get a side gig and do odd jobs. Unemployment can temporarily stop or at least slow the bleeding, but remember &mdash; it's only temporary. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-budget-overhaul-tricks-for-the-recently-unemployed?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Budget Overhaul Tricks for the Recently Unemployed</a>)</p> <h2>Make getting a job your top priority</h2> <p>Job loss is so devastating because it is a loss &mdash; economically and emotionally. Dealing with the hurt, betrayal, and disappointment is a massive task by itself. Add to that coping with money issues and the instability it causes, and you've got a deep hole to climb out of. This can make looking for another job seem like a herculean effort. Try and view your unemployment compensation as a safety net and springboard. It helps ease the financial burden and it should propel you to action.</p> <p>As the six-month period begins winding down, try adjusting your employment search to include jobs you wouldn't normally consider. Think outside the box. You may even have to get two jobs temporarily to help stay afloat. The closer you get to the benefit expiration date, the less picky you should become. Get training, attend job fairs, and leverage your networks and professional relationships to assist you during your hunt. You have to be aggressive, persistent, and diligent. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-networking-tips-for-the-recently-unemployed?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Networking Tips for the Recently Unemployed</a>)</p> <h2>Get help</h2> <p>Federal and state-funded assistance programs are available specifically to help you through this period. Sadly, these programs' processes can be slow, bureaucratic, and inefficient, which is why it is imperative that you start the process ASAP. Benefits and programs vary by location, so be sure to check with your state's local agencies to understand requirements and procedures.</p> <h3>Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)</h3> <p>Formerly known as the Food Stamp Program, <a href="https://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/supplemental-nutrition-assistance-program-snap" target="_blank">SNAP</a> provides food purchasing assistance to families in need. The amount you receive is based on your household size, income, and expenses. If you qualify, this could be a great way of ensuring your family is fed. It can also free up some cash enabling you to repurpose the grocery money and use it for another need. The benefit can be used at a host of traditional grocery stores, convenience stores, and even at your local farmers market.</p> <h3>Self-Employment Assistance Program (SEAP)</h3> <p>Have you ever heard the saying, &quot;If you can't find a job, create one?&quot; That's exactly what SEAP is designed to help you do. <a href="https://workforcesecurity.doleta.gov/unemploy/self.asp" target="_blank">SEAP</a> is a state-funded grant program specifically designed to train individuals receiving unemployment the basics of launching their own small business. And the best part about this program is that in most states, participants are not required to look for a job. The training program is your employment seeking activity. To find out if you qualify, check with your local unemployment office.</p> <h3>Housing assistance</h3> <p>If you foresee yourself struggling to pay rent or your mortgage, help is available. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) offers a number of <a href="https://www.hud.gov/topics/rental_assistance" target="_blank">rental assistance programs</a> including the Housing Choice Voucher Program. This voucher program provides assistance by paying all or a portion of your rent, if you qualify. Most states also have some sort of Emergency Rental Assistance Program which provides short-term, income-based assistance. And the federal government offers assistance to those in rural areas through its <a href="https://www.benefits.gov/benefits/benefit-details/396" target="_blank">Rural Rental Assistance Program</a>.</p> <p>If you are struggling to make mortgage payments, the <a href="https://www.ftc.gov/tips-advice/business-center/guidance/mortgage-assistance-relief-services-rule-compliance-guide" target="_blank">Federal Trade Commission</a> offers protection for distressed homeowners from predatory and unscrupulous lending practices. There are a lot of private and nonprofit agencies that can help you refinance, negotiate a short sale, and/or keep your home if you fall behind. The key is to do your research. Understand what you are signing. And don't make decisions out of fear or under pressure. You have options. Breathe, consult an objective expert, and move forward with what works best for your situation.</p> <h3>Nonprofit and social service agencies</h3> <p>Every state has a different suite of services and resource offerings for those in need. Finding those resources can be difficult &mdash; especially when you don't know where to look. <a href="http://www.211.org/" target="_blank">211.org</a> was established to address this need. It is a repository of information containing resource offerings for every state and parts of Canada. It is a free service that can help you find federal, state, local, nonprofit, and (small) fee-for-service assistance. It doesn't matter if you get help from family and friends, your church, or a federal or state source, as long as you get help.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-to-prepare-when-your-unemployment-is-ending&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520to%2520Prepare%2520When%2520Your%2520Unemployment%2520Is%2520Ending.jpg&amp;description=How%20to%20Prepare%20When%20Your%20Unemployment%20Is%20Ending"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20to%20Prepare%20When%20Your%20Unemployment%20Is%20Ending.jpg" alt="How to Prepare When Your Unemployment Is Ending" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/denise-hill">Denise Hill</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-prepare-when-your-unemployment-is-ending">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-for-retirement-when-you-are-unemployed">How to Save for Retirement When You Are Unemployed</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-handle-a-sudden-loss-of-income">How to Handle a Sudden Loss of Income</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-laid-off-a-step-by-step-guide">How to Get Laid Off: A Step-By-Step Guide</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-what-you-can-and-cant-buy-with-snap">Here&#039;s What You Can (And Can&#039;t) Buy With SNAP</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-signs-your-company-is-going-under">10 Signs Your Company Is Going Under</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career Building aid assistance benefits expenses food stamps job loss loss of income mortgage assistance rent assistance snap unemployed unemployment Mon, 21 May 2018 08:31:21 +0000 Denise Hill 2140345 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Job Myths Boomers Should Stop Believing http://www.wisebread.com/6-job-myths-boomers-should-stop-believing <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-job-myths-boomers-should-stop-believing" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/desperate_businessmen.jpg" alt="Desperate businessmen" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you were born between the early 1940s and the early 1960s, you are considered a baby boomer. And that means that in the year 2017, you are considered to be at the late stage of your career.</p> <p>However, as we all know, times have changed. Very few people can expect to start at a company in their 20s and retire with a gold watch in their 60s. Layoffs and downsizing are commonplace. But with these employment fears come myths that many baby boomers still firmly believe in. It's time to bust them once and for all.</p> <h2>1. Once you hit a certain age, you're unemployable</h2> <p>Let's make it clear: Getting a job in your 20s and 30s is always going to be easier than getting hired in your 50s and 60s. There are certain expectations about pay, and as we get older, we have more health concerns and less energy than we did at the start of our careers. But there's a difference between hard and impossible. If you have the skills, the drive, and the right attitude, you will be valued and you will get job offers.</p> <p>The key is to stop shooting yourself in the foot by believing that your age is an anchor. There are pros and cons for every stage of our career. Early on, we're too young and have no experience, but we're cheaper and are willing to work longer hours. At the height of our careers, we sacrifice time with our families for ladder-climbing, but the pay and rewards are there. Later, we can be considered too expensive for the open positions, but we have the experience and wisdom that employers crave. It's all give and take. Market yourself with the strengths that come from a long and successful career, and how those strengths can benefit your potential new boss.</p> <h2>2. You're too old to retrain</h2> <p>They say you can't teach an old dog new tricks, but that's a complete fallacy. In fact, to continue the analogy, skilled animal trainers can take an old dog with behavioral problems, and make it a loving, family-friendly pet. While it's true that it's a little harder to pick up certain skills later in life, it's not even close to being unmanageable.</p> <p>As <em>The Telegraph</em> reported in 2014, more middle-aged workers are <a href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/jobs/10555895/Youre-over-50-Great-youre-hired.html" target="_blank">retraining for new careers</a> as a response to their original careers dying out, or being too physically taxing. And in 2013, almost 12,000 people over age 50 in the U.K. found apprenticeships in health care and public services. In 2015, Time magazine reported that the job market was hot for <a href="http://time.com/money/3725034/jobs-older-workers-improved/" target="_blank">workers over the age of 50</a>.</p> <h2>3. Older workers are not as valued as their younger counterparts</h2> <p>You've probably heard some of these degrading statements thrown around the office (or even used them yourself at the start of your career): &quot;That guy's a dinosaur, don't listen to him,&quot; or &quot;She's been here for decades, she's not up on the latest news.&quot; It's complete nonsense.</p> <p>With age comes experience and wisdom, and the ability to solve problems much faster than those who are just starting to climb the ladder. Consider the story of Picasso. One day he was sketching in the park, when he was approached by a young woman who asked him to sketch her portrait. In a single pencil stroke that took just a few seconds, he captured her likeness completely. When asked how much she owed him, he said $5,000. Taken aback, she asked how he dare ask so much for something that took only a few seconds, to which he replied, &quot;Madame, it took me my entire life.&quot;</p> <p>This is so true of the experience you bring to the table. You have spent decades learning how to do things, how <em>not</em> to do things, and how to cut to the chase. Time is valued by employers, and if you can prove that your skills can save them time and money, age is just a number.</p> <h2>4. If you take time off or retire, you'll never get rehired</h2> <p>Retirement is not forever. You may decide to retire, then realize that you still want to be part of the workforce. Don't think that a gap of a few years at the end of your resume is going to tarnish it. The break between one career and a new venture is actually going to be looked upon favorably by employers. They will see that you have taken time off to reboot, clear your head, relax, and figure out how you want to spend the next decade of your life.</p> <p>So, feel free to take a break and recharge. Use the time to work out what you really want to do. Maybe retirement is just what you want. Maybe you want to try your hand at something completely different. When you start looking again, you will have options open to you.</p> <h2>5. Only part-time work is available for older workers</h2> <p>Once again, this is untrue in the present climate. In 1995, you could make a case for that argument. Back then, around 56 percent of the over-65 workforce was part time, with 44 percent being full-time. But by 2007, <a href="https://stats.bls.gov/spotlight/2008/older_workers/" target="_blank">those figures had completely reversed</a>, with 56 percent of the over-65 workforce now in full-time work, and just 44 percent doing part-time jobs.</p> <p>So, what kind of jobs are available? Well, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the majority of people over 55 are working in management positions, sales, and office jobs. Next comes the service industry, followed by production, transportation, construction, and maintenance. If the last two seem surprising, consider that we are living longer, and have made great advances in medical care. It's now possible for a 55+ man or woman to enter the construction and maintenance industries and enjoy great success, despite what they may believe about being too old for manual labor.</p> <h2>6. There are only certain jobs available to me</h2> <p>Greeter at a grocery store. Fast food server. Security guard at the mall. Delivering newspapers. Driving a cab or a school bus. The list goes on. These are the jobs many baby boomers think are in their future.</p> <p>However, while those jobs are available for those who genuinely want them, your options are much broader, and exciting. One of the most popular options right now is retraining to become an interior designer. If you have the eye for it, you can make great money on a schedule that suits you. Other options include working on a cruise ship, planning weddings, public speaking, casino work, consulting, and seasonal opportunities at ski lodges and resorts. The world is your oyster, especially if you're open to doing some traveling and taking a few leaps.</p> <p>Remember: As a baby boomer, you may have fewer years of your career in front of you than behind you, but that does not mean you have just a few paths to follow. With drive, enthusiasm, and the willingness to retrain, you can do almost anything you set your mind to.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F6-job-myths-boomers-should-stop-believing&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F6%2520Job%2520Myths%2520Boomers%2520Should%2520Stop%2520Believing.jpg&amp;description=6%20Job%20Myths%20Boomers%20Should%20Stop%20Believing"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/6%20Job%20Myths%20Boomers%20Should%20Stop%20Believing.jpg" alt="6 Job Myths Boomers Should Stop Believing" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-job-myths-boomers-should-stop-believing">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-jobs-that-pay-over-50k-and-dont-require-a-bachelors-degree">5 Jobs That Pay Over $50K and Don&#039;t Require a Bachelor&#039;s Degree</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-dream-jobs-youre-never-too-old-to-pursue">9 Dream Jobs You&#039;re Never Too Old to Pursue</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-answer-23-of-the-most-common-interview-questions">How to Answer 23 of the Most Common Interview Questions</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-prepare-when-your-unemployment-is-ending">How to Prepare When Your Unemployment Is Ending</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-awesome-websites-to-help-you-get-a-job">25 Awesome Websites to Help You Get a Job</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career Building Job Hunting age baby boomers experience job skills middle age myths rehired too old training unemployment Mon, 17 Jul 2017 09:00:10 +0000 Paul Michael 1981839 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Save for Retirement When You Are Unemployed http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-for-retirement-when-you-are-unemployed <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-save-for-retirement-when-you-are-unemployed" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/latin_american_woman_saving_in_a_piggybank.jpg" alt="Latin American woman saving in a piggy bank" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When you're unemployed, saving for retirement may be the last thing on your mind. It may seem impossible to save for the future when you have no steady income to even pay basic bills.