If you are a Lexington resident who just lost their job, whether it was a planned lay-off or came like a bolt out of the blue, your personal world has been rocked. The shock of sudden unemployment can leave you feeling as dazed as a deer caught in the headlights of an approaching semi.
While it certainly might feel like it's the end of the world, rest assured that it is not. Below are some steps you can take to minimize the negative consequences of a job loss and regain your financial equilibrium.
Hit the pause button
Take time to absorb the blow before acting. Then, evaluate your financial situation. Hopefully, you have an emergency fund that you can tap to cover your basic expenses.
Whether you have a rainy day fund or not, however, you must now be ruthless about trimming the fat from your budget. For the immediate future, bid adieu to:
- Cable TV
- Subscriptions to any clothing, jewelry or lifestyle product delivery services
- Eating out
- Daily specialty coffees
- Hobby supplies and expenses
- Manicures and salon haircuts
You need to focus on paying the most important bills: rent or mortgage, utilities and transportation expenses (car notes, gas, oil and other auto maintenance costs).
File for unemployment compensation benefits
Don't let pride stand between you and your legal right to financial compensation after a job loss. While you won't receive the same amount as your salary while you were working, the benefits can help you meet your basic bills and other financial obligations.
Take on a part-time job
Maybe you already have a side hustle driving for Uber or Lyft or doing mystery shopping on weekends. If so, you are in a good position to at least temporarily make this your primary source of income.
If you don't have something in the pipeline, do all you can to make it happen. While you should still dust off your resume and focus on finding another job in your field, you also shouldn't consider a job like delivering pizza to be beneath you in your time of need.
Network your contacts
Tell your family, friends and acquaintances that you are actively seeking employment. Don't be embarrassed to put it out there, as you never know where the lead for your next job might be generated.
Contact your creditors
If it's apparent that some of your bills will not be paid on time or in full, call or write your creditors and explain your situation. Often, companies will work with the recently unemployed to help them avoid penalties and late fees.
Consider filing for bankruptcy
While this should not be your first option after a job loss, if you're faced with an extended period of unemployment, it might be the best long-term solution to your financial woes.
A Lexington bankruptcy law attorney can review your circumstances and recommend a course of action to get you back on the right fiscal track.