Many California residents have been unemployed for well over a year. After being out of a job for quite some time, some consumers are forced to dip into their savings or rack up credit card debt. There are ways for California residents to improve their financial situation without building up more debt. When debt is too high, debt relief programs are available.

One way is to cut back on certain expenses. Expenses should be prioritized with basic bills, such as rent, utilities and food coming first in line. Other expenses that can be cut out include, cell phone and cable. If there is another car in the household that is not being used, it may be a good idea to sell it. In some cases, the utility companies are willing to work with consumers if they are in a financial bind.

Consider seeking help from programs in the local community. For someone who was terminated from their place of employment, they are able to obtain unemployment benefits while they are out of work. Sometimes, unemployment benefits are not enough to cover all expenses. In a situation like that, food stamp benefits may be an option and can help to offset the monthly cost of food.

Even with the assistance available to California consumers, debt may simply be too much to handle. Minimum monthly payments may cause the consumer even more financial hardship. When bills and debt keep on mounting up and it seems there is no way to get out of it, debt relief options such as bankruptcy protection may be a responsible choice.

Source: CBS 8 San Diego, How to survive a job loss, Andrew Housser, Sept. 9, 2013