Making a plan can help you navigate uncertainty after losing a job.
Losing a job or facing redundancy can be stressful and unexpected. Making a plan for your money can help you navigate the uncertainty and make informed decisions.
Here's a guide to get you back on track.
Consider how long it might take you to find work and what type of work you might like to look for.
Are there temporary contracts you could secure to hold you over? Are there any other sources of income you could pursue? Or would you like to take time to develop your skills during time away from work?
Having a clear picture of your financial position can help you see what choices you can make in the months ahead. You may not need to make any drastic changes to your finances, but knowing where you stand can help improve your sense of control, which is important to your overall financial fitness.
To do this, you’ll need to list your assets and liabilities. Assets are the items you own that could be converted to cash if need be, such as your savings balance, any investments, a car or property. Liabilities are your financial obligations, which could be any debts or payment plans you’ve got, your regular bills, mortgage or student loan.
Next it can help to make a plan for the next few months. Do you know how much you spend on average each month on your bills and essential costs? If not, use MoneySmart’s budget planner to estimate these costs and then forecast how much you’ll need.
If you have an emergency fund, now could be the time to use it. Take a look at how long you could live on any savings you have. Are there any areas where you could cut back spending for a short period of time?
There may be other benefits you could claim while you look for work. For example:
If you have income protection outright or through your super and are out of work because you’ve been permanently injured, now could be a good time to look at claiming this.
Now you’ve looked at your financial position, what changes you could make and what you could have coming in, it’s time to rework your budget for the next few months. Our budgeting guide can help you identify the categories you’ll need to budget for, like your bills, groceries and transport. Make sure you’ve identified upcoming expenses and any expenses that work previously paid for like a car or phone.
If you need extra help, you could talk to a financial counsellor. Financial counsellors provide free, independent and confidential information and support. They