According to an article from CNNMoney the average unemployed job-seeker is searching for 211 days before landing the next job.
“Job seekers are now out of work for an average of 30.2 weeks, or 7-1/2 months, up from a record high of 29.1 weeks the previous month. In fact, the average duration of unemployment has notched new records for the last 10 months in a row.”
While this number can be intimidating and daunting, it should be a warning sign for us. This is exactly why creating an emergency fund of 3-6 months of expenses is a good idea. None of us can predict the future and none of us are immune from hard and difficult times.
“The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it.” Proverbs 27:12
But with or without an emergency fund, it is a good idea to have a plan of attack to handle some of those difficult “what if” scenarios. I was thankful to get a few months notice before I got laid off a couple years ago, and at that point Linda and I had a little planning meeting and we figured out how we were going to handle things financially based on a few possible outcomes.
Put simply our plan was to minimize our monthly expenses as much as possible, so we could live off of the severance and emergency fund money for as long as possible.
- We finished paying off a car loan, which cut about $200 out of our monthly expenses.
- We scrutinized every purchase and cut our expenses like crazy to eliminate any of the unnecessary expenses.
- We already had a fairly small emergency fund built, but we added every extra dollar we could find to it while I still had a job.
- I started an Ebay business to generate some side income (and to see if it was possible)
Thankfully my blogging business worked out and we really didn’t need to tap our emergency fund, but I am really glad that we were prepared.
If you are looking for a job, tomorrow we will look at some job websites to help you find a job – stay tuned.
How long did it take you to find a job? Got any other suggestions for covering the gap?