Paying the Bills While You’re Unemployed

For today’s guest post on paying the bills while you’re unemployed, please welcome Linda Chase from Able Hire.

The U.S. unemployment rate was 4.8% as of September 2021, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Most people don’t pay attention to those statistics until they become a part of them. When you’re out of work, affording the essentials can seem impossible. Making changes to your spending and finding temporary income sources can help offset lost wages.

Man paying woman for supplies to help her paying the bills

Make Money Online

The internet offers ways to make quick money to cover bills. One easy option is to sell items you don’t need through Facebook Marketplace. Once an item sells, you get instant money to cover immediate needs. Longer-term ways to build an online income include offering blog writing services, affiliate marketing, starting a YouTube channel, and selling online courses. Signing up with a platform like Upwork will have you offering your services and landing clients in no time.

Start a Freelance Business

In the United States, 59 million people performed freelance work in 2020, according to Statista. Starting a freelance business gives you flexibility and can turn into a full-time income. Freelancers set their own rates and take on as much or as little work as they want.

Freelance writing is a popular option. Creating a profile on an online job board lets past clients leave reviews, and you can list your rates and experience. Other common freelance options include photography, graphic design, computer programming, and transcription.

Cut Your Spending

One survey from Intuit showed that 65% of participants didn’t know how much they spent the previous month. That might work when you have a regular income, but knowing how much money you have and where you’re spending it is crucial when you’re out of work.

If you have a budget, go through it to find as many things to cut as possible. You can add those things back to your budget when you have a regular income. Subscriptions, memberships, cable, and clothing purchases can be suspended so your limited income goes to essentials.

Make a Plan

Define your future employment goals to help get back to work faster. Taking classes and learning new skills can provide new work opportunities and make you a more desirable job candidate.

Plan for your future finances if your unemployment could be long-term. This might include downsizing your home, selling a vehicle, or going in a different direction for employment.

Use Assistance Programs

Temporary assistance programs can help you afford basic necessities. Many options are available through the government, including the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program. Check for state resources, such as the financial aid resources from the New Jersey Department of Children and Families. Contact local churches and nonprofits to find financial support. Your utility providers might have programs to help you pay your electric and gas bills. For example, Atlantic City Electric offers bill payment help, payment arrangements, and due date extensions.

Defer Payments

Creditors often work with borrowers facing temporary financial crises. Contact companies that hold your student loans, mortgage, car loans, credit cards, and other debt to see if they have a deferment program. If they don’t have a formal program, ask if they can work with you to keep your account from becoming delinquent.

Making Ends Meet

Surviving job loss financially isn’t easy, but cutting spending and finding alternative income can help. For more advice, visit the personal finance archives on Super Saving Tips to help with everything from budgeting to debt.

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