</p> <p>But depending on your situation, it may still be possible to build your nest egg even if you're not working full-time. Here are some tools and suggestions for keeping an eye on the future during a period of joblessness.</p> <h2>Familiarize yourself with IRAs</h2> <p>Individual retirement accounts (IRAs) are great for people who don't have access to employer-sponsored retirement plans like 401(k) accounts. A traditional IRA is similar to a 401(k), in that any contributions are deducted from whatever taxable income you have. With a Roth IRA, on the other hand, earnings are taxed up front, but any gains you have won't be taxed when you withdraw money at retirement age.</p> <p>IRAs are useful for people who are self-employed, or who earn money inconsistently through part-time or freelance work. So if you're not employed full-time but still have some earned income, these accounts can help you save.</p> <h2>Think of retirement savings as a necessary expense</h2> <p>When you're unemployed, it's important to get a handle on all of your expenses so that you know where you need to cut. You may find that there are a lot of costs (luxury purchases, eating out, cable TV) that can be taken out of your household budget, while other expenses (food, electricity, debt payments) are more necessary. If you think of retirement savings as a necessity, you will be forced to cut spending elsewhere.</p> <h2>Roll over your old 401(k)</h2> <p>If you've been laid off from a job, you will no longer be able to contribute to the 401(k) you may have had from your employer. But the account will still exist and the money is still yours. You can let the old 401(k) account sit, but it's better to roll it into a traditional individual retirement account (IRA). The IRA will give you more flexibility and investment options, and may also have lower fees. And you can begin contributing to it once you have any earned income at all.</p> <h2>Focus on rebalancing</h2> <p>You may not be able to add much to your retirement accounts, but you can work to make sure they are optimized. This means making sure you have the right mix of investments based on your retirement date, and getting the optimal blend of stocks in various industries and asset classes. It's always smart to examine your portfolio to ensure you are not over- or underinvested in any one area.</p> <h2>Look for higher bank interest rates</h2> <p>If you're not taking in much income for the time being, you need to have your cash savings working for you. That means any cash savings you have should generate as much income as possible. Interest rates are still quite low, but many online banks offer interest rates on CDs and savings accounts that are higher than average.</p> <h2>Avoid the temptation to cash out</h2> <p>It may be tempting to take money out of your retirement funds, but you should avoid it if at all possible. One of the best ways to see your retirement savings grow is to let your investments do their thing. You can see a meaningful increase in your retirement savings just from market gains, even if you're not contributing for the time being.</p> <p>Withdrawing from retirement accounts, however, has consequences. First, any money you take out has no chance to grow and help you expand your overall retirement savings. Second, there are penalties and taxes associated with taking money out of retirement accounts early. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-questions-to-ask-before-you-borrow-from-your-retirement-account?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Questions to Ask Before You Borrow From Your Retirement Account</a>)</p> <h2>Continue to focus on growth, if you can</h2> <p>If you are unemployed and have some investments in a taxable brokerage account, you may be tempted to shift them to dividend stocks or other income-producing investments. This can give you extra income at a time when you may need it. But making this kind of adjustment could have a long-term negative impact on the overall growth of your portfolio. If dividends, bonds, or other income-focused investments will help you keep the lights on, fine. But it's best to focus on finding other sources of income, or reduce your spending first before going this route.</p> <h2>Reinvest dividends, if you can</h2> <p>If you do have dividend stocks already, you can still contribute to your retirement portfolio by reinvesting any dividend income you get from stocks. You may be tempted to use that investment income to pay bills and help get through your unemployed period, but if you can get by without it, direct the dividends to buy more stocks and other investments instead. Even small contributions added to your retirement accounts can add up to considerable savings over time.</p> <h2>Get your spouse involved</h2> <p>Perhaps you never thought to include your spouse in retirement planning because you felt it wasn't necessary while you were working. Now his or her income can be directed to help you save. This may be a challenge, since they are now also working to help pay more of the bills. But there are some ways to use your spouse's income for your own retirement accounts. If you have a traditional or Roth IRA, your spouse's earned income can go toward your account. (Note: This is only allowed if you file your taxes jointly.)</p> <h2>Plan to pay into accounts later</h2> <p>If you are unemployed but expect to be working in short order, you can postpone contributions to your IRA and add money later, even if it's after the end of the year. In fact, you can contribute to an IRA all the way up until April 15 of the following year. So for example, let's say you planned to max out your IRA by making monthly payments. (This would be about $458 monthly for a total of $5,500 for the year &mdash; the maximum amount allowed by the IRS for people under 50.) But let's say you are out of work from August through October of that year. You can hold off on contributing during that time and make up the difference in later months, even the first few months of the following year, if necessary.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-to-save-for-retirement-when-you-are-unemployed&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520to%2520Save%2520for%2520Retirement%2520When%2520You%2520Are%2520Unemployed.jpg&amp;description=How%20to%20Save%20for%20Retirement%20When%20You%20Are%20Unemployed"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20to%20Save%20for%20Retirement%20When%20You%20Are%20Unemployed.jpg" alt="How to Save for Retirement When You Are Unemployed" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-for-retirement-when-you-are-unemployed">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-alternatives-to-a-401k-plan">5 Alternatives to a 401(k) Plan</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/stop-believing-these-5-myths-about-iras">Stop Believing These 5 Myths About IRAs</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-easiest-ways-to-catch-up-on-retirement-savings-later-in-life">7 Easiest Ways to Catch Up on Retirement Savings Later in Life</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/yes-you-can-pay-for-education-with-an-ira">Yes, You Can Pay for Education With an IRA</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-sure-you-dont-run-out-of-money-in-retirement">How to Make Sure You Don&#039;t Run Out of Money in Retirement</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Investment Retirement 401(k) contributions dividends interest rates job loss loss of income rebalancing Roth IRA saving money stocks traditional ira unemployment Wed, 12 Jul 2017 09:00:14 +0000 Tim Lemke 1979037 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Budget Overhaul Tricks for the Recently Unemployed http://www.wisebread.com/5-budget-overhaul-tricks-for-the-recently-unemployed <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-budget-overhaul-tricks-for-the-recently-unemployed" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-626693162.jpg" alt="Man learning budget overhaul tricks for the recently unemployed" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Losing your job is an overwhelming experience. Not only do you have to deal with the emotional and psychological fallout of being let go, but you also have to quickly figure out how to survive financially until you land a new job.</p> <p>Fortunately, there are some budgeting tricks that even the most budget-averse can use to stretch their dollars after a job loss. Here are five tips that can help you make the most of your finances while you are unemployed. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-manage-debt-while-unemployed?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Manage Debt While Unemployed</a>)</p> <h2>Cut spending from easiest to hardest</h2> <p>The trick to an effective budget overhaul is to start your cuts with the expenses you care the least about. Freeing up money that is going to budget items you don't care about is much easier than having to restructure your life by moving to a cheaper place or selling your car. So it is always smart to start with the easy cuts, and move up the chain to the ones that are harder to cut.</p> <h3>1. Cancel unused subscriptions</h3> <p>Subscription-based companies are a huge part of our economy right now, and many companies make their money through subscription services their customers no longer use. You are probably aware of your subscriptions to services such as Audible or Stitch Fix if you use them often, but if you're like many consumers, you're still paying for older subscriptions you've forgotten you signed up for.</p> <p>Taking a couple of hours to comb through your statements to find unused subscription charges and cancel them can free up a surprising amount of money without you having to give up anything you need or use. Even if you are unwilling to do the work of canceling these subscriptions yourself, apps like Trim and Truebill will do the work for you for free.</p> <h3>2. Reduce necessary expenses</h3> <p>Once you've taken care of the expenses that you didn't know you had, you can start working on reducing your necessary expenses &mdash; without eliminating them entirely. In particular:</p> <ul> <li>Cut your cellphone bill by reducing your data plan. Not only will you probably be using less data while you are job hunting from home, but you may already be paying for more data than you need. Android and iPhone users can download the free My Data Manager app to track their data usage.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Call your internet or cable company to downgrade your package. Canceling cable is the standard advice for saving money, and for a good reason &mdash; it's an easy place to trim budget fat. However, even if you don't have cable, you can often negotiate a lower price with your internet service provider simply by asking. When you call, know the lowest going rate your provider is offering to new subscribers, as well as the rates of the competition. Mention that you are a loyal customer for however many years, and ask for some price consideration. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-tv-must-haves-once-you-cut-the-cable-cord?ref=seealso" target="_blank">3 TV Must-Haves Once You Cut the Cable Cord</a>)<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Reduce your energy bills by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/shrink-your-utility-bill-by-plugging-these-surprising-home-energy-leaks" target="_blank">plugging energy leaks</a>, lowering (or raising) your thermostat, and using your appliances more efficiently.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Lower your food bill by reducing or eliminating dining out, and by following the rules of frugal grocery shopping: eat beforehand, make a list and stick to it, and shop your pantry before you go to the store.</li> </ul> <h3>3. Call your creditors</h3> <p>If you have a student loan, it's a good idea to call your lender let them know of your job loss. <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-is-student-loan-forbearance-anyway" target="_blank">Federal student loans offer options</a> for hitting the pause button on your payments if you are struggling financially. While there are no such options for private loans, calling your lender and explaining the situation can still potentially get you a reduction in your monthly payment. Creditors would prefer to have you be proactive about a financial hiccup than have to get in touch with you after you miss a payment.</p> <p>You can make a similar call to your credit card issuer if you are unable to afford the minimum payment. Many banks will work with you if you explain the situation and propose some sort of repayment plan. They may even waive fees and reduce your interest rate. You may also want to request that they report your payments as on time to the credit bureaus. They can always say no, but it's worth asking.</p> <p>Just be aware that many of these actions will mean you are spending more for your loan overall, because they will increase your repayment timeline. If this will give you the breathing room you need until you find another job, it will certainly be worth it, but be mindful of the long-term consequences. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-tricks-to-consolidating-your-debt-and-saving-money?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Tricks to Consolidating Your Debt and Saving Money</a>)</p> <h3>4. Negotiate your rent payment</h3> <p>Even though your rent payment may seem like it's a take-it-or-it leave amount, there is often some wiggle room, especially if you are a reliable tenant and have plans to stay where you are for a while. The best way to accomplish this is by asking your landlord for a longer-term lease in exchange for a discount on your rent. That can be a win-win for both of you.</p> <h3>5. Slash your car payment</h3> <p>Having a car payment is a tough Catch-22 when you are unemployed. Unless you live in a place like New York City, you generally need the car to be able to effectively search for a job and show up to interviews. But without a job, the payments can be overwhelming.</p> <p>If you have good credit, your lender may be willing to let you adjust your loan by extending the term to lower the monthly payment. This helps you keep your car and lower your monthly expenses, although it will increase the amount you pay overall for the life of the loan.