The purpose of Money Talk is to improve readers' financial capability with research-based personal finance information.
Thursday, August 30, 2018
Coping With Unemployment- Part 1
is nothing as financially unsettling as unemployment. Just when a family is
used to having a higher income, it is scaled back and spending must be adjusted
accordingly. There is also the issue of having to find a new job.
Below are five recommendations to
for Help- Take advantage of available benefits and services such as state
unemployment assistance, college and university career counseling offices,
non-profit agency job training programs, and support groups for unemployed
persons. Set aside about 30 percent of unemployment benefits for estimated
federal and/or state income tax payments.
Surplus- Try to save at least 3 months expenses and reduce household debt
and discretionary spending if you sense a PCS or job layoff coming or have time
until an announced downsizing takes effect. Learning to live on less income
when you still have an income will make it easier to live without it later on.
Less- Consider lifestyle adjustments, such as selling a second car or other
valuable property and trimming household expenses. There is no “right” way to
do this. Some families prefer to trim a number of small expenses (e.g., coffee)
while others focus on large recurring ones (e.g., cable bill and mortgage).
Back-Up Fund- Apply for a home equity line of credit (HELOC) while both
spouses are still employed, to have in case you need it. The cost to apply
should be nominal and there is no cost unless funds are actually borrowed. In
addition, the interest rate will be lower than most credit cards.
of Your Health- Set up health care appointments while coverage is still
available, if a soon-to-be unemployed spouse’s job provides benefits such as
medical and dental coverage.