(TORONTO, ON) – Jobs dominate the thoughts of Canadians – “Will I ever find a job?”, “Am I going to suffer from job loss?”, or “Is my salary enough to live on?”
The days of staying at the same workplace for 40 years are long gone and Canadians know it. Young people fully expect to change workplaces multiple times over the course of their working lives. This expectation indicates that most people will go through periods of unemployment as they move from workplace to workplace – but are they prepared for that?
A recent consumer confidence study by The Conference Board of Canada laid bare the pessimism that many Canadians have about jobs and the economy.
- the confidence index slid to 85.9 in July – the third straight monthly decrease
- Atlantic Canada, Ontario and Quebec confidence levels were below the national average
- only 15.9% of Canadians believe that there will be more jobs in six months than there are now
Losing a job, or being mired in a long period of unemployment, can have a drastic effect on personal finances. Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada offers the following tips to those dealing with, or worried about, surviving a lay-off:
- Budget – dealing with a decrease in income can be stressful. Sit down and make a budget to ensure credit cards and debt don’t become a burden during these tough times.
- Get frugal – Now is the time to look for savings. Buying generic brands, cooking at home, and canceling your cable package are all simple ways to make it easier to make ends meet.
- Severance pay is not winning the lottery – Getting a lump sum deposited in your bank account may feel like free money, but keep in mind that it’ll be your last payment from your former employer. Use that money to eliminate any debts or to shore up your savings. Avoid using it for a frivolous purchase you’ll regret.
- If you can’t work a lot, work a little – Getting a part time job or temp work is better than doing nothing at all. Find any way you can to keep some money coming in. This will help you buy the basic necessities while you look for a full-time position.
- Employment insurance – you may be eligible for employment insurance benefits. Learn more about this by visiting www.hrsdc.gc.ca
- Look into other benefits – be sure to examine the rules regarding your severance pay, retirement plan and any unused vacation days that could get paid out. When heading into unemployment, you need to make sure you fully understand what you are entitled to.
- Contact your creditors – if you are worried you will have trouble keeping up with your bills, reach out to your creditors to see if you can work out a reduced payment plan. It’s important to be proactive to prevent a problem before it starts
- Sell excess assets – When you’re facing a financial crisis, it may be a wise idea to look at what you can sell. It may be your second car or a boat your rarely use. Using this money will help you avoid falling into debt.
- Ask for help – Don’t let personal pride get in the way of reaching out for help. Your tax dollars support community programs that are designed to help people in need. You paid for them, so you should use them.
“Losing a job is one of the biggest threats to financial stability,” says Consolidated Credit executive director, Jeff Schwartz. “Avoiding debt while dealing with reduced income can be tough, but it’s possible. Looking for help and making necessary changes to your lifestyle will help you survive during this period.”
About Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada, Inc.:
Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada is a national non-profit credit counselling organization that teaches consumers about personal finance.
For more information or to request an interview with Jeffrey Schwartz, please contact:
Eric Spence, Public Relations Coordinator, Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada, Inc., T: 416-915-7283 ext.1041, C: 416-731-5588, F: 416-915-5200, E: [email protected]