Finances For Jobseekers During The Pandemic
When you’re out of work, finances are almost always a constant weight on the back of your mind. And when the job market is suffering the effects of a pandemic, that weight can feel a thousand times heavier.
However, with a bit of keen financial planning acting as a fulcrum, it’s easy to lift that weight off your shoulders!
So we’ve compiled the top tips for managing your money, to help you avoid financial crisis during a health crisis. Take a look, and help reduce your stress so you can focus on finding the perfect job!
Apply For Unemployment ASAP
If you’ve just lost your job, apply for unemployment benefits right away. The longer you delay, the more pressure you’re putting on yourself down the road.
Especially at a time where more people than usual are seeking out government assistance, you can find yourself experiencing delays in processing your requests. Make sure you acquire all your documents and get your application in as soon as possible.
You should also research the different types of financial assistance available to see what is best for you. For instance, you could qualify for the standard EI (Employment Insurance), or maybe you should be looking into ODSP (Ontario Disability Support Program) or OW (Ontario Works) in Ontario. Across the country, there is also the CERB (Canada Emergency Care Benefit) specifically designed to provide support to those whose livelihoods have been affected by the pandemic.
Figure Out Your Cash Flow
In a day and age where we already do so much of our banking and financial management online, it’s easy to fall into a routine where the funds figure themselves out. Now’s the time to figure it out for yourself, though.
One of the first things you need to do when facing a bear market for jobs is to refamiliarize yourself with your incoming and outgoing payments. What monthly bills are being deducted automatically from your accounts? What direct deposits are you enrolled in?
Start a spreadsheet or find a template for personal finances to help you keep track of all the different elements that affect your banking. Having all the details on hand will give you a better handle on what needs to be addressed in your day-to-day financials.
Prioritize Your Payments
No one likes looking at their bills. But sometimes, when you’re looking for work, you have to take care of the dirty work first.
Once you have a list of your bills and invoices, it’s time to prioritize them by importance and flexibility. Move outwards from the essentials, and don’t be afraid to negotiate with lenders and service providers when you feel the belt tightening.
Thankfully, we’re seeing many companies and bureaus willing to work with you to find a solution to your debts, with extra leeway being offered in light of the current state of affairs. Don’t avoid what you owe, and be willing to discuss your options with the people who provide you billable services.
Take Stock Of Your Savings
It’s assumed that your income is being reduced during this time, so you will want to investigate what cash and liquid assets you can lean on, should you find yourself struggling.
You don’t have to cash out all your chips right away, when it comes to larger investments and equity you have that isn’t immediately accessible, but you should also take stock of what money you can make materialize and the timeline that it will take. This will let you plan ahead if you see potential hurdles coming your way.
Having an accurate understanding of your accounts and their value will make it so much easier to budget, thereby helping you maintain your quality of life until you find a more substantial source of income.
Above all else, you need to keep yourself in the race for future job opportunities. This means keeping your engine running smoothly, by taking care of any fiscal business that could throw a wrench in the gears. Put your financial affairs in order, and you can throw your focus into steering towards success with your job search!