Take a look at all the money you currently have. I personally use Mint to see all my bank accounts, credit card debt and student loans all at once. You don’t need this, but make a list of every dollar in your possession. Look over your finances and get a feeling of how long you’ll last without a paycheck. It may not be pretty, but it’s something you absolutely need to know.
Know how much you need to spend each month, here is an example monthly breakdown:
- Apartment & utilities ($XX)
- Food ($XX)
- Car insurance ($XX)
- Cell phone ($XX)
- Internet ($XX)
- Misc. ($XX)
PS: Also consider health insurance as a cost. In most cases your old employer would have provided this for you, but you need to talk to your HR to see how long this lasts. You may need to pick up supplemental health insurance until you get a new job.
Hopefully, you have some sort of emergency fund you can access if you lose your job. Your emergency fund will help cover rent/mortgage, food and those expenses your paycheck normally covers. Most emergency funds should cover 4-6 months of expenses. If you don’t have an emergency fund, start saving up now, and the following tips can still help down the line.
Let’s continue though as if you have $0 emergency funds.