Tips to Cope with Unemployment and Joblessness

December 14, 2011

Misc. Topics

Unemployment and JoblessnessThis article may not get you a job but hopefully reading it may offer you a new outlook and perspective from which to view your situation.   Knowing that millions of others are going through the same problems as you, may not offer much comfort , but it reinforces one fact : YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

He was very happy at his job and felt comfortably secure in that he would be there for a long time. After all hadn’t he won an award just months ago for coming up with several innovations that had saved the company hundreds of thousands for the 10 years he had been there ?   He felt quite a sense of accomplishment .  So when his manager called him into his office he felt a twinge of joy.  Finally !  He was going to get that raise he had been hoping for.  The news he received was stunning all right but far from what he had expected.  The boss had uttered those five words that can turn one’s life upside down in a second.  “We are letting you go.”   He just stood there as the words hit him in the face like a ton of bricks.  They  froze like toxic icicles on his brain and time stood still  for what seemed  like an eternity.  His disbelief  was written all over his face in tragic detail.  He left the room, closed the door behind him and suddenly felt sick to his stomach.

You may relate to the above individual’s experience right away.  It has happened time and again to employees from all over the country and worldwide in these troubled economic times.  Some cope better than others.  The secret to surviving the above situation is your mental attitude, outlook, and determination to see it through.

The emotional toll is not the only stress factor to face.  One must now look forward to living on less and having to make sacrifices along  the way.  While looking for work and getting back on your feet you may need to deal with the mental and emotional anxiety caused by unemployment.  Loss of a job is going to cause anxiety, undoubtedly.  One does not know how long they will be out of work or how they are going to make ends meet meanwhile.  Worrying about what might happen tomorrow will only add to your emotional load.  Honestly, we have little power over what may happen tomorrow but we can take measures now to ease our stress and deal with the matter at present.  So what practical steps can we take when our income has suddenly  been compromised by joblessness or unemployment ?

First, DO NOT PANIC:  Ask yourself ; What do I fear the most?  Is it very likely this fear will become a reality?  How much energy do I waste worrying about what may or may not  develop ?

Cultivate contentment.  Being content means limiting our wants and being satisfied when our daily needs are met.  Always reaching  for more than we need will only undermine our efforts to live within our means.  The real problem is that we are not used to living on less, not  that it is suddenly impossible to do so.  The unrealistic  desire to maintain a former way of life can cause much stress.  One may soon realize that  it is their viewpoint,  and not their actual circumstances that make things  appear  overwhelming.  It all boils down to three little  words :  Simplify  your  life

Secondly, ponder on this:  Have my needs for today been met?  If so, can I take one day at a time and use  good judgment  while taking  practical steps towards staying on top of things ?  Before buying  something , get into the habit of asking yourself:   Do I really need this ?  Is the old item really that useless or do I just want something new ?  (Remember, we are now in survival mode and saving  money is a must, not just an option),  If you rarely use an item will renting one suffice?, or if we use an item frequently, would buying  a good used one work just as well ?

Third, avoid envy.  Many in developing countries yearn for things that people have in more industrialized nations without  first realizing that these extra amenities can come at a high cost.  On an individual basis, many are tempted to have what their neighbors  flaunt.   This can be a snare. Maybe the neighbor cannot really afford it either and is up to his neck in debt trying to maintain this luxury.  Why try to imitate another person in their foolish need to impress others and fall into a financial  rut  in the process.

Fourth, do not isolate yourself.  Many who lose their jobs become withdrawn and alienate themselves. This is a no-no.  Stay connected to family and friends.  They can help you through the difficult times and offer encouragement and support when needed.

Fifth, avoid unnecessary debt.  Although there are circumstances when going into debt may seem unavoidable, those who take on unnecessary debt just to buy something they want, will often find themselves chained to a heavy financial millstone.  This can be especially true with credit cards.  How often people have admitted they are more tempted to purchase something when they are holding a credit card than when not.  Use cash as often as possible when shopping and watch your impulse buying go down by a whopping  percentage.

Sixth, save up money before buying.  Although it may seem dated, saving up money before making a purchase, is one of the wisest ways to keep yourself out of the financial  debt  domino effect.  Doing so, has kept many out of trouble such as accumulating high interest rates on credit cards.

Living on less requires careful planning.   Applying that principle you can actually calculate the expense of living within your means.  To illustrate :

When you come home with your paycheck, designate specific amounts to be put in separate categories to cover present or future expenses.  When you organize your expenses in this manner, you can see where your money is going and how much is being spent on unnecessary items.

