How to Prepare for Unexpected Unemployment – Top 8 Tips

Nobody likes to consider the chance that they may find themselves unemployed, but due to the current pandemic and possible future recession, it’s a necessity that everyone should start thinking about. No matter how recession-proof you think your job may be, it’s always a good idea to start preparing for unemployment now.

If you’re unsure of how to prepare for unemployment,check this blog about the top eight ways you can ensure you’re ready for unexpected job loss.

  1. Trim Your Budget

Step one in how to prepare for unemployment is to take a look at your budget. How much of your income are you spending? Compare your spending on necessities versus luxuries. If you have any concerns about losing your job in the near future, cut down your budget as much as you can and don’t splurge on an extravagant vacation! Place all the money that you would normally put towards entertainment into your savings to prepare yourself for months with no income.

  1. Build Up The Emergency Fund

You might not have any specific savings accounts at this point, but you should now separate out at least two: an emergency fund and retirement savings. You should apply all of your extra funds towards these two accounts, with a special focus on your emergency fund during the time when your job may be in jeopardy.

Many people stop paying into their emergency fund once they reach a specific goal, but on our list of how to prepare for unemployment, the emergency fund is a critical part of surviving while jobless. Even if you’ve reached your initial goal for this account, keep paying into it until you have at least a year’s worth of living expenses.

  1. Look At Health Insurance

Many people rely on their employers for health insurance. When they lose their jobs, they never even consider what it means for their healthcare costs. You might think that COBRA could pick up the slack until you find new insurance, but this could be a heavy financial burden.

If you’re preparing for unemployment, you should start searching for health insurance options with your reduced income right now, so that you’re ready for whatever comes your way. There are a number of resources through the ACA that can help you find affordable healthcare no matter how much money you’re making.

  1. Speed Up Debt Repayment

One of the biggest burdens for those who are unemployed is still having to make payments toward various debts. Whether it’s a mortgage, student loans, or credit card debt, you should speed up your debt repayment, even if you have a low income. When preparing for unemployment, prioritize debts that have high interest rates or those that don’t offer deferment.

  1. Apply for Deferments

Rent and mortgage are at the top of everyone’s list when thinking about how to prepare for unemployment. The reason it’s not as vital as building up your emergency fund and trimming your budget is due to deferment and refinancing options. In cases like the current pandemic, many companies are suspending eviction and foreclosure to provide relief for people dealing with job loss.

You can reach out to your lender to see if you qualify for deferment; that suspends accruing interest and postpones payments until a later date. Negotiate with your lender to ensure the new payment dates are at a time when you’re sure you’ll have a steady income.

  1. Apply for Unemployment

Part of the taxes taken out of your paycheck is for unemployment insurance, and you should absolutely take advantage of this program if you lose your job. Part of learning how to prepare for unemployment is understanding the application and claim filing process. After you file a claim, it will take the unemployment office several weeks to process your application and attribute the correct Weekly Benefit Amount and Claim Balance to your account. Once they provide you with a claim summary, you can start certifying for your benefits — even if you have to do it retroactively.

  1. Start Networking

While everyone’s employment situation is different, it’s never too early to start refreshing your resume and networking with potential employers. Hunting for a new job can be very stressful and there are a number of preemptive steps you can take to make it easier.

In addition to ensuring your resume is up to date, you also want your social networking profiles to display you in the best possible light. Add all relevant skills to your LinkedIn profile and share successful projects on your Facebook page. Selling yourself to recruiters is critical for those preparing for unemployment.

  1. Find Supplemental Income

Starting a side job while you’re still employed is a great way to supplement your income and save more money. Whether it’s a hobby with marketable skills that you can turn into a part-time gig or a passion that you eventually want to transform into your own business, now is a good time to start building up your experience and resources. Did these tips help you learn how to prepare for unemployment? We want to hear from you! Comment below to start a conversation about the best ways to prepare for unexpected unemployment that we didn’t include in our blog.

