How to Handle Finances in Between Jobs
If you're in between jobs, whether you were recently laid off or if you left a job before securing a new position, you may be feeling unsettled about your career and your finances. Your healthcare coverage and savings may also be top of mind.
But keep in mind, that this short period of free time can bring on inspiration, creative ideas, and serendipity. You could learn a new skill to bolster your resume, move to a new state, or make a career switch. Whatever you decide to do, keeping your finances in order will give you the stability and space you need to focus on figuring out your next steps.
Temporarily Revise Your Budget
If you're in between jobs, you might need to recalculate your budget until you have a steady income again. Ask yourself if there are any expenses that you can cut out until you've secured a new position. Can you put your gym membership on hold for a few months and exercise outdoors or at home in the meantime? In your revised budget, prioritize your critical bills, such as your mortgage payment and rent. If your housing options are flexible, consider staying with family or seek out a temporary live-in working position as a nanny or caregiver. Limit your credit card use so that your monthly minimum payment doesn't inch up to an amount you can't cover.
Consider Short-Term Health Coverage
If your health insurance was tied to your employer, take a look at the short-term plan options so that you're coverage while you're out of work. And if you missed the regular enrollment period or lost your insurance, you're still eligible to participate in a special enrollment period. Some previous employers may offer the option to stay on their health plan. By law, companies with over 20 employees must give you this option.
If these premiums are over your budget, there are short-term healthcare options available at $100 or less, but services covered can vary widely and certain states may not allow them.
Stay Optimistic and Be Resourceful
Being in between jobs gives you time to learn new skills or develop a side hustle. Take advantage of inexpensive online classes from Skillshare or teach yourself a foreign language through DuoLingo. You could also make extra cash selling belongings you no longer want. Are there clothes in your closet that you've never worn, or a video game console you no longer use? Try selling them on eBay or Facebook Marketplace.
Spread the News
Although it may feel awkward to share your job loss, it's important to let the people in your social and professional networks know that you're looking for job opportunities. Connect with recruiters and get in touch with alumnae from your college who work in your industry, or in an industry you'd like to join. You never know what mutual friend or contact can help to secure your next job, so stay open to job leads, recommendations, and informational interviews.
With patience, perseverance, and a positive outlook, you can make the most of an uncertain time. Lean into the unknown and take advantage of the free time you have, and you'll find yourself back on your feet in no time.