</p> <p>If eliminating the expense of the car payment will make a big difference to your unemployment budget, then it might be a good idea to sell the car. This option is best if it will enable you to secure other transportation. In some cases, car owners with enough equity in their cars can sell it off and buy an inexpensive used car for cash.</p> <h2>Know what luxuries you need to keep going</h2> <p>After a major financial setback, many people are tempted to cut every expense to the bone in an attempt to stretch their money as far as it'll go. While you certainly do need to cut back and be mindful of how you spend your money, an austerity budget can be a mistake because it can be next-to-impossible to adhere to. The minute you cheat a little bit on your budget, it triggers the <a href="https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/changepower/201111/beware-the-what-the-hell-effect-especially-holidays" target="_blank">&quot;what-the-hell&quot; effect</a>, wherein you think that you've already screwed up your budget a little, so why not screw it up a lot?</p> <p>In addition, being unemployed and looking for a job is emotionally taxing. If you cut out every little luxury, then you'll have less emotional bandwidth to keep up the difficult slog of applying for jobs.</p> <p>So it's a good idea to maintain a small line item in your budget for a luxury that will help sustain you through the unemployment. For example, you might maintain your gym membership, so you can keep working out and enjoying the mood-enhancing effects of endorphins. Or you could keep the occasional happy hour with friends, so you can stay connected with your favorite people or former colleagues (who may even provide knowledge that could help you find your next job).</p> <p>The important thing to remember about these types of luxuries is that they do need to be small line items. There is a difference between sustaining yourself and indulging yourself, and you need to keep that difference in mind until you find a new job.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/emily-guy-birken">Emily Guy Birken</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-budget-overhaul-tricks-for-the-recently-unemployed">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-resist-a-splurge">6 Ways to Resist a Splurge</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-guilty-pleasures-that-are-killing-your-budget">6 Guilty Pleasures That Are Killing Your Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/yes-you-need-fun-money-in-your-budget">Yes, You Need &quot;Fun Money&quot; in Your Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-parenting-mistakes-to-avoid-when-teaching-kids-about-money">4 Parenting Mistakes to Avoid When Teaching Kids About Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/23-effortless-ways-to-go-green-and-save-money-too">23 Effortless Ways to Go Green (and Save Money, Too)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Job Hunting budget budget tips budget tricks out of work saving money Spending Money unemployment Wed, 03 May 2017 07:49:36 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 1938922 at http://www.wisebread.com Don't Forget About These 7 Job Hunting Expenses http://www.wisebread.com/dont-forget-about-these-7-job-hunting-expenses <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/dont-forget-about-these-7-job-hunting-expenses" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_shaking_hands_492496092.jpg" alt="Man forgetting about job hunting expenses" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Thinking about changing careers this year? There's a lot that goes into the search, like sending out applications and brushing up on your interview skills. But you might not consider how much it'll cost you.</p> <p>From hiring a professional resume writer to bulking up your work wardrobe and factoring in transportation costs, let's review these tips on how to prepare your money for a job hunt.</p> <h2>1. Hire a Pro to Polish Your Resume</h2> <p>Plenty of HR directors will tell you that if your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-resume-mistakes-that-will-hurt-your-job-search?ref=internal" target="_blank">resume contains errors</a>, if it's lackluster, or if it's just plain boring, it's likely to end up in the circular file. That's a trash can, for the uninitiated. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-resume-rules-you-should-be-breaking?ref=seealso">4 Resume Rules You Should Be Breaking</a>)</p> <p>To give yourself a fighting chance against all the other qualified candidates, you have to stand out. You can beef up your resume on your own if you know what you're doing (and there are plenty of resources online to help you), but you also may want to consider hiring a professional resume writer whose job it is to keep up on resume trends and provide you with the most up-to-date vitae.</p> <p>A good writer charges anywhere from $150 and up for a revamp of your resume, though I probably wouldn't pay more than $300. Before you begin, however, ask for samples and references. Anybody can put a resume together &mdash; we've all done it for ourselves &mdash; but does the person you're paying get results? Research a solid writer so you don't waste your money. Some other resume-related expenses for which to plan include resume paper and printer ink.</p> <h2>2. Invest in Professional Headshots</h2> <p>Social media has been a bane for job seekers since it took off 10 years ago, and I can almost guarantee that your future employer will look you up on Google and investigate your social media profiles to get a better idea of who you are outside of the interview. As such, don't shoot yourself in the foot before you get in the door by leaving up posts and photos that don't portray you as a reliable person who's looking to advance their career.</p> <p>First, scrub your profiles of any offensive material. You don't have to go through all your photos and delete every picture of you with a drink in it, but, you know, use common sense when deciding whether or not the photo of you hanging halfway out of a taxi window at 2 a.m. is the best representation of you. Second, if there are no photos of you looking professional, get some &mdash; stat!</p> <p>Career coach Devay Campbell recommends investing in a professional headshot for your LinkedIn Profile &mdash; at the very least &mdash; which may have residual effects.</p> <p>&quot;Your future employer will look you up and if your profile is optimized correctly, you may even have profile views from recruiters in organizations that you have not applied to,&quot; she says.</p> <h2>3. Save Up Enough to Cover the Transition Period</h2> <p>Not every job change has you leaving your old workplace on a Friday afternoon and showing up at your new place of employment early Monday morning. There may be a transition period &mdash; especially if you left the old job before you landed a new gig &mdash; and you should prepare for that financially. Give yourself at least a three- to four-week window of savings that you can rely on, Campbell says, so you're not struggling or teetering on the verge of debt.</p> <h2>4. Enhance Your Wardrobe to Show You Mean Business</h2> <p>They say you should dress for the job you want, not the job you have. And that makes perfect sense when you're interviewing for a new position &mdash; because you want that job. Thus, take your frumpy butt over to your favorite store that sells business attire and pick up a few new items. This will likely set you back a few hundred dollars. But it's well worth it to show your future employer that you know what's up as soon as you walk through that door. Looking fresh also will give you more confidence, and that'll show.</p> <h2>5. Factor in Transportation Costs</h2> <p>You'll need to get to your interviews somehow, and that'll raise your fuel bill if you're driving. But depending on where you're applying for new positions, you may have to get there via other methods, like train or plane.</p> <p>When I was looking for jobs in Manhattan a decade ago, I had to foot the bill myself, generally opting to take a bus or train from Baltimore to New York City. If you're being considered for a high-level position, you may get special treatment wherein the potential employer will fly you out, but otherwise you shouldn't count on anybody subsidizing the cost of getting you to that interview.</p> <p>If you are traveling a distance, remember to factor in arrival and departure times. Don't book a ticket in the morning for an afternoon interview. Give yourself more time to get there and relax. Besides, you don't know what could happen along the way in terms of delays, and you'll be disappointed in yourself when you're passed over because you couldn't show up at your scheduled interview time.</p> <h2>6. Will You Need Domestic Help?</h2> <p>Conducting a job search is time-consuming and other parts of your life could suffer if you're not careful. If you have children, you may need to hire a baby sitter or someone to help around the house if you're otherwise occupied. If you're a pet owner, you might need to spring for day care or sitting so your furbaby is well taken care of while you're out doing your thing. Think about the impact your search will have on the other parts of your life and plan accordingly.</p> <h2>7. Do the Math Before Accepting a New Position</h2> <p>For most of us, the goal of changing careers is to be happier at what we do with a higher salary. Hey &mdash; that's America.</p> <p>But before you accept that initial offer &mdash; which you should never do immediately as a general rule; take a day to think about it &mdash; look into what you're losing or gaining by switching things up. Your new employer may have higher-cost health insurance, and it may not provide matching funds to your 401K. If this is the case, you may not be winning financially in the long run, and you'll kick yourself for it eventually. Do your homework and crunch the numbers to ensure that all your needs are met before committing to the change.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-forget-about-these-7-job-hunting-expenses">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-questions-you-should-always-ask-at-the-end-of-a-job-interview">15 Questions You Should Always Ask at the End of a Job Interview</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-never-to-bring-up-in-a-job-interview">5 Things Never to Bring Up in a Job Interview</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-warning-signs-youre-going-to-bomb-your-job-interview">8 Warning Signs You&#039;re Going to Bomb Your Job Interview</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-keep-your-job-hunt-from-busting-your-budget">How to Keep Your Job Hunt From Busting Your Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-financial-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-get-fired">11 Financial Moves to Make the Moment You Get Fired</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Job Hunting employment expenses headshots job interviews professional resume transportation unemployment wardrobe Wed, 11 Jan 2017 10:00:15 +0000 Mikey Rox 1864687 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Money Moves to Make When a Layoff Is Coming http://www.wisebread.com/10-money-moves-to-make-when-a-layoff-is-coming <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-money-moves-to-make-when-a-layoff-is-coming" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_suffering_headache_23825868.jpg" alt="Woman making money moves with coming layoff" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The signs are right there:</p> <ul> <li>All departmental budgets are cut way back;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Several key senior managers suddenly resign;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Entire divisions are consolidated, outsourced, or cut; and<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Many meetings that were previously open to everybody are now held behind closed doors.</li> </ul> <p>You haven't been laid off (or fired!) yet &mdash; but the company isn't doing so hot, and you strongly suspect you'll be on the chopping block soon. What should you do to prepare? Here is your checklist of 10 money moves for when a layoff is coming. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/you-re-fired-20-signs-that-a-pink-slip-is-coming?ref=seealso">20 Signs That a Pink Slip is Coming</a>)</p> <h2>Health Care Coverage</h2> <p>Whether you're single or have several dependents, you need to plan how to pay for scheduled and unexpected health care related expenses.</p> <h3>1. Inquire About COBRA Continuation Health Coverage</h3> <p>The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) requires group health plans to provide a temporary continuation of group health coverage that otherwise might be terminated. Generally, this legislation applies to all private group health plans from employers with 20 or more employees. Some states have similar laws for employers with less than 20 employees.</p> <p>Inquire through your health plan administrator whether you're eligible for COBRA coverage, what coverage is available for you and your dependents, and how much it costs. If you're entitled to COBRA coverage, you'll have an election period of at least 60 days to choose whether to accept continuation coverage.</p> <h3>2. Gather Quotes From HealthCare.gov</h3> <p>While COBRA may be an option, it's often quite expensive. At <a href="http://www.healthcare.gov">HealthCare.gov</a>, you can shop around for health plans available in your Health Insurance Marketplace, check whether or not you qualify for Medicaid, and determine if your children are eligible for the <a href="https://www.healthcare.gov/medicaid-chip/childrens-health-insurance-program/">Children's Health Insurance Program</a> (CHIP).</p> <p>By comparing how much it'd cost to maintain your existing coverage through COBRA vs. alternative options, you can make an informed decision about health plan choices.</p> <h3>3. Update Your Mailing Address With Your Current Health Carrier</h3> <p>This is key so that you receive any plan cards, bills, and forms, such as the <a href="http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-prior/f1095a--2015.pdf">Form 1095-A, Health Insurance Marketplace Statement</a>. The Form 1095-A enables you to take the premium tax credit, reconcile the credit on returns with advance payments of the premium tax credit (advance credit payments), and file an accurate tax return.</p> <h2>Retirement Planning</h2> <p>Times may be tough, but continue building up your nest egg. Your future self will be glad you did.</p> <h3>4. Pay Down Any 401K Loans</h3> <p>If you're part of the <a href="http://www.pensionresearchcouncil.org/publications/document.php?file=1271">20% of 401K holders</a> that took a loan from their plan, plan to pay back as much as you can, as <em>soon</em> as you can. When you're laid off or fired, you have only up to 60 days to pay back outstanding balances &mdash; or those funds become <em>taxable </em>income. Also, you would have to pay a 10% early distribution penalty if you're under age 59 1/2 and may be subject to additional incomes taxes and penalties from your state.</p> <h3>5. Check Vesting Period of Employer Contributions</h3> <p>Your employer may require you to work for a specific timeframe before vesting the employer contributions in your retirement account. Contact your retirement plan administrator to understand your fully vested balance.