Listening to the news on the radio as I was driving to work on Wednesday, I was saddened hearing that almost three million people have been retrenched here in South-Africa and the majority of them are low-income earners. I wondered how all these people going to survive in this harsh economic situation. It is almost obvious that most of these people are breadwinners and this means that families will be greatly impacted. With this income bracket of +/- R3000, it also means that the total package if being retrenched its really close to nothing, that’s if they are lucky to have been given the package.
If you are in this situation, this article will present a few tips to help you deal with it.
- Design a shoe-string Budget
“Shoestring Budget” often describes an amount of money which may be inadequate to fund the intended purpose of its use in full. A shoestring budget is likened to a shoelace that when stretched is enough to keep a shoe on, but parts of the foot might hang out. With the little amount, you might have been paid out by your company, draft an emergency budget. On this budget try to cut out all wants and non-essentials and only stick to the basics, like your food, rentals, and medical expenses. You need to leave a buffer to cover your basic and daily expenses until you find another job.
- Look for any other legal generating income streams
Don’t just sit home drowning in your sorrows, rather go out and look for any menial jobs so that you can have an income whilst you still searching for another job. Don’t be selective anything legal which can bring in money is a great start. Look for piece jobs, like washing cars, cleaning houses, offering to do laundry or even cleaning bins, etc. Any amount of money coming in will be helpful rather than staying at home and doing nothing about the situation.
- Declutter your house and free some money
Many of us keep so much money in our homes in the name of gadgets, clothes other things we just bought but don’t use or wear. Have a thorough cleaning and go through all the stuff you have in your house and see what you are not using and sell. That little money will help you out with the essential items and other things that you need.
- Don’t forget to Invest in yourself
Retrenchment is painful and takes its toll on your emotional, psychological, and financial well-being. It’s important to keep moving forward. They are a lot of free online courses being offered, look for something to upskill yourself. This will have a competitive advantage in your CV. As you are busy with job hunting, investing in yourself will also bring in positive results. Sharpen your current skills or learn some new ones. Short, online courses offered in your field are something to consider.
- Don’t keep it to yourself, talk to others
Money related issues are the number cause of mental health problems. Speak to family and friends about your situation, instead of asking for money ask for ideas which can help you with the situation. You may have feelings of failure or that you have let them down, but remember being retrenched is not your fault. Your family will probably be the best support system during this stressful time. If you have debts communicate with your creditors and arrange something whilst you still trying to get back on your feet. This way its better than not communicating.
There is no such thing as bad weather – only the wrong clothes.” In times of crisis, there is always an opportunity – I mean, Whatsapp, UBER, and Pinterest were all start-ups founded during the last recession. Chew on that. Search yourself deeper, ideas will come through.
By Tarie Manyonga