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Erring on the side of caution: How I managed while I was unemployed

I’m not a big risk taker. I like to play it safe and keep things chill. I’m not saying I won’t be spontaneous every once in a while, but when it comes to my finances I can be a bit of a fuddy duddy.

This ended up working to my advantage when my contract ended while I was reception at Ryerson’s Student Housing. I obviously went straight into panic mode, thinking that in a month I’d be living in a cardboard box eating garbage to survive. Of course that’s not what happened and I definitely overreacted.

I have been saving my money since high school, putting it away in a savings account. I also don’t really have too many things that I spend my cash on. Since I didn’t really have a job in high school I have always been hyper-aware of what I spend. So putting away whatever little cash I had just became a habit for me.

I continued this throughout university and was able to save up a “Just In Case” cushion. This came in handy after I became jobless. I did apply for Employment Insurance, but it took almost two months for it to finally kick in. This meant I had to be able to pay rent, internet, buy food and afford transit while I looked for jobs. Without my “Just In Case” cushion of cash I would’ve been in big trouble.

I used to get flack for not spending my money. People would tell me that it’s there to spend. What they didn’t know is that I was spending it, but not all the time. I would save up for things that I really wanted, like a trip to Italy or going to Fan Expo. I wasn’t big on going to bars or clubbing so the money that I would spend on that went to my “Just In Case” fund.

Preparing for that day where you may be jobless is kind of a necessary thing that our generation has to do. With many jobs being contract work, you never know if it will be extended or if they give you the, “see ya later.”

I suggest starting your “Just In Case” cushion now (if you already haven’t). I’m not here to say you have to make it a top priority, but make sure that it steadily grows and that it’s off limits unless it’s an emergency.

There’s nothing wrong with erring on the side of caution.
-Karyn

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