So MissShoestring was let go from her job today, very unexpectedly ! She will easily find something else, but it reminded me that it can happen to anyone with very little warning in these volatile times, so it is a good idea to have a plan just in case it happens to you.
The first thing to work out is your bottom line budget, which expenses must you pay in order to keep a roof over your head and keep the utilities connected. You need to be fed and you must have some means of communicating with potential employers or clients, if you go self-employed. You must also have some way of getting to job sites, this might be remotely via internet or in person using a method of transport. Transport does not necessarily mean car ! That's it, everything else is an extra and has to be cut immediately. We are fortunate in this country that we do not need to think about paying for healthcare as even dental and optical expenses are covered if you are job-seeking. So MissShoestring is finding someone to take on her room in her flat and then is moving home as soon as she can. She will have shelter, warmth and food, access to transport and the internet and plenty of advice.
After your basic needs have been taken care of you need a support network to cheer you on. This might be friends or family or professionals, make use of all of them as you look for work. Leave no stone unturned and do not turn up your nose at jobs you might have done when you were younger. Also think about starting a side business now and diversifying your income so you are not dependent on a single employer. You need to know that you can rely on yourself !
So this ultra frugal month we have:- USAShoestring home, waiting for his visa; MissShoestring home job-hunting; MasterShoestring studying for school leaving exams and MrShoestring working daily in London, starting at 0545 from next Monday it looks like January just got a lot busier and more expensive. Thank goodness for savings !
Even so I have made a list of go-to frugal things to try this month to produce extra income ! My dreams of lots of time to study have gone ! However, I looked into getting an NUS student card, which I am entitled to, then decided that the discounts were not worth the £12 I would have to pay for the card. We are not going to be buying anything new ! It is worth remembering to check whether the discount you get is worth the initial cost as I have seen lots of blogs promoting the NUS card but for us there is definitely no saving.
Still, at least it is a beautiful crisp, sunny day and it might be fun having everyone home !