How to Pay My Bills Now That I'm Laid Off from Work
- 1). Apply for unemployment benefits immediately. Most cities have an unemployment office or you can go online to the state's website. The exact name of the unemployment services vary from state to state. Several states have websites. If you were laid off, you are eligible for benefits. It takes a couple weeks for the benefits to start. A set amount of money will be given to you each week based your earnings and won't equal what you made at your job. The exact number of weeks benefits are available is roughly 26 weeks, but during 2009 extensions were made to the time limit by the national government.
- 2). Make a list of all your expenses: food, utilities, housing, insurance and anything else you pay. Add up the total. Compare that number to the amount of unemployment money you receive. If your expenses exceed your unemployment benefits, you need to decrease spending.
- 3). Decrease your spending on recreational activities and food. Stop going to movies, instead borrow movies from a local library. Lower the thermostat to keep electric and gas bills down. Conserve water by timing showers to under 4 minutes. Buy generic labels and use coupons. Cancel memberships at spas, gyms and other clubs, if possible. There may be a cancellation fee. Depending on how much the fee is, it may not be worth it to cancel. Contact the business to find out its terms.
- 4). If you have a cell phone, lower the amount of minutes, data and text messaging. Most cell phone carriers charge expensive cancellation fees, so it's often cheaper to just lower your plan rate.
- 5). Contact creditors. Some creditors may be willing to work with you on lowering monthly payments. Whether they work with you or not depends on the company and how well you're standing is. If you have always made on-time payments, the company is more likely to talk with you about options. Credit card payments may seem like something unimportant to pay, but they are. If you're credit score falls, your insurance payments may rise. Some car insurance companies use your credit score to determine the amount you pay.
- 6). Begin hunting for a job immediately. If possible, do side work for money. Some people need help cleaning out gutters, shoveling walkways and other chores. Federal unemployment regulations requires you to report any money you make.
- 7). Cancel payments that are automatically withdrawn from bank accounts to avoid overdraft fees. To do this, go to the bill's website or call the company's customer service. Stop using a debit card. If you have the cash in your hand, you are more likely to spend less.