Asked on 03 Apr 2020
I am afraid I may lost my job soon as I definitely do not have enough savings to deal with being jobless. I am looking to make life changes now in preparation for the next few months at least!
You'll want to start by understanding your expenditure patterns. Definitely there will be some required expenditures in life, for example, food, but there is a big difference between the $2 chicken rice at the MRT station, and the $5 chicken rice at an air conditioned food court. Ask yourself where you have been spending on food, and if you really have to go lean, could you ease into that transition now rather than later so that it won't come as a shock should you lose your job?
Once you understand your expenditure patterns, distinguish what is really needed, versus what is wanted. Cutting out wants will likely improve your cashflow tremendously, and then you'll want to ensure that you save the extra cash in a high interest savings account to maximise it. Don't stop until you have 12 months of expenses set aside; in these uncertain economic climate, it could easily take many months to secure another job.
If we really strip down to the essentials, it may be painful, but one could potentially survive on as little as $500/mth, comprising of $100 for transport, $30 for your phone bill, and the rest goes to food at around $12/day or $360/mth. ($2 breakfast, $5 lunch and $5 dinner). If you return home to eat dinner, you would spend even lesser. (I have not included insurance expense, which is also necessary, but depends on your own coverage)
Back in 08/09 I was surviving on $300+ a month, which consisted of no breakfast, $3-$5 lunch, office brewed coffee, dinner at home, and walking 2 km everyday to a bus stop to board the bus to shave a few cents off the transport fare (which wasn't a good idea after I found out that my soles wore out far faster and I had to spend money replacing them instead). On top of that I had some leeway for the occasional dinner outside if I was doing overtime. So it can be done.
While saving up your emergency funds, consider looking at side hustles to create a second stream of income. Tuition is a popular option, although in the light of COVID, it is probably not viable. Consider free lance jobs if you have a skill set that can be tapped on, for example, the ones listed by Jimmy are good ideas for a start.
In time to come, after you survive the storm, start to create passive income sources for yourself. Creating alternate sources of income that do not require you to actively work for will be the key. These can take the form of bond coupons, stock dividends, and even ad revenue if you have a youtube channel where you share content.
Firstly, we need to have a complete understanding on our cashflow. Through this process, we will understand our earning ability and spending habit.
Here is a Guide:
Next, be prepared and find out ways that you can earn an income, e.g. part-time job.
Thereafter, do away with all non-essential expenditure, e.g. subscription services like Netflix.
At the same time, enforce absolute discipline upon your current net cash flow - save all and do not spend more than required.
Finally, conduct regular reviews to ensure your finances stay in shape.
I share quality content on estate planning and financial planning here.
Ask your boss: "What is it that I need to do to get to my next promotion?", "I know you guys might not be looking at promoting anyone now, but when the time comes I want to be ready for it."
This gives the idea to your boss that you're not expandable. You're essential and a someone who's willing to grow, and would be foolish of them if they were to let you go.
Even if they were to let you go. People appreciate value. Learn how to position yourself where people can see the actual value you give to them, the KPIs and the ROIs. That's how you're gonna land your new job.
Hi Kathlyn, from my experience in working life for the past decade, the job market has changed significantly. Given this change, I feel that it is important to diversify the risk of income loss, by having multiple sources of income, via jobs, dividends and side hustles. This way, in the event your primary job is lost, you have other income sources to help you tide the wave till you found another primary job.
To share my own experience, I was working as a full-time software engineer for 8 years. Later on I took a leap of faith to co-found a business trading insurance policies, together with the follow as addition source of income such as:
Pickupp delivery agent (walker, flexible hours)
FX trading (30 min per business day)
Stocks dividends and bonds coupons (re-invested)
Recently I took on another side hustle as a software tester (thanks Gabriel Tham), since I like to help improve softare quality via testing from my previous work experience.
Hope this helps you in deciding your life changes. Good luck and all the best!
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07 Apr 2020