Aug 12

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How to Prepare for Unemployment

preparing for unemployment

How to Prepare for Unemployment.


Last week, I talked about getting to stay home full time with my boys. The road to get to this place has been full of bumps though! When I got laid off last year, it thankfully wasn’t a surprise. Obviously I wasn’t thinking “oh good, I’m going to get laid off” but I knew for about a month before it finally happened that it was imminent. I took some comfort knowing that I hadn’t done anything wrong and it was just a result of the economy. (My position was eliminated due to downsizing.) Because we had a little time to prepare, it didn’t hit us quite as hard as it has hit many families. Granted, it still was no fun.. but a little preparation can go a long way! Here are some things you can do to prepare if you are laid off or having your hours cut at work.


How to Prepare for Unemployment:

  • Talk! My husband and I sat down to decide where we could trim “fat” off our budget and what it would be. It’s VERY important to be on the same page as you enter the season of a layoff or cut hours. When your budget is so slim, every little thing can effect it so it’s important to decide where you stand. As you decide what categories you’ll be spending money in, ask yourselves if it’s something you can live without or cut down costs in.
  • Pray! God has a plan in all things, although we often don’t see it at the time! There have been times something really rotten happened and I got upset but only later looked back and realized “wow.. God had that all worked out even while I was still worrying about it!” This happened when I was laid off – I was so upset about the my job being gone and the loss of income BUT I was able to stay home and focus on my pregnancy and my seven-year old instead of my job. He’ll give you wisdom and guide you for what your next move should be.
  • Create a budget! The B word terrifies people – it shouldn’t! A budget is your friend, especially during a layoff. Take the items you talked about and create a realistic budget that you can stick to. It’s critical to see how much you have coming in and going out. You can also find out more about getting on track with a budget. Plus, you can check out my printable budget forms. This is a key for how to prepare for unemployment!
  • Start looking for jobs as soon as you can. If you know a layoff or cut hours are on the horizon, start applying now. The market is tough (as my husband found out) even for someone with a degree and experience. One thing my husband did was researched how to effectively interview, brush up on your resume, and other job hunting tips. He had several interviewers who told him positive things from those tips he read! Anything you can do to set yourself apart is excellent!
  • Consider taking a class to spruce up on some of your skills or finishing a degree.
  • Look at your insurance options carefully. Make sure to fit in any appointments like dental cleanings or eye exams in before your insurance will be gone. Check into what options you can get privately or what you need to do to qualify for government health care if you need to go that route. You can also look into COBRA but that’s not a great option for some due to expense.
  • Stock up! Look at items you can stock up on like canned goods with long shelf lives and toiletries or household products. Every little bit you have stored away for cheap or free will help you in the long run! Find out more about stockpiling now.
  • Call companies you do business with – your utilities, credit cards, etc. Some (like utility companies) offer discounts to low-income – with the layoff or cut hours you may qualify. Ask your credit card company to reduce your rate or payment to help stretch you through this period.
  • Save, save, save! When deciding your new budget, implement it immediately. Save every extra penny you can! You should be stashing away that cash for your mortgage/rent, food, utilities, and other expenses. This is a great tactic for how to prepare for unemployment.
  • Stay away from credit cards! While a credit card may be a means to continuing to live a lifestyle you’re used to, it hides your true financial situation and creates more debt that you’ll have to deal with at some point. Have a card only for real, true emergencies but don’t use it to run up a tab!


Has your family faced this situation? What kinds of things did you do to get past it? What’s the one thing you wish you knew before going into a layoff that you would like to share with someone else?



How to Prepare for Unemployment.

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