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Temporarily layoffs (or furloughs) can range from the employee taking a few days off each month without pay to the company closing down for a short period of time. Furloughs are implemented as a cost savings measure for the company.
While many jobs are saved, a furlough can still create hardships for families — especially when finances are already stretched.
Here are some tips for surviving furloughs or being laid off…
How To Pinch Pennies In Light Of A Layoff
#1 Cash in vacation time or cancel your vacation.
While taking a vacation is recommended to renew the spirit, there are times when refilling the savings account is much more important. It’s in your best interest to negotiate with your employer about vacation time and other benefits.
#2 Call your creditors and arrange to defer payments on your accounts or have accounts re-aged.
If you explain your situation, your credit card companies, student loans, and other revolving credit accounts may give you a temporary break.
#3 Start brown bagging on the days that you are working.
You can actually save close to $300 a month by brown bagging it for lunch.
#4 Ask your company to arrange your furlough time according to your needs.
Ask for a schedule that would allow you to take off days that best fit your personal schedule. Or ask your employer if you would be allowed to take a part-time job elsewhere.
#5 Start eating leftovers once a week.
Here’s how to get creative with leftovers, so you can stop wasting food and start saving money on groceries.
#6 Go on a spending diet.
Check out this monthly budget experiment. Just how much money do you need to get through a month?
#7 Learn to use the "cash envelope system."
By only spending cash from your monthly budget and tracking it by using the cash envelope system, you will automatically cut back on your spending habits.
#8 Learn to prioritize.
Here are some easy ways to make decisions about spending money.
#9 Start purchasing day old groceries.
Check out these little-known facts about day old groceries.
#10 Use your days off to start vegetable gardening and other money-saving hobbies.
Besides growing your own vegetables, you could also do things like:
cut and organize coupons
cook food from scratch more often
spend some time comparison shopping
Want more tips along these same lines? Read this: The Money Saving Aspect of a Great Hobby.
#11 Cut back on your kids’ expensive after school programs and spend more time with them instead.
If your kids are in multiple after-school programs, have them choose their favorite ones and eliminate the rest. This will save up to $100 a month per child, per activity. The time that you spend with them is much more valuable anyway.
Don’t Do This!…
Just the same, there are a few things you should not do during a furlough. If you’ve been laid off (or you fear you might be laid off soon), you’ll want to be extra cautious during this time.
#1 Do not use credit to supplement your income. This will only increase your debt load and make your monthly bills higher, not lower.
#2 Do not quit your job. Don’t take an all-or-nothing attitude in tough times like this. Instead, you should grin and bear it while keeping an eye open for something better.
#3 Do not complain at work. Complaining is akin to quitting your job because a bad attitude can be a reason they could use to terminate you.
#4 Do not feel defeated and depressed. Attitude is everything in a tough situation. Keep a positive outlook and you will survive the lay-off with your spirit intact.
More Tips For Surviving A Layoff
I have been a certified tightwad since I became pregnant with my first child and decided to find a way to stay home with him. I enjoy sharing my experiences in my journey back to financial health and planning for a future — which will include sending 2 kids to college and early retirement.