As updates change daily, you could find yourself laid off, let go, or unemployed due to the pandemic of COVID-19 before you know it. If you weren’t expecting this in your near future, you may feel overwhelmed in trying to figure out how to re-navigate your life and make your situation manageable. Here are some tips if you have been laid off due to the Coronavirus, and tips if you’ve not yet been laid off – to be preventative as well. Check it out.
Take Care of Necessities, First
If your layoff came faster than you were able to prepare for it, it’s time to get strategic about what your priorities are. First, take care of the necessities. Food – you want to be sure that you have enough money set aside to cover your groceries. Stock up on pantry items, freezer items, and non-perishables and be sure to save for this category. Your home – or your rent/mortgage, as well as heat, and utilities (which we will further discuss below), and transportation. Even if you are not necessarily traveling anywhere (due to social distancing and quarantining), it’s important to ensure you have a full tank of gas for emergencies. Take care of the essentials first, before budgeting the rest of your money.
Create and Follow A Budget
Once you’ve determined your essentials, it’s time to create a budget and stick to it. This will help you keep track of your money and make cuts where you need to. There are various online resources you can use to create a budget. Free budgeting sheets, Dave Ramsey has a budgeting system that you can easily learn as well, and various videos on YouTube too. Set a budget and be realistic with your numbers.
Print out your bank statements for the last 6 months or even 12 months and review your payments! Do you have subscriptions that are recurring that you no longer use? Do you have any payments being withdrawn that you forgot about, or maybe have multiple accounts with? Take some inventory and do some quality control.
Sell, Sell, Sell
Now is the time to purge all the extra items laying around the house that you no longer use. Do you have clothes you no longer wear? Extra electronics, furniture, baby clothes/items? Check the attic, the garage and compile items that you no longer use/need. You can download apps such as Poshmark, ThredUp, LetGo, Facebook Marketplace, etc., list your items, and start making some sales!
Get a Temporary Job/Side Hustle
If you are willing and able to get a temporary position or side hustle – now is the perfect time to do so. Conduct online job searches, contact a recruiting agency and see if any positions relate to your skills and experience, and do your research online. There are plenty of additional ways you can make money online. In addition, you can also pick up local jobs such as assisting neighbors with chores, dog walking, nannying, etc. But don’t skip this step – this could be the exact thing you need to help you get by until you are able to pick up full-time work again.
Connect W/ Your Network
Although this can be an extremely helpful step, be sure to take matters into your own hands first before relying on your network. When necessary, send out some emails, hop on LinkedIn and connect. Reach out and see if anywhere you know is hiring, looking for help, part-time work, or online assistance. Every small effort helps.
You Can File for Unemployment Benefits
Filing for unemployment may seem like a scary, defeating and extreme measure to take. However, there can be some benefits. “New York has waived the 7-Day waiting period for unemployment insurance benefits for people who are out of work due to COVID-19 closures or quarantines”. Plus, New York State has also put into place a hold for rent, mortgage, and utility payments if needed. So be sure to keep an eye on this if it applies to your situation. (Check your state announcements for more information).
Determine if There is a Sick Leave Program (If You’re Sick/Family is Sick)
Consult with your employer to determine whether there is a sick leave program you can apply for. Whether you are sick, or a family member is sick and in need of your assistance. take the time to do your research and see if you can apply.
If You’re Not Laid Off Yet
Save Money and Develop a Plan
If you’re not laid off yet but are unsure about what your situation will be in the future, you’re in the best situation possible. Take action now to prevent as much financial and emotional stress as you can. Save. Create a budget and pinch every penny you make. This is the time to be frugal – again focusing on the necessities, cut out anything you can, sell what you can, and save as much as you can.
Determine if Your Position is Eligible for Work from Home
While you’re in limbo wondering what your employer will do to take action during the pandemic, determine whether your position has the resources and the ability to work from home. Ask your employer if there are remote procedures you can follow and if not take this time to problem-solve. What tasks of yours can be done online/remotely? This may also help keep you employed during this time if you are no longer able to go into the office.
Focus on Positivity
As hard as it is to see the positives during this time, “Positive thinking will let you do everything better than negative thinking will” Zig Ziglar. Focus on the things you can control and do everything in your power to change what you can. Everything is temporary.
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