Searching for a job can be costly. From the cost of paying for Internet service and getting gas to travel to interviews, all the services and items you need quickly add up. Only if you let it happen. You can save some money with the following cutbacks.
1) Look into local job centers
Your local community job center likely offers both Internet and other services you can use to save money job hunting. Most communities have them, and you can find them by contacting your state's Department of Labor. These public job centers also may offer low-cost job training. You can even get some advice from career counselors on how to improve your skills and get hired. This is a much cheaper, but effective, way to get a new job than to pay for career training that you don't need.
2) Go basic
You need a reliable phone for potential employers to call you, but you have likely been paying for services you don't need. Take a look at your phone bill and see if you can cut any services or make a habit of cutting back your talk time, if it'll save you any dollars. When you don't have a job during your search for the next one, this is an easier place to cut back.
3) Get an inexpensive makeover
Image is everything, right? Well, maybe not, but it does help. Since you never know when you'll get a call back for an interview, you need to look professional. Head to your local cosmetology school for an extremely cheap new - or at least polished - look. In return for helping students log hours for training, you can get a new haircut, new hair color, fancy nails, even a facial.
4) Dress like a million bucks but don't spend it
Here comes another reason to shop local: go to your nearby consignment store. Others before you have had to buy interview-appropriate gear and found they no longer needed the clothes after they go the job. See if you can put an outfit together with high-end, well-known brands or at least find a few valuable pieces, at much cheaper rates than a retailer at the mall. Then do a little "shopping" in your friend's closet and see what you can find there. Why spend money on some clothes you will wear only a few times?
5) Schedule interviews with care
When you've landed the coveted interview, try to schedule it during the least busy time of the day, if possible. Not being stuck in rush hour is a cheap way to help save on gas money. You can also save money if you set up interviews on the same side of town, on the same day. Just be sure to give yourself plenty of time; you don't want to ever risk being late for an interview just to save some money.
6) Pack a lunch or snack
When you're out and about, looking for potential employers and interviewing, plan out your eating strategy ahead of time. Always pack a bottle of water, from your own tap, and consider packing a light lunch or snack. You need to act your best, which means feeling satiated and hydrated, and you also don't want to be tempted to make impulse purchase at a pricey coffee shop.
7) Save on babysitting
If you have kids, you will also need to think about saving money on babysitters during your job search. Hiring a responsible babysitter is expensive, but there are ways to save money.
Ask friends or family for help, or consider a "swap" with neighbors you trust. Agree to watch their children for a couple of hours, in exchange for them helping you out too.
8) Access free Internet service
Internet service can be costly, but there are cheap ways to use the Internet without paying a monthly bill. Libraries are sometimes a forgotten resource, but your local library offers free Internet service. Most of the time all you need is a valid library card, so why not cancel your home Internet service and use the public library's for free?
9) E-mail your resume
Applying for jobs online means you won't have to worry about spending money printing out a resume. For many jobs, it is now perfectly acceptable to attach your resume to the application, and send it electronically. If you find yourself applying for a lot of jobs, this will save you significant money on printing and postage.
10) Hang on to receipts
Finally, for every trip you make on your own dime to search for a job, and every other job-search cost, get a receipt! Gas prices are not cheap, and other related costs add up, but you can cut the overall cost of it when you claim it on your federal income taxes. The IRS lets you deduct certain job-hunting expenses. There are some specific guidelines, so be sure and realize what is deductible, and what is not.
Searching for a job can be a stressful time. Following these 10 tips can help you lower the stress of adding a big financial burden on top of that. The right job is out there, and with a little help and guidance, you will find it.