Times are tough, with almost 20 million Americans expected to be laid off or furloughed. If you find yourself in this situation, what can you do to get your budget in order?
What you can and can’t do with your money will depend on how much you already have saved. Many people couldn’t cover an emergency cost of $1,000, but don’t despair.
While it may be a challenge, there’s a way to stretch your finances during a furlough. We’ve got five great budgeting tips and tricks that will see you through this difficult time.
- Understand Your Furlough
No two companies are the same, and your furlough is unique to you. Make sure you understand the details of your furlough before you start planning your budget.
For example, ask if your hours fluctuate or will they be stable, or if you can use vacation days instead of non-payment days. Once you know the ins and outs of your situation, you can begin working on your budget.
- Write it Down
Next, you need to know where every penny is going. Write down every dollar that goes out and every dollar coming in.
This is the best way to get a big picture view of your finances. This will help you start making cuts.
- Needs and Wants
Now it’s time to figure out what you can and can’t live without and start making adjustments. For example, can you cut back on things like streaming services in order to save some cash for now?
You might discover cuts you can make in everything from your grocery budget to your clothes allowance. Shop you own home to see if there are things you already have instead of buying new ones.
- Extra Income
Are there ways that you can bring in extra money? Search for a few side gigs to supplement your income either online or in person.
You can also sell some of your extra belongings that you don’t use anymore. You never know — you might just discover a new passion or find out something you own is worth a lot of money.
- Be Kind to Yourself
These are all some great tips to take care of your finances. However, don’t forget to take care of yourself.
This is a difficult time and you’re no doubt having a lot of feelings, from sadness, to anger, to even despair. Just know that the amount you have in your bank or what you can spend or earn doesn’t determine your true worth.
Be kind to yourself. While you might have to get by on less and put plans on hold, that doesn’t change who you are.
More Budgeting Tips and Tricks
Being furloughed isn’t easy, but know you’re not alone. With these budgeting tips and tricks, you’ll be able to get through this difficult time.
Go through all of the feelings you have and take care of yourself first. Then start planning your budget and taking control of your finances.
Want more information on how to manage your money? Empower yourself and read our other debt and finance articles.