Practically everyone has been affected by the economic downturn. Due to across-the-board layoffs and reduced worker hours, a significant portion of the nation’s workforce has joined the ranks of the underemployed. If your hours have been cut or your salary has been slashed, don’t lose hope. Here are fiveways to soften the blow caused by a reduced income.
Investing in the Stock Market
Underemployed individuals with some investment know-how can supplement recently-reduced income by investing in the stock market. After reading up on which stocks are currently thriving and becoming familiar with modern-day market trends, you’ll be ready to make rational, well-researched investments. The payoffs may not be spectacular, but investing in a handful of surefire winners can be an effective way to earn extra cash until you’ve resumed full-time employment.
If you’re relatively new to stock market investment, you can take advantage of a broad assortment of information sources to bring yourself up to speed. From books written by investment experts to 24-hour business news outlets, there is an abundance of valuable info that’s yours for the taking. Additionally, as any seasoned investor knows, financial websites can be veritable goldmines of insightful stock tips.
Getting a Roommate
As gainful full-time employment becomes progressively scarcer, rent prices continue to skyrocket — particularly in major metropolitan areas. If being underemployed has left you unable to make rent, a roommate may be the answer to your predicament. You may lose some privacy in the transition, but minor inconveniences are a small price to pay for peace of mind. With someone taking care of half the living expenses, you can put more of your reduced income into savings instead of continuing to live paychecktopaycheck.
The roommate selection process can somewhat tricky, though. Having a friend or family memberas a living companion is ideal, but if this isn’t possible, you’ll need to put ads online and in print publications. In addition to finding someone you can get along with, make a point of favoring candidates with strong credit histories. Potential roommates with histories of debt are liable to leave you high and dry when it’s time to collect rent.
Before committing to cohabitate with a person you meet online, make a point of meeting with them inperson. Ask that she bring a list of references that can vouch for her character. These references should include employers, landlords, teachers and former roommates. As an extra precaution, bring a few of your friends along. If her references check out and your friends get a good vibe from her, move ahead with peace of mind.
Using Public Transport
With the price of gas increasing by the second, it’s never been more expensive to own a car. Depending on the size of your vehicle’s gas tank, you may be spending upward of $60 every time you visit the pump. Even cars with good gas mileage need to be filled up at least once every other week.By making use of your city’sbuses, trains or subways, you can easily cut your transportation expenses in half.
After seeing just how much you can save by using public transit, you may never want to drive again. By extension, getting rid of your vehicle altogether will bring in some extra money and save you a tremendous amount of stress. No car means no car payments.
If you’ve been underemployed for an extended period of time and your savings are all but gone, it may be time to relocate. Before deciding on a new locale, go online and research the best cities for people in your profession. After deciding on a place you’d enjoy living, start applying for jobs in that area. Nothing makes a move more exciting than the promise of a new job.
Relocation can also come in the form of a new residence in your current locale. If reduced income has made it difficult to stay current on rent payments, look into downsizing. Underemployed individuals who can no longer afford to live on their own should consider moving in with their parents. As the Guardian’s Joanna Moorhead explains, this arrangement can prove mutually beneficial to both parties.
Although there’s a big difference between underemployment and unemployment, having a single low-paying job doesn’t always pay the bills. Taking on temp jobs can help the underemployed supplement their income without forcing them to commit to long-term positions. In addition, temp jobs provide you with the opportunity to sample a wide range of careers – some of which may intrigue you enough to change professions. Making a good impression on your supervisors can also help you get a foot in the door of a company you enjoy temping for.
Trying to earn your livelihood in a stagnant economy is an increasingly difficult undertaking. However, with some ingenuity, a positive attitude and a supportive social network, you can stay on your feet until a new full-time job comes along.