Guest Author: Jim Vogel
When you are out of a job, making ends meet today feels almost impossible. And saving for the future? That’s a dream you might fear is completely out of reach. But it’s not. Here are some tips on how to use your time and money to ensure you pay your bills today without sacrificing your financial future.
Consider going back to school.
There are few better ways to improve your future possibilities than by going back to school to learn a new skill. And, if you have plans of changing vocations anytime soon, there’s never been a better time than now.
If you have children, consider earning a degree so that you can become a teacher. Teachers, while not the highest-paid profession out there, get weekends and summers off, and have the benefit of a pre-package social group right at school. Most school districts offer excellent benefits, including health insurance and savings. Other degree options for working parents include IT professionals and nurses. Both are high-paid, typically flexible, and in-demand.
If you do not want to go back to school for two or four years, you might pursue a technical certificate in dental hygiene, photography, or digital marketing.
Find part-time opportunities to earn.
Although you may be busy writing resumes and Zooming into interviews, when you’re pinching your pennies, make getting a part-time job a priority. There are many gig-based (meaning that you are a freelancer) jobs you can do from home. According to Parents, these include reselling clothing, working as an Airbnb property manager, blogging, or crafting.
Especially if you choose a remote position that’s internet-based, you’ll want to ensure your internet is running smoothly. With providers now offering 5G service, you can access the internet with substantial bandwidth and speed.
Working from home can be difficult, so don’t count out other opportunities, such as working in a daycare, tutoring, using your fitness skills to instruct others, or driving for a ride-sharing service. Working for Lyft or Uber, you can expect to make around nine dollars per hour plus tips and bonuses. Amazon contract delivery drivers, which usually deliver one and two-hour orders, make about twice that.
Don’t forget about the future.
Finally, today’s a great day to think about the future. Even if you are not bringing in a significant income, saving for retirement is one of the best possible things you can do. Start by learning all you can – connecting with a financial coach is a great place to start – and by looking at places to put your money where it will earn it. This might be a money market account or other high-yield savings.
You can also look for ways to spend less of the money you have and channel your savings into a retirement account, such as a 401(k) or IRA. This process begins by figuring out how much you have, how much you spend, and ways to cut back. For most, this may mean scaling back your entertainment or changing the way you shop for groceries, clothing, and household items.
One of the best ways to save money is to barter your services with friends and family. If you’re an adept photographer and you need a haircut, for example, offer a family photoshoot for your beautician. Whatever your skill, there is someone who will need it.
To recap: use your time out of work wisely. Learn a new skill, and you wind up making more as the job market improves. Next, find ways to supplement so that you don’t have to suffer a cash crunch. Finally, think of ways to save money now so that you can live well after retirement.