Use these tips to save money if you find yourself suddenly out of work. Take a breather when the panic sets in and then make a plan. If your financial ship is sinking, you need to plug the holes and toss some cargo overboard. It will take sacrifice and immediate action, but there are ways to save money when you are unemployed.
Stop Using Two Vehicles
Two vehicles is the standard for families comprised of two workers. Since you will have a lot more time on your hands, take one vehicle off of your insurance policy and put it in the garage.
You might have to drive your spouse to work, dust off your bicycle, take public transportation, or simply walk (gasp) around town.
Yet, you benefit by cutting expenses on insurance and gas. In addition, you may find that you are easily able to manage with just one vehicle most of the time. Ultimately, these tips to save money can shave significant dollars off your monthly expenses.
Cut Subscription Services
Recurring monthly bills can be burdensome during a time of unemployment. Cell phone, internet and cable bills are all non-essentials and should be considered for a place on the personal finance chopping block.
Can you really justify what you pay for a cell phone? Do you need redundant services like a smart phone with internet access, a land line, and internet service at your home?
Is cable, fiber optic or satellite television necessary when you can view many of your favorite shows on websites like the free version of Hulu.com, YouTube or ABC.com for free? You can easily save hundreds of dollars per month by getting rid of subscription services.
Moreover, you can do with out recurring "luxuries" that save you time and effort. So start mowing your lawn, washing your car, and changing your oil. When you heed these tips to save money, you'll see the difference it makes to your wallet.
Explore Assistance Programs
While you may be reluctant to accept financial assistance, pride can make unemployment even more difficult than it already is. Explore options for low-income customers at your local utility provider. Depending on your income, you might qualify for a reduced rate.
Your phone company may have discount programs as well, and there are federally-funded programs that offer up to six months of mortgage assistance to those who are in danger of losing their home because of job loss or other calamities.
If you qualify for a mortgage assistance program, you could literally save thousands of dollars. Even if you only qualify for a price break on your utilities, you can expect to save about 35 percent off your monthly bill.
Stop Eating Out
If you have a well established routine that involves eating out once or twice a week, it may be difficult to break the habit. When considering tips to save money, you recognize it's a real treat to eat in a restaurant. After all, you don't have to prepare the food, you don't have to plan a meal, and you don't have to clean up after yourself. But you do have to pay a premium for this service, including a tip.
So instead of eating out, eat at home and "tip" yourself. You could easily save hundreds a month by abstaining from restaurants and fast food.
If you can't give it up all together, the next time you go, split a meal with your spouse or friend – and don't order drinks. Drink water with lemon instead. You'll save some meaningful money it won't be as easy to overeat.
Defer Any Student Loan Debt
While this doesn't apply to everyone, chances are, if you went to college, you have student loan debt. If you are unemployed, you can defer payment of your student loans.
You will need to follow up with your lender to learn the exact steps, but generally speaking, deferment is fairly easy and painless. But deferment is not a permanent solution.
Your loans will still gather interest while in deferment, and you are still obligated to eventually pay them back. However, if you defer them, you can legitimately forgo paying them without damaging your credit score or incurring any penalties.