Saving money a priority when facing job loss

If a consumer is facing a possible layoff, they need to concentrate on saving money and be ready to do some budgeting.

In a recent column in the Los Angeles Times, Liz Pulliam Weston fielded a question from a consumer who is facing being laid off in the next few months. In her response, the first thing Pulliam Weston suggested was making sure the consumer works on saving money.

“That means paying the minimums on any debt and looking for other ways to trim expenses as much as possible,” Pulliam Weston said. “Selling one of your vehicles might also be in order.”

The columnist also warned that consumers should avoid reaching into their retirement funds, because doing so could mean getting penalized.

According to Pulliam Weston, July saw the median length of unemployment rise to 15 weeks, compared to 10 weeks during the same time in 2008. According to the most recent job statistics, the unemployment rate in the country actually dropped to 9.4 percent in July from 9.5 percent in June.