</p> <h3>6. Update Your Mailing Address With Current Plan Administrator</h3> <p>This is important for everybody, but is critical for individuals with a retirement account balance under $5,000. According to a Plan Sponsor Council of America survey, <a href="http://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/planning-to-retire/2015/01/13/how-to-avoid-being-forced-out-of-your-401-k">57% of 401K plans</a> mail a cash-out check to individuals with balances under $1,000 and transfer accounts to an IRA for those with balances between $1,000 and $5,000. If you would like to prevent these events from happening, contact your plan administrator within a period usually of 60 days from the date of termination. Still, having the correct address on file prevents that a check, form, or notice is lost in the mail. (Yes, rolling over a retirement account is still mostly a paper-based process!)</p> <h3>7. Explore All of Your Rollover Options</h3> <p>Besides cashing out and rolling over to an IRA, there are many other options available for you. To find out all of them, review <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-simple-guide-to-rolling-over-all-of-your-401ks-and-iras">A Simple Guide to Rolling Over All of Your 401Ks and IRAs</a>.</p> <h2>Emergency Fund Planning</h2> <p>Since a rainy day may be coming soon, establish how you'll make ends meet in case it takes longer than expected to find a new job.</p> <h3>8. Strengthen (or Start) an Emergency Fund</h3> <p>Sock away more into your emergency fund than you usually do. One way to strengthen or start your emergency fund is to use the <a href="http://www.irs.gov/individuals/irs-withholding-calculator">IRS Withholding Calculator</a> to estimate your current tax bill (or return) for next year's return. Since about three in every four Americans get a refund every year, chances are that you'll be able to take home more with you for the next couple of paychecks. Follow the recommendations from the IRS Withholding Calculator to adjust your Form W-4 and put the extra monies from your next paychecks into your emergency fund. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/figuring-the-size-of-your-emergency-fund?ref=seealso">Figuring the Size of Your Emergency Fund</a>)</p> <h3>9. Shop Around for Financing</h3> <p>Now, while you still have a job, is the time to look for financing, not once you're laid off. Select a financing option that would act as a last resort fund in case your emergency fund or saving account runs out. Besides a credit card, take a look at a personal line of credit, peer-to-peer lending account, and home equity line of credit (HELOC). Remember you're securing financing but you don't have to use it unless you really have to.</p> <h3>10. Learn the Process for Unemployment Benefits</h3> <p>Once you're laid off, you'll be worried about too many things. Buy yourself some time and contact your <a href="http://www.servicelocator.org/OWSLinks.asp">State Unemployment Insurance agency</a> ahead of time to learn how to file a claim by telephone or over the Internet. Each state administers a separate unemployment insurance program, so find out your state's eligibility requirements, steps to file a claim, and reporting guidelines for continued eligibility.</p> <p>In most states, unemployment benefits (a percentage of an individual's earnings over a recent 52-week period up to a maximum set by the state) are paid up to 26 weeks. Having this support can provide you much need peace of mind during your search for the next job.</p> <p><em>How should you prepare for a layoff?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/damian-davila">Damian Davila</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-money-moves-to-make-when-a-layoff-is-coming">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-long-can-you-really-live-on-unemployment">How Long Can You Really Live on Unemployment?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/rich-people-spend-350k-to-park-their-cars-heres-how-wed-spend-it-instead">Rich People Spend $350K+ to Park Their Cars — Here&#039;s How We&#039;d Spend it Instead</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/left-a-job-do-a-rollover">Left a job? Do a rollover.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/saving-goals-for-every-age">Saving Goals for Every Age</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-signs-youre-financially-ready-to-start-a-family">7 Signs You&#039;re Financially Ready to Start a Family</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Career and Income 401k downsizing emergency funds going out of business health care IRA laid off layoffs unemployment Wed, 08 Jun 2016 09:00:06 +0000 Damian Davila 1726484 at http://www.wisebread.com My 2016 Budget Challenge: Am I Ruining My Career? http://www.wisebread.com/my-2016-budget-challenge-am-i-ruining-my-career <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/my-2016-budget-challenge-am-i-ruining-my-career" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_mad_computer_000022967694.jpg" alt="Woman wondering if her work strategy is completely stupid" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>[Editor's Note: This is another episode in Max Wong's journey to find an extra $31,000 this year. Read the whole series </em><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/max-wongs-budget-0" target="_blank"><em>here</em></a><em>.]</em></p> <p>As a freelancer, I never know when my next job is going to come or how much it's going to pay. Some of my jobs pay me $8,000 for one day's work, or have incredible perks like international travel &mdash; but that kind of gig comes around about once a year. Should I spend more time looking for higher paying work that only comes intermittently, or keep working low paying gigs as they come?</p> <p>I recently had dinner with a business acquaintance who revealed that he is also $30,000 in debt. When I mentioned all the little side jobs I am doing in an effort to make an extra $31,000 this year, he laughed &mdash; and not in a good way. He is actually considering not taking a six-month job that he had been offered because it would only pay him $17 an hour.</p> <p>His argument for not taking the job was this: It would take away his ability to accept <em>better </em>offers for half a year. Did I mention that this person has already been unemployed for four months?</p> <h2>Are My Side Hustles Keeping Me From Better Offers?</h2> <p>The dinner put me in a bad mood. Mainly because when I brought up my $31,000 budget challenge, he was critical of my work strategy. According to him, I spend way too much of my time and brain space working odd jobs, instead of focusing on landing a &quot;primo salaried gig.&quot;</p> <p>When I asked him what a primo salaried gig pays, he responded: $75,000.</p> <h2>I Hated Working 9 to 5</h2> <p>I used to have that primo salaried gig. I hated it. Not the primo aspects of the work, such as flying business class and free office supplies, of course &mdash; just every other single thing about it. I am not cut out for corporate life.</p> <p>Had I stayed a corporate cookie, I would probably be several hundred thousand dollars richer. I would have, no doubt, paid down my house by now.</p> <p>But had I stayed the obvious course, would I be able to leave the U.S., as have done twice in the last five years, and travel abroad for three months at a time? More importantly, would I be as happy as I am now? I don't know one documentary filmmaker or beekeeper who does the job expecting a huge payday.</p> <h2>Am I Wasting Money or Gaining Opportunity?</h2> <p>Aside from the fact that I think his ideal $75,000 primo salaried gig sounds like <em>the worst</em>, I am still trying to parse out whether his argument that I am wasting my time, and by extension my life, on activities that offer a terrible return on investment.</p> <p>I often wonder if crazy side jobs always find me because I am free to take them. For example, would I have been able to spend four days interning for a photographer last month if I had a regular day job? If I had a 9-to-5 job, would I be able to devote as much time to activities like architectural photography that bring me pleasure, that I can potentially grow into a business? Have I exchanged a regular paycheck for more free time?</p> <h2>Is There Such a Thing as Good Personal Debt?</h2> <p>I do feel like, in my current situation, any income is better than no income. The faster I pay down debt, the less my debt will cost me in interest payments.</p> <p>My $31,000 budget shortfall contains $15,000 in debt from a loan with a 4% interest rate (my housing costs and camera fund don't carry interest). My husband and I have been steadily paying down this loan with $800 monthly payments. Using a debt repayment calculator, I know that at our current rate, we will pay off this debt in 20 months, but end up paying an additional $515 in interest. In order to pay down this $15,000 by the end of this year, we are going to have to increase this payment to $1,695 for the next nine months. If we pay off this debt by December 31, 2016, we will pay up to an extra $251 in interest. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-to-do-a-balance-transfer-to-pay-off-credit-card-debt?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Stop Paying Interest on Your Credit Card Debt</a>)</p> <p>By comparison, my dinner companion has $30,000 in credit debt over several cards with an average of APR of 11.9%. To pay off this debt in 20 months, he will have to pay $1,740 every month, and he will pay $3,063 in interest.</p> <p>When I pointed out the high cost of using credit cards as a slush fund, my dinner companion did not bat an eyelash. He argued that I am letting my fear of debt overly influence my financial decisions. What if I am so busy putting my nose to the grindstone for small jobs, that I am missing out on bigger job opportunities? For example, although I had wanted to attend this year's Palm Springs Photo Festival, a major educational and networking event, I cannot afford it. Just the cost of the lodging and transportation for the festival would cut into my savings by $1,000. But, by not putting the cost of the festival on my credit card, am I losing out on leads for photography jobs or giving up the opportunity to learn new skills that would immediately improve my work? Am I being pennywise but pound foolish?</p> <h2>Work vs. Unemployment</h2> <p>Since January 1, 2016 I have made $5,190 in extra cash. This averages out to $1,730 per month. For the last four months, my dinner companion has been making $1,800 per month on Unemployment Insurance. (My dinner companion's assessment that I am a financial loser is undoubtedly colored by this fact.) His search for the primo salaried job, as far as I can tell, has also been much more leisurely than my constant hustle to rustle more side work.</p> <h2>Who Am I to Criticize?</h2> <p>Well, I am a financial writer who understands the concept of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-most-valuable-thing-debt-takes-from-you-isnt-money-its-this" target="_blank">compound interest</a>. As unpleasant as it was to get unasked for advice on my debt-killing plan, I made a major effort to listen to my dinner companion, if only so I could passive-aggressively complain about it in this post, and monetize my annoyance.</p> <p>But I still wonder: Is he just really stupid or am I a rube for accepting minimum wage gigs when I'm strapped for cash? Dear reader, what is your opinion on my employment strategy?</p> <h2>Progress Report</h2> <p>Because our business taxes were due on February 29th, my husband and I decided to complete our tax prep for our personal taxes by that due date as well. Why suffer through tax prep twice? Our accountant just filed our personal taxes. We are getting a $2,934 refund from the IRS and a $1,654 refund from the state of California. We paid <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-reasons-why-an-accountant-is-worth-the-money" target="_blank">our accountant</a> $470 for her work.</p> <p><strong>Goal:</strong> $31,000.00</p> <p><strong>Amount Raised:</strong> $13,478.00</p> <p><strong>Amount Spent:</strong> $5,303.72</p> <p><strong>Amount Left to Go:</strong> $22,825.72</p> <p><em>Should Max continue hustling up wacky side jobs she adores or should she buckle down and find a regular job, like everyone else?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/max-wong">Max Wong</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/my-2016-budget-challenge-am-i-ruining-my-career">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/my-2016-budget-challenge-where-to-find-cheap-training-for-a-new-career">My 2016 Budget Challenge: Where to Find Cheap Training for a New Career</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-prepare-when-your-unemployment-is-ending">How to Prepare When Your Unemployment Is Ending</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-good-reasons-to-become-a-contractor">8 Good Reasons to Become a Contractor</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-i-take-a-job-that-pays-less-than-unemployment">Should I Take a Job That Pays Less Than Unemployment?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-make-these-7-common-mistakes-when-choosing-a-career-path">Don&#039;t Make These 7 Common Mistakes When Choosing a Career Path</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Career Building freelance job hunting max wongs budget odd jobs unemployment Fri, 15 Apr 2016 10:00:06 +0000 Max Wong 1687438 at http://www.wisebread.com 11 Financial Moves to Make the Moment You Get Fired http://www.wisebread.com/11-financial-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-get-fired <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/11-financial-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-get-fired" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000077659843_Large.jpg" alt="she needs to make these money moves after getting fired" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Just about everyone goes through a job loss at some point in their lives. Hopefully, any job loss you endure will only result in a short time out of work, and minimal financial hardship. But even if you expect your time between jobs to be short, there are a number of things you should do right away to ensure you can make it through a stretch of time with no income.</p> <p>As someone who endured two layoffs in the past, I can tell you that these steps will help keep you afloat until you <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-money-moves-to-make-after-a-promotion">land a new position</a>.</p> <h2>1. Determine if You Are Eligible for Severance and Vacation Pay</h2> <p>If you've been let go from a job, employers will often provide severance pay based on the length of time you worked there. You may also be paid for any unused vacation time. The company should explain your eligibility for these funds upon your termination, but if not, make a point to check with the human resources department. In some cases, you may have to engage an attorney to fight for what you believe you are owed.</p> <p>Companies generally aren't required to offer severance at all, but there are instances when you may feel you are due money for uncompensated overtime or other reasons. Just keep in mind that benefits may vary depending on if you were fired for cause or laid off through no fault of your own.</p> <h2>2. Assess Your Emergency Fund</h2> <p>Now is the time when your savings will come in handy. If you've followed the advice of many personal finance experts, you have at least three months of expenses available in liquid savings. But now is the time to assess precisely how much you have and what your expenses actually are. With proper savings and cuts to your spending, you should hopefully be able to pay your bills until you get back to work.