Staying Frugal While Job Hunting

How to Stay Frugal While Looking for a Job

Many Americans struggle with unemployment. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate stands at 4.1 percent as of December 2017. If you find yourself currently looking for a job, then it can seem extremely stressful trying to find work while keeping food in your stomach and a roof over your head. The job search can take weeks or even months, but luckily, there are various ways for you to stretch your money so that you can comfortably live without a job for the time being.

Shop for Used Interview Clothes

For any interview, you are going to want to dress to impress. If you do not currently have a good interview outfit, then you will definitely need to buy one. It may not be possible to spend a lot of money on clothes right now, but you can find some great items at thrift stores. You can also try visiting garage sales or asking family members if they have an outfit you can wear.

Pack Food to Eat 

When you are looking for a job, you may schedule several interviews on the same day. None of these interviews come with any guarantees, and you may not have time to go back home to eat. Instead of spending money at a restaurant, pack a sandwich and a bottle of water to enjoy. You cannot give good interviews if you feel hungry or exhausted. Stay full, so you can always perform at your best.

Work Side Gigs

There are plenty of ways to earn money in today’s gig economy. You could earn money as a dog walker and take people’s pooches on walks. There are ways for you to sell unused gift cards, so you free up cash to spend on more important expenses. You can also give blood, clean houses or house sit. Many people earn a decent amount of money working for apps, such as Lyft or DoorDash. These side gigs can be a great way to supplement your income until a steadier revenue stream comes in.

Look Up Routes Before Heading to Interviews

Before you drive out to an interview, you should know exactly where you are going. Map out your route before you leave your house so that you do not accidentally get lost and end up wasting money on gas. You also want to look up where you can park in the area if the building does not provide parking.

Utilize Your Local Library

While there are plenty of tips for saving money while you are on a job hunt, you should seriously consider using a local library to save the most. You may be able to forego paying for internet at your house and instead utilize the library’s free internet service. Libraries also have a ton of books and resources to help you find a job. In many cases, computers are available to allow you to search the web if you do not have a laptop of your own.

Schedule Interviews at Less Busy Times of Day

Getting stuck in traffic forces your car to use more gas than necessary. The constant stop and go motion of a hectic commute can really drain your gas tank, which is why you should schedule interviews outside of rush hour times. Additionally, you should schedule multiple interviews on the same day as long as they are relatively close to one another. You just need to make sure you are not stretching yourself too thin to where you miss an interview and develop a bad reputation with a company.

The last thing you want to do is deplete your savings account while you are temporarily out of a job. Fortunately, there are numerous ways to cut back, and you can probably think of a few others yourself. 

Karie Herring

4 comments… add one
  • John Smith Dec 23, 2017, 7:46 pm

    I know you would never espouse anything unethical, but I’ve read about fancy job seekers in Manhattan getting clothes from stores with generous return policies and then just returning them after the job interview!

  • ellen beck Dec 24, 2017, 10:48 pm

    In some cities, there are organizations that help provide ‘interview’ clothe. They are donated items. In our town they are donated, then dry cleaned and given out . There are also clsses and often networking.
    Luckily, here in Iowa, the jobless rate is listed as 2.9%. I actually think the rate is much higher than 4.1 or even our 2.9. These are just taken from those who have registered, it isnt taking into account those who havent nor those who have dropped out due to frustration.
    I live by a mens homeless shelter, and see the guy walking by every morning and evening, the numbers are alarming. It isnt as bad as it was maybe 2 years ago, but anyne out of work and struggling isnt easy to see.

  • loriag Dec 27, 2017, 5:37 am

    Those are all great tips for keeping things within means, thanks for sharing.

  • Sue E Dec 31, 2017, 5:40 pm

    I used to go the expensive way with the outfits and accessories until I knew that just because you have an interview or two, it doesn’t mean that you got the job!
    I invested in one sharp interview outfit and accessories just for doing interviews and job hunting. Nowadays job interviews have become quite casual, but I’m still quite the old school gal. You’ve mentioned a couple of tips that I never thought of, but I would utilize them if I needed to! I pinned this review. Thank you for sharing!

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