Tips for Effective Restaurant Accounting

When you have a restaurant or planning to have one, you must be crazy about food and making people happy with it. Therefore, you must be excited about gastronomy. Prepare food and provide it to people is all you love.

However, under that simple premise, many complex responsibilities may not be trained or specifically enjoyed. Restaurant accounting is definitely one of the most complex tasks. Restaurant accounting is one of the most important aspects of business success, but all of these numbers can be difficult to track and understand and are often overlooked or avoided. You don’t have to postpone until the very end for fear of restaurant billing. Here are some common tips that will help you in effectively managing the accounting part of your restaurant. There are ways to simplify and streamline the process.

Hire an accountant

People do not born with finance knowledge, they need to learn about it. And when it comes to the food industry, there are many loopholes. You should make sure that you have your finances in check so that you can effectively run the business. But on the same note, it is difficult to be in charge of everything. For this, you must hire an accountant. With the help of this accountant, you can bid goodbye to all those worries about restaurant accounting.

The task can be made very easy for you. All you have to do is hand over the receipts and books to your accountant and the rest is up to them. In addition to managing the finances, they can also help you during the tax filing season and tick another task off your box.

Outsourcing restaurant accounting

Most common problem that business owners have is the employee embezzlement. Therefore, we can see that most of the owners tend to check the finance all by themselves which actually is a huge matter of time. It is quite a common phenomenon that also encourages most business owners to do the task themselves. However, you can easily outsource this accounting to a third-party company that will solely be responsible for your books. This way you can ensure that there are no employees cheating you. It will also save you cost and time and you do not have to worry about being late. Therefore, outsourcing should be your first option when it comes to restaurant accounting.

Keeping track of your expenses

As a restaurant owner, it can be very easy for you to go over budget. This may not only cause losses to you but also hinder the future performance of the restaurant. For this purpose, it is essential that you keep track of all your expenses. Right from purchasing at the farmer’s market to getting beverages from big suppliers, you should have a record of all transactions. This not only helps in better restaurant accounting but also helps you to analyse the places you are spending more.

Using the right tools

When it comes to maintaining the accounts for the restaurant it can be very tedious. There are various options that are offered to the customers which means that their various heads under which the customers make the payments. To have an effective grip on which head is the losing part of the restaurant, you need to segregate such payments. The only way you will be able to achieve segregation is by using advanced and effective tools for restaurant accounting. 

Therefore, as you can see these are some effective tips to help you in restaurant accounting. You should not worry much and hire an accountant to make the whole process easy for you.


How to Go Grocery Shopping Sustainably

Going zero-waste might be the right thing to do for the planet, but it is certainly not the easiest to accomplish. Almost every grocery store you visit will have food packaged and stored behind layers and layers of plastic. Most foods are produced with high carbon emissions. It costs both your wallet and the planet way more than it should.

Practicing sustainable measures while grocery shopping is the only solution to this lifestyle problem that impacts Earth as much as it impacts us. To make your journey towards a sustainable life more accessible, there are 8 tips you can follow. Let’s dive in.

1. Bring Your Own Reusable Bags

Statistics suggest that nearly 40% of all the plastic produced every year is single-use plastic used for packaging. This kind of plastic is really difficult to recycle as it gets tangled in the machinery and interferes with robotic sensors used in the recycling process. Their obvious fate is ending up in landfills and water bodies where they have detrimental impacts on the environment.

Each time you purchase something that uses single-use plastics, you contribute to the growing plastic crisis. Bringing your own grocery shopping bags really pays off in this scenario. If you resolve to bring your own reusable bags and containers, you can say “no” to single-use plastic every time while grocery shopping. With a few storage and organization tips, incorporating reusable bags and containers into your life can be easy as pie.

2. Buy Loose Produce

While we’re on the topic of plastic packaging, you should know that using reusable bags only works when you buy loose produce. Putting a container of packaged vegetables or meat in your tote bag defeats the purpose. You are still creating significant plastic waste. To prevent this, visit stores that contain fresh, unwrapped foods.

