Submitted by: Anonymous


I recently became unemployed due to an unexpected lay off. While I look for work, I've filed for unemployment, reduced my student loan payments to the minimum, and am reducing other expenses. Whatever I do, I want to avoid touching my savings. What else can/should I be doing?


A: Sorry about your unexpected job loss. I am glad that you are reducing expenses to avoid spending your savings! If your savings is the money you saved for an emergency, the emergency has occurred. So if necessary, pay your fixed expenses with your savings.


Check with your State, but some states do allow unemployed persons to earn a small income while receiving benefits. So if allowed, looked for ways to earn some cash. Baby/dog sit, tutor, grocery shop for a neighbor. Also, call back your student loan provider and ask about deferring the loan. While you are reviewing your discretionary expenses consider reducing/cutting out gym memberships, cell phone services (be careful if you are in a long term contract), cable, internet/magazine subscriptions, personal grooming, eating out, reducing the temperature on your thermostat (or turn off the AC); consider sharing costs – is a roommate an option, carpool with neighbors to get the kids to school, use public transportation. Contact your utility companies to see if they offer any services/discounts for unemployed persons.


We suggest seeking the advice of a tax and/or financial professional, since more information is often needed to determine the personal needs of a community member and the appropriate actions that should be taken.