Unexpected job loss—would you be okay?

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No one wants to think about losing their job with no warning, but in an unstable economy, it can happen. Sudden loss of employment can put you in a very difficult financial situation if you haven’t planned ahead. Many adults have no backup plan in place to help them if they lose their job. Unexpected job loss can leave you unable to pay for basics like food and bills, not to mention the extras that most people are accustomed to in everyday life. But there are ways to prepare ahead, in case you lose your job. You must be willing to make some changes and financial sacrifices.  

Making ends meet after unexpected job loss 

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There are many adults of all ages and in all types of financial situations who would likely struggle if they suddenly lost their job suddenly. For some, if would be as easy as reducing extraneous expenses to get back on their feet. But others would greatly struggle after losing their job.  

An emergency fund is a great way to help you prepare for unexpected job loss. Understanding exactly where your money goes each month can also help. Consider writing out a very strict budget that includes only the absolute essentials so you know what you need to survive. Having the numbers in front of you can help you know how much to put back into your emergency fund.  

How much is enough? 

unexpected job loss, red shirt and arms of person playing guitar, instructor's hand pointing at the frets

Having an emergency fund is important, but you also need to have an idea of how long that money would last. It’s wise to have a backup plan in case you lose your job suddenly. Do you have a particular skill or talent that you could make money from, while you look for a new job? Consider starting a fund in a high-yield savings account, and don’t touch that money, unless you have an emergency. Add to your fund as you can and try to pay off as much debt as possible while you’re employed. This way your savings can go towards life essentials if you do lose your job. 

Saving for emergencies is not on everyone’s mind, but it’s important to put back what you can afford in case you lose your job unexpectedly. In uncertain economic times, a job loss can come without any warning. An emergency fund can get you through financial hardships until you can find work again. 

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