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.
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 when your skills might become redundant or your employment suddenly ends for other reasons might sound depressing, it is good financial management.
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. 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.
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 lost or substantially reduced. Then 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 it may 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 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 “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. There is a plethora of simple templates available online and phone apps to make preparing a budget easy.
Don’t wait until money is in short supply – do a budget now and you will probably 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 dreams and the next day you have lost both. But it can create opportunities.
This is a time when you can change your whole world – learn new skills or do something you’ve always wanted to do. You may be offered assistance with finding a new job or retraining. Make the most of every offer.
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.
What to do?
The best way to navigate the news of redundancy depends very much on your personal circumstances. Good advice is critical, so talk to your licensed financial adviser about your situation.