Most people who fail to budget properly do so because they don't know where to start. Budgeting is an important part of overall financial literacy, and it can mean the difference between financial security and poor financial choices. One of the times during which a budget is of the utmost importance is while looking for a job.
Conserving your cash while you try to find employment can be stressful and difficult, which is why the below guide exists. With that said, below are some tips and considerations to help you budget successfully during a job search.
Be Careful With Debt
Paying with cash rather than credit means you'll pay less interest in the long run. If you have credit card debt, try paying the bare minimum on it while you are unemployed. You can also talk to your credit card issuers about lowering your monthly payment or maybe skipping a month or two.
This can take some finagling, but there are companies out there that will agree to it. The important thing is to contact them with this request before you have left, resigned or been laid off from your previous job, so you don't have to worry about defaulting.
The lenders who hold your mortgage and auto loan would prefer not to lose your business, so for a few months, you may be able to make lower minimum payments on these charges. Bear in mind that, while you might be able to skip a payment or two, you'll have to make up the difference once you are back on firm financial footing. You may also be eligible for lower power bill payments.
Additionally, if you owe money on outstanding student loans, you might also be able to put them on hold while you look for work. Again, as with your credit card debt, getting in touch with your lender before you default on them is the key to making this all work.
Your communications and technology bills are another place to focus your attention when budgeting. Prepaid options, bundling services, or moving to a plan that more closely matches your usage patterns can all help you save money on your cell phone service. Cut the cord and get rid of the landline by bundling your internet and TV. You can inquire about discounts for veterans, students, AAA, AARP, and other organisations by calling your existing service providers.
Travel and lodging are some of the most expensive aspects of out-of-town job interviews. Airfares, rail tickets, gas, auto rentals, and hotel reservations can quickly add up to a significant sum of money. Before you've ever entered the company's offices, you could end up paying hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
However, you might not have to foot the entire bill. Some employers will cover the costs of travel and lodging. Are you afraid to ask who pays? Consider inquiring about the possibility of the employer arranging travel arrangements on your behalf. If they answer no, you can consider whether or not to seek repayment. Keep in mind that there are also tax-deductible job search expenses.
A lot of people don't consider the costs associated with looking for a job, but they are there, and they do add up. Depending on your financial security, it can be incredibly stressful trying to manage your spending in a way that lets you take advantage of every available option. Keep the above budgeting and cost-cutting tips in mind and ensure that you have enough money to get you through your job search, however long it takes.