SINGAPORE: A stressed-out Singaporean recently shared on social media that she had been experiencing severe anxiety as a result of the increasing cost of living and the nearly constant news of layoffs.
“How do you all deal with the anxiety of not knowing whether layoffs will affect you next? Ive been seeing and hearing news of retrenchments and downsizing seemingly every single day. This, coupled with the rising cost of living is making me feel v stressed,” u/Sad-Impression-911 wrote on r/askSingapore on Saturday (Jan 13).
She also asked her fellow Singaporean Redditors how they are holding up and maintaining their savings without compromising on the current standard of living.
“Ive been looking into side hustles like giving tuition to supplement my income and also in case i get lay offs. Sorry for the bad formatting. Would greatly appreciate any advice and tips. Thank you,” she wrote at the end.
SG Redditors: ‘Live within your means and save for rainy days.’
In the comments section, numerous SG Redditors gave her advice on how to get through difficult times.
One Redditor said, “Don’t overspend in good time. Don’t stress in bad time. Live within your means. Enjoy life.”
Another Redditor also said that she must always be prepared for any unforeseen circumstances and suggested that she save at least six months’ worth of expenses.
“As an employees, you must always prepare for any unforeseen circumstances that you are not able to work and loss of income. Saving and proper investment are always the safer bet. Don’t be stressed out now.
What you need to do now is going through your expenses and work out a saving plan to save at least more than 6 months of monthly expenses. In case of retrenchment, if the retrenchment benefits plus your savings, it can help you survive couple of months.”
One Redditor also quoted Warren Buffet: “Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.
Layoffs and rising COL are out of your control, but building a transferable skill set and not succumbing to lifestyle inflation are definitely within your control.
Just plant the tree when you can – you never know when the rainy days will hit, but at least you’ll be ready when they do.”
How to prepare for a layoff
No matter how the news is delivered, getting laid off from your work is always a devastating experience. You’ve just lost your bread and butter, and now you’re left wondering how to get by in the following months.
While it’s not advisable to constantly worry about what might happen tomorrow, preparing in case things go south can never hurt you.
On this note, here are some steps that you can take to prepare for a layoff:
Review your monthly budget. If you haven’t been tracking your expenses, then this is probably the right time for you to do so. List the bills that you need to pay off every month.
How much do you spend on your groceries? Do you prefer to eat out? If so, how much do you spend each time you do? Do you have any debts? Do you have monthly subscriptions? These are the questions that you need to ask yourself.
Cut back on your spending as much as possible; you will be surprised at how much money you can save each month.
Start saving for your emergency fund. According to financial experts, the rule of thumb is to save enough money to cover three to six months’ worth of expenses.
While saving that much might initially seem overwhelming, the plan is to start small and increase your savings every week or two until you reach your target.
Your fund should be able to cover expenses for your housing/rent, food, health care, utilities, transportation, personal expenses, and debt.
Get out of debt. As much as possible, pay off your debt while you’re still employed. Look for ways to increase your income immediately, and set aside the extra cash for debt repayment.
Update your resume. Regardless of your current situation, update your resume and keep an eye out for new job opportunities online. It’s never a bad idea to take a look, and it’ll help reduce your anxiety if you ever find yourself out of a job.
Prioritize your mental health. Being laid off can be a very painful experience. Your financial security may be in jeopardy, and you may feel overwhelmed by the prospect of finding a new job.
One of the best things you can do when you are on the verge of losing your job is to take a deep breath and remember not to panic. And while you start looking for a new job, this is also your chance to learn a new skill, pick up a language, or read that book you bought last year.
Keep looking forward to the bright side; things may not always be as bad as they seem.