Useful Financial Survival Tips After Retrenchment
Retrenchment ! The feared day has finally arrived. You are
now 45 years old and suddenly you found yourself without any job. You are faced
with hefty monthly condominium installments to be paid. Children schoolings and
fees are waiting for you every month. Your imaginations run wild and you see
many outstretched hands demanding money here and there. Wait, Don't panic! Get
real ! What you need to do now is not to dwell on your misery and start planning
ahead. There is not point going around telling the entire world that you are
retrenched, looking for sympathy or help. The faster you live with this reality
and fact the faster you will bounce back and recover. So, wake up, NOW!!!!
I must apologise for the above style of writing. It is with a
good heart that I want that particular person to wake up from his misery or his
dwellings in his past achievements and contributions to his company. Please
understand that some people never wake up and continue to daydream. The main
thing immediately after retrenchment is to live with this fact and reality and then see what
adjustments can be made financially while looking for work or alternative
arrangements. One can never know if the last job that one is very familiar with
will be available in another firm or even exist at all. Sure, it is painful. But
this is survival and reality. Get on with it.
Now that you have wake up to reality. I will thus be able to
get your serious commitment to our proposal here. Before even starting to
consider how to stretch the limited savings you have, you need to re-focus or
re-channel your mental frame of mind to that of cost savings mode. Everything
you do, you think of cost savings. Where to squeeze that bit of money must be on
your mind all the time, till you found a job. One can never know when you will
find your desired job with that matching pay you think you deserve. It can range
from 3 months to perhaps 1 year or more. We have to prepare for the worse unless
you do not object to starting all over again as a very junior staff. You will be
surprised how this mental preparation to save and eagerness to save can help you
think of creative ways of savings. Your job on financial restrain and savings
will thus be a lot easier than others. Some people forget this basic mental
The very first step towards achieving more savings is
to find out where your money goes or escape to every month. Sure, you said;
every self-help book says that. But the question is whether have you sit down an
afternoon and write down a list of items or services that your money goes to
every month. Not to worry, even if you cannot remember every regular items or
services, you still can compile them over the next few weeks till you get a clear
idea where the holes are. Don't be tempted to take immediate action to cut down
expense when your list is not ready. You may end up cutting the wrong items or
even essential items and services.
When your expenditure list is about 90-100% ready, you can
now start to evaluate where you can cut down on those expenses and save some
money every month. Study it carefully and think about it thoroughly. A useful
guide towards paring down expenses is to consider if such an item or service is
essential to survival or making more money. Can I survive without this item or
service? Is there any alternative means of achieving the same satisfaction? Will
less money also create the same effect? Will less allotment of money make do as
environment now is slower than before?
Almost forgot, it is very important that the family together
willing co-operate and standby together in such a cost cutting measure and
exercise. The co-operation must be willing, sacrificial and 100% committed.
Anything less will be ineffective and grouses & cheating may occur. A family
standing united together will go further than any one else going alone.
We have compile a list below some items and services that one
can consider paring down and save some money. This list is by no means
exhaustive and is general in nature. It should be used as a guide only and we
shall not be responsible for any lesser well-being of any individual or family
who makes use of this list.
down non-essential entertainment subscriptions. Eg : Cable TV subscriptions,
entertainment magazine subscriptions, entertainment newsletters subscriptions
etc. You can also consider newspaper subscription if you can read from internet.
