Job searching can be an extremely stressful time, especially when you’re financially strained. Living without a paycheck can be difficult, even if your significant other has a steady income. Add a family or a mortgage into the picture and it can all seem like too much to handle!

But even when we feel over our heads, there are always some changes that can make our lives a little easier. Check out these four tips for saving money during your job search, to lighten your financial burden and reduce your stress levels so you can focus on what matters: getting the job!

1. Apply for unemployment

Applying for unemployment can seem like a downer, and many people are reluctant to do so, but it can actually be a huge help when you’re in-between jobs. In most states, you’re eligible to collect unemployment if you were laid off or had to leave work through no fault of your own. As long as you’re actively searching for employment, you can usually receive benefits on a weekly basis for at least few months. In order to apply, check out your state’s regulations and see whether you qualify.

2. Cut extraneous expenses

Think about it this way: five coffees per week amounts to nearly $100 per month. Cutting down on things like eating out, going to the movies, and buying new clothes can have a bigger impact on your financial situation than you may think. We recommend trying to think of some more creative ways to cut down, too. Don’t watch a lot of television? Consider switching to a streaming service like Hulu or Netflix instead of cable. Out and about a lot? Perhaps it may be worth it to utilize free wifi at places like the library instead of paying for it at your house. Even if you’re not in a desperate situation, cutting costs will help relieve some stress while you’re job searching.

3. Make a budget

Consider the average amount of money you spend each week on necessities like food and housing, and try to set a weekly budget to stick to. If your finances permit it, you can also add a budget for extraneous expenses. There are tons of apps and resources to help you do this, and once you start recording your spending you’ll be less likely to go over the allotted amount. You can save more than you might expect, and can use that money toward learning opportunities that can build your career and aid your job search!

4. Use free services first

While some people benefit from working with or hiring a mentor to help with their job search, if finances are an issue for you we recommend utilizing free services first. These job search services can be more helpful than you may realize, as long as you take full advantage of them. Take Rake, for example! Not to toot our own horn, but Rake is a great free tool that comes in handy when you’re trying to organize your job search. Click here to download Rake and let us help you save money and land that job.

Looking for a job is stressful enough. Anything you can do, like cutting costs and saving money, to reduce stress will be helpful during this time. If you’re looking for other great ways to relieve stress, check out these mindfulness tips!


Also published on Medium.