I’ve worked on projects, individuals and businesses over the years and impending job losses, particularly in the economic climate of the last few years, is nothing new. It’s often been the case that there have been rumours, and actualities of downsizing, layoffs, mergers and liquidations. I’m aware of how difficult and scary these situations can be, and a large part of the fear, is due to the uncertainty that financial loss brings. This short article intends to help ease the fear and includes 5 tips that can help you feel more in control of your financial situation.
1. Don’t bury your head in the sand
As difficult as it may be to force yourself to get an overview of your financial situation, especially if you are neck-deep in debt, you really do need to knuckle down and start reviewing. Look at details like the interest rates that you’re paying and whether you can get a better deal, whether there are 0% balance transfer options you can move to, or whether you can refinance or consolidate debts. If you think your job may be ending, before it does is the best time to do this!
2. Start trimming down
Go through your bank statements, make a list of all your spending, and then look at what you can cut down on. Decide what it is that you can do without, and then cut it out. If you feel like you can’t, then look at what you can swap… try DVDs/movies online instead of going to the cinema, look at cheaper places to get your take-away coffees and try to cut down on how often you have them, get ready-to-cook or ready-made meals from the supermarket instead of getting restaurant take-aways. You’ll find that the small savings add up.
3. Think before you buy
Before you make a purchase, think about whether you really need what you’re buying. If you do, have you compared prices so that you know you’re getting the best deal? And when you feel pressured by a salesperson, consider what’s worse- being out of pocket, or simply saying that you’re not interested at that time. Make a conscious effort to be more aware of where your money goes.
4. Think about your commute
Review how much you spend on fuel, car maintenance, taxes etc. and/or public transport. Look at all areas in which you could save… Can you take public transport more often, liftshare, get a more fuel-efficient car, get a better car deal etc? The best time to check the latter is while you’re still employed…
5. Know your options and entitlements
Make an effort to start learning more about the benefits at work that you’re entitled to… Check whether you can access training budgets, time off for training, any insurances that cover you for job losses etc, and find out the details to see whether these could apply to you. Also look at whether your employer offers any benefits with regard to medical, dental and other coverage. Take advantage of these while you’re employed as these co-pays can often be cheaper than paying full price for services which cannot be accessed for free thereafter.
The fear and uncertainty that surrounds job losses, even if it’s impending, is awful… but being aware of your own situation, planning and taking action will help you to feel more in control. There is often not much that you can do about losing your job, and in most cases, it’s through no fault of your own… so if you find yourself in this situation, remember that there are aspects that you can control. Try to keep positive, see it as an opportunity, take control of what you can, and try to find as much resource and expertise that can further support you in your development and job search. I wish you the very best of luck… here’s to wonderful new beginnings for you!