Buying loose produce helps you control the amount you want to buy and save money in the process. In organic stores, you will find a wide range of loose products — fruits, vegetables, spices, pasta, cereals, rice, biscuits, and much more! In a supermarket, however, most of these products will be wrapped in plastic.

3. Steer Clear of Processed Food

How much do you pay for packets of chips, biscuits, or cookies per month? $20? $50? More? Try spending that amount on buying whole, raw ingredients. You’ll easily make twice as much food that’s thrice as healthy!

It’s called “shopping the perimeter”. When you shop the perimeter, you buy your cheese and pasta separately instead of buying a box of microwaveable mac and cheese. Better yet, make your own pasta from scratch!

Processed food comes with a lot of drawbacks: huge carbon footprint, higher costs, loss of nutrients, unhealthy additives, and excessive packaging, just to name a few. These impair your health, tarnish the environment, and snowball your grocery bill. You can live a much healthier life by sacrificing snacks and easy food options for more healthy recipes.

4. Opt for a Plant-Based Diet

Does making your own pasta sound like an odious task to you? Were you thinking of veering towards meat more? If so, think twice! Eating a predominantly animal-based diet can be even more detrimental than eating overly processed food.

Plant-based foods have a smaller carbon-footprint. Most animal-based foods are way more resource intensive and harmful for the environment. A study found that beef production requires 20 times more land and emits 20 times more greenhouse gas than common plant-based protein sources such as beans, peas and lentils. Chicken and pork require thrice the amount of resources as plants.

5. Read the Labels

Labels can reveal so many secrets about how the food is produced and the impact it has on the environment. Not all processed food and meat out there hurts the planet. Some of it is responsibly and consciously produced. Certain food labels can certify that. Lookout for trustable certifications like Fair Trade, American Grassfed, Organic, Bird Friendly, Animal Welfare Approved, Safe Catch, BPI Compostable, Non-GMO, and so on. Eat responsibly!

6. Shop Local and In-Season

Food can have a high emission tag if it is transported from somewhere far away or exported from another part of the world. This is often the case when we try to eat fruits or vegetables that are not in season. This means more energy consumption, higher carbon emission, and outrageous prices.

If you eat what is locally grown around you, you consume food with negligible carbon emissions and low prices. Shopping from your local farmers’ market is a great way to start.

7. Know Your Plastics

Sometimes, purchasing items with plastic packaging is unavoidable if you do not have any plastic-free alternatives at your local grocery stores. In such dire scenarios, check the plastic resin identification number. It’ll be a small code inside of a triangle. This symbol reveals which type of plastic is used to make a packaging material.

Always go for HDPE (high-density polyethylene) and PETE (polyethylene terephthalate) plastics since they are more easily recyclable than other kinds of plastic. Learn more about recycling and upcycling to keep yourself updated about ways you can repurpose plastic containers.

8. Always Carry a List and Never Go In Hungry

Going grocery shopping without a list is how you get confused. Going in hungry is how you lose focus and self-control. The result is buying a bunch of stuff you don’t need. Overbuying leads to food wastage. Annually, Americans waste 30-40% of the US food supply. You sure don’t want to contribute to this number.

Happy Shopping!

If you’re already living a pretty sustainable lifestyle, the above tips will only add to it. And if your next grocery trip is going to be your first attempt at being sustainable, following these tips will make for an effortless transition into this lifestyle. Either way, more power to you!

Author Bio:

Carolyn Mitchell is a freelance writer and content strategist with a passion for home décor. She can often be found re-painting and updating the furnishings in her home, and she is also a dedicated cat mom to two adorable kitties.

Protect Your Finances in Hard Times

By Ann Lloyd, Student Savings Guide

It’s been almost a year since many of us have felt truly safe. We’ve been beset by a global pandemic, civil unrest, and, amidst it all, financial uncertainty.

