Experiencing a layoff in the family can be a nightmarish proposition. Particularly if your family is already cash-strapped, having to struggle through a period of time when a former breadwinner is no longer bringing home money can seem next to impossible. As much as you may wish to avoid them, however, layoffs do happen from time to time. If someone in your family suffers the misfortune of experiencing such a job loss, there are ways you can reduce the severity of the impact.
Fine-tune Your Budget
Much of the hardship you face when a family member experiences a layoff can be minimized with some simple budget crunching. Immediately after this family member is laid off, be proactive and turn your attention to your budget. If you don’t already have a clear family budget, create one. If you have one by which you operate, revisit it, determining what you can cut out. If, for example, you can reduce your childcare cost by having the laid off individual watch the children during times they may have previously been in daycare you can free up some cash for use in other areas–potentially making the layoff less financially problematic.
Maintain Insurance Coverage
If the individual who was laid off was the insurance holder in your family, it is vital that you pick up a new insurance coverage instead of allowing your coverage to lapse. Even though it may seem difficult to eke out the funds necessary to pay for insurance coverage when dealing with a layoff, the potential ramifications of failing to do so are large enough that they can’t be ignored. To keep yourself and your family covered, consider purchasing a short term medical insurance policy, selecting a flexible policy to keep just as long as you need to.
As scary as a layoff can be for adults who fully understand the situation, it can be even more petrifying for children. To ensure the temporary job loss you or your spouse suffers doesn’t put unnecessary stress on your tots, try your best not to let them see you sweat during this time. Don’t engage in money-related conversations when they’re in earshot and avoid making them feel as if the family is struggling even if you’ve started to feel the pinch. To reduce the likelihood that they feel stress, don’t reference a lack of funds as your reason for changes in your lifestyle. Instead, tell your kids you simply wanted to change things up, making these lifestyle modifications seem tantamount to an adventure.
Build Family Unity
A family layoff can be a depression-inducing event. Instead of allowing this job-related misfortune to drive a wedge into the middle of your family, focus on engaging in inexpensive family togetherness activities. Try, for example, instituting a family game night. This free activity will keep family members together and likely brighten some spirits, something that can make getting through a period of layoff easier to do.
As you adjust to your changed circumstances after someone in your family is laid off, it’s vital to remember that attitude is everything. If you’re capable of remaining at least relatively positive about the situation while intelligently dealing with the challenges this layoff throws in your path, you may experience success in navigating through this hopefully brief period with ease.
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