How to survive financially while on the job hunt
The job hunt – It’s that part of life where the unsure, job wise, meets the hopeful. It’s the portion of adulthood when reality sets in (if it hasn’t already) and you realize that your future rides on one opportunity. The present job market as we all know is very volatile. It’s not that uncommon for someone to be out of a job for a minimum of six months. But, this article is aimed at helping anyone in the job hunt stay afloat.
Life doesn’t always work out the way we want it to and unexpected job loss is a reality. To think that you are immune to this seemingly inevitable trend in life is very delusional. So, let’s get right to it! Here are some things that should help you through what could turn out to be the most frustrating period of your life:
1.) You must have a healthy savings account! As a certified financial planner I would always advise a person to have at least 3 months’ salary in their savings account just in case of an emergency. These funds can be used for any reason to help you stay afloat while job hunting.
2.) Apply for the National Insurance unemployment benefit program. This is a program that was started about nine or ten years ago and has indeed evolved since its inception. But note, only people who have made a minimum of fifty two contributions to NIB, usually through your salary, are eligible to receive unemployment benefits. There are other requirements to claim as well, including you must be under the age of sixty five and must be able to satisfy the Department of Labor’s conditions for registration. According to NIB this benefit is paid at a weekly rate of 50 percent of the unemployed persons weekly insurable income. This simply means that you are only eligible to receive up to 50 percent of your weekly national insurance contribution. You can receive this benefit for a maximum of 13 weeks.
3.) When trying to survive while job hunting you must begin to cut back more than ever. Use only the basic necessities. We think that we need all sorts of things that we really don’t, and these things can quickly suck up a lot of money. Look at what you consider a “need” and re-evaluate. Cell phone? Land line? Cable bill? Fast food? Gym membership? Online shopping? Different people need different things, depending on how they live. Just look at everything you spend money on and think… Do I actually need this to survive or is it just a want? Cutting cost by catching the bus won’t hurt as well.
4.) Keep track of your spending. You must monitor how you spend money even more during this period because of what is at risk. Look at your monthly spending or bank statements. See any big numbers that stand out? Paying attention to how you spend your money can make you a more conscious spender and save you lots of cash. Plan how you’ll spend your money and stick to the plan. This will save you tons in the long run. A lot of the time the money that you may have saved will seem to disappear, because you excused all sorts of little purchases. Give yourself an allowance and set a spending limit for each month.
5.) Throw away your credit cards. Avoid credit cards or any other kinds of borrowed money during this time! It will not help because you are not in a position to pay anyone back right way. Credit cards or loans is money that comes with interest that you have to pay, which means that everything you pay for with the credit card actually costs more than what you’re already paying for it. This can really end up costing you a lot over time. If you think you need a credit card to pay for something during this period, you probably.
These are just five simple steps you can take while job hunting. A few of these steps have helped me personally and I am sure they will be very helpful to you. With a healthy savings account you can survive during this period without the overbearing stress of finances. Other worries come along with job hunting and finances shouldn’t be one of them during that time.
- Quinton C. Lightbourne is a certified financial planner with the Chartered Institute of Bankers in Scotland and vice president of the Bahamas Investments & Securities Business Association (BISBA). E-mail: [email protected].