How to Make (and Save) Money While Looking for a Job

For some, life after graduation sometimes can look a lot like life during college, with the added stressors of needing to pay back your student loans. If you’re still working on landing a full-time professional job, here are some ways you can stay afloat while on the hunt for a career job.
How to save while looking

If you’re still working on landing a full-time professional job, it can be super-challenging to make ends meet. In the meantime, with a little bit of focus and creativity, you can tide things over until you land a proper gig. Here are some ways you can stay afloat while on the hunt for a career job.

Embrace the bridge gig

“Bridge gigs” or side hustles are a great way to explore different ways to earn a buck, and to master the art of hustling. You can use this time as an opportunity to rake in cash by either being a rideshare driver, opening an online store, upcycling found furniture, or starting a side business as a bike mechanic. Don’t be afraid to toss a bunch of things out there and see what sticks.

You never know: Your side hustle could potentially spark a passion that you didn’t know you had, or it could even sprout into a full-time business. You can take things up a few notches and learn about the ins and outs of starting your own baby business venture. And when you do get a career job, you don’t have to abandon your efforts. You can keep up your side hustle and rake in extra freelance income while working your day job, so it’s a win-win situation.

Make tweaks to your savings goals

If you’ve set up savings goals like a champ, you might have some funds saved up. If you’re just barely squeaking by while looking for a career job, consider putting some of your savings goals on hold. It isn’t the ideal thing to do, but it might be necessary until you start to rake in more income on a regular basis.

And if you can swing it, consider starting a rainy-day savings fund to help tide you over when you hit a dry spell. Start small to turn chump change into “get-ahead money.” One thing you can do is dump money from a couple of your existing non-urgent savings goals into one for your emergency fund. Besides automatically setting aside funds every day into [Goals], you can also make a one-time payment into your goals.

Up the ante on being frugal

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to subsist on instant noodles and frozen burritos to get by. Frugality is the ultimate exercise in being resourceful and creative. Try getting by on one tank of gas for a month or lower your expenses in the summer.

Whether it’s saving money on groceries, buying clothes, or getting around town, approach it like a game to keep the momentum going. Enlist the participation of a few pals who are in the same boat as you to keep it fun. Start by cutting out things that rank low on your list of priorities, then work your way up and see how far you can get. Whatever you save, even if it’s five buckaroos a week, stock it in your emergency fund. That way, any money you save doesn’t go to waste.

Get your continuing education on

If you’ve been itching to expand your skills and brush up on your knowledge to get the job you want, there’s a boatload of options for you to continue your education. From online tutorials to classes at a local community college to an extension program through a university, you’ll be able to bulk up on your skills without having to throw down too much money. And you may be able to defer your student loans if you enroll in courses through your community college.

While it can be tough to get by while between jobs, you don’t have to play the sit-and-wait game until the perfect job comes along. By taking action and exercising your creativity muscles, you’ll be able to get by on freelance income and your savings like a champ.

Disclaimer: Hey! Welcome to our disclaimer. Here’s what you need to know to safely consume this blog post: Any outbound links in this post will take you away from, to external sites in the wilds of the internet; neither Simple nor our partner banks, The Bancorp Bank and BBVA Compass, endorse any linked-to websites; and we didn’t pay/barter with/bribe anyone to appear in this post. And as much as we wish we could control the cost of things, any prices in this article are just estimates. Actual prices are up to retailers, manufacturers, and other people who’ve been granted magical powers over digits and dollar signs.