If you're lucky enough to have avoided unemployment, you're luckier than the almost 15 million people in America currently looking for work. But maybe your friends haven’t fared as well.
How can you keep complaining about your horrible boss when your buddy’s just wishing she had one? We polled some of our LV experts to find out how to make everyone comfortable until she finds a new cubicle.
1. Pretend You’re Oprah
As soon as one of your friends tells you she’s been sacked, tell her how sorry you are and invite her over for dinner (meals at your place = free for her). “Let her vent. Then make a toast: to freedom,” says Farnoosh Torabi, LearnVest’s financial etiquette expert.
“Do not offer unsolicited advice,” cautions Dr. Mary Gresham, a psychologist and LV expert who focuses on the psychology of money. “Job loss generally comes with a feeling of being out of control. So give her the chance to say how it’s affecting her.” Then tell her she has a standing offer to join you for dinner anytime.
2. Use the Forward Key Liberally
It’s perfectly normal to be eager to help, but be sure to forward job ads tactfully, in a way that doesn’t scream, “Hey! Remember that time you got fired?” If you find a great coupon, Torabi suggests sending it along with a note that says, “Found this deal for free happy hour and think I’m going to go after work. Want to join?” Or, “I love this savings website and I’m recommending it to all my friends!” Tell your buddy you’d be happy to proofread her resume, or to let her look at cover letters that worked for you in the past. Then, when she lands an interview, let her go “shopping” in your closet.
3. Entertain On The Cheap
Don’t be shy about trying to cut back when it comes to going out. Even the gainfully employed will enjoy a movie as much at the matinee as they would at night. “Remember that it’s in everybody’s interest to save,” Torabi says.
To wean your employed and unemployed friends alike off of pricey nights on the town, convince them of the joys of potlucking. Host the first one to show them how easy it is. “Potlucks are great because you can make delicious, nutritious foods for very little money,” says Deborah Goldstein, LV’s dining and entertaining expert. Put on the latest Top Chef and serve Goldstein’s brown rice and cucumber salad. It’ll take your friend’s mind off her job hunt and only cost you $1.20 per person. If your friends are allergic to cooking, here’s Goldstein’s trick to lowering restaurant bills: pretend like you’re in college and pre-game. Start drinking wine (our tips on finding affordable, quality wines are available HERE) at someone’s home before heading out to a modest restaurant. Same tipsy, less tip!