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How to Survive a Layoff

September 23, 2009 | Financial Tips | Press Releases | No Comments

As the recession winds down, unemployment continues to hang overhead, forcing many consumers to do more with less. The American Bankers Association Education Foundation offers personal finance advice for consumers with limited resources — especially the unemployed.

“We all know someone whose job has been affected by the economy,” explains Laura Fisher, director of the ABA Education Foundation. “Even during these difficult times, there are some things that consumers can do to remain in control of their finances — even while unemployed.”

The following are some personal finance tips for tough economic times:

  • Assess what you have. Review and update your budget. Consider all sources of income like unemployment benefits, severance payments, savings and checking accounts. Look at past debit and credit card statements to discover spending patterns. ABA Financial Calculators.
  • Get your benefits. Unemployment benefits can help you to stay afloat as you restructure your household budget and look for a new job.
  • Ask for help. If you are having a hard time paying your bills, contact your creditor to arrange a more manageable payment plan. Then contact the National Foundation for Credit Counseling to find a local credit counselor to help you develop a budget and a plan for paying down debt.  To reach NFCC, call (800) 388-2227 or visit ABA Education Foundation’s Help Contacts.
  • Talk about it. Inform your network about your employment situation. Friends, fellow club members, former co-workers and other associates can be a great place to turn to find a new job.
  • Eat in. Cut out fast food and dining out. It’s cheaper to eat at home. You’ll be surprised how much you will save by taking the time to prepare meals in your own kitchen.
  • Cut, cut, cut.  Cutting cable television, cellular phone and Internet service can save you hundreds of dollars each month. Use the library’s Wi-Fi, your landline and a TV antenna until income returns.
  • Shop smart. Pay with cash or debit cards, not with credit cards. Shop around for deals, use coupons and purchase store brands.
  • Get creative. Look for free or inexpensive ways to entertain such as playing family games, choosing the library over bookstores, watching movies you already own or doing some local sightseeing.
  • Go green and save green. Cut utility costs by turning off and unplugging unused appliances, wash with full loads, set your thermostat to 68 degrees in winter and 78 degrees in summer and use fans.

For more personal finance tips, visit

The ABA Education Foundation provides financial education programs and resources that help bankers make their communities better.  Nearly 90,000 bankers have taught basic finance skills to about4 million young people through participation in the Foundation’s signature programs, Teach Children to Save and Get Smart About Credit.  Founded by bankers in 1925, the foundation is guided by a board of bankers and is an affiliate of the American Bankers Association. For more information, visit or call 1-800-BANKERS.

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