When was there a better time to finally start a blog? I might as well start it after being made redundant during a pandemic. Covid19 has been a whirlwind of a journey…
The Covid 19 Job Fun Fare
I went from what I thought was a “job for life” to entering the Covid19 job fun fare: Having a job; furloughed from the job; worrying about the job; being made redundant from the job; searching for a new job; and finally getting a new job. In short, it hasn’t been an easy few months. However, my long term personal finance disciplines have made it easier than it could have been.
The main thing that helped me during my covid19 job upheaval was the “emergency fund”. This pot of money gave me a cushion to not rush into anything drastic or worry about loosing the roof over my head. You hope to not ever have to use the emergency fund, but believe me, it is worth having one.
Don’t let it fool you. The mental tole is not completely eliminated. In my situation – not having a job – the emergency fund was a finite pot. Despite having a relatively long runway to live off, I found myself surprisingly anxious one day in the supermarket. Gone were the days of buying whatever I wanted. I had never had to shop knowing that I potentially did not have a payslip next month. It left me also being appreciative imagining what it would be like without the fund!
I have been keeping track of monthly and annual bills since we moved into our house a year ago. This is handy for working out the total monthly outgoings. As soon as I was put on furlough, I reviewed the bills and categorised them as “essential” or “expendable”. This then meant I knew my essential monthly outgoings value. It made it easier to know what things to cull when the penny dropped I was being made redundant. Bye bye several (hardly used) monthly entertainment subscriptions @mickeymouse.
We are debt free apart from our mortgage. Not surprisingly, this the biggest debt in our household. I am thankful that when we arranged our mortgage – only a year ago – we took a “worst case scenario” approach. Can we survive with only one person employed and still be able to pay mortgage and essential bills with small hit to emergency fund? This helps eliminate the immediate concern of not being able to afford the house and have to make a drastic decision. It does mean when we are both employed there is room to overpay. Overpay the mortgage you say? I’ll post more on that controversial topic at some point!
Be Prepared for the unknown unknown.
Who would have thought a pandemic would occur and cause so much chaos in 2020? The main takeaway for me is to prepare, as much as you can, for situations that are so unexpected that you would not have even considered them occurring (the unknown unknown).
I hope everyone reading this is doing as well as they can during this difficult time. Please have compassion for one and other. Try not to sweat the small stuff.
Also, It is easy to see “XYZ number of people made redundant” and become immune to it – I was guilty of this. However, remember these are all folk having their lives and their families lives turned upside down. If you know anyone going through the process or who have lost their jobs, please offer as much support and guidance as you can. You won’t believe how much it could mean to someone.
Don’t worry, my future posts will hopefully be more uplifting! I plan to do more detailed pieces on the above.