</p> <h2>3. Reduce Unnecessary Expenses</h2> <p>You may <em>think</em> you're living frugally, but now is the time to really strip life down to the bare essentials. Your expenses should really come down to your rent or mortgage, utilities, and a modest food budget. (Keep the Internet and cell phone services, as you may need them for your job search.) But that cable TV subscription? Kill it. Gym membership? Suspend it. Avoid going out to eat, or shopping at high-end grocers. And turn down the thermostat a couple of degrees. Every penny you save now is money that will help get you through to the next job.</p> <h2>4. Assess Your Health Insurance Situation</h2> <p>If you received health insurance through your employer, your benefits may no longer be accessible to you. It's likely that you are eligible for COBRA benefits, which provide discounted coverage between when your benefits run out and when new benefits kick in. After a job loss, you usually have 60 days to apply for COBRA benefits, and they last between 18 and 36 months, depending on your situation. At this time, it's also worth exploring insurance options available under the Affordable Care Act at HealthCare.gov.</p> <h2>5. Apply for Unemployment Benefits (But Don't Necessarily Claim Them Right Away)</h2> <p>If you've lost your job, there's a good chance you'll be eligible for compensation from unemployment insurance. In most states, unemployed people are entitled to up to 26 weeks of benefits that are a portion of their previous salary. Note that earnings from part-time or freelance work can be deducted from unemployment benefits. You don't necessarily have to claim unemployment benefits right away if you still have some money coming in, but it's still important to research options and get your name into the system immediately after a job loss.</p> <h2>6. Accept Outplacement Service if It Is Offered</h2> <p>You may feel like you can do a job search by yourself, but if your former employer is connecting you with assistance for free, take it. Outplacement professionals can help you update your resumé, assess your skills to see what jobs might be right for you, and even help you with interviews and salary negotiations.</p> <h2>7. Update Your Resumé and LinkedIn Profile</h2> <p>Hopefully, these are things you've kept more or less up-to-date anyway, but if you haven't looked at them in a while, give them some attention now. You don't have to necessarily reveal that you are between jobs, but it's important to have up-to-date information on your skills and accomplishments. Be sure to make several resumés based on the different types of jobs you may be pursuing. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/30-minutes-to-a-linkedin-profile-that-gets-you-hired?ref=seealso">30 Minutes to a LinkedIn Profile That Gets You Hired</a>)</p> <h2>8. Collect All Your Retirement Account Information</h2> <p>If you've lost your job, you're no longer going to be able to contribute to your company's 401K, or other similar retirement plan. You don't necessarily have to do anything with the account right away, but eventually, you may want to roll your old 401K into another 401K or IRA.</p> <p>In the immediate term, make sure you save the login and password information to the account, as well as any relevant paperwork. It will also be important to check your account balance to see how much of your matched contributions were &quot;vested.&quot; If you leave a company after a short amount of time, it's possible that the company can reclaim some matching contributions.</p> <h2>9. Adjust Your Auto Insurance Premium</h2> <p>What you pay for auto insurance is often partially based on how much you drive. If you are no longer commuting to work, you may be able to reduce your premium slightly by arguing that you're driving less. Your rate is especially likely to go down if you're no longer driving and parking in a dense, urban area.</p> <h2>10. Take a Breather</h2> <p>It's okay to take some time off before doing any hardcore thinking about your next career move. While you don't waste a lot of time in getting back to work, it's important to make decisions with a clear head. Do you want to remain in the same field? Do you want to start your own business? Do you even need to go back to work full-time? There is a lot to think about, so take some time. This is as much a financial move as one for your mental health, because the last thing you want to do is rush into a job that you're not suited for and find yourself back in the unemployment line again.</p> <h2>11. Reallocate Some Investments for Income</h2> <p>If you have some investments in a non-retirement account, it's worth examining whether you can adjust them to produce some income. It's not necessarily a good idea to immediately sell a large quantity of stocks or mutual funds, especially if they are for long-term savings. You certainly don't want to do anything rash. But perhaps a portion of your portfolio could shift to bonds or dividend stocks that will help bring you some extra cash.</p> <p><em>What other money moves should you make after getting fired? Share with us in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-financial-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-get-fired">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-first-5-things-you-must-do-after-getting-laid-off">The First 5 Things You Must Do After Getting Laid Off</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/whats-an-employee-to-do-part-1">What&#039;s an employee to do? Part 1</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-save-money-when-you-are-unemployed">10 Ways to Save Money When You Are Unemployed</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-signs-youre-working-for-an-impossible-boss">7 Signs You&#039;re Working for an Impossible Boss</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-questions-you-should-always-ask-in-an-exit-interview">8 Questions You Should Always Ask in an Exit Interview</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income Budgeting employment fired getting fired job loss jobs layoffs money moves resume unemployment Tue, 08 Mar 2016 10:00:05 +0000 Tim Lemke 1667924 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Money Fears and How to Squash Them http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-fears-and-how-to-squash-them <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-money-fears-and-how-to-squash-them" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/nervous_man_000050240320.jpg" alt="Man with money fears learning how to squash them" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Remember when you were afraid of the bogeyman? We all knew he wasn't real, but that didn't stop our fears. For most of us, that same bogeyman is alive in our finances. If you've had a bad month, or even a bad year or two, it's really easy to let fear take over.</p> <p>Below are five irrational (although they might feel very real for you) money fears and some simple solutions to squash them.</p> <h2>1. I Lost My Job; I'm Never Going to Make It!</h2> <p>Even if you have the most &quot;perfect&quot; job and your boss loves you, there is always a chance that you could lose it. The company could have a bad year and need to lay off staff. They might downsize. Or, maybe they get bought out and decide they don't need you on board.</p> <h3>Squash It</h3> <p>Preparation is key to squashing this money fear, which means preparing <em>before</em> you lose the job. Make sure you button up your emergency fund savings with at least three to six months of your monthly expenses, and keep it in a high-yield savings account (<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/discover-bank-review-you-know-the-card-but-what-about-the-bank">Discover Online Savings</a> or <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/capital-one-360-review">Capital One 360</a>). As the name implies, an emergency fund will help you breeze into temporary unemployment and keep you from having to turn to your credit cards to pay your monthly expenses.</p> <h2>2. My 401K Lost 5%, I'll Never Be Able to Retire!</h2> <p>For those who had money in a 401K during 2008 and 2009, losing just 5% would have seemed like a miracle. Depending on their exposure, retirement investors lost 25%&ndash;30% (or more) of their account values in a really short period of time. Now that's a bad day! A 401K, like any investment, is going to have good times and not-so-good times.</p> <h3>Squash It</h3> <p>The best way to squash this fear of never being able to retire is to commit to a monthly investment amount (called dollar-cost-averaging), rebalance your funds annually, and for heaven's sake, don't look at your account every day. With dollar-cost-averaging you'll be buying some funds during the good days, and some on the not-so-good days &mdash; but the objective is that it evens out and keeps you marching towards your retirement goals.</p> <h2>3. My Spouse-to-Be Makes More Than Me &mdash; It's Not Fair!</h2> <p>Rarely do you find a relationship where both people make exactly the same amount of money. When you pile getting married on top of that all, it can be a real recipe for disaster.</p> <h3>Squash It</h3> <p>Having open communication with your future spouse is key before you get married. Come up with a game plan together about how you will allocate your funds for things like savings, paying off debt, and the goals you are trying to achieve. Another way to squash this fear is to create two separate &quot;fun&quot; funds. In each fund, put the same amount of money each month, so each person can spend their money as they wish with no questions from the other.</p> <h2>4. I've Made Too Many Money Mistakes!</h2> <p>Money mishaps can really keep us from making positive strides in our finances. The truth is everyone has financial setbacks in life, but the key is in how you recover and what steps you take to prevent them from happening again.</p> <h3>Squash It</h3> <p>To get better at anything, you've got to learn from your mistakes, but more importantly, forgive yourself. Take out a piece of paper and write down all of your money mishaps without censoring yourself in the next five minutes. Once you are done, take a look at them all, remember what you've learned, and then tear up the piece of paper. They are in your past.</p> <h2>5. I Won't Be Successful if I Don't Own a House!</h2> <p>Owning a house is the American dream. The problem is not all of us can <em>afford</em> a house, and certainly not a $15 million dollar stunner like you'd see on an episode of the Kardashians.</p> <h3>Squash It</h3> <p>Owning a home is great. However, it isn't for everyone. If you want to own a home, the most important thing you can do is to work with a mortgage broker before you go shopping, find out what you can afford, and then take a serious look at your budget. If you plan on staying put for a few years and the numbers work, then go for it. If not, take this money fear off the table and be happy that if you decided you wanted to move to Berlin tomorrow, you could pack your bag and be on a plane in an hour.</p> <p><em>How do you squash your money fears?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/shannah-game">Shannah Game</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-fears-and-how-to-squash-them">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-financial-mistakes-youre-making-at-the-doctors-office">9 Financial Mistakes You&#039;re Making at the Doctor&#039;s Office</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-simple-ways-to-split-bills-with-your-spouse">3 Simple Ways to Split Bills With Your Spouse</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-times-you-need-to-update-your-will">6 Times You Need to Update Your Will</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-conversations-every-couple-should-have">5 Money Conversations Every Couple Should Have</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-boost-your-partners-bad-credit-without-risking-your-own">6 Ways to Boost Your Partner&#039;s Bad Credit Without Risking Your Own</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance irrational fears marriage Mistakes owning a home unemployment Mon, 26 Oct 2015 17:15:24 +0000 Shannah Game 1598510 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Things You Must Do After the Interview to Land the Job http://www.wisebread.com/6-things-you-must-do-after-the-interview-to-land-the-job <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-things-you-must-do-after-the-interview-to-land-the-job" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_work_success_000056629092.jpg" alt="Woman learning what to do after the interview to land the job" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You've created a flawless resume. You've networked like a champion. You've managed to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-get-noticed-during-a-job-search">get noticed by the right people</a>. And you just aced a three-hour long group interview without so much as a nervous twitch. Don't stop there; here are six things you can do <em>after</em> the interview that will help you land the job of your dreams.</p> <h2>1. Send a Thank-You Note</h2> <p>Send a brief, but detailed thank-you email within 24 hours. Refer to the topics discussed in the interview and include the email address of every interviewer, regardless of title or job level. Though many career consultants suggest following up an electronic thank-you with the hand-written variety, it's not necessary and can often be interpreted as overkill.</p> <h2>2. Send a Personalized Follow-Up Email</h2> <p>A few days after the thank-you note, send a follow-up email that reinforces how your skills and experience directly related to the requirements of the position. Respect your readers' time by being specific and concise, but don't be afraid to mention relevant accomplishments or important points you didn't have a chance to cover during the interview.</p> <h2>3. Alert Your References</h2> <p>If your interview went well, it's likely your references will be contacted in short order. Both as a courtesy and a means of preparation, give your references a heads-up. Let them know a bit about the role and the skill set required. Advance notice will help each of your references craft their best pitch for you and stress the experience and qualities that matter most. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-great-job-references">How to Get Great Job References</a>)</p> <h2>4. Keep Researching</h2> <p>Research shouldn't end when the interview is over. Keep learning about the company and the position you've applied for. If there's an impromptu follow-up call or a second interview, your deeper knowledge will help inspire ideas and generate insightful questions.</p> <h2>5. Tap Into Your Network</h2> <p>Sometimes <em>who</em> you know is just as important as <em>what</em> you know. Leverage the power of your professional network to increase your chances of getting hired. If you know someone inside the company who can tilt the scales in your favor, reach out to her and tactfully ask for assistance. