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ITWORKS: 7 steps to take if you’ve been laid off (step 2)

You’re looking for a new job and need expert advice on how to handle a job search and your finances. Congratulations…you’re in the right place. Whether you are planning to stay in the education field, or investigate other areas of work, ITWORKS will help you focus on your next steps and energize you as you take action.

Check out Step 1 here: ITWORKS: 7 steps to take if you’ve been laid off (I)

Step 2. “T”:Tighten the purse strings.

It’s time to cut unnecessary expenses. Consider this step “a learning experience”: you’re going to learn a lot about yourself and your priorities, about free or inexpensive resources available to you, and about tried and true strategies to cut costs.

Financial ‘to do’: Start by taking a look at your list of recurring expenses, and establish your priorities.

Tip: Housing, hydro, etc., should be considered priorities. Entertainment, including dining out, is usually not.

The following items can often be cut out (or cut back):

  • Cable, phone, and internet. Shop around and look for lower prices, or change your current plan to one that costs less each month.
  • Memberships and subscriptions. Gym memberships, magazine subscriptions, and streaming services all cost money each month. For the time being, at least, you may want to consider cutting these services, or finding less expensive options. (For example, education members may still be able to enjoy savings through the EdvantagePerks program.)
  • Dining out. This includes your $5 latte breaks. It’s so much less expensive to go grocery shopping and cook at home. (And bonus: it’s interesting to experiment with cooking new and different cuisines!) When you shop, save money by making a list, using coupons, comparing prices, and buying in bulk.

Take a special look at the amount of interest you’re paying on your debt. If it’s going to be difficult to meet payments, call your creditors to tell them your situation. They may be open to renegotiating your payment schedule or the rate of interest you pay.

Once you’ve established your priorities, use one of the many easy-to-use online budget tools available, (such as the one on Educators’ website), to establish your monthly budget. If you have a partner or a family, discuss the budget with them to benefit from their ideas and support.

Job search ‘to do’: Research the many inexpensive or free online seminars or sites that specialize in job search techniques. For example, many libraries offer free courses on subjects like interview skills, using social media in your job search, and more.

There are also websites where you can take courses to upgrade your qualifications or to meet the requirements for a career in another field. Plus, most are free!’s “Career Guide” has sections on “Career Guidance” and choosing courses needed for different industries.

Tip: Under 30? Ontario’s Employment programs for people under 30 has information on improving your job skills, assistance for entrepreneurs, and much more.


Educators Financial Group Budget Calculator:

Government of Canada expenses calculator:

RedFlagDeals (flyers, coupons, saving forum):

Toronto Public Libraries (Career and Job Search):

And remember, at Educators Financial Group you have the support of a team of financial experts and an organization that has worked with the education community for over 45 years.

We can answer your financial questions during this challenging time. Give us a call at 1.800.263.9541 or get started online.

Ready for more? Check out Step 3 of ITWORKS: ‘Write, email, or phone the experts’.

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