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Being laid off from work is a real fear facing many Americans today. How are you to cope when you unexpectedly lose your job?
We can’t rely on unemployment as a reliable source of income for very long. It’s simply not enough.
I actually experienced this when I worked for a financial institution back in 2010. I started a job as Branch Operations Manager in Gainesville, Florida, and my boss had it out for me from day one.
It was a tiny branch, and it was an extremely cliquey environment. For whatever reason, I didn’t fit in their little family.
It wasn’t long before my boss found a reason to let me go, and I was devastated. I had an infant son, and less than 2 weeks after returning from maternity leave, I was without a job.
This forced our first move out of state, and I eventually realized that it was a blessing. If you’re working a job that you hate, that people treat you like garbage, please know that you are worth so much more than that and GET OUT!
I know it’s easier said than done, but these 5 tips should help you if you’ve been laid off from work (or just absolutely hate your job and want to quit).
5 Things You Must Do if You’ve Been Laid Off From Work
1. Check for Unpaid Benefits
Many companies offer to pay out unused vacation and/or sick time or PTO days. Read your company’s handbook or ask human resources for clarification.
If there is a waiting period for unemployment benefits to kick in, you might be able to supplement income with your accumulated, unused leave.
But be careful not to count on this money because every employer is different. Some offer no benefits to be paid out whether you quit your job, are fired, or laid off from work.
2. Apply for Unemployment
Before the pandemic, there was a waiting period in most states before you could apply for unemployment. In the State of Florida, for example, I was required to wait a week before applying.
Check your state’s requirements and apply for unemployment right away. If your state’s website is overloaded with requests (due to the millions of unemployed currently), try applying during less busy times, after midnight.
Through July 31, 2020, you can also collect an additional $600 per week while unemployed, thanks to the CARES Act.
And don’t you dare feel ashamed that you require assistance through this difficult time. We’ve all paid into unemployment throughout our careers, and that is what it’s there for.
3. Learn How to Budget
Now is the time to budget like it’s your full-time job. Your livelihood depends on it.
Budgeting doesn’t have to be excruciatingly painful, but it’s not going to be fun.
You might even be in the red when you first start out, with not enough money to pay all of the bills.
Some of the items you can cut out of your budget (or decrease spending) include:
- cable (we switched to YouTube TV last year and it is so much more affordable, and we don’t miss out on a single thing)
- cell phones (I know you need a cell phone, but you could switch to a cheaper provider, like Cricket)
- groceries (it’s time to stop eating organic and start eating cheap)
- gym (you can work out from home for free using Chloe Ting’s workouts on YouTube)
- manicures and pedicures (obviously not necessary)
- switch to a lower maintenance hair color (instead of bleach blonde, go balayage with a root smudge)
4. Negotiate with Creditors
If you’ve been laid off due to COVID-19, many home lenders are allowing a mortgage forbearance to help during this hardship.
Be careful before opting for this, though, as oftentimes it requires a balloon payment after 3 months of deferred payments.
If you don’t have $1,500 for your mortgage now, how will you have $4,500 at the end of three months? If you’ve been in good standing, never late, etc, you might be able to take advantage of this benefit while adding the missed payments onto the back end of your loan. But get it all in writing!
You’ll still accrue interest during the forbearance period, but it will not negatively impact your credit.
Per my lawyers – Please note: This does not constitute financial advice as I am not a financial advisor. Please consult a tax advisor or financial advisor before making any major financial decisions.
Credit Card Negotiation
You should also call any credit card companies right away to negotiate lower rates and/or payments due to hardship.
Sometimes, credit card companies will offer to close the card with a balance owed but set fixed payments at a fixed rate over a certain period of time. This will keep you from turning to credit cards during financial crisis.
5. Start a Side Hustle
In November of 2018, when my blog was almost a year old, I was earning about $100 per month on the blog…hardly enough to get excited about. I kept believing that $100 would eventually turn into $1000 per month, and that would be life-changing!
As a single income family, I felt I could be doing more to help out financially (other than just being the person who pays the bills and creates the budgets). I wanted to earn money. And $100 per month just wasn’t enough.
So I applied for a part-time job at our local blood center as an appointment setter, a job that paid $10 per hour and offered 19 hours per week.
I showed up to the interview, excited for the opportunity to be making some money while I grew my hobby blog into a business. I could work my blog around my part-time job, and it was perfect.
The manager who interviewed me showed up 15 minutes late and had a terrible attitude. I was passed over for the job, but it ended up being a blessing because I refocused my efforts on the blog and quickly started earning more than that part-time job would have afforded me.
