How to Keep Your Finances in Line While Job Hunting

Written by
Rebecca Smith

Published
Sep 16, 2020

Sep 16, 2020 • by Rebecca Smith

Whether you are fresh out of college or transitioning to another career or company, it's important to make smarter financial decisions before someone hires you. There's nothing more critical than the amount of time it takes before you get hired, and until you land a job and pay off your bills, keeping your finances in order is just as important a priority as the job hunt itself.

Fortunately, there are ways that can help sustain you without draining your bank account. As you wait to sign your initials on an employment contract, keep these tips towards smarter money habits in mind:

  1. List down your liabilities

Do you still have student loans to pay off? How far behind are you on rent? Do you still have overdue bills to worry about? The scariest thing about being on a job hunt is the fact that you have certain financial obligations to satisfy. Not being able to meet these obligations will also affect your search for a job. 

The first thing you will have to do to keep your finances in line is determine your liabilities. Perhaps your primary goal here is to reduce your monthly expenses so you have enough money for daily necessities. However, when it comes to debt, the best you can do is to adjust your spending for everything else. This way, you can avoid incurring costly penalties or worse, being evicted by your landlord.

  1. Come up with a sound financial strategy

Don't think that finding a job is the only thing to worry about at this time. You also have to consider that even if someone does hire, you still need to wait until the end of the month to receive your first paycheck.

Building an effective strategy for managing your finances should also be your top priority, especially as the country continues to suffer from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. But if there's anything this health crisis has taught us, it's how to make the most of what we have. Sure enough, men have decided to invest a good bulk of their hard-earned income while women focus on the day-to-day budget.

Pandemic or not, investing your money and being able to control how much flows out of your pockets can help you confront the challenges that this (hopefully brief) period of unemployment brings. It’s only a matter of developing discipline to gain a better understanding of what to do with the cash you have on hand.

Before you embark on a job hunt (or leave your current job), you will need to know how you can keep yourself afloat in the difficult days to come. You might want to consider accumulating enough cash for an emergency fund, or for your emotional health think about investing in an emotional support animal. You can also come up with a budget for every day during your job search. At any rate, it’s wise not to wait until the last minute to get your financial strategy in order. 

  1. Use budgeting apps

Few people have it easy when it comes to committing to a budget. In fact, some don’t bother at all. Maintaining a budget is an effective approach that will help you pull through until a job offer finally falls on your lap. 

Fortunately, you can easily keep track of your current resources using apps like Mint and Pocketguard. These apps allow you to keep your spending habits under control and give you a good view of your financial situation. Plus, these apps are free-to-use and intuitive, so it won’t take you long to get your budget worked out. 

  1. Be practical

Overspending on food, transportation and other daily essentials can eat into your budget. Considering that you haven’t found a job yet, it’s important to be practical. In other words, keep yourself from making unnecessary purchases and give second thoughts about buying a certain need. 

If you still have a decent suit to wear, you should avoid buying a new one. If you are the type of person who loves to eat out, you can save a lot more if you cook your own meals. Finally, avoid buying items that you can get cheaper elsewhere. Why waste money on an electric toothbrush when you can get a basic one instead? You can also spend time looking for a side hustle instead of spending money on entertainment. Practicality is all about knowing your spending threshold. And until you find a stable source of sustenance, you should stay on the safe side whenever possible.

Hunting for a job is made even more difficult by money problems. Hopefully, the tips above should help you with managing your finances better as you prepare for meetups with potential employers.