COVID-19, Unemployment, and Your Budget

COVID-19 is sending shockwaves around the US, and the job market isn’t unaffected. Businesses are already being forced to lay off employees due to financial strain, and we expect that to get worse as the weeks go on. When unemployed, one of the biggest concerns that rises to the surface of your thoughts is your financial situation. Paying bills, buying daily necessities, and providing for your family all become a huge obstacle when a consistent paycheck is no longer funneling in. Adding that to the stress of hunting for a new job can cause some serious issues for you, both mentally and physically; however, you can do a few things to better manage your money when you are out of work for a period of time.

Obviously, until social restrictions have been lifted and life returns to our new “normal”, some of these tips and tricks will have to wait, but they’re important to keep on file! Remember:

  • Supplement where you can. For example, you can strap your kids in a stroller and walk to a nearby park, or a friend’s house, instead of driving, and supplement your gas with your own leg power to make that tank last longer! Food can be supplemented by taking up some simple gardening yourself. Growing your own fruits and vegetables isn’t hard, it’s relatively inexpensive (especially if you have a contact willing to share some seeds), and its healthy for your family. Gardening doesn’t have to take up a whole chunk of land either. Today, there are a huge number of resources online and at the local library explaining how to grow many things in containers of all kinds on your patio or porch, or even in your kitchen!
  • Look for freebies. Is a friend or neighbor giving away some excess from their garden? Don’t be too proud to accept it! If there is a local event in your area, like those we have in Downtown Lakeland on a regular basis, you will likely find free entertainment. Parks often have free events for kids, as do a lot of local children and youth programs during the summer. Don’t want your kids to go without a vacation just because money is tight? You don’t have to pay for an expensive trip! Florida is a great place to live when you’re looking for (free) day excursions. Head to the beach for the day with a picnic, go to your local playgrounds (look for ones you haven’t visited before), spend the day at Circle Bar B for some nature hikes and gator spotting, or turn on the sprinter and have your own water day at home. The choices are endless if you get creative.
  • Conserve! Some of your bills, such as power, water, and fuel are all dependent upon usage. Make it a household goal to lower your expenses in each area by conserving as much as possible. Instead of drying loads of laundry, hang them to dry. Limit the length of your showers, turn off water while brushing your teeth or shaving, turn off lights and fans when you leave a room, etc. Even seemingly small things have a big impact when they’re all put together.

Don’t let stress and worry take over your summer more than Coronavirus already has. By managing finances, and being smart and efficient with your job search, you can make it through your period of unemployment and still keep your life intact. PHR Staffing Solutions is here to help you find a new career quickly and easily. We do the hard work for you, and you enjoy the results. Apply for one of our current openings online now, without even leaving home, or call us for more information about a position. Our goal is to help you meet your goals and get a job NOW. Let us help!