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-best-networking-tips-for-people-under-40">10 Best Networking Tips for People Under 40</a>)</p> <h2>6. Gracefully Accept Rejection</h2> <p>Rejection is part of every job hunt, but knowing how to gracefully accept rejection can sometimes help you get a job. Remember, not all new hires work out. In order to differentiate yourself at this final stage of the interview process, thank your interviewers for their time and wish them well. If new positions open up or if the person they hired turns out to be a bad fit, you're much more likely to be top-of-mind.</p> <p>I get it; job hunting can sometimes feel like a full-time job (and an exhausting one at that). Avoid feeling overwhelmed by breaking the process into a series of action phases. By the time you get to the face-to-face interview, the uphill slog is nearly done. Pat yourself on the back; your skills have been noticed. Now, enjoy the downhill slide by executing each post-interview task mindfully and thoroughly.</p> <p><em>What have you done after an interview that helped you beat the competition? What advice do you have for new graduates who may be interviewing for the first time?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-things-you-must-do-after-the-interview-to-land-the-job">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-questions-to-ask-before-you-take-a-job-offer">12 Questions to Ask Before You Take a Job Offer</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-extreme-job-interview-tactics-that-worked">6 Extreme Job Interview Tactics That Worked</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-being-passive-kills-your-job-prospects">4 Ways Being Passive Kills Your Job Prospects</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-to-bounce-back-from-job-rejection">4 Ways to Bounce Back From Job Rejection</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-job-hunt-without-getting-caught">9 Ways to Job Hunt Without Getting Caught</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income Job Hunting hiring tips job hunt Job Interview job search unemployment Mon, 19 Oct 2015 09:15:23 +0000 Kentin Waits 1593784 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Surprising Ways a College Education Will Improve Your Life http://www.wisebread.com/10-surprising-ways-a-college-education-will-improve-your-life <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-surprising-ways-a-college-education-will-improve-your-life" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/recent_graduate_000042637552.jpg" alt="Woman learning surprising ways college education improves her life" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Sure, we've all heard the statistics about the lifetime earnings power of having a college degree. But if you or the people around you are doing okay without college, perhaps you think a degree is unnecessary. This might be true in some cases (I've written a post recently that defends the argument against a college degree), but research also shows that a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-cheap-ways-to-continue-your-education-without-going-back-to-school">college education</a> can improve your life in more ways than one.</p> <p>Ultimately, though, it's your choice. So before you close the book on higher education, here are 10 surprising benefits of going to college to consider:</p> <h2>1. You'll Earn More Money</h2> <p>Graduates with a bachelor's degree earn about a <a href="http://www.marketwatch.com/story/a-college-degree-is-worth-1-million-2015-05-07">million dollars more over their lifetimes</a>&nbsp;than those with only some college education and a high school diploma. A Pew Research Center study on college-educated Millennials reports that college graduates between the ages of 25 and 34 working full-time <a href="http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2014/02/11/the-rising-cost-of-not-going-to-college/">earn roughly $17,000 more</a> a year. And according to College Board's Education Pays Study 2013, the average &quot;college graduate who enrolls at age 18 and graduates in four years can expect to <a href="http://trends.collegeboard.org/sites/default/files/education-pays-2013-full-report.pdf">earn enough by age 36</a> to compensate for being out of the labor force for four years.&quot;</p> <h2>2. You'll Acquire More Assets</h2> <p>Since college graduates on average earn more than their peers with a high school diploma, they typically have more assets. According to the USC Center for Higher Education Policy Analysis, people who <a href="http://www.usc.edu/dept/chepa/IDApays/resources/education_important.pdf">attend some form of college</a> usually save more of their money. They also have more assets, such as homes, cars, and investments.</p> <h2>3. You'll Face a Lower Unemployment Rate</h2> <p>Although there's no such thing as true job security (ask anyone you know&hellip; except your tenured professors), the unemployment rate is lower among those with a college education. The Pew Research Center study found that only <a href="http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2014/02/11/the-rising-cost-of-not-going-to-college/">3.8% of those with a bachelor's degree</a> were unemployed in 2012, compared with 8.1% of those with an associate degree or some college and 12.2% of those with a high school diploma. The percent of those living in poverty with a bachelor's degree and high school diploma were 5.8% and 21.8%, respectively. You don't have to be a math major to note the discrepancy.</p> <h2>4. You're More Likely to Have a Pension</h2> <p>A college education also increases the likelihood of enjoying a comfortable, more secure retirement. The College Board study reports that in 2011 only 52% of full-time employees were offered pension plans by their employers. Meanwhile, 65% of employees with a bachelor's degree and 73% of employees with advanced degrees were provided with pensions.</p> <p>Even if your company doesn't offer a pension plan (which is becoming more and more common, by the way), earning more with a college education puts you in a better position to open a 401K or IRA and contribute a greater percentage of your income.</p> <h2>5. You're More Likely to Have Health Insurance</h2> <p>If you don't have health insurance, it only takes one medical emergency to completely ruin your financial life or wipe out your savings account. This is less likely to happen if you have a college education. The College Board found that people with at least a bachelor's degree were more likely to receive health insurance through an employer. In 2011, employers only provided health insurance to 55% of full-time employees with a high school diploma, whereas 69% of employees with bachelor's degrees and 73% of employees with advanced degrees received coverage.</p> <h2>6. You'll Live a Healthier Lifestyle (After You Graduate, of Course)</h2> <p>There's a connection between a college education and a healthier lifestyle. In 2012, only 8% of people with at least a four-year degree were smokers, compared to 25% of high school graduates and those without a high school diploma.</p> <p>College graduates also were less likely to be obese. Looking only at adults between the ages of 25 and 34, the study found that 68% of college graduates engaged in vigorous exercise at least once a week, compared to only 40% of high school graduates. Because college-educated people typically adopt healthier habits, they also live longer.</p> <p>According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), &quot;Men without a high school diploma have a <a href="http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2012/p0516_higher_education.html">life expectancy 9.3 years less</a> than those with at least a bachelor's degree, whereas women without a high school diploma had a life expectancy 8.6 years less than those with at least a bachelor's degree.&quot;</p> <h2>7. You're Able to Spend More Time With Your Children</h2> <p>A college education may also improve your family life, giving you more quality time with your children. College Board reports that mothers with a four-year college degree spend on average about &quot;51% more time on their children's activities than employed mothers with only a high school education.&quot; For those mothers with children under the age three, the amount of playtime spent with their children also increased with education.</p> <h2>8. You're Less Likely to Live With Your Parents</h2> <p>College-educated adults are more likely to be financially independent and less reliant on their parents (after college, that is). In 2012, only 12% of college-educated Millennials lived in their parents' home, compared with 16% of those with a two-year degree or some college, and 18% of high school graduates, says the Pew Research Center.</p> <h2>9. You'll Experience a Higher Rate of Career Satisfaction</h2> <p>If you're in a dead-end job, you might hate going to work every day, and your job might impact your day-to-day happiness. Although a college degree doesn't guarantee you'll enjoy your work, research proves that career satisfaction increases with the level of education. Among workers between the ages of 30 to 45, &quot;51% of those with at least a bachelor's degree reported being very satisfied with their work, compared to only 42% of those without a high school diploma, and 47% of those with a high school diploma,&quot; reports College Board.</p> <h2>10. You'll Gain the Ability to Make Better Decisions</h2> <p>Interestingly enough, a <a href="http://www.usc.edu/dept/chepa/IDApays/resources/education_important.pdf">college education can help you become a savvier, more informed consumer</a>. College doesn't only provide book knowledge to help you succeed in a particular field, it also teaches critical-thinking and problem-solving skills. You learn the importance of weighing the pros and cons before making a decision, and you're more likely to compare rates and prices, which helps you save money.</p> <p><em>Did you go to college? What other ways has a college education improved your life? Let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-surprising-ways-a-college-education-will-improve-your-life">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-9"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-wait-to-go-to-college">Should You Wait to Go to College?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-a-free-copy-of-navigating-your-health-benefits-for-dummies">Get a Free Copy of &quot;Navigating Your Health Benefits for Dummies&quot;</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-prepare-when-your-unemployment-is-ending">How to Prepare When Your Unemployment Is Ending</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-student-loan-interest-works">This Is How Student Loan Interest Works</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-your-ira-shouldnt-double-as-an-education-savings-plan">Why Your IRA Shouldn&#039;t Double as an Education Savings Plan</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks Education & Training benefits college college education Health health benefits unemployment Tue, 13 Oct 2015 09:00:11 +0000 Mikey Rox 1586508 at http://www.wisebread.com How Long Can You Really Live on Unemployment? http://www.wisebread.com/how-long-can-you-really-live-on-unemployment <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-long-can-you-really-live-on-unemployment" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_financial_stress_000031119668.jpg" alt="Woman learning how long she can live on unemployment" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you lost your job today, how long could you and your household survive on your unemployment income? How much of an emergency fund do you need to help you bridge the gap between your unemployment benefits and the full-time income that you'd no longer have? Most people don't know the answer to this question, says Kirk Cassidy, president of Senior Planning Advisors in Farmington Hills, Michigan.</p> <p>&quot;No matter if you have a full-time job or you are already in retirement, you need to set aside a certain amount of money each month for emergencies,&quot; Cassidy says. &quot;You might think that your income is stable. But it isn't. Your income is unpredictable. Something can happen, and you need to be ready for it.&quot;</p> <p>Sudden unemployment ranks as one of those unpredictable events. But losing your job is something you should plan for, even if you feel secure at your place of employment. You need to know how replacing your full-time income with unemployment benefits will impact your household budget. You need to know how long it would take for the money in your savings to run out, and how long it might take before making your mortgage and auto payments becomes a financial burden.</p> <h2>How Much Unemployment Will You Get?</h2> <p>Each state has its own formula for determining the amount of unemployment benefits available to individuals who are out of work or between jobs through no fault of their own. The maximum amount of money that you will receive each week depends on how much you were earning before you lost your job. But no matter where you live, don't expect to receive unemployment benefits that equal what you used to earn on your job.</p> <p>For example, in New Jersey as of 2015, you could receive a maximum of $646 each week in unemployment benefits. But if you live in Tennessee, that weekly maximum was only $275 as of 2015.</p> <p>In most states, you'll be able to receive unemployment benefits for a maximum of 26 weeks, or six months. Two states provide unemployment benefits for longer &mdash; Montana, at 28 weeks, and Maine, which provides benefits for 30 weeks.</p> <p>Eight states as of 2015 provide unemployment benefits for less than 26 weeks: Arkansas (25); Michigan, Missouri, and South Carolina (20); Kansas (16); Florida and Georgia (14); and North Carolina (12).</p> <p>The formula for how much you will receive each week varies according to state. As an example, in Massachusetts, the state looks at the last four quarters in which you worked. It adds your total wages from the two quarters in which you earned the highest amount of money and then divides that amount by 26, the number of weeks in the two combined quarters, to determine your average weekly wage. The state then divides that average weekly wage in half to determine your weekly benefit amount.</p> <p>Here's an example from the website of Massachusetts' state government: Say you earned a total of $18,840 during your two highest-paid quarters in the last four. Divide that figure by 26 and you get $724.61. Divide that in half to get $362.30. Round to the nearest dollar to leave you with $362 in unemployment benefits each week.</p> <p>That's just one example. But you can see that even with unemployment insurance, your weekly income is going to take a big hit. So how long can you survive on this reduced income?</p> <h2>Other Factors to Consider</h2> <p>To determine this, you must consider a host of factors. What are your current monthly expenses? What can you cut &mdash; the usual suspects such as cable TV, healthclub memberships, magazine subscriptions &mdash; to reduce this amount?</p> <p>You must also look at the income coming into your household each month. Add your unemployment insurance benefits to this while removing the money you formerly brought home each month from your full-time job. Maybe your spouse or partner works. This extra income can buy you more time to survive on unemployment benefits.</p> <p>You also need to consider your savings. Financial experts recommend that you build up enough money in an emergency fund &mdash; for most people this will be a standard savings account &mdash; to cover six months of your household's typical expenses. The problem is that most U.S. households have not done this.