The unemployment rate is the lowest it has been since the start of the pandemic, but this does not mean there aren’t people struggling to find work. Millions of Americans still don’t have jobs, and those that do can’t necessarily make ends meet. Minimum wage is not changing in spite of record-high inflation, and for many Americans, having only one job is as good as being unemployed.
Whatever your situation is, if you own a home there are certain expenses that you need to cover no matter what. To do so, you may need to hustle to find piece work, ask friends and family for help, or get a loan – whichever option sets you in good stead for when you find work again.
Here are 3 essential expenses unemployed homeowners need to cover.
1. Mortgage Payments
The first essential expense is the most intuitive. Your home does not truly belong to you as long as you are still paying instalments. While there are regulations to help people stay housed in the wake of the pandemic, you will still need to find the money to pay every single payment. Without doing so, your home can be repossessed, losing you all the money you have already put into your home as well as your very place of residence.
This is going to be the one non-negotiable, and you may have to swallow your pride in order to get the funds you need to stay put. Asking friends and family for loans is never easy, but it is better than finding yourself and your family with no place to live.
2. Homeowners Insurance
It is essential for anyone who owns a home to have homeowners insurance at all times. As soon as you get possession of your home, you have an extremely expensive asset in your hands. Losing it to fire or other kinds of disasters will leave you in major debt with nowhere to live. These kinds of events are rare (unless you live in parts of the country which are plagued by flooding or wildfire) but you are putting so much at risk if you don’t have insurance.
Insurance unfortunately does not add up over time, meaning that if you stop paying for cover, you will not be able to claim even if you have been paying for years. The good news is that not all homeowners insurance is that expensive, and you can get coverage starting at just $25 a month, depending on what you include and the size and cost of your property and possessions.
Utilities are another essential that you need to keep paying no matter what. Even if you move out of your home temporarily so as to avoid spending on utilities, you still need to ensure that your lights and water stay on. This is so that you can always move back in when you need to, and so that your home itself does not degrade without services being supplied to it.
When it comes to utilities, there are ways to lessen them as much as possible. If you have a pool on your property, you should close it up and turn it off as that eats more electricity than just about anything else. You should consider putting your geyser on a timer so that it is not working to keep your water hot when you are sleeping or in the middle of the day (although the benefits of this are disputed).
By taking shorter showers, you can decrease your water bill, and you should make sure that there are no leaks in your pipes. A small drip might not seem like much, but it adds up. Also, if you do not address it, it can worsen until it floods your home, costing you in water as well as damages to your property.
Being a homeowner without a job (or with a job that does not pay the bills) is tough. You have certain responsibilities that you cannot neglect no matter what. If you cannot find the money to take care of the above 3 things, you may need to swallow your pride and ask for help, or hustle as much as possible to make enough money to get over the line.
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