How to emerge from this economic turmoil relatively unscathed.

If you’re like nearly 43 million other Americans who have been recently laid off or furloughed, you’ve probably found yourself in an unpleasant financial situation that you’re trying to dig your way out of. Getting furloughed or becoming unemployed is hard for anyone, but making smart financial moves right now could save you from getting deeper in the hole and allow you to emerge from this economic turmoil relatively unscathed. Take a look at four tips you should know to get you and your family through these hard times in one piece.

1. Spend Your Free Time Wisely

It might seem like second nature to spend your time wallowing in self-pity, but if you’ve got a family to support, you can’t just sit around and wait for something good to happen. You’ve got to go out there and make it happen. Spend your free time searching for other ways to make money, even if it’s not another job. You could join the gig economy and deliver groceries or meals through companies like Postmates, Doordash or Instacart. There’s nothing wrong with a side hustle that can hold you over until your next real job. Use the free time you have to explore the different ways you can bring money in.

2. Revamp Your Resume

If you haven’t dusted off your old resume in years, now’s the time to do it. Being furloughed or unemployed means you’re going to need to revamp your old resume or create a totally new one that encompasses all of the new skills you’ve learned and any updates when it comes to your education or positions. It can help to create a LinkedIn profile that you can refer employers to because it’s a living resume and easily accessible. If you don’t have one already, write up a cover letter and make sure that both your resume and cover letter contain keywords that the hiring manager is looking for. Do a little research to determine which keywords would work best on your resume based on your industry.

3. Consider Using a Credit Card

A credit card can help you and your military family get through a recent furlough or unemployment situation thanks to the perks available. Some of them include:

  • No annual fees
  • No penalty APR
  • Travel and retail benefits
  • 1.5% cashback on all purchases
  • No category restrictions
  • Redeemable rewards at anytime

Getting a credit card can help you cover everyday expenses, such as groceries, toiletries, gas and bills. Just make sure to use it responsibly so you can continue reaping the rewards and so you don’t go into more debt.

4. Improve Your Skills

Figure out what skills employers are looking for and find a way to improve yours so that when you find a job you like, your employer will be impressed with all that you can do. Improving your skills can help you stand out from the sea of other potential candidates and give potential employers a reason to want to hire you. Determine what kinds of things you’d be good at or things that align with your career goals. For example, if you’re in the administrative field, maybe you could learn a new software program or take a course that would help you perform better on the job.

Getting Back on Track

Being fired, unemployed or furloughed can be a huge financial blow, but using the above financial tips can help you get back on track with your financial goals. Spending time revamping your resume, looking for part-time or gig economy work, finding the right credit card, or improving your skills can help ensure you keep your financials in order and avoid going into too much debt. So take the advice above and do what you can to secure your family’s financial future.

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