4 tricks to save money when you're unemployed

When you lose your job, staying on top of finances is more important than ever. Save and earn money while you look for work with these smart strategies.

Whether you were let go, downsized or fired, losing your job is a huge blow to your self-confidence -- and to your bank account. The key to surviving the weeks and potential months of unemployment is to stay positive and create a financial plan. Here are some ways you can beat unemployment and come out on top.

1. Call your credit card companies and other creditors

When you lose your job, all previous savings and debt repayment plans go out the window. But don't live in denial of your bills. Instead, contact your creditors to negotiate a lower interest rate, and see if you qualify for deferments on any outstanding loans. If you were paying more than the minimum on any debts, cut back for the time being.

Remember to be extremely careful not to be late on any payments. Late fees are an unnecessary expense and will make it harder for you to keep your accounts current -- and missed and late payments will hurt your credit rating, too.

2. Conserve your cash and create a budget

You have no idea how long your unemployment stint will last, so it goes without saying that you need to be as frugal as possible. Go through your budget and cut out anything that isn't a necessity. It might be hard at first, but stretching your money as far as it can go will keep you from relying on credit cards or loans to get you through until your next job.

3. Apply for Employment Insurance (EI)
When you qualify for EI, take advantage of it. Even if you received a severance package, or think you have the savings in your bank account to get you through until your next job, truthfully, you just don't know when that might be. EI ensures you will have at least some cash flow during your job search, and will relieve some of your stress.

Page 1 of 2 -- More easy ways to save money when you're unemployed on page two

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