If you’ve been laid off, put on unpaid leave or had your hours or salary reduced, you're likely experiencing a significant amount of financial stress.
So, how do you prioritize and manage your expenses over the next month and beyond? Here are three steps you can take to approach this challenge:
Build a new budget
Start by making a new budget. Look at how much money you'll have coming in every month and compare it against how much your bills are likely to amount to. What are your essential costs vs. your non-essential costs? Cut back on whatever expenses you can. For example, cancel or pause subscriptions you are willing to temporarily go without, like a gym membership or magazine subscription.
How can you pare down your budget? Check out our guide to building an essential-only budget.
Explore how to supplement your income
What sort of income relief is available to you to get through this period? Explore governmental websites (federal and provincial/territorial) to see what relief programs, like Employment Insurance, might apply to you.
This is also a time to really look at your expenses and analyze what you need to pay right away and what you might want to defer.* Check out our guide on how to prioritize payments when money is tight.
Do you have a side gig? Now might be a good time to expand your freelance work to help you pick up some extra income.
Talk it through
Remember that it's okay to be stressed by your work situation changing and to feel overwhelmed by the situation. Make sure that you are having an open conversation with your loved ones about your new budget and how you will get through this transitional period
*Update: New requests for payment deferrals can no longer be submitted at Scotiabank.
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