As India struggles to contain the COVID pandemic, job losses are becoming more apparent. The continued loss of business coupled with bleak prospects for the year ahead and no relief in sight is forcing companies to consider cutting manpower costs. Some of us are able to work from home thanks to the convenience of the internet and video conferencing and many healthcare workers are logging more hours than ever before. The situation is particularly bad for other sectors and especially the travel, entertainment and hotel industries.
6 steps to take following a Coronavirus job loss
1. Brace Yourself
Sometimes, employers are humane enough to give you an advance warning about an impedning job loss. The coronavirus has changed all that, with many employees getting fired over zoom calls or whatsapp. As soon as you learn about your layoff, it’s time to begin saving wherever you can. If you’re social distancing and staying home, this could mean canceling online subscriptions or memberships, cooking at home instead of ordering delivery or take-out, cutting back on smoking and drinking, switching from pricey coffees and sodas to water, or stopping any frivolous online shopping.
2. Start networking actively
85% of all jobs are filled up via networking. Former bosses are a great way to start this process. Get on social media and attend virtual networking events. Do anything you can to let other people know you’re looking for your next opportunity without sounding desperate.
While many industries are struggling, a number of them such as healthcare, manufacturing of essential services, delivery services, supermarkets and pharmacies are hiring.
3. Resist Using your credit cards
If you have available credit on your credit cards, and you need money you may want to use your credit card limit and make minimum amount due payments(rather than pay the card dues off in full). But credit cards typically charge very high interest rates. This increase your outflow and also increases your card limit utilization ratio. This can decrease your CIBIL score
While it’s natural for some people to fall back on credit cards, especially during a crisis like the one we’re in now, if at all possible, try to put them aside. This is the time to dip into your contingency fund, if you have one. If you have saved money for other things such as for a holiday or a new device, it might be worth dipping into these savings now rather than relying on credit. Remember, credit is debt that has to be paid back!
4. Optimize Your Expenses
Some expenses are more important than others. Here are some pointers for your reference.
? Purchasing items in a sale can help to bring down the costs to a considerable extent? Pooling a car and sharing the ride with a colleague or using public transport can add to savings? Restricting telephone discussions can help in bringing down the cost of telephone calls ? Paying only for the required television channels can help in bringing down the cost of a cable connection? Exercising in the open rather than a gym has the potential of saving at least a couple of thousand rupees every month? Inculcating the habit of switching off lights and fans in rooms where they are not being used can bring down the electricity bill? Asking for cheaper options on medicines from doctors can lead to large savings on medical bills? Carrying lunch to work can bring down your expenses and keep you healthy? Wash clothes at home rather than give them to a dry cleaner? Sell items that are not in use (or not likely to get used) but are in your possession
5. Create a Monthly Household Budget
The most common reason for falling into a debt trap is one’s inability to curtail expenses. As the first step, one needs to prepare a budget. These are some pointers:
? Collate all incomes (including rental and other income sources such as the interest that you may earn on your savings account).? Draw a list of all your expenses and separate them into essential and non-essential categories (essential expenses are the ones that are needed for survival; such as food, medical and rental expenses). Non-essential expenses are the ones where the buying decision could either be deferred or done away with completely; such as eating out frequently and luxury holidays. Check on the percentage of your income getting spent on each of these segments.? Make a plan to see how you can bring down the share of non-essential expenses.? Review the budget every month and make changes as required.? Endeavour to stick to the budget.
6. Don’t Face Your Layoff Alone
A job layoff isn’t your fault, especially when it’s coronavirus related. If your layoff has left your finances in a bad shape or you’re worried about job loss, you can speak to a Credit Expert at AskCred and booking a counselling session.