Finding yourself unemployed can be an extremely stressful and anxious time in your life. Not only do you have to process the loss of your job, but you’re also dealing with the fact that your sense of financial security is now in jeopardy. Given that you still have the responsibility of paying bills, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed.
To help ease your financial stress, we’ve outlined the steps you can take today to effectively manage your debt through unemployment.
Notify Your Creditors
If you are carrying large amounts of debt, one of the first steps you should take as soon as you find yourself unemployed is to contact your creditors. The sooner you can reach out, the better—especially if you know that you won’t be able to make your upcoming payments.
Depending on your credit card company, you may be able to request an extension, have your interest rate lowered, or even negotiate a lower monthly payment. Again, the sooner you reach out, the better—waiting until your payment due date has passed could potentially limit what your creditor is willing to offer.
Although credit card debt may seem like the least of your financial priorities if you’re worried about paying rent or putting food on the table, it’s essential to keep an open line of communication with your creditors so that you can proactively stay on top of your accounts.
Eliminate Nonessential Costs
Unemployment can often lead to money getting tight. To help stretch your resources, make it a point to eliminate nonessential costs where you can. The best way to achieve this is to sit down and review all of your current expenses, including daily spending habits.
Make a categorized list starting with your “must-pay” items such as rent, food, car payments, and utilities. Then, break your nonessential expenses down into either “subscriptions” (monthly or otherwise recurring expenses such as gym memberships, streaming services, and personal product subscriptions) or “daily” (. frequent one-time purchases such as coffee or eating out).
Once you’ve identified how your money is being allocated to each category, you can better determine which expenses you can realistically remove. Even if it’s temporary, finding ways to reduce extra costs will benefit both you and your monthly budget.
One of the most challenging aspects of unemployment is having to deal with the often sudden and unexpected loss of a steady income. For individuals dealing with debt, that sudden loss can have an even greater impact. While it can be difficult to predict when exactly your income will return to normal, finding ways to earn additional cash can help bridge the financial gap between those missing paychecks.
When exploring options for earning extra income, try to think outside the box. For example, if you have an in-demand skill, consider creating an online profile on sites such as Upwork or Hubstaff Talent for freelance opportunities. Or, if you have the skills to create unique, handmade products, selling your creations on sites such as Etsy could be the route for you. Another great option is to reach out to neighbors and friends to see if you can assist them with any projects or tasks. It could even be as simple as offering to run errands for them, babysit their kids, or mow their lawn.
Explore Your Options
If you find yourself struggling to manage your debt and feel like you’ve exhausted every resource, it may be time to seek professional guidance. Reaching out to a reputable company specializing in debt relief solutions can provide the necessary expertise, support, and planning to help get you back on track.
At ACCS, we understand that everyone’s financial situation is unique, especially during tough times. To learn more about your available options, request a Custom Debt Relief Plan today. Our debt specialists are always here to help, and with no cost or obligation, you can rest assured knowing your best interests always come first.