You, or your spouse, have lost your job, are looking for work and trying to survive on unemployment benefits. Your company has downsized and you are trying to survive on part-time hours. You are a 99er who has lost your unemployment benefits and there are no jobs in sight. This is the reality for many families and is forcing many to give up luxuries and even essentials. Family budgets face deep cuts as people look for answers and solutions. It is these times where many people need to look outside of the box for solutions to supplementing their budgets.
Training and Continuing Education
For those that have found themselves unemployed, the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Labor have teamed together to provide assistance. Their official website will walk you through the process of finding financial loans and grants that will allow you to return to school and pursue continuing education or training for a new career. They have also worked out a plan that will allow you to keep your employment benefits while returning to school. This program provides you the opportunity to receive more training or a degree needed to pursue a different career and help you to find employment.
Turn Your Hobby into Income
If you have taken a reduction in work hours or have found a job making lower wages than you had before, many people are now looking to find a second job or some way to supplement their income and family budget. Consider thinking outside the box and away from traditional options. Look to things you enjoy doing and if there is a way you can make additional income doing this.
For example, there are moms out there that enjoy making hair bows for their daughter’s hair. Consider taking that talent and making enough to sell to family and friends. Turn to sites like eBay or Etsy and try selling them to a larger market.
If you are a handy man and enjoy mechanical work, consider looking for people who are throwing away non-working lawnmowers. Many people give these away for free on sites like Craigslist. You can fix them up to working condition and sell them.
Turn to the Barter System for Products and Services
Families and small businesses are both feeling the effects of the economy and unemployment rate. Whether it is family members, friends or small local businesses, everyone is looking to get the most they can while maintaining their budget. This is where the idea of bartering is becoming more and more common.
If you have friends and family near you, consider things like a babysitting swap. Instead of paying for a babysitter when needed, trade times with family members. This will work to save both families. This works well for friends and family that may have a garden as well. You have a garden and are growing certain vegetables. Maybe you have a friend who has fruit trees. Consider creating a produce swap between friends. This saves both of you money while you are able to expand the fresh produce you can feed to your family.
Some small businesses, especially service businesses, may consider a bartering arrangement. For example, if you are a whiz with fixing computers, you could offer an auto shop your services in exchange for fixing your car. When it comes to trades or bartering, it can never hurt to ask. The worst that can happen is they can say no.
Difficult times call for creative measures and taking a different approach than you are used to. Think outside of the box and go for it.