Lost An Income? Here's What You Need To Do

Losing a job is always going to be a shock. Firstly, you’re taken over by an overwhelming sense of sadness, anger, and frustration as you try to come to terms with your job loss. And on the other hand, you have no real-time to recuperate as you urgently need to get a hold of your financial situation to make sure that you don’t spiral into debt!

Take Care Of You
Either being made redundant or fired is a devastating time for the person involved, and can conjure a lot of negative emotions that if left too long to stew, can manifest and affect your everyday thinking. You can’t afford to bear this weight on your chest for too long, which is why you need to be extra kind to yourself so that you may move past this challenging time. Take time to grieve your loss and talk about it with your family and friends so that you can work through and understand your feelings surrounding the news of your job loss. But then try and see the positive side! After all, it's the chance for a new beginning. Perhaps you want to pursue your old career or embark on a new one! Or maybe, you could think about starting that business idea you've been pondering for years but never really had the chance to go for it.

Your Living Situation
Now it's time to get your finances under wrap. Chances are that the most significant chunk of money to leave your account each month is your housing payment. Depending on whether you have a mortgage or pay rent, there are different things you can do to reduce this expense.

Mortgage - Gather your paperwork and contact your mortgage lender to ask whether you have PPI and Short-Term Income Protection attached to your loan. As you’re probably aware, PPI had previously been mis-sold, and so you may have this insurance connected to your mortgage without even realising it. If you do have PPI or short-term income protection, apply for it as soon as possible, as there can usually be a delay for payments. If you don’t have this insurance, dependant on your circumstances, the government sometimes offers help with paying your mortgage interest.

Tenancy - If you currently rent your property, you will want to contact the Citizens Advice Bureau to gather information on your tenancy rights. It’s essential to do this because, if you contact your landlord straightaway to explain that your payments may be delayed for the coming weeks/months, they might send an eviction notice. Within UK law, tenants have rights that landlords must adhere to, so it's wise for you to be aware of these before speaking to your landlord.

Universal Credit
The next step you will want to take is to see what benefits and support you may be entitled to in light of your new circumstances. There are a range of benefits that you be able to claim that could fill the income gap until you find a new job. Here are the benefits that Universal Credit includes:

-Housing Benefit
-Child Tax Credit
-Income Support
-Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
-Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
-Working Tax Credit

The sooner you apply for benefits, the better. Reason being, sometimes there can be a delay in response or they may ask you to send additional supporting information to process your application. Because of this, there could already be a delay for when you're likely to receive payments. To begin, browse the gov.uk website for more information on benefits and apply online

Create A Budget Spreadsheet
Once you’ve sought financial help to fill your current income gap, it’s advised to create a budget sheet. You must include absolutely every outgoing you can think of that leaves your account. Equally, sum up all of your income (side jobs, partners income, money from a second property). Try to divide your expenses into two categories. The first being needs and the latter being wants. The needs category should include your necessities such as;

-Mortgage or rent payment 
-Utility Bills - Gas, electric, water
-Food shopping
-Car (only if it’s necessary and not a luxury) including fees such as car insurance, tax, and petrol
-Debt Payments

For these payments, there is potential wiggle room to bring the overall cost down. For instance, if you are due to remortgage, you could apply to spread your mortgage over a longer-term, to reduce your house payment each month. Energy providers are continuously competing with one another for new customers, and so it’s wise to shop around to see if you can get cheaper electricity and gas elsewhere. For debt payments such as credit cards, you can explain your circumstances to the bank or lender and ask if you can pay the minimum amount each month. This shall further reduce your monthly outgoings.

Your wants include things such as;
-Paying off a family holiday
-Netflix subscription
-Gym membership
-Routine expensive hair appointments

Nothing here is a necessity for you to survive. And so, if money is tight or nonexistent, start making cuts here to bring your outgoings down significantly. At least until you get back on your feet financially, of course.

Treat Your Job Loss Like A New Role
Once you’ve lost your job, you shall have more than enough to occupy you to help you get back on your feet, and so treat it like a new job! Create a morning routine and work through the steps above to get your life back together again. Doing so will give you a confidence boost and a sense of achievement. From sorting out your money problems to applying for new exciting roles to get you back to work, your unemployment gap shall be over in no time.

A loss of income can destroy even the most confident of people. However, it’s important not to dwell on the situation too much. Doing so could cause you to bury your head in the sand and leave your cash flow and job prospects to go to ruins. Take small steps out of the advice detailed above to enable you to gain momentum and give you some hope. This is just a down period, it is not the end of the world.

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