</p> <p>In May, the Chain Store Guide released a report saying that 40% of U.S. adults said that if they lost their incomes, they could only maintain their current lifestyles for one to three months. The report found that 21% of adults wouldn't be able to do this for even one month. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-your-emergency-fund-big-enough-to-keep-you-afloat?ref=seealso">Is Your Emergency Fund Big Enough to Keep You Afloat?</a>)</p> <p>This means that plenty of U.S. households haven't been saving up for an emergency fund.</p> <p>Paul Metler, co-president of Senior Planning Advisors, says that this is a big mistake. A well-stocked emergency fund can be an important safety net for households trying to live partly on unemployment benefits.</p> <p>&quot;I don't know how many people have saved up enough in their emergency funds to provide them with a healthy cushion should they lose their jobs,&quot; Metler says. &quot;It does take planning. It does require you to live within your means and not overspend. There is no book that can magically tell you how to do it. You have to look at your own situation and budget accordingly.&quot;</p> <p><em>If you've ever been unemployed for a stretch, how'd you manage?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-long-can-you-really-live-on-unemployment">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-10"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-money-moves-to-make-when-a-layoff-is-coming">10 Money Moves to Make When a Layoff Is Coming</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/could-you-make-ends-meet-if-you-were-suddenly-disabled">Could You Make Ends Meet If You Were Suddenly Disabled?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-personal-finance-resolutions-anyone-can-master">8 Personal Finance Resolutions Anyone Can Master</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-earn-money-with-your-emergency-fund">How to Earn Money With Your Emergency Fund</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/does-generous-unemployment-benefits-prolong-the-length-of-unemployment">Do generous unemployment benefits prolong the length of unemployment?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Career and Income emergency funds fired laid off out of work savings accounts unemployment Thu, 24 Sep 2015 13:00:19 +0000 Dan Rafter 1567512 at http://www.wisebread.com Is Your Emergency Fund Costing You Money? http://www.wisebread.com/is-your-emergency-fund-costing-you-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/is-your-emergency-fund-costing-you-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/emergency_fund_000051326450.jpg" alt="Find out if your emergency fund is too big" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We all know that an emergency fund is an essential tool in personal money management. And even newbies to personal finance can probably tell you how big an <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-your-emergency-fund-big-enough-to-keep-you-afloat">emergency fund</a> should be &mdash; large enough to cover about three to six months of expenses.</p> <p>But what if that rule of thumb is incorrect? If you have an emergency fund that is larger than you need, it could be costing you.</p> <p>Here is what you need to know about figuring out the emergency fund sweet spot for your budget, and why it matters so much.</p> <h2>1. What Constitutes an Emergency?</h2> <p>The typical advice for creating an emergency fund assumes that you would need this fund in case of job loss. That's why the recommendation is to have several months of living expenses set aside, and why Suze Orman in particular suggests that you need <a href="http://www.suzeorman.com/resource-center/suze-orman-money-tips-video-collection/what-ifs-of-life/">eight month's expenses</a>, since an average period of unemployment lasts about 32 weeks.</p> <p>But generally, people who access their emergency fund need the money for an unexpected one-time expense, such as a car repair or medical emergency. This is a far cry from the kind of ongoing emergency you would be facing after a job loss &mdash; and you have much more leeway to handle such a gradual emergency creatively.</p> <p>That's why it's a smart strategy to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-one-family-lives-well-and-even-owns-a-home-on-just-11-an-hour">create a Plan B budget</a> that you could institute in case you lose your job. If you know ahead of time what specific budget items could be struck from your monthly expenses, a smaller emergency fund could handle unemployment much longer than the typical advice would have you believe.</p> <p>In addition, having a Plan B budget gives you options when there is a small financial setback &mdash; such has having to take a pay cut, for instance &mdash; without you having to dip into the emergency fund.</p> <p>It's also unlikely that a job loss emergency will mean you are completely without a paycheck for several months. You might be able to find temporary or freelance work or draw some unemployment benefits, while also seriously reducing some of your expenses.</p> <h2>2. Expecting the Unexpected</h2> <p>So you know that you don't need a large emergency fund in case of a job loss. What about those unexpected one-time expenses? It's not possible to know exactly when your refrigerator will give up the ghost, or when you will need expensive dental surgery.</p> <p>Except that it is possible to plan ahead for most unexpected expenses. According to a 2007 survey by the Pew Research Center, 34% of people <a href="http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/files/2010/10/Saving.pdf">experienced unexpected expenses</a> in the previous year. These were the kinds of unexpected costs they faced:</p> <ul> <li>34% had medical expenses,</li> <li>24% had car expenses,</li> <li>20% had home and housing expenses,</li> <li>9% had life event and child expenses, and</li> <li>The remaining expenses were comprised of work, travel and vacation-related, pets, and taxes.</li> </ul> <p>Each of these types of &quot;unpredictable&quot; expenses is actually fairly inevitable. No matter how healthy you are, it's likely that you will need some sort of medical care eventually. If you own a car or a home, you need to maintain it. Though you might not know when to expect a birth, a death, or a wedding, you do know that they will happen.</p> <p>So instead of treating these sorts of situations as emergencies, it makes more sense to create a targeted budget category for any expense that might otherwise take you by surprise. For instance, you might create a car repair budget category into which you put aside $100 per month. Then when you have an &quot;unexpected&quot; repair, you will have money already set aside for that purpose.</p> <h2>3. The Cost of a Big Emergency Fund</h2> <p>Just because it's unlikely that you will need six months' worth of expenses set aside, and your unexpected emergencies can be mitigated with targeted budget categories, what's the harm in keeping a large emergency fund? It can feel good to have the security of a lot of cash on hand.</p> <p>Unfortunately, there is a major cost for that sense of security: inflation.</p> <p>The cost of inflation averages about 3% per year. Even the best high-yield savings accounts currently offer an annual interest rate of 1% or less. That means inflation is eating 2% of your emergency fund with every year that passes &mdash; and inflation, like interest, compounds. For instance, if you have $15,000 in a savings account with a 1% APR and 3% inflation, your money will only be worth $10,133.84 of today's dollars in twenty years. (If you would like to check my math, this is the <a href="http://www.moneychimp.com/articles/econ/inflation_calculator.htm">inflation calculator</a> I used.)</p> <p>If you never experience a job loss and use targeted budgeting categories, it is very possible that you might not need to use your $15,000 savings account at any point during those twenty years. You could have done something much better with that money.</p> <h2>4. Emergency Fund Best Practices</h2> <p>It makes sense to always keep some money in a savings account so you can access the funds quickly, just in case. But above a certain emergency fund ceiling, a smart move is to invest extra cash that would otherwise collect dust in your emergency fund. In particular, parking that money in a low-fee mutual fund can help you grow your money, while still keeping the funds available in the event of that mythical job loss.</p> <p>The question is, where should you place the ceiling for your savings account emergency fund?</p> <p>It all depends on what amount of money on hand helps you sleep at night and how much you otherwise have invested. If you get twitchy without a fat savings account, and you have a good handle on your retirement and other investment accounts, there's nothing wrong with having a large emergency fund.</p> <p>If on the other hand you still haven't set up your 401(k) at work (but are otherwise not in severe financial distress), then it makes more sense to keep your emergency fund ceiling relatively low while you work on building up your investments.</p> <p>It's also important to note that contributions to your emergency fund should be a consistent line item in your monthly budget. Staying in the habit of always putting that money away will help you to replenish the fund after an emergency, and give you another monthly amount of investable money once you reach your emergency fund savings goal.</p> <h2>Too Much of a Good Thing</h2> <p>Saving too much is generally not the biggest problem among American workers. But those who do work to protect themselves financially might be taking their good habits a little too far when it comes to their emergency funds.</p> <p>Maintaining the right size emergency fund may require a little more work on your part &mdash; from figuring out a Plan B budget to anticipating surprise expenses to figuring out how to make your money grow &mdash; but that extra work will more than pay off in your sense of financial security.</p> <p><em>How big is your emergency fund?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/emily-guy-birken">Emily Guy Birken</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-your-emergency-fund-costing-you-money">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-11"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-to-use-savings-to-pay-off-debt">When to Use Savings to Pay Off Debt</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/managing-your-short-term-money">Managing Your Short-Term Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-ways-life-is-amazing-with-an-emergency-fund">11 Ways Life Is Amazing With an Emergency Fund</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-new-reasons-you-need-an-emergency-fund">4 New Reasons You Need an Emergency Fund</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-your-money-is-being-a-jerk-and-how-to-fight-back">5 Ways Your Money Is Being a Jerk (And How to Fight Back)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance emergency fund job loss savings unemployment Fri, 03 Jul 2015 11:00:26 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 1471157 at http://www.wisebread.com Is Your City Among the 7 Worst for Job Seekers? http://www.wisebread.com/is-your-city-among-the-7-worst-for-job-seekers <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/is-your-city-among-the-7-worst-for-job-seekers" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000062938524_XXXLarge.jpg" alt="man pulling hair" title="man pulling hair" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>America, I have some good news and some bad news.</p> <p>First, the good news. Back in December 2012, the unemployment rate stood at 8%. Fast forward two years, and the <a href="http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/empsit.pdf">current unemployment rate</a> has hit a record low of 5.6%.</p> <p>The bad news is that despite the general positive outlook in the job market, there are still several cities with poor job prospects. Here are the seven worst cities for job seekers in 2015.</p> <h2>1. Spokane, Washington</h2> <p>A survey of 18,000 U.S. employers puts Spokane, Washington at the top of 100 metropolitan areas with the <a href="http://www.manpowergroup.com/wps/wcm/connect/manpowergroup-en/home/newsroom/news-releases/2015+to+kick+off+with+steady+hiring+expectations+in+the+u.s.+according+to+latest+manpower+employment+outlook+survey#.VMNTJ1pCyXS">weakest job outlooks</a>. This would be the second year in a row that Spokane's job market remains depressed. The <a href="http://www.bls.gov/eag/eag.wa_spokane_msa.htm#eag_wa_spokane_msa.f.1">unemployment rate consistently decreased</a> throughout all of 2014, and forecasts indicate that the trend will continue.</p> <p>Another reason for the low job growth in Spokane is the aftermath of holiday hiring. Retailers hire lots of temps during Q4 ,and then scale back during Q1 and Q2.</p> <h2>2. Portland, Oregon</h2> <p>Standing at number two in the same survey is Portland, Oregon. The net employment outlook is a puny 2% &mdash; much slower than that of the rest of the nation. While there is growth in certain industries, there are several others, such as professional and business services, wholesale trade, and private education&nbsp;that are <a href="http://www.oregonlive.com/money/index.ssf/2015/01/where_are_all_the_jobs_in_oregon_many_sectors_it_turns_out.html">cutting back in jobs</a>.</p> <h2>3. San Bernardino, California</h2> <p>After analyzing the strength of 150 of the most populous U.S. cities' job markets, a report puts <a href="http://wallethub.com/edu/best-cities-for-jobs/2173/">San Bernardino, California</a> at the bottom of the list for 2015. The same report also puts the city among the top five with the highest unemployment rate for people with bachelor's degrees or greater. San Bernardino Mayor Carey Davis isn't surprised about his <a href="http://www.dailybulletin.com/business/20150118/san-bernardino-ranks-last-for-job-seekers-in-wallethub-report">city's low ranking</a>, because of the city's bankruptcy and financial woes. In 2012, the city of about 210,000 residents filed for <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/01/san-bernardino-bankruptcy_n_1731264.html">bankruptcy protection</a>&nbsp;citing more than $1 billion in debts. The city continues to struggle with low tax revenue, high unemployment, and a poor housing market.</p> <h2>4. Detroit, Michigan</h2> <p>In the same 150-city report, Detroit, Michigan is third from the bottom. The Motor City also ranks among those with the lowest number of job opportunities, the highest unemployment rates for workers with a bachelor's degree or higher, and the lowest median annual income (adjusted for cost of living). Detroit's job woes are the result of a big, systemic problem: its unemployed&nbsp;<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/02/detroit-jobs-_n_3693303.html">lack the skills employers need</a>.</p> <p>The only sector showing job growth is the temporary help sector. This isn't encouraging, because in 2013 the <a href="http://www.freep.com/story/money/business/michigan/2014/12/28/michigan-temporary-jobs-economy-unemployment/20941729/">average temp employee</a>&nbsp;in Michigan earned $25,872, which is 48% below the average worker's wage.