We have limited control over those first two elements. We can wear masks and socially distance to shield ourselves from the coronavirus, and we can do our part to find common ground and exercise compassion when dealing with our fellow citizens. But somehow, things still feel largely out of hand.

We might feel overwhelmed by financial demands, too, and some factors may be beyond our immediate control. But we can still take steps to find firmer financial footing and work toward a more secure future — even in an unsettled present. 

Weather changes in your employment

For many, the employment picture has become a major source of stress and uncertainty during the past year. Many businesses have closed, and a survey of Yelp data showed that 60% — a majority — had closed down permanently. Unemployment claims hit a five-month high in January 2021.

You may have been laid off or furloughed as a result of the pandemic, and even if you weren’t, your job description may have changed. Maybe you started working from home or saw a reduction in hours. Or maybe you had to assume new duties as your company stretched its staff’s capacity amid downsizing.

In light of these changes, it’s important to expand your skill set to keep yourself relevant. Ask your employer about cross-training opportunities, and bolster your all-around proficiency by seeking out online courses and how-to videos. Look for side jobs and contracting work, too: The “gig economy” has grown by 15% since 2010.

If you’re in a traditional job, check in with human resources about changes in job status or duties that might be expected in the near future. And don’t be afraid to ask for information about financial assistance, wage investment programs, retirement options, and insurance packages that are available through your company.

Get proactive with your finances

Take stock of your overall financial picture with an inventory of everything from your budget to your retirement plan, from your insurance to your bank account.

There are plenty of financial management tools available to you, ranging from banking apps to budgeting software and beyond. For example, in uncertain times, managing and maintaining your credit is critical. You’ll need a credit cushion now more than ever. Under federal law, you’re entitled to a free credit report each year. Take advantage of this opportunity so you know where you stand.

If you find yourself in difficult straits, pursue opportunities for government aid. Two rounds of stimulus payments have gone out to qualified taxpayers. If you haven’t received yours, you can check its status and how to proceed via this IRS site online. 

Do some research and be aware of your options. There’s also other tax relief available, such as filing deferments and economic impact payments. Check into unemployment insurance and student loan relief, if they apply. 

If you’re a renter, know your rights, and whether you’re protected by a government moratorium on evictions. Check with lenders to see whether they’re willing to be flexible on your debt by allowing you to skip or delay scheduled payments. Ask your bank to waive ATM fees, late fees, and overdraft penalties.

Scrutinize your insurance

Insurance is important during the best of times, but it’s even more critical during times of crisis.

Take account of all your coverage, whether it’s home, health, or automobile insurance. Some insurers offer discounts for bundled coverage; see whether this might work for you. Study your policies to make sure they don’t overlap and you’re not paying too much as a result. Know what needs different types of policies serve, and how health and car insurance coverage differs by situation.

There are other types of backups you also might want to consider. If your livelihood depends on electricity, you can’t afford to lose power. A backup generator is a modest investment that can keep you operating in uncertain conditions.

Protect your retirement

When you need to tighten your belt, it’s tempting to stop paying into your 401(k) or other retirement account. But don’t let uncertainty in the present threaten your future. It’s never a good time to pull the plug on retirement savings — but you can take this opportunity to reassess the kind of saving you’re doing.

Check with your employer to see whether your company is offering, or planning to offer, new options that fit your situation better. Consult your financial adviser for expert advice, so you can be sure of your future, even if your present seems uncertain. If you’re nearing retirement, your adviser can tell you how feasible it would be to call it a career — and when.

The past year has strained our economy as a nation, and our individual finances, as well. But even amid the stress and sorrow of civil unrest and the spread of a deadly virus, there are things we can do to minimize the impact of national and global crises on our lives. 

As we look ahead, we can take action to keep our ship afloat as we right our course and sail toward a brighter future.

Layer Savings To Reach Long-Term Goals with Strategic Planning

Debt is something that everyone has these days. Some have less amount of it and find it well manageable while other carry large amounts in multiple loan accounts losing their sleep and money over it.

