4 Ways to Soften the Sting of Unemployment
By Yolander Prinzel
While it seems that unemployment numbers may be dropping, there are still millions of people who are out of work right now. Being unemployed is not only damaging to the self-esteem of those affected but it is also really hard on the pocketbook because unemployment benefits are not commensurate with your former salary and not all jobs offer some sort of severance when they let employees go. Many people turn to their retirement funds and other savings to try and make up the balance, keep their homes, and pay their bills some are even forced to pawn valuable items in order to make ends meet.
While there is no definitive solution for making up the slack in your budget after losing your job, there are some things you can do to try and earn a little extra money.
Do Odd Jobs
If you have a pick-up truck, a lot of energy, or even just a strong back then there are odd jobs you can do that people will pay you for. You can place an ad in your local freebie paper to haul junk to the dump, to pick up brush in someone’s yard or shovel snow, or even just to help someone move furniture for a small fee. It’s not glamorous and won’t make you rich, but it can certainly help fill out the budget a bit.
Online Outsourcing Bid Sites
Online outsourcing bid sites like Elance are sites where businesses find independent contractors to outsource work to. If you have telemarketing skills, transcription experience, web design chops—any kind of skill that you can lend from a remote location—then you could find a business that wants to hire you. The sites generally take a percentage of your pay but when you score a gig but they do allow you to bid for a limited number of gigs free each month. Just make sure to really target your bids to those jobs you can make a really strong, persuasive case for getting.
Temp agencies are often the first stop for people who have been laid off, but why go through a temporary service when you can temp yourself? You can save employers money since they won’t have to pay the overhead of a temp service and instead will just pay your hourly rate. You can place an ad on Craigslist or you can create a cover letter and resume and start sending it to businesses. Make sure you pitch yourself as a temporary worker so they truly appreciate the angle you are approaching them from.
Resell Free Stuff
People give stuff away for free all the time. Just this morning on Craigslist I found people giving away working or repairable refrigerators, furniture in good condition and working television sets. If you take these free items you can resell them at a yard sale over the weekend or on Ebay. If you also do the hauling tip in #1, you may even get paid to take stuff away from someone’s home and you can then resell it. To avoid fines be sure to get the appropriate permits before your yard sale.
Photo credit: ep_jhu
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