Tips On Maintaining Your Finances When You’re Not Working

Have you been temporarily or permanently laid off from your current job? If so, keeping your finances afloat can be a real challenge. If you’re eligible for unemployment benefits in California, or any other state, it may take weeks, or possibly months, before you’ll see a direct deposit and any cash flow occurring. So how do you keep things going and fulfill your daily expenses until then? Here are just a few tips that may help you to maintain your finances while you’re not actively working.

Pay Your Important Bills First

If you own your home, the main priority should be to pay your mortgage first and foremost. Because it’s your biggest investment, you don’t want to lose it. Being behind on your payments for just 30 days can trigger a notice of default. Shortly thereafter, depending on your bank’s policies, foreclosure and loan acceleration can begin. Once this happens, you’ll be responsible to pay off the entire balance to keep your home. If you don’t think you’ll be able to make your payment for the month, call your mortgage company. They may have loan assistance programs that can help, including:

  • *Remortgaging your home to help lower the payment and extend the amount of time when your next payment is due.
  • *A moratorium to allow you to hold off on making payments for an extended period of time. Payments will return after a specific time frame and once you go back to work.
  • *Loan extension or payment extension. If approved, your mortgage company may give you 30 to 90 days to make your payment.
  • *An interest-only option. You pay only the interest on your monthly loan payment until you go back to work.

Keep in mind that these are often one-time options for homeowners and may not be available to you depending on your mortgage company. If you rent, talk to your landlord about your problem and see if you can seek a resolution.

Talk with Your Creditors

Are your car loan payments starting to pile up? Are there a lot of late fees and threats of repossession? Don’t hesitate to call your lender to work out a payment arrangement. In some cases, you may be able to get your payments deferred temporarily, until you can get some finances flowing into your bank account. Don’t allow credit cards to default either. Talk to your bank about lowering the interest rates, consolidating your cards or deferring the payments as long as possible. Letting these important finances go can result in a default judgment against you and garnishing of future wages, bank accounts and income tax refunds.

Avoid Obtaining New Lines Of Credit

Now would seem like the perfect time to extend your line of credit on your cards or seek out a personal or payday advance loan. This could also trigger a financial firestorm very rapidly. Because you’re only accumulating more credit and interest, you’ll owe more in the long-run. It may be tempting to open up a new line of credit to pay off other bills and use the card for daily living expenses and utilities. Try to use cash from your savings, trade in valuables and antiques, or cash out stocks and bonds, but only if you need to.

Seek Gainful Employment

Even if you’re promised to go back to work within a certain time frame, you need cash now. The best way to get that is to find work as soon as possible. Start immediately by polishing up your resume, creating an attractive cover letter and posting your resume to multiple job boards. Set up an appointment with an employment agency to help get a match up of employers who are looking for employees with a specific skill-set. This may be a way to find a new job faster than if you were out applying to multiple businesses on your own. Ramp up your social media platform. Articulate your online job profiles and connect with other friends and associates in the same line of work as you. This is a great way to find hidden opportunities and possible a better job than your current one.

The first thing you should do is file for unemployment benefits. From there, take the necessary steps to secure your future so you won’t feel the crunch from your missing paycheck.