It’s not a pleasant situation by any stretch of the imagination. Through one way or another, you’re suddenly no longer able to work where you once were. You may have been made redundant. You might have injured yourself or gotten sick. Regardless of the circumstances, it’s an easy situation to panic in. However, you need to stop yourself from doing that. There are a lot of ways to cope with even the worst situation. As recently employed as you might have been, you should look how to use your money wisely from here.
Are you due any compensation?
The first thing you need to look at is the circumstances surrounding the loss of your income. In some cases, it might be that there’s little you can do. In others, however, the last thing you should do is lay down and take it. Instead, see if you’re owed any compensation. For example, if an accident or illness took you out of work. Then you should seek help from services like www.nationwideinjurylawyers.co.uk. You may find that you’re able to make a claim. Similarly, you might be due compensation if unfair dismissal played a part in your current situation. If you have suspicions, it’s best to get in touch with someone who can help you clear them up.
Getting a full overview of our finances isn’t something that we do nearly as often as we ought to. Now, however, that your finances have become decidedly finite for the moment, you should. Get a look at all the money you have and have an idea of where it’s going to have to go. Take into account your subscriptions and bills. Those need to be taken care of and the unnecessary ones have to go. Then budget your money by week into expenses and stick to that budget. You’re going to have to be a lot more careful with it from now on.
Deal with debt, first and foremost
Debt, or credit, is one of the trickier aspects to deal with. Despite what you might imagine, the first choice isn’t to close all lines and eliminate any risk. Rather, it’s to consider it carefully. If you have debt that’s just burning a hole in your pocket, then yes. Consolidate it if that applies and pay it off. With other lines of credit, you should be more open. This might be your only opportunity to borrow money for a while. Don’t rush to close off that option. What you should do instead, however, is call up your creditors. Negotiate with them. See if you can get a better deal in interest in return for staying with them. By all means, you need to nip any growing problems in the bud. If you can’t keep control of your debt, it’s better not to have it.
Keeping a closer eye on your credit
One of the most important factors of dealing with debt and looking to your financial future is getting a good read on your credit. It may cost an initial fee, but you need to check out your credit score. If there are any erroneous black marks on it, they need to be corrected. Similarly, keeping healthy lines of credit can help you improve it, as can getting rid of debt. You may find yourself needing to take out a loan or make use of your overdraft in the future. Without a good credit score, these options are not going to be very easily opened to you. So take care of it.
Informing your creditors
Keeping your credit open does not mean keeping your creditors in the dark. Rather, that can only get you in more trouble. For one, we’ve already mentioned that you should negotiate. Those involved with deals with you might be more likely to accommodate your situation than you imagine. They just need to know about it in the first place. The same goes for anyone who’s living in rented accommodation. You are somewhat at your landlord’s mercy. They are just people, too. They can be lenient while you attempt to find your feet. If you wait until you’re late or even unable to pay rent, however, they’re a lot less likely to be understanding. You need to keep all your creditors on your side.
Similarly, you should be informing those who can help you about your situation. For most people, there will be some forms of government assistance available. Jobseeker’s allowance and housing benefit for those who need to pay for accommodation, for one. Perhaps even disability assistance for those who have injured themselves or gotten sick. It can be embarrassing, but it’s important that you look to personal loved ones who might be able to help you as well. No-one should have to suffer because they’re too proud to accept help. If you can, offer your abilities or do favours in order to thank people for their help and bridge the gap between now and when you’re able to pay them back. If you know someone with a business, you might even luck out and get a part-time job by asking.
Cut the bad habits
You should be willing to ask for assistance, but you should also be deserving of it. We can all indulge in a bad habit or two when we’re in the position to do so. When you’re relying on your savings and the help of others, you need to be a lot more disciplined about it. Don’t ignore your bills or think to ‘deal with them later’. Take care of them as soon as you receive them. It’s letting details like that go that can lead to forgetting which can lead to debt. You don’t want to drain your money any faster than you necessarily have to.
Don’t dig into important savings
We know that the temptation is there. You want to supplement your current money by going into your savings. However, there are some that should be off-limits. There are some you should even still be trying to build. In particular, avoid digging into any real long-term funds like retirement savings. Not only is it short-sighted. It can also cost you years’ worth of growing interest. The worst thing you can do for the health of your savings is reach into them. However, if you have an emergency fund, now is the time to start using it. Your short-term savings should no longer be aimed at what break or luxury you were thinking of before. Now’s the time to make use of your most available resources.
Avoid quick fixes
Use what resources are available to you, yes, but be sensible about it. Don’t rush to any options that seem too good to be true. The most prevalent example of this nowadays is the payday loan. For the few who haven’t learned by now, they are not a solution for any situation. Rather, the interest alone of them can put you in a worse position than when you initially got one. They can spiral into some of your worst debt yet if you’re unable to pay them back in time, too. So avoid any short-term loans and deals that appear too good to be true. Especially since a lot of them will just be the same loans in a disguise, as www.independent.co.uk suggests.
Rather, look into how your real assets can help you get some real money. Look at all your possessions for now. If there was ever a time to declutter and trim the fat, now is the time. It’s easy to sell the stuff that you don’t need or want. In most cases, you won’t get all that much for it. However, if you’re smart about where you look to save them, you may find they’re worth more than you think. Check out sites like www.cheatsheet.com that can tell you the best places to sell some of your stuff. Just be aware of the negotiating nature of the internet. You’re never likely to get near what you initially paid for it.
Find some cash injections
It’s not just your property that can earn you a bit of extra cash, either. When you’re between jobs, a good chunk of your time should be dedicated to finding new work. However, whatever spare time you can afford to give, you can use to find other sources of income. The kinds of ways to use your talent to earn a bit of short-term money. It is rarely good enough to replace a job, but it can put you in a better situation than you think. If you have professional talents, for example, then look to sell them on freelancing sites. If the only thing you can use is time, then use it to take surveys. You might get coupons instead of cash sometimes, but even that is useful.
Whatever your plans are, remember to take care of yourself. It’s easy for that panic to turn into stress and anxiety. Just remember that you were once in a better position, so you can get to a better position again.
*This post is contributed to Spicy Scribbler Blog