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Helpful Information

Ways to Manage the Effect of Job Loss on Family and Finances

Replace financial panic with planning:

An effective way to deal with the understandable anxiety about finances is to pull together, face the realities as soon as possible, and come up with a plan.

Here are some ideas:

  • List together all of your household expenses
  • Figure out ways to trim unnecessary expenses
  • Develop a new budget and spending plan and have a family meeting to explain it
  • Contact creditors before you become late in payments to set up a payment plan
  • Pay secured bills first – e.g. mortgage/ car loan and then pay for necessities like food
  • Consider refinancing a mortgage or using equity to gain a line of credit, if appropriate
  • Make maintaining medical coverage a priority
  • Access reliable help when needed, e.g. Consumer Credit Counselors can help with creditors


Communicate about changes, adjustments and reactions.

Discuss together the impact of changing daily patterns, roles and responsibilities during the time of unemployment. Negotiate tasks and duties as the need arises. Avoid using this time of crisis to bring up old conflicts and disagreements, rather use it as an opportunity to work out new arrangements.  Schedule time for family members to check in with how they are doing, e.g. at a family meeting or outing. Listen and do not get defensive.


Useful Links

Barbados National Insurance Scheme

Barbados Labour Market Information System


Coping with the Stress of Layoff and Unemployment:

Use every community and networking resource available.

Now is not the time to try to go at it alone. Reach out and use everything that is offered to you. A crisis like this gives you the opportunity and permission to get help.


Think of the job loss as a temporary setback.

The way we “frame” what happens to us has everything to do with how we cope and move forward.  Success in any endeavor depends on how one views setbacks in life. This is a challenge not a failure or the “end of the world.” Don’t compare yourself with others who have lost their job – everyone deals with it differently. Think positively, e.g. “I can handle this one step at a time.”


Give yourself time to adjust.

Allow yourself some time to absorb what has happened, deal with the initial emotional reactions of yourself and significant others.


Tell your family and friends as soon as possible.

By opening up to those who care about you, you will immediately gain support from the most important people in your life. They may also be a source of job information.


Keep open communication with your significant others.

Spouses, partners and children are also affected by your job loss. Give them permission to talk about their reactions and concerns. Have a family meeting to discuss how the family will cope and get everyone’s ideas. Explain the economic forces that led to the job loss. Reassure children that the family will work together to get through this time.




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