Have a plan – just in case
It’s an old saying but it will be forever true – “the only constant in life is change”. Whether it’s due to economic downturns, new technology or extreme weather disasters; no business, job or career will ever stay the same.
And it’s impossible to know what might happen in the coming months or years in your career or industry. Although the thought of planning now for a time of uncertainty might sound depressing, events such as redundancy or sudden life events where your employment might suddenly end are certainly serious and scary, surviving them requires thorough financial planning.
Here are some points to consider that will put you in a better position – just in case.
Managing debt is often the greatest concern for people whose jobs are made redundant. The key debt management techniques are consolidation and reduction. Consolidation refers to rolling debts together into the loan with the lowest interest rate possible. For example, you might be able to re-draw against your lower interest rate home loan to pay off high interest credit card debt. This can significantly cut your expenses down to something that is more manageable.
Then, it’s a matter of allocating any spare cash to the outstanding loan. Being able to make extra repayments will put you in a better position if your income is suddenly lost or substantially reduced. If the worst happens, you will have more leverage when working out a new repayment plan with your lender. The earlier you talk to your lender the more assistance they may be able to provide.
If you have multiple credit cards with high balances but no mortgage, an option is to transfer all of your credit card balances to just one card. Many providers offer initial low or nil interest rates to roll over debt. Just make sure you destroy your other cards and pay off the full balance before the end of the specified “honeymoon” period.
In the good times, it’s easy to spend without thinking. When things get a bit tighter, it’s crucial to sit down and work out what you need to spend, and what you can do without in the future. There are a plethora of simple templates available online, as well as many phone apps to make preparing a budget easy.
Don’t wait until money is in short supply – prepare a budget now and you might be surprised at how much extra money you can invest wisely for that rainy day.
There is no doubt about it, redundancy is stressful – one day you have a steady income and big dreams, and the next day you have lost both. However, redundancy can actually create opportunities.
This is a time when you can change your whole world – learn new skills or do something you have always wanted to do. You may be able to find assistance with finding a new job or in retraining.
If you have done some simple planning, job redundancy may not be a negative experience – you might actually be able to enjoy the break and look forward to a new, exciting future.