Now is the time to become intimately familiar with your expenses. Start saving as much as you can. Rainy days are coming.
First, suspend any aggressive debt-payoff plan and just make minimum payments. It’s not a practice you want to continue long after working again, but it will keep you floating. Next, consider halting contributions to a retirement plan. Kiss Starbucks goodbye for awhile and maintain a stock of macaroni and cheese. Keep your resume up to date and apply for other jobs.
Once you are actually unemployed, just breathe, and have patience.
This advice proves to be most difficult for people who did all the right things and still had to exhaust their savings to survive a layoff. They become overly anxious to get back to the financial point before they became unemployed. It can also be hard for others who admit to being financially challenged even before becoming unemployed.
Once you are employed again, don’t immediately go back to big time spending habits. Filet mignon can wait, and don’t return to eating out a lot. Don’t reward yourself with wants because you’ve been so focused on just meeting your basic needs.
Simple ideas? Maybe. Difficult to follow through? Certainly. It will take time to rebuild your cash stash, so be patient and practice some self control. Focus on the basics a little while longer, then ease on into the rewards.