When you suddenly find yourself out of a job, many things race through your head.
One of the first is probably how you’ll replace your steady income in order to keep up with your bills and living expenses. Although by definition, no “temporary” solution is permanent, there are a number of ways to raise cash quickly if you find yourself short on money while you search for a new job. Here are just a few:
- Empty the emergency fund. If you have one (and you should), this is the type of emergency you have been saving for. Hopefully, there’s quite a bit of cash saved up to take you through until your income is replaced.
- Purge your house. It may seem counter-intuitive to spend time cleaning when you should be making money or job-hunting. But have you ever seen the shows on TV where families rake in thousands of dollars in a garage sale? You have more junk than you would like to admit and you can get rid of most of it. Hold a garage sale, or if you think the profits are better, sell your stuff on eBay. You can do all of this in a week.
- Shed your assets. One of the easiest assets to get rid of is an extra family vehicle. Most families can get by with one car (you may have to try, but believe me, it’s possible). Sell the older or more unreliable car and raise several month’s worth of income to keep yourself going.
- Raid your retirement. I strongly recommend against ever touching your retirement money. Ever. But if you have the choice between your family starving to death and taking out a few bucks, put your principles aside and waive the white flag. Just don’t do it to buy a flat-screen TV, and make sure you give yourself at least a few weeks lead time as the paperwork does take considerable effort.
- Apply for unemployment. This solution is temporary and by no means replaces your previous standard of living, particularly if you have been accustomed to a large income. However, every little bit helps, and in combination with cutting expenses, using savings, and looking for a new job, unemployment insurance will help you make ends meet.
- Ask for your money back. If you have loaned out money to family and friends, politely tell them that you have an urgent need for cash, and that you need your loan repaid as soon as possible. Don’t count on getting the money quickly or at all, but if you do, consider it an extra benefit to your bottom line.
Finally, lay off the expenses while you are unemployed and cut back as much as possible. No amount of cash will be sufficient if you blow it all on unnecessary things. If you have other ideas, please share them here.
Photo by AMagill