Unemployment and the Holidays: Yes they can be compatible.

Believe it or not it is that time again; the time when you start thinking about the holidays ahead.  Or maybe you are trying to put it out of your mind.  But nevertheless they will be here upon you  soon. `seem to increase every year; food, family, gifts and so on.  But how do you cope with the holidays while unemployed?  If you don’t have the answers, fear not, I have some suggestions for you.

Some advanced planning you can survive the holidays.  And it all starts now.  First talk to your family and friends about your situation early before everyone has everything planned.  Second start your preparations now.  Third create a budget and stick to it.

First.  You know your family does the same thing every year.  This is the time you can change the way things are done.  By starting the conversation now, you will let everyone know what to expect.

Be honest with your family and tell them what you can and can’t do.  Be honest with them.  Change isn’t easy and welcomed which is why you are doing this now.  It will allow people a chance to get over the change.  Some will like it and be thankful that you brought it up.  Others will think you are messing with tradition.  Some are organized and have already started getting things ready.  Others wait to the last-minute and scramble around in a frenzy.  You will make one group unhappy and the other happy.  But the idea is to make everyone satisfied, and you have to do what’s best for you at this time.

Second.  Make a budget and stick to it.  Once you have decided what you are going to do, sit down and estimate the cost for gifts, food, clothing and travel.  Find out where the money is going to come from.  Will you have to find a part-time job for the extra money; or make and sell items for others to buy; or some other way to earn money.

And lastly, if you start purchasing, baking, cooking, making and such now it will take the pressure off your finances.  As stated above, by having the difficult conversation now, you will know what is expected and can plan ahead.

If you are planning to make gifts, you have almost two months to get items finished without pulling all nighters.  Buy one gift a week seems less expensive than going out on a one day shopping spree.  There are many foods you can make and freeze ahead.  By preparing the food in the coming weeks, you will have time should you be called in for an interview.  Additionally, watching sales and buying at the lowest price you get more for your money.

I have been doing some of these things for many years.  I feel more organized and don’t run around at the last-minute shopping, cooking, baking and spending money I don’t have.   The best part of all is that I get time to reflect on the true meaning of the holiday.  And that’s the best thing of all.


Arleen Bradley is a certified career coach and certified job loss recovery coach.  She assists clients in moving beyond job loss grief in order to land dream jobs.  To learn more about the Job Loss Recovery Program and how you can benefit from it, log on to   www.arleenbradley.com.

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