Wednesday, April 1, 2020

11 Tips To Survive A Recession If You've Lost Your Job & Have No Savings

Have you recently lost your job?  If you have, you are one of millions who did last month.  Sadly enough, we've not yet reached the level of unemployment that this pandemic will ultimately produce.  The $1,200 you may get this month will help more people than others.  In CA, that $1,200 won't go very far.  So it goes without saying that many people are going to be in a world of hurt come late April, and for the rest of Spring.

How to Prepare For a Recession (And Thrive Once It Hits)

I'm optimistic about summer being the start of the end of our Stay-At-Home orders.  And with that, more people will likely be able to return to work.  Unfortunately, there will be enough damage to the economy that will result in the highly competitive employment demand we saw during the Great Recession of 2009.  Remember how people needed to stand on streets with signs begging to be interviewed?  That sucked!  But employers will not be able to flip a switch and get up and running as they were before the pandemic.  Employers will watch their sales and revenue numbers like hawks, only hiring when absolutely necessary.  Can't blame them.  This is what recessions are all about.

What can people do in light of this terrible situation?  Again, best case is for President Trump to announce that the economy is "open" once again, by the start of summer.  But there are no guarantees that he will.  The virus determines the circumstances, as Dr. Anthony Fauci put it best.  This pandemic is a double-edged sword for people.

On the one hand, being out and working can cause you to get ill.  If you aren't one of the lucky ones that gets a mild case of Covid-19, you could land in a hospital.  If you don't have insurance (because you lost your job), you may be indebted beyond your financial means with medical bills.  Or worse, you could die from the disease.  If you don't work, to stay safe, you could run out of money, and end up homeless and hungry.  It's a total Catch-22!

Below are my tips for living through this pandemic (if you got no savings, or a job) while keeping your financial boat afloat.  Unfortunately, you'll need to expose yourself to the risk of being infected by Coronavirus.  I wish there was some other way.

1.  Only consume your perishables while at home.  Save your canned foods for emergencies.  And instead of grocery shopping as you did before, do number 2 below:

2.  Find Your Local Food Bank or Food Pantry.  Now is not the time to be proud.  There are plenty of non-profits around to help you feed your family.

3.  Apply for unemployment benefits.  This is a big one, of course.  You'll have to tighten your spending budget while receiving unemployment checks.

4.  If you don't qualify for unemployment benefits, find temporary work as an "essential worker."  Supermarkets are hiring.  They need delivery drivers, people to stock the shelves, disinfect, etc.  Find companies who have a strong online shopping presence.  Walmart, Target, and Amazon, for example.  Or try pizza delivery.  Tips plus free pizza!  This may not be the type of work you're used to, but you gotta do what you gotta do for the time being.

5.  While you're working as an "essential worker," to make sure you put food on the table, figure out how to reinvent yourself.  Work on an action plan that details what other things you can do to improve your current situation.  In other words, make yourself stronger in every way.  This includes maintaining a healthy lifestyle.  Fight hard to not turn to drugs or alcohol. 

6.  Buy health insurance.  I know this doesn't sound like an option to some of you, but not having health coverage is a recipe for disaster!  This article was posted at CNN just today.  Even if you don't watch CNN, it tells you where you can get health insurance if you've lost your job.

7.  Reach out, reach out, reach out!  This is your time to reconnect with your contacts.  Use FB messenger for private messages and FB posts to ask for what you need.  If you don't ask, you'll never know!  Don't be ashamed to put yourself out there on LinkedIn, Instagram, FB, wherever.  You never know who will come to bat for you and send you a job lead.

8.  Cancel all your non-essential subscriptions.  Yes, this means Netflix!  If you had a bunch of streaming channels on your smart TV, it's time to cancel them all.  You don't need them.  Kids?  Have them go onto YouTube on their computer or phone.  If your gym didn't close, (it should have due to Coronavirus), cancel your subscription or ask that they not bill you for the next 2-3 months.

9.  Call your landlord or management company and ask if they have a renter assistance program.  They may allow you to pay less in rent for a set amount of time.  If you own a home, call your mortgage company and ask that they participate in programs other major banks have now for people in need.  Mortgage relief!

10.  Try not to use your retirement savings to get through the hard times.  But if you've exhausted all other options, you can tap into your 401k.  Here are 6 ways to do so according to Forbes.

11.  Sell items that people are buying during the pandemic.  Use OfferUp or other apps to do so.  If you have exercise equipment or outside games, bicycles, etc., sell them now!  Abide by social distance orders, of course.

If you have other tips for people who've lost their job and have little to no savings, by all means comment below.  If you want to ask me for financial advice, email me at calilimexica@yahoo.com.  Good luck everyone and God bless!   

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