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March 13, 2014
Keeping Financially Afloat After a Layoff
Major companies said goodbye to workers via layoffs during 2013.

Corporations like Boeing, Cisco Systems, and many others sent people home en masse. Even smaller companies had to hand out the pink slips to their workers even though they didn't garner as much attention as the big names.

While the economy is picking up, some companies are still reporting layoffs.

If you are one of them, here are some ways to survive this time without ruining your finances.

Start Cutting Expenses
The first step to staying financially solvent during a layoff is to cut your expenses - drastically.

It's not enough to cut back on eating out or skipping your morning coffee at the local coffee shop. You are going to have to seriously rethink your finances. Look for big-ticket items you can cut back on or even cut out.

This may include cable, gym memberships, internet, and cell phone. While you need a phone for job prospects, you can cut out the data plan and other extras. Use the internet at the library until you can afford to get it back.

Look at Your House — And Your Car
When trying to figure how to manage finances if you are suddenly laid off, you may not immediately think about your car or your home.

But if you are concerned that the layoff may affect your ability to make payments, it's better to do something sooner rather than later.

Consider selling your car and getting a cheaper one or surviving on one car. The same strategy goes for your house. Put your house up for sale before it goes into foreclosure and ruins your credit. Sell it and buy a smaller house or rent until you have a job again.
Use Your Savings
Once you have cut expenses as much as possible, start looking at your savings to keep the rest of your bills paid.

This may include your retirement plan. Cash out life insurance if you have it and CDs and other investments. If you get down to the bare minimum expenses, your savings will last longer and give you more time to find a job.
Look for a Job
While this might seem obvious, people often feel bereft and confused when they are laid off. It can take them some time to get back on their feet and start job-hunting. Don't wait; start sending out your resume and filling out applications immediately.

If you have been out of work for some time, you may be concerned about how this will affect your career.

Long gaps between work experiences can worry some employers even if it is through no fault of your own.

To help prevent this and earn you a paycheck, consider taking on part-time work either in your industry or in one complementary to yours. If all else fails, try to find volunteer opportunities that will utilize your skills and can be included on a resume. This shows an employer that even though you have been out of work for a long time, you have kept your skills current.
Being laid off can be a frightening experience, but it helps if you have a plan of action.

Know what you need to stay afloat and land back on your feet with a new job and you will survive until one comes along.

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Joyce Morse is an author who writes on a variety of topics, including SEO and online business degrees.
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