Being unemployed isn’t fun. You don’t have a job to keep you motivated. You don’t receive your full pay. With the economy in a slump, you don’t even know when you’ll be back on your feet again. You, like many other people, face incredible odds. Not only do you have to struggle to find a new job, you also have to overcome several common challenges that every unemployed person faces.
The first challenge – and most obvious – is a money problem. According to research done by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, a single adult needs about £193 after housing expenses to have an “adequate” standard of living. Unfortunately, on basic out-of-work benefits, you’re not going to see anywhere near this amount.
When you’re living on these basic benefits, you face severe financial difficulty from day 1 of your unemployment. If you’re over 25, and claiming contribution-based job seekers allowance, you’ll probably receive about £71.70 a week.
Often, that’s not enough to meet all of your bills. You might be forced to choose between buying groceries and paying your electric utility.
To cope with the loss of income, consider calling on a friend or family member for support. Maybe someone will let you stay with them temporarily to ease the financial burden. Also, don’t discount the value of calling up your creditors and explaining the situation. Some of them might not be very understanding but, if you’re upfront with them from the very beginning, it’ll make things less stressful when you get your first “late” notice. In some cases, you can receive a moratorium on your bills until you get back to work.
Long-term unemployment can also lead to a serious deterioration of mental and physical health. If you can’t afford to eat well, your risk of getting sick increases. Likewise, the mental stress of not having enough food to eat and not having enough to pay the bills can take its toll quickly. The important thing is to realize that you’re not worthless.
Even though things seem difficult right now, and you may be turned down many, many times for a job, it’s never hopeless – especially if you have friends and family to help you through this difficult time.
Either way you still need to budget for essential items, especially if they have to do with your health. Get on the internet – even at your local library if the need be – and get searching for your essential health products at good prices. For instance you can visit Lenstore.co.uk and look for different priced items to what your local optician stocks. You would be surprised at the amount of money you can save each week.
There’s a certain stigma associated with being out of work. Relying on the state makes you seem like you’re lazy or worthless – you’re not. Certain subsets of society tend to demonize unemployed people as workshy layabouts that are content with living off the efforts of others. The reality is that the majority of people on unemployment wan to work. You don’t have to fit the stereotype, and you can reject the stigma by simply committing yourself to doing everything you can to find another job.
Relationship problems often originate as money problems. With you being out of work, it’s easy for your romantic relationship to suffer. Expenses have to be cut back, you might have to skip paying some bills, and you might even be forced to downsize and move out of your home.
Psychologist Melanie Greenberg says that relationship issues stemming from unemployment can sometimes result in drug and alcohol abuse, domestic violence, and even legal problems.
Rosalind Miller is a personal finance consultant with several years of experience. An avid blogger, you can find her informative articles on various websites.