To formulate a budget that works for you, try practicing the following suggestions :

SHOP WISELY

  • Plan your weekly menu according to what’s on sale
  •  Buy basic ingredients instead of prepackaged foods
  • Stock up on items that are on sale or in season  (you can cook and freeze many fresh vegetables) – also fresh meats
  • Buy non-perishables in bulk
  • Slash clothing costs by buying quality used garments at resale stores
  • Same goes for toys/good quality used toys can be found at yard sales and thrift stores – remember that children can lose interest in a toy faster than you can say one,two,three.
  • Travel to areas where prices are lower if this is cost-effective
  • Cut back on shopping frequency

MORE TIPS FOR SAVING ON TOYS

a.  Make sure the toy is good quality and will hold your child’s interest for some time.

b. Concentrate on quality rather than quantity – too many toys can clutter your house and take up valuable space  as well as overwhelming your child.

c. Try hiding a toy for a month or so and then outing it – this can prolong the staying power of the toy by holding his/her interest for a bit longer

PUT IT ON PAPER

  • Keep a record of what you need to pay out immediately
  • Ditto for what you need on hand for the rest of the month
  • Make sure you are paying out for life’s necessities first and foremost

BE RESOURCEFUL

If you have two cars and can get along without the second one, sell it and carpool.  Many people have resorted to this option out of pure necessity.  To save on gas, plan as many errands as possible with each trip.  Keep your car well maintained – is it properly aligned and do the tires have the correct air pressure ?  Other creative ideas that can help save money are to grow your own vegetables if possible, take very good care of your appliances to prolong their life, and change out of your good clothing as soon as you get home.  This way they will look new for a longer  time.

TIPS FOR SAVING ON HEAT

The winter months can be especially harsh on your heating bill , and for those using oil , the bill can really skyrocket now that oil has gone up.  We may not be able to bring down the cost of oil but following are some helpful ways to slash your heating bills.

  • If wood is plentiful where you live, have a professional install a wood burning stove
  • In the spring and fall turn off the heat unless the outside temperature gets to freezing or below and it is too cold inside – wear warm layered clothing indoors
  •  Use storm or thermal windows in colder areas as the layer of air between the windows acts as insulation and keeps heat inside – don’t just concentrate on windows ; install storm doors if possible or just make sure to close up any gaps where drafts are coming in around your doors
  • Open up draperies or curtains in winter to let heat from sunshine in – if you are worried about fading the furniture, use slipcovers
  • Check to see that glass in all windows have fresh putty.   If putty is dry and cracked you may want to put in newer sealant – you can also seal any visible cracks with weather stripping or cloth
  • Repair all cracks and holes in your roof, walls, doors and windows.  This will greatly reduce the amount of heat escaping from these areas
  • Think about upgrading insulation in your home – insulate floors over unheated spaces such as your basement or garage – you actually lose more heat through poorly insulated floor spaces and basements in the average home than through drafty doors and windows.  Your savings could add up to $500 annually !
  • Seal gaps around any pipes, wires, or vents that could transfer your heat to unheated spaces – while you are at it you can caulk those baseboards to keep heat from leaking out
  • When you are away from home for an extended period turn off the heat and the hot water heater.  Don’t do this for short absences.  It could take more energy to heat up the cold water than what was saved in this instance.

DON’T FORGET YOUR FURNACE – Many small fortunes have been lost by homeowners who try to cut corners by not keeping up their furnace maintenance. Before you use your furnace this winter , have it serviced.  Many gas and oil companies provide this in your service contract for a small additional fee and it could amount  to saving up to $400.  Inspect your furnace during the cold months.  Keep parts clean and replace air filters when necessary.  Clean filters can save up to $60 a year on heating costs.  Check to see that cold air and warm air registers are not obstructed and vacuum them off at least once a month.

Hopefully this article will help you save money and cut back on any wasteful spending while you are in the middle of your job search and trying to make ends meet.  Just keep this in mind:  Sometimes we cannot change the reality of a certain circumstance that wollops us during our life’s  journey, but we can control the way we react to it and manage it so that we can eventually overcome it and come out on top.  A cool head and composed attitude will always prevail when faced with some of life’s in-your-face challenges.

If you are faced with a legal problem, please contact us for a free consultation by calling 1-800-297-9191. To learn more about us, visit http://www.slaterzurz.com

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About slaterzurz

Slater & Zurz LLP is an Ohio law firm of highly experienced and respected attorneys. Over the last 40 years, we have developed a reputation for getting positive results for clients. We've been trusted with handling over 20,000 personal injury cases and our clients have received more than $120,000,000.

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