5 Ways to Save and Make Money While Looking for a Job

Written by
Rebecca Smith

Published
Jul 20, 2018

Jul 20, 2018 • by Rebecca Smith

Are you currently looking for a job?

The job hunting process is never easy. And with today's scarce job market, it's no wonder why so many people shudder at the thought of finding a new job.

But that's not to discourage you. You should feel confident about your credentials, experiences, and potential.

Still, you may be wondering how to make and save money in the process. That's why we're bringing you these 5 tips on how to budget and make extra cash.

Let's start making and saving more money!

1. Set a Budget

First things first. How much money do you currently have saved up? And how much money is regularly coming in?

You fall into one of two scenarios. You're either employed or unemployed. And where you fall will play a big part in how you budget as you look for a new job.

Here are some additional things to take into account as you calculate your budget:

  • Monthly rent/mortgage payment
  • Utility bills
  • Other bills (student loans, credit card, car payments, etc.)
  • Monthly expenses (groceries, gas money, entertainment, etc.)

Determine how much money you're required to spend every month. Then, decide how much you can realistically spend on your monthly expenses.

Try to cut down on grocery and entertainment costs to save as much as possible. We'll explore some budgeting tips later on in this article.

2. Embrace the Hustle

While looking for a job, you want to set out on making as much money as possible every day. This may not be a problem if you're already employed. But if you're unemployed, you can still find jobs to make extra money on the side.

For starters, consider picking up a part-time job. This way, you can make a steady flow of income even if it's not much. Places like restaurants and retail stores are great for finding temporary employment.

Is it possible for you to find freelance work in the meantime? There's nothing better than making side money and adding to your portfolio in the process.

Do any friends or family need help with their houses or yards? Could they hire you to perform any type of work for them? If so, take them up on any short-term work opportunities.

The bottom line: Try to make money every day even if you're not working.

3. Be Frugal

Forget about getting by on instant noodles and scrounging every day for gas money.

Being frugal is probably the most important of all budgeting tips. But it doesn't mean you have to struggle or be a cheapskate, either. It's more about simple living, and we're going to explore some ways to do just that.

Cut Down Your Transportation Costs

The costs of driving your car can quickly add up while you're in the process of finding a job.

Most places have public transportation in some form or another. Travel by bus or subway as much as possible. This includes going to and from work.

Only drive your car for long distances or emergencies. It's likely the first rounds of job interviews will occur over the phone. And if you need to report for an interview, try to use public transportation if possible.

Cook More at Home

Unfortunately, it's almost impossible to dine out when you need to be frugal. But this doesn't mean you should go wild at the grocery store, either. Where you grocery shop can actually make or break your budget.

First, buy produce and basic groceries, like milk and eggs, from discount supermarkets. You'll likely be able to find frozen meat and dairy products for discounted prices, as well.

Fruits and vegetables from discount stores will spoil faster. But if you eat them within a couple of days, it'll be worth the extra money you save.

Try to keep shopping at expensive food market chains, like Whole Foods and Trader Joe's, to a minimum. You may need to shop at these stores if you have dietary restrictions. But try to buy what you can from the discount supermarkets.

Other Ways to Save

You may be able to afford going out once or twice a month while on a budget. There are affordable ways to still have fun on a budget, however.

For example, you could do movie or game nights at home instead of going out. You and your friends could do communal cookouts instead of dining out, as well.

You can also save money by purchasing generic brands of products. This includes your soap, shampoo, toilet paper, paper towel, and cleaning products.

Need to dress to impress for an upcoming job interview? There's no need to shell out hundreds of dollars at the mall. Instead, check out thrift stores or borrow clothes from a friend!

4. Take Refinancing into Consideration

Do you feel like you can't save any money at all because of your student loan payments? Does it seem like you're paying way too much on your monthly auto loans or mortgage payment?

You may want to consider refinancing. It's more than likely your situation has changed since the start of your existing loan(s). If so, you may be eligible to improve the terms and conditions of your loan payments.

You might be able to receive a small amount of money in the form of a short-term payday loan. That way, you know you'll be able to pay your bills on time even on a tight budget.

5. Enhance Your Resume and Credentials

You'll spend a lot of time putting your resume out there and writing cover letters. But you can never stop improving your resume and credibility.

As you look for a job, look into opportunities that can help you expand your career.

Which skills can you develop or expand on? Are there free online classes you can take? What about affordable courses at a local community college?

What about reaching out to past employers for references? They may be able to put in a good word on your LinkedIn or to someone they know.

Constantly working on yourself will make you stand out as a dedicated professional. Employers not only admire that. They'll remember you out of the sea of resumes that land on their desks.

Making and Saving Money While Looking for a Job

Looking for a job is a full-time job in itself. It's stressful trying to save and make money in the process.

By following these money-making and budgeting tips, you'll be able to make and save more. All while landing the job of your dreams.

For more tips and ideas, check out our Careers Blog!