“The secret of getting ahead is getting started.”

To lose your job is always an unexpected turn in life, it forces you to rearrange your daily routine and reconsider your priorities. We all have had to encounter this situation at some point, and it can suck. But at the end, it is just the starting point for a new beginning; and if you handle it the smart way, it doesn’t have to be a tragedy but a growth opportunity.

There are a few things you need to do to make the most out of your time and money while being unemployed, so that instead of getting worried, you stay sane and motivated.

Start budgeting

First thing’s first. You need to plan ahead and stay organized. Having so much free time and being unable to get out of your house will definitely make you no good. If budgeting wasn’t one of your habits, it better be starting from now. Analyze your expenses, define which ones you can cut off, and which ones are your real needs. Stick to the budget!

Start simplifying your life

As obvious as this may sound, it is sometimes easy to forget you cannot keep doing the same things you did while on a stable job, at least for now. You will need to stop going out to eat and start cooking some more, going out for runs in the park instead of paying for the gym and inviting friends over on the weekends. If you are one of those people who still loves reading books on actual paper, try the public library, you get to take books home for free…really. There are a million things you can do to reduce your expenses without making a huge sacrifice. Replace your Starbucks latte with a home-made coffee and your movie ticket with a $1 Netflix rental. You will be surprised.

Start saving with coupons

This may sound like a pain but it will be worth it. Clipping coupons and snatching up two-for-ones will get you a long way on saving.

Start searching for other sources of income

We all have talents we can take advantage of, imparting guitar lessons for example, or making cupcakes can be prolific in more than one sense. If you can’t think of anything, even selling things you don’t use anymore can be an option. You will benefit not only from the extra cash but it will also clear up your apartment and your mind.

Start taking advantage of time

We all have an endless to-do list of stuff we never find time or energy for. This can be a great opportunity for you to dedicate some time to finally read all those books, learn to play an instrument, get fit, or visit your grandmother. Not only will you avoid anxiety by keeping your mind busy, but you will actually turn the loss will into a gain.

Start taking action

It’s important to be aware that jobs are not easy to find, and sometimes you will need to send a thousand resumes to even get an interview. Now is the perfect time to update your CV or redesign your portfolio. Start taking action on getting a new job right away.

Start recharging your energy

Take this opportunity to spend some time alone, get to know yourself better and re gain that energy so that when it is time, you can start fresh. After this, you will have acquired a whole new perspective on the importance of saving and not taking anything for granted.

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