Whether you’ve been laid off from work or fired or are just looking to find ways to make money on the side from home, blogging is my number one recommendation.
I want to share with you my blog income numbers after I lost out on that job.
Here’s how it works: You share a company’s product or service, and when someone purchases, you get a portion of the earnings. This is where the majority of my income is earned blogging. One of my affiliate companies paid me $2,330 last month for a single product. It pays me $10 per sign up (which doesn’t seem like a lot), but I had 233 people purchase the product last month!
The power of compounding is incredible!
If you’re spinning your wheels and feel like you’re not getting anywhere with affiliate marketing, I highly recommend Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing and Stupid Simple SEO.
Each course has different benefits. Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing is a course created by Michelle Schroeder-Gardner, of Making Sense of Cents. Michelle earns over $150,000 per month on her blog every single month.
Mike Pearson’s course, Stupid Simple SEO, is my absolute favorite course of all time, and my income from affiliate marketing increased dramatically after putting all that I learned into practice.
One of the biggest mistakes I made early on as a new blogger was that I accepted “sponsored posts” from a company for little to nothing.
This company promised to write me articles, paying me $15 per post, to publish on my site. They were looking for links to their paying clients for next to nothing.
As I learned later on, this is a violation of Google’s terms of service, and my site could have been flagged and penalized for such behavior.
It wasn’t until I was offered to write a sponsored post for $900 to bring awareness to a company’s product that I learned what a true sponsored post is.
You can earn good money with sponsored posts, but this is not my main source of income.
This was one of my first income sources as a blogger. When you see ads on a blog, whether you click on them or not, those ads earn the blogger income just by the sheer number of people who see them.
The ad network typically places a plugin on the back end of your site and writes code and scripts to place advertisements automatically in places like your sidebar, bottom of mobile and desktop, and in-content (articles).
Adsense is where I started, and they paid me almost nothing…$308 my first year (all 12 months combined).
Monumetric was the next step up when I reached 10,000 pageviews, and I was late to the game. I reached 10,000 pageviews my fourth month blogging but didn’t apply until about 12 months into blogging. I was waiting to reach 25,000 sessions to apply to Mediavine until I realized I missed out on quite a bit of income.
When I switched to Monumetric, I earned $436 the first month (February of 2019) just two months after I lost out on the part-time gig with the blood center.
That’s not even the best part! That same month, my total blog earnings were $1,427.62 – That’s double what I would have earned working outside the home, commuting to a part-time job.
Applying for, and getting accepted into Mediavine was my #1 blogging goal from the beginning. I had heard such great things about this ad network, and I knew that it paid much more than Monumetric and Adsense.
At the time, 25,000 sessions seemed nearly impossible. I just kept writing and writing with the goal of reaching 25,000 sessions, and I finally was accepted in September of 2019.
But before I reached the threshold for Mediavine, I was able to earn over $1,000 nearly every month from Monumetric, affiliate marketing, and sponsored posts.
Mediavine broke the internet this week by announcing that Mediavine’s increased traffic requirements are now 50,000 sessions.
I want to share something with you, though. I’m 2 1/2 years into blogging, and I still haven’t reached 50,000 sessions.
But I earned $4,290.89 last month on the blog, and I have consistently earned over $3,000 every single month this year.
You don’t have to have hundreds of thousands of page views in order to make good money blogging.
To some, $4,000 is a drop in the bucket. To others, it’s completely life-changing income. This blog that started out as a $100 investment has already earned me $22,000 this year so far.
This year, I’m on track to earn FOUR TIMES the income I would have as a blood center appointment setter, and I get to do it from home while educating my kids through a pandemic. I’m feeling pretty dang good about that!
If you’re interested in starting a blog as a side hustle, check out my step by step guide on how to start a blog.
If you’re looking for other options, I’ve written a post with 81 different side hustle ideas you can start with little to no money.
If you’ve been laid off or fired recently, my heart is with you. I have been there, and I know that struggle. My prayer is that you are able to use this time as an opportunity to grow and learn more about yourself and God’s purpose for your life.
I’ve done all the things! Girl, I’ve washed my face. I’ve trashed everything that doesn’t spark joy. I’ve walked the baby steps. I’ve cried. I’ve prayed, but my perfectionism has really held me back.
Perfection Hangover can be crippling. Stop comparing yourself to others and start living your best life! That’s why PH exists! I want to encourage you to take control of your money, your blog, and your business.