</p> <h2>5. Honolulu, Hawaii</h2> <p>There's trouble in paradise. As a long time resident of Honolulu, I know that the main employers in the city are the government (local, state, federal, and military jobs) and the hospitality sectors. Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the <a href="http://www.bls.gov/eag/eag.hi_honolulu_msa.htm">outlook of jobs</a> in both sectors remains unpromising.</p> <p>While Hawaii's unemployment rate is often lower than the national rate, this statistic is misleading because it doesn't reveal how many people have to work multiple part-time jobs to make ends meet. Honolulu's lower salaries are victims of what Hawaii residents refer to as &quot;beach tax.&quot; To make matters worse, Honolulu has the&nbsp;<a href="http://wallethub.com/edu/best-cities-for-jobs/2173/">lowest housing affordability</a>&nbsp;in the nation.</p> <h2>6. Hialeah, Florida</h2> <p>It seems like cities with warmer climates tend to fare not well in job market lists. Not only does Hialeah, Florida have a high unemployment rate for high school graduates (13.3%), but also a high unemployment rate for residents with bachelor's degree or higher (9.7%). Of the 150 most populous U.S. cities, Hialeah has the fourth lowest median annual income (adjusted for cost of living at $27,966).</p> <p>Since Hialeah's formal economy doesn't offer many openings, some economic researchers point out that people are forced to&nbsp;<a href="http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/miami-dade/hialeah/article5725017.html">create their own jobs</a>&nbsp;in the city's informal sector.</p> <h2>7. Newark, New Jersey</h2> <p>Also cited as having one of the highest unemployment rates for high school and college graduates is Newark, which holds the further distinction of having the lowest median annual income (adjusted for cost of living). This means that Newark's median annual income is three times smaller than that of cities with the highest ones.</p> <p>The Brick City's financial woes are adding more pressure to the already small salaries workers endure. To complicate matters even more for job seekers, Newark is second only to Honolulu in housing affordability. The site Wallet Hub has been particularly hard on Newark by including at the top of lists of cities with the&nbsp;<a href="http://wallethub.com/edu/cities-with-the-highest-and-lowest-population-in-need/8795/">highest percentage of needy population</a>, the <a href="http://www.nj.com/jjournal-news/index.ssf/2014/07/jersey_city_fares_poorly_in_tw.html">unhappiest cities</a>, the <a href="http://wallethub.com/edu/best-places-to-retire/6165/">worst places to retire</a>, and the <a href="http://wallethub.com/edu/best-cities-to-start-a-business/2281/">worst cities to start a business</a>.</p> <p><em>How is the job market in your city this year?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/damian-davila">Damian Davila</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-your-city-among-the-7-worst-for-job-seekers">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-12"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-things-you-must-do-after-the-interview-to-land-the-job">6 Things You Must Do After the Interview to Land the Job</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-career-tips-you-wish-you-could-give-your-younger-self">7 Career Tips You Wish You Could Give Your Younger Self</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-financial-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-get-fired">11 Financial Moves to Make the Moment You Get Fired</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/my-2016-budget-challenge-does-taking-a-regular-day-job-mean-giving-up">My 2016 Budget Challenge: Does Taking a Regular Day Job Mean Giving Up?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-society-of-fear">A Society of Fear</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income employment job search unemployment Fri, 06 Feb 2015 14:00:10 +0000 Damian Davila 1285779 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Ways to Save Money When You Are Unemployed http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-save-money-when-you-are-unemployed <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-ways-to-save-money-when-you-are-unemployed" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/employee-fired-iStock_000007255442Small.jpg" alt="employee fired" title="employee fired" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When I was laid off from my job recently, I had to quickly learn how to survive. I must do everything I can to save money while I search for work. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-first-5-things-you-must-do-after-getting-laid-off?ref=seealso">The First 5 Things You Must Do After Getting Laid Off</a>)</p> <p>If you are in a similar position, you probably feel as if you are scraping by and that saving money is nearly impossible. But it isn't hopeless. Here are 10 ways you can save money and make some extra cash while you search for a full-time job.</p> <h2>1. Take Advantage of Local Resources</h2> <p>Even if you are not receiving unemployment, there are organizations that can help you with getting your basic needs met, including food and housing. The United Way and The Alliance for Information and Referral Services (AIRS) have created an easy way to find these resources in your area. You can dial 211 in most areas, or go to the <a href="http://211us.org/">2-1-1 website</a> to learn more about what resources might be available to you. By taking advantage of social services, you can save a lot of money on the essentials.</p> <h2>2. Use Alternate Transportation</h2> <p>We all know that gas can be a major expense, especially if you rely solely on your car for transportation. Try not to drive unless it's absolutely necessary. Public transportation is much cheaper than driving, and buying monthly passes is often a better deal than a one-time fare. Check with your local unemployment office to see if your state offers free or discounted passes for public transportation in your area for unemployed people and low-income families.</p> <p>You might also find local programs that offer cheap, alternate modes of transportation. For instance, here in Burlington, Vermont, you can purchase a bike for as low as $30 through the non-profit program, <a href="http://www.localmotion.org/programs/bikerecycle/">Bike Recycle Vermont</a>. Or you can get discounted tune-ups and bike accessories through the program. If walking, biking, or public transportation are not an option, some gas stations may offer discounts on groceries at local grocery stores when you spend a certain amount on gas, so you can at least save on food if you must drive.</p> <h2>3. Quit Unhealthy and Expensive Habits</h2> <p>A friend of mine also recently lost her job, and then she started smoking as a way to cope with the loss. Aside from the obvious health risks, smoking is an incredibly expensive habit. She often pays as much as $10 to $12 a pack! Alcohol is another nonessential that can take a huge chunk of your budget and a toll on your health. Keep in mind that recreational drugs and alcohol are also depressants that will make you feel worse about your situation. Even if you don't drink or smoke, there are probably other unnecessary purchases that you could cut out for the time being.</p> <h2>4. Eat Your Meals at Home</h2> <p>In addition to cutting out items that are not part of your basic diet, there are plenty of ways to save on the groceries you do need. First, avoid going out to dinner or grabbing fast food for your meals. Fast food joints might be cheap, but in the long run, eating out all the time can be more expensive than making food at home. Don't forget that soup kitchens offer free hot meals once a day, and you can find the locations through your local food shelf. Many food shelf organizations also offer recipes if you are picking up groceries, or you don't feel like you know how to cook very well. Also check with the unemployment office to see if you qualify for food stamps.</p> <h2>5. Find Ways to Save on Groceries</h2> <p>Resisting the urge to dine out and taking advantage of the food shelf are only part of saving on the overall cost of food. There are plenty of ways to save money when you go to the grocery store. Buy in bulk whenever possible, and take advantage of discounted items and coupons. One caveat: never purchase a sale item unless it is something that you buy regularly. You may end up spending more overall. Most co-ops offer a basic discount for members, and a larger discount if you volunteer a certain number of hours per week. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-feed-yourself-for-50-a-week-or-less?ref=seealso">How to Feed Yourself on $50 a Week or Less</a>)</p> <p>Joining a local <a href="http://www.localharvest.org/csa/">CSA</a> can save a lot of money on produce, and some CSAs offer other staples, such as eggs, meat, and dairy. Ask a friend to join with you and split the cost and the food if you can't afford the membership. The CSA weekly pickups usually include too much food for one person to eat in a week anyway.</p> <h2>6. Create a Realistic Spending Plan</h2> <p>Everyone hates to budget, but it is an absolute necessity if you want to manage your spending. Because the word &quot;budget&quot; implies that you are limiting yourself, one trick is to call it a &quot;spending plan.&quot; Even though it is more difficult to create a spending plan if you don't have a regular income, it is much easier to save when you know how much you are spending. You can easily find templates for a basic spending plan online, and <a href="http://www.saveandinvest.org/militarycenter/militaryfinancialtoolkits/makingendsmeet/P124805">SaveAndInvest.org</a> has some great advice on how to get started when creating a spending plan.</p> <p>The key is to be realistic about how much you spend each month and ensure that you are covering every category. This includes purchases you may not have thought about, such as entertainment (you have to treat yourself every once in a while), cat food, emergency fund, etc. Once you do find a job again, stick to your spending plan, and put some money into a savings account each month for an emergency fund. Then if you do lose another job, you won't be as stressed about finances.</p> <h2>7. Join a Support Group</h2> <p><a href="http://www.debtorsanonymous.org/">Debtors Anonymous</a> is a great resource for people who have lost a job. Being unemployed for a long period of time can easily lead to crippling debt. The group meetings are based on the same 12 steps as AA and other 12-step programs. You may find that you already have issues with debting, and the group provides support when trying to break old habits, such as overspending or maxing out credit cards. <a href="http://www.underearnersanonymous.org/">Underearners Anonymous</a> is a similar program, and often people find that they consistently accept jobs under their skill level and salary needs, which can easily lead to debting. These groups may not meet as often in your area as other 12-step groups, but if you go to the website to search for a local group, you should be able to find phone meetings as well.</p> <h2>8. Negotiate Reduced Rent or Mortgage Payments</h2> <p>Before I started receiving unemployment (keep in mind there is a waiting period, so apply as soon as you get laid off), I was unable to pay my rent in full at the beginning of the month. I decided to talk to my landlord about splitting my rent in two payments. She was very understanding and said she would be willing to work with me as long as I communicated my needs to her. You'll find that as long as you are honest about your situation, most people are willing to work with you, especially if you have been a good tenant and always pay your rent on time. If you own a house, talk with a loan officer about refinancing. You may be able to get a lower interest rate and lower your mortgage payments.</p> <p>If you have student loans, you can get them deferred while you are out of work, or at least put them in temporary forbearance. For credit cards, make sure you are at least paying the minimum each month. It can be tempting to want to continue paying off debt with your normal payments, but you will risk getting further into debt if you can't realistically make those payments.</p> <h2>9. Don't Be Afraid to Accept Money</h2> <p>One of the key rules of Debtors Anonymous is not to start a new debt, which includes loans from friends and family. However, if a friend or family member offers you a monetary gift, it is okay to accept it, as long as you have a good relationship with that person. By the same token, avoid using loans to pay off other loans, even if the new loan has a lower interest rate. It may save a little money in the short term, but it can create debting habits that are hard to break.</p> <h2>10. Earn Extra Cash</h2> <p>This last tip has kept my head above water for the past few months. Even before I lost my job, I was a regular house and pet sitter for friends. While we had bartered for this service in the past, I had to ask them to start paying me after I lost my job. Again, people are very understanding if you are upfront with them.</p> <p>Find out what the going rate is in your area, and don't be afraid to ask for what you need. I've also been paid for doing yardwork, cleaning houses, babysitting, freelance writing, editing, and helping friends with websites. There are plenty of opportunities to make a some fast cash while you are out of work. Use social media and online forums to offer your services. Be clear about how much you want to get paid but also try to be a little flexible if the pay is still reasonable for the amount of work you are doing. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/earn-extra-income-with-these-15-creative-side-gigs?ref=seealso">Earn Extra Income With These 15 Creative Side Gigs</a>)</p> <p>While I wish I had read <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/you-re-fired-20-signs-that-a-pink-slip-is-coming">You're Fired! 20 Signs That a Pink Slip is Coming</a> before I lost my job, I have found ways to make ends meet and minimize the stress so far. Just keep in mind that you are not alone, and there are plenty of resources and support groups to help you out during this difficult time.</p> <p><em>Have you ever endured a long period of unemployment? How did you reduce your spending?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-watson">Ashley Watson</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-save-money-when-you-are-unemployed">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-13"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-creative-ways-to-avoid-spending-money">13 Creative Ways to Avoid Spending Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/change-jars-and-8-other-clever-ways-to-build-an-emergency-fund">Change Jars and 8 Other Clever Ways to Build an Emergency Fund</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-nice-ways-to-tell-your-spendy-friends-youre-staying-on-budget">7 Nice Ways to Tell Your Spendy Friends You&#039;re Staying on Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/build-a-better-budget-in-5-minutes-flat">Build a Better Budget in 5 Minutes Flat</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/making-every-penny-count-with-a-zero-based-budget">Making Every Penny Count With A Zero-Based Budget</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income Budgeting saving spending unemployment Tue, 28 Oct 2014 15:00:06 +0000 Ashley Watson 1245575 at http://www.wisebread.com