Don’t Panic #4 – Develop Good Habits

Unemployment is a phase, like a lot of things. It’s also a test of one’s ability to manage without the comforts we’re used to, like smoking, drinking, going out for dinner, and buying Whole Foods by the pound, to name a few. When you’re unemployed, you have to pinch pennies like it’s your job. In fact, it is your job. Your job, besides finding a new job, is to limit your expenses, and preserve your health and financial stability at the same time. Habits, while lovely and comfortable, are the first things to scrutinize.

Don’t Panic – A Working-Class Guide to Employment

#4 – Develop Good Habits

Again, step back and examine what you spend your money on. You have bills, like rent, utilities, groceries, phone plans, television, internet, maybe even student loans. Before we go any further, if you have student loans, contact the Department of Education or your lender and file for a “student loan deferment”. You can do this online. You’ll likely qualify, and you’re monthly payments will decrease significantly until you get back on your feet. Deferment options exist for other loans as well, so look for every opportunity, unless of course you owe money to a loan shark.

If you have student loans… file for a student loan deferment.

There’s no better way to cut a habit than to simply not have money to afford it. Embrace that idea, even if you have $10 in your pocket and you could really use a cup of coffee. As far as food goes, you should make all your purchases at a supermarket. Buy only what you need to survive, and milk them for as long as possible. Consider bulk items that go a long way. Exchange certain products for generic store brands to save money. Stay away from ready-made, processed foods, because in the grand scheme of things, you’re buying less for more. A bag of rice lasts longer than a loaf of bread. And did you know how inexpensive fruits and vegetables are?

There’s no better way to cut a habit than to simply not have money to afford it.

If you barely have enough money to get by, you need to take more drastic actions. Discontinue certain services, like television and club memberships. Keep your internet access alive so you can apply for jobs, or better yet, negotiate a way to share wireless access with a neighbor. Internet is crucial to stay connected to the job market.

For some, it’s difficult to cut certain habits, like drugs, cigarettes, and alcohol. It’s tough, I know. Those of you that have a dependency issue are the ones with a fight to win. If necessary, ask for help. Losing is not an option. I’ve seen what happens to people who lose that fight, and nobody wants to be in that position. Winning will be one of the greatest achievements of your life. And then consider all the money you’ll save!

If necessary, ask for help. Losing is not an option.

Don’t panic. Cutting certain habits like this will help you learn a lot about yourself. It will also help you create new habits that improve your physical, mental, and financial health, all of which are at the top of your list of priorities.