How to Live Without a Job
Unemployment, whether made by choice or entirely out of your control, is frustrating. There is stress and worry because you need money to pay your mortgage, utilities, and food. The pressure is even more demanding when you have a family and children to take care of properly.
However, being unemployed is also an exciting new chapter in your life. Some people quit mundane 9 to 5 jobs to finally pursue their passion. Others are tired of putting in overtime and never get to see their loved ones as a result.
Consequently, you should pursue unemployment with a cautious joy. It’s a new chapter in your life, and it’s up to you to control your destiny. How to live without a job, either short-term or long-term is plausible, but you’ll need to make sacrifices.
How to Live Without a Job – Freedom from the Daily Grind
Financial independence that breaks you free from the daily grind is now more plausible than ever as many folks are leaving traditional jobs to work for themselves as freelancers or independent contractors.
But how to live without a job in an era where the cost of living is outrageous?
Breaking yourself free from the daily grind where you still have the amount of money to pay the bills takes savvy, persistence, and patience. Before you find other sources of income you need to start by minimizing expenses. The primary expenses you need to target include:
1. Housing/Living Costs
So you no longer have a full time job? Rest easy, it’s not the end of the world. You are a hard working and driven individual and the opportunities will come in time, especially if you are willing to break free from a traditional job.
However, you cannot make ends meet without first covering housing and essential living costs. These include your mortgage or rent, utilities like electricity and gas, as well as internet and cell phone plans.
Those are the basics and you need to budget first and foremost for living expenses. Do you have a cash shortage? It might be time to consider moving to a cheaper place, moving in with family or friends, or inviting a new roommate to move in (and split the housing costs).
2. Food Costs
Food is another basic need. However, you can substantially lower food costs by eating wisely. It includes not dining out as frequently at fast food or restaurants. Additionally, spending your money wisely at the grocery store makes the cash stretch longer.
If your property has any space outside one exciting option is to grow your own fruits and vegetables. Not only will you eat more healthy, but you’ll save on food that you would otherwise spend money to get at the store.
Also, zeroing in on special deals and coupons at grocery stores is worthwhile. Many communities offer food banks and other assistance for people that fall on hard times, including losing a full time job.
3. Transportation Costs
There is good and bad news when you lose a job in terms of transportation. On one hand, you won’t need to commute to a time job any longer, thus saving on gas and wear and tear. However, the costs may offset if you are driving around gathering applications and attending interviews.
One idea is to consider selling your car. If you don’t live in a rural area, you have several options for transportation. Any town of decent size operates its own bus lines. Taxi services along with rideshare opportunities like Lyft and Uber exist.
Walking or riding a bicycle eliminates the cost of pricey fuel and is also good for the environment. Most people are surprised how much they can save on monthly costs when they travel smarter.
4. Entertainment Costs
Entertainment is not a basic need like housing and food. Regardless, it can eat up a substantial amount of money for many people which is one area of a budget you can substantially slash while you seek other sources of income.
Therefore, it’s easy to argue that you can eliminate 100% of your entertainment budget while you are unemployed. Yet that’s often a mistake as everyone needs an escape. Notwithstanding, you can make sacrifices in this regard.
There are many forms of entertainment that are ultra cheap or free like taking hikes in the wilderness, playing sports at the park, or free games on your phone.
Pay the Bills – Managing Debt While You Find New Work
Along with basic needs like housing, food, and transportation you will also need to pay the bills while you are unemployed. Most people have some form of debt from credit cards or car payments.
How do you make monthly payments on debt after losing a full time job?
Saved money in a bank account might cover you in the short term. However, if you go more than a few months in unemployment those savings are likely to dwindle, leaving those commitments and your overall credit score in jeopardy.
Borrowing more money to cover current debt is generally not a good long term idea. Instead, you should focus on establishing a budget and cutting down on unnecessary expenses for food and entertainment.
While it’s tempting to apply for a new credit card you are ultimately setting yourself up for more failure. Every purchase made on a credit card is added debt and will take longer to repay in the future, especially with the notoriously high interest rates of credit card companies.
When you plan your budget you may be surprised how little of money you need to live reasonably comfortably while also managing debt. Of course, this is harder to do if you have children or college loans you are still trying to pay off.
If you do need to borrow more money to cover current living expenses, we suggest that you apply for a loan through a bank. These types of loans have lower interest rates compared to credit cards and often support families that fell on hard times because of job loss.
Related: How to get a new job fast
A Path to Financial Independence – How to Live Without a Job
Applying for a traditional job takes time as you need to scour the web for new openings. Then, it takes precious time to apply for each job and make sure you meet all the qualifications. Some jobs take weeks to fill or even hear back for a job interview.
Is there a better solution? Can you possibly survive on a part time job or type of unconventional method of making a living?
You may be surprised how many other sources of income exist in the current job market that extend beyond traditional, time jobs like a steady 9 to 5 schedule. The creation of the internet and reliance on electronic devices allows many people to work from home, and pay the bills in unconventional ways.
Independent contractors or freelancers are self-employed individuals that work for themselves. They don’t answer to anyone and work from home. It’s a convenient way to make a living and be your own boss. Furthermore, temporary jobs are available to make ends meet each month while you wait for a new full time position.
Passive Income – New Means to Cash Flow
Passive income is money you earn without having to do anything. While it might sound like the latest scam, there are legitimate ways to do some work upfront and then sit back as the income streams in over time.
As a result, one of the best ways to generate cash flow when you are without a job is diversifying your income through several channels. For example, you may want to consider:
- Turning your hobby into a source of income.
- Take online surveys and reviews.
- Blog and create web content.
- Offer expert advice as a professional consultant.
- Become a freelancer as you work from home.
- Connect with staffing solutions to receive temp work.
Related: Pros and Cons of Temporary Work
Break Free From the Daily Grind
It is very possible to live comfortably from home and without a job by managing your budget, limiting unnecessary expenses, living smarter, thinking smarter, and earning money in unconventional ways like passive income.