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Financial Tips to Survive Unemployment

Posted by | Posted in Financial tips | Posted on 01-01-1970

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Losing your paycheck wreaks havoc on the family budget, but you are not without help. Food, utilities and medicine are crucial for you to maintain good health and look for work. These financial tips will help you to survive unemployment by providing resources for food, medical and utility assistance.

Food

Food accounts for approximately 20 percent of a family’s budget. Applying for food stamps, now called SNAP, is easier today than it was years ago. You can apply online from the privacy of your home and then follow-up with a phone interview. The amount of aid varies depending on your needs.

To feed your family while awaiting a decision from SNAP, visit local food banks. Some churches and many private charities offer bags of food to struggling singles and families. You may have to visit several to get enough food for one week, but your loved ones will have a hot meal on the table.

Visit your children’s school to enroll them in the free breakfast and lunch program. This takes care of 10 meals every week.

A senior losing a job that supplemented social security has two choices. Contact your local Meals on Wheels to find out about the free or reduced price lunch and dinner. In addition, your community senior center might offer a free hot lunch every day.

Medical

When people lose their jobs, they frequently lose their health insurance at the same time. Pharmacies have programs that provide a discount on prescriptions for the uninsured. Some programs give discounts on other items the pharmacy sells.

If you are already established with a doctor, he might reduce the office fee to an affordable amount. If not, then visit the county health department for treatment with a sliding scale fee structure.

Hospital bills can seem daunting when your finances barely keep a roof over your head. Contact the hospital administrator, as many charities work directly with him to pay the bills of people in need. The business office may not be aware of charity programs.

Utilities

Local, state and federal government programs help to pay utility bills. Additionally, private charities might pay all, or up to a specified dollar amount, toward electric or winter heating bills.

Contact the utility company before you get shut off. You might be able to lower your monthly expense with budget billing, or perhaps another program they offer. Some utilities have a donor fund to pay customer bills.

5 Tips for Financial Security

Posted by | Posted in Financial tips | Posted on 01-01-1970

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With all the financial gurus and money experts on the internet and television it can be easy to get confused by all the different advice and tips. Basic financial advice is very simple though and can benefit anyone, regardless of age or other factors.

  1. Living within your means is possibly the soundest piece of advice there is. Spending more than you make is the fastest way to get into a vicious cycle of debt. There are usually a number of ways to reduce living costs without major sacrifice such as getting rid of cable, carpooling to work or taking the bus and cutting back on outings. Making more money will allow you to enjoy more luxuries, so consider asking for a raise or searching for a part-time job if certain conveniences are important to you.
  2. Set a realistic budget and stick to it. Be brutally honest about how much you make and do not include bonuses when figuring out what you have to live on every month, as well as what you actually spend instead of what you should spend. Adhering to this budget will require tracking expenses and the willpower to avoid spending more than you have allowed for. There a number of free online programs to help you track your spending and will provide monthly breakdowns to boot.
  3. Pay off all of your debt as fast as possible. It is much better to make some small sacrifices for a few months or years than to be stuck paying high interest rates for decades. Calling creditors may result in lowering interest rates or getting better loan terms on anything from credit cards to student loans to mortgages.
  4. Save as much of your money as you can. A healthy savings account provides financial security even when times are tough and can help make money through interest accrued on the balance. It is a good idea to have a reserve fund for emergencies such as car or home repairs in a separate account from the regular savings account. Ideally everyone will have enough saved to pay for their expenses for six months or more in case of unemployment.
  5. Keeping accurate financial records is one of the most important financial tips. These can be used to dispute fake charges or help with taxes as well as helping people plan for their future. Documents such as bank statements, tax returns, investment records and receipts should be kept in a safe and secure space and organized by year for easy reference.