WorkLife Tips for Tough Economic Times

Audrey Adelson, MSA, WLCP

May, 2015

 

Economic tough times are facing nearly everyone today. It is important to remain positive and learn what you can and cannot control. Remember to take care of yourself and to ask for help when you need it. We have compiled some tips and resources to help you manage your work-life during these tough times.

Physical & Mental Health

Ongoing worry about things such as finances and unemployment can cause serious health issues for a person, both physical and mental. Children are not exempt from this and often pick up on the stress their parent(s) are going through. They may not speak up about it, but you may recognize it through a change in their behavior or drop in grades. Despite each of each of us having different resources available, sometimes we forget or overlook some of them. Here are a few we thought to remind you about. Many offer free or inexpensive support and counseling.

Faculty & Staff Assistance Program

Church or Synagogue

Support Groups

School Counselors

Healthy Nutrition

Adequate Sleep & Exercise

Peer Support

Financial Hardship

Many in our own Emory community have partners who have lost their jobs or have taken drastic pay deductions. Concerns about making ends meet and not losing their homes or accumulating too much debt has become quite common. Below are some resources to help you with financial hard times.

Emory Alliance Credit Union

WorkLife Library

Emory University Hardship Fund

BrownRichards & Associates, an E4 Health Company

Making Home Affordable

Foreclosure

Reemployment

Financial Assistance

Marta Subsidy

Atlanta Community Food Bank

American Red Cross

Fiscal Fitness Center

Consumer Credit Counseling

Dependent Care

Increasing concerns over how to pay for child and elder care have arisen as a result of the instability of our economy and many people losing their jobs. Child care centers and nursing facilities are finding it difficult to fill their slots. Families are withdrawing their children from quality centers and adults are caring for aging and sick family members at a much higher than average rate. Dependent care is an expense that many cannot afford right now. EWLRC has some suggestions for you to consider with these important matters.

Discuss the situation with your provider to see if there are any options you are unaware of.

See if you can work out a temporary plan or alternative pay arrangement with your provider.

Try to negotiate a sliding rate or discount with your provider.

Explore the idea of part-time, drop-in, or shared-care with your child care provider.

Look for programs for that offer less expensive tuition or sliding scales, along with high quality.

Research alternatives such as family day care providers, nanny share, and co-ops that provide greater flexibility.

Share care with a friend or neighbor.

Open a Dependent Care Flex Spending Account during open enrollment.

Dependent Care Resource & Referral (BrownRichards &Associates, an E4 Health Company)

Tips to Help Save Cash

Shop consignment for clothing to save money. This is especially good for young children and miscellaneous household items that you may need.

Wisely used social networking can be way to locate goods and services.

Trade favors and services with friends.

Comparison shop and buy online.

Share in the costs of entertainment with friends and family – pot lucks, game/movie nights, etc.

Be creative and shop early sales this year for holiday gifts – Be sure to set a budget you can afford.

Lower costs of heat bills this winter by lowering the temperature a few degrees and dressing a bit warmer in the house.

Plan a “staycation” this year or share in expenses by going with friends or family.

Distinguish between wants and needs – downsize what you don’t need.

Plan your meals, cook at home and take your lunch to work.

Keep a loose change jar at home.

Use coupons & review discount sites (Sparkfly, Coupon Mom, Cool Savings, WorkLife Great Deals, etc.)

Carpool to work.