  • These people who have large amounts of debt cannot save money for their better future or even for an emergency situation.
  • On the contrary, people who have little debts can reach to both their savings for retirements as well as paying off debts quickly very easily.

It all depends on your current cash flow, in and out. If you earn well and have fewer amounts to repay, you will save. On the other hand, if your earning is less but your debt payments are more, you will have less or no savings but will surely stay in debt more a longer time, if not always and forever!

In such situations, on useful approach that you can take is to pay your debts off more aggressively. You may assume that your savings will increase in the future as and when your income increases. This will help you to pay off your debts as well.

Layering savings

Assume that you can save up to $30,000 per year for the next couple of years by paying off your debts continually. This same figure may increase to $40,000 per year when you pay off a second mortgage.Such savings layering can transform a marginally successful looking plan into one that has a high very rate of possibility of success.

The primary aspect of layering savings is to evade lifestyle sidle. This is a situation when you suddenly realize that you have more expensive tastes in you as and when your income increases.

However, paying off debt is a longterm project for most of the people. In order to achieve this, you will have to do two things namely:

  • Prioritize your debts to find out which needs to be paid down before and faster and
  • Strike a perfect balance between retiring in debt and saving.

This will help you to pay off your debts to achieve your financial goals within its longterm context.

However, both of these are not easy tasks. You will need to make a perfect decision to find out whether or not you should use any extra cash to pay off your debt or stick to the normal way of repaying it so that you can maintain steady and free cash follow. There are a few other things to consider for this such as:

  • How much of cash flow you have
  • How comfortable you are with your debt or debts and
  • How you weigh debt payments, savings and investments.

This will help you to see which best option will work for or against you. This will also help you to avoid debt stress and the hassles of looking for debt relief options at or any other for that matter.

Tips to make a choice

Especially, when you have enough money in hand left over and thing turn out to be going very well and as expected at the end of every month, it may be very difficult to make the right choice of options. To help you choose the right option, here are a few tips to follow:

  • First, you will need to have a general sense of the number that will determine your cash flow is good enough to pay your debt off and save.
  • Second, you will need to have design a detailed budget to arrive at the final number of your cash flow.
  • Third, you will need to prioritize your debts in order to manage it well as per your present economic situation.

Next up, you must find out your comfort level while carrying debt with you. Yes, it is true that most of the people in today’s society are comfortable in carrying debt but it may not be the case for you. It is all about the money you earn and have in hand for disposal.

You may be like the handful of people who simply do not like any debt amount against their name. Even if they incur any, such as while making a purchase using their credit card, they tend to pay it off as soon as possible regardless of what the numbers may imply.

Therefore, making a choice between saving and repaying debts off is a matter of:

  • Personal choice
  • Amount of money available at a particular moment to pay off the debt
  • The comfort level with or without debt and
  • The long term and short term benefits and consequences.

However, if you choose to pay your debts off quickly and then save, make sure that amount of decrease in savings associated with in in the short term is logical enough and will not threaten your ability with unbeatable challenges to meet your ultimate financial goals.

Concept of ‘carry’

You may have come across the term ‘carry’ when people speak about debt. You may have come across it a couple of times in this article as well but you may not know what ‘carry’ actually means.

The term ‘carry’ actually refers to the difference of the amount you pay in the form of interest on your loan and the amount that you could have earned as an interest on that amount saved if you invested on something else that yields. That is why debt is also considered as a ‘burden’ or ‘load.’

For example, if you have a credit card debt that charges 19.5% interest.You know that you will pay more as interest on the credit card debt than you can earn in a money market by investing the same amount. In such a case it is unwise to ‘carry’ the debt for inexplicable reasons.

Therefore, the last and probably the most important step for layering savings is to determine how much debt you should carry, and this is not a very difficult task. All you have to do is consider the rate of interest and the tenure of the loan.