Tips for financially surviving a layoff

Nearly half of American employees experience layoff anxiety, according to a 2019 study
Published: May. 31, 2023 at 3:29 PM CDT
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(InvestigateTV) — A 2019 survey conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of Intoo found that 40% of American workers have been laid off or terminated at some point in their career.

Alloy Wealth Management Founder Mark Henry said if you are laid off, the worst thing you can do is panic. He shared some steps to take if you do lose your job:

Dust yourself off and start searching: Get online, update your resume, and network. Social media can be a great place to get the word out about a job search.

Apply for unemployment: The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has basic information and links to every state’s Unemployment Office.

Consider a temporary job: The job market is still strong so look for a position that will bring money in while searching for a long-term solution.

Create a new budget and spending plan: Categorize bills and debt by what is essential to pay and what is not. Make good use of every dollar.

Henry’s advice to create a new budget plan is also helpful for those feeling the sting of still rising inflation. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported a 4.9% increase in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) over the last year.

Melanie McGovern with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) said knowing when and where to cut expenses is important.

“If you’re making minimum payments for so long, you’re never going to pay off your balance,” McGovern said. “Budgeting 101, is the best way people can go – seeing what you have in your house, meal planning, you know taking a look inside that closet saying, ‘do I really need new clothes? Or can I get by with what I have?’”

The BBB has many tips to help you create and budget and stick to it:

  • Set up a realistic budget – a template, like this one from NerdWallet, can help
  • Track your spending to identify expenses you can cut
  • Look closely at autopay subscriptions for services you may no longer use or need
  • Build up an emergency fund for unexpected expenses. Even a small fund of $500 can be a boon in tough times.

The Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) website also has free resources to help you manage your finances.