Does your wallet have the unemployment blues?

I've learned that while being unemployed some things have to be scaled back or cancelled completely.  I recommend writing a list off all your bills such as power, gas, credit cards, cable TV, internet and any other bills you might have.  Then start thinking about how you can cut back until you're back at work or your income is back to normal.

Call your credit card company

Call your credit card companies and advise them of your situation.  If you have account protection you might be able to have your entire account balance paid off.  You might have to be unemployed for a specific time before you can file a claim.  But a simple call will get the ball rolling and the paperwork on the way.  If you don't have account protection many card companies might have offers for those who have fallen on hard times.  I recently called one of my card companies and was able to secure zero percent interest for 6-months and payments deferred for 2-months.  Banks have fallen on tough times too and they want to make sure cardholders stay in good standing.

Cancel or cutback on non-essentials

Cancel services that you don't really need to get by such as cable TV or even internet service.  Sometimes those companies might offer you a few free months of service to keep you as a customer.  I was able to get 3 free months of XM Radio because I've been a paying customer for several years now.  I cancelled my cable TV and enjoy clear reception with the new all digital local free channels.  If you want to watch a movie or TV take advantage of services like Redbox where you can rent movies for just a buck.  You can even sign up and get a text message code for a free movie on Monday's.  If you have a computer and a newer HDTV you can connect the computer to the TV and stream video via services such as Hulu.com, Netflix or GreenCine.com.  I connect my notebook to my HDTV via an HDMI cable and get a perfect picture.  I can stream popular TV shows from FOX and NBC or play a DVD movie to take my mind off the job search.  If you want to browse for a new job in style you can even view whatever is on your computer on your big screen TV.

Cancel your internet service

Did he just say that?  I did.  If you aren't going to be doing any video streaming like I mentioned above then cancel.  Why pay 30-40 dollars a month when you can get wi-fi free at tons of places.  Here in Boise most coffee shops offer free wi-fi service and you can get out of the house and socialize with others.  You might even meet the love of your life or someone you can practice interview skills with.  Plus it can get pretty depressing stay home every day and that's not a good thing.  The local library even offers free wi-fi plus tons of books that are job seeking related.  There are several branches around the city so there's bound to be one close to you.  Check out your local libraries website for locations, hours, services available and even apply for a library card online.

Use coupons for grocery shopping

The price of groceries aren't going down and it can be tough eating right on a limited budget.  Pick up the local Sunday paper and clip coupons and plan out your shopping trip before you go.  I find that if I don't have a list then I'm grabbing things at the store that I really don't need.  There's also several websites that show you how to save money at the grocery store and even offer online coupons you can print.  Check out the Krazy Coupon Lady (http://krazycouponlady.blogspot.com/) for more information on how you can save a bundle.

Keep smiling things will get better

I given you a few tips on saving money while unemployed and I'm sure you'll find many more ways to trim the fat.  Hang in there!  I've learned over the years that things always get better so keep a positive attitude.  See you at the local coffee shop!

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