We would not recommend not cutting down on internet subscriptions as you might
need it to find jobs and get the latest news, unless of course you want to go to
the library everyday to make use of their free internet services.
independently for once without any maid. This idea is an age old idea from
not too long ago when maids were a scarce and rare species in Singapore. Funny,
how in a few generations Singaporeans have grown to be so accustom to having a
maid or be worse off without one. Wonder if our older generations are superior
beings that can out compete us and live without maid. Let the children grow up
and be more independent for goodness sake. Kick their lazy butts and make them
do housework like the good olden days. (Not asking them to walk 3 kms to schools
with heavy school bags though!). A little hard work and wake up call will ensure
a good healthy young person in the future.
having any tutors. Again this idea is extracted from our good old times when
everybody cannot afford tuition. Don't spoil your kids and spoon feed them. Make
them go running around asking friends, school teachers and even researching the
library. You will be amaze at the amount of work and knowledge acquired by their
running around efforts. They will certainly remember their work as they
seriously put in some efforts into acquiring such knowledge. Try it out and see
the results, if you never try you will never know. What more, you can also
transform any spoilt brat into a very competitive independent hardworking
superior person. Cost savings + transformation, pretty good deal, right?
less Toto, 4D, or any other forms of betting. You will be surprise how much
you can save every month if you cut down on all these forms of betting. Some
heavy punters can save couple of thousands while some small punters save few
hundreds every month. In most cases, the odds of success are not that high and
one tends not to win anything most of the time anyway. This suggestion is purely
up to individual. If individual mental health is affected by this suggestion,
then maybe it is not appropriate for that person.
down on transportation costs by taking cheaper means of transport. Eg:
Cutting down on taxi rides are a sure proof way of squeezing that extra dollars
out. This might meant waking up earlier for some people and better time
arrangement for others. Consolidating transportation trips are another means of
saving up some funds. Don't think lowly of such measures, it can come up to be
quite a bit for a family of four persons.
Consider cutting down on water and electrical bills.
Eg : If possible, try not to turn on the air-conditioning and use fans instead.
Running air-conditioning all the times are hefty and costly. The cost of
electricity is more expensive than water in Singapore. The main target should be
driving down those electrical bills. In fact, some people have noticed that once
they stop watching TV, their family life and togetherness improve dramatically
and they become closer as a result.
Consider cutting down on eating out or dining at less
expensive places and buying less expensive food Eg : Monthly food and dining
out expenditure for a family can amount to quite a fair bit of total monthly
expenditure. Eating less meat and substituting with bean curd protein is more
healthier lifestyle nowadays. Not only one can save, one also become healthier
as a result. There are also a lot of cheaper alternative dining out places one
can consider to enjoy a meal. It is not always the case that the more one pays
the better one gets when it comes to food; the chef and the mood on that day
matters a lot.
Consider eating more fruits, vegetables and staying
healthy. This is an important aspect that some self help books missed out.
Medical costs and consultations are getting more expensive. It is very much
cheaper that you stay healthy than to see a doctor or go for any operations due
to stress, lack of sleep or accidents.
Consider buying valued packs or buying greater quantity or
bigger packs for better values, when shopping for groceries. Instead of
buying less groceries quantities, you should instead consider buying more or
bigger pack as one tend to get more quantity discounts. One should consider
buying more of such items when the items are needed and used regularly. Not only
will you get more per dollar you will also save on having to make more trips
which can altogether add up to a fair bit.
Consider downgrading from a bigger house to smaller house
and selling your car and take public transportation. This option of
downgrading housing and accommodation is among the last choice in our opinion.
It is to be used when debts levels are very high and there is no way out of debt
or when savings are too miserable to cover expenditure. Selling of car and
taking public transportation is nothing to be ashamed off. Own and servicing a
car in Singapore is simply too expensive. One can save roughly about $600/- a
month on petrol, road tax and car insurance if one gives up the car. This does
not yet include the monthly repayments and depreciation costs of the car. Even
if you take taxi rides, S$600/- a month should be more than enough.
I hope with the above list some of you who are unfortunate
can now breathe a little easier and seriously work towards a solution to solving
your problems. As for you guys that are not affected, maybe you might want to
contribute some articles, suggestions & ideas how to save or look for a job. Let
us all Singaporeans help each other out and not always rely on the government
for help. You can simply email me at
and I will vet through all suggestions, ideas and contributions. Don't worry, I
will put up whoever name up as the Good Contributor for the article, suggestion
and ideas. Er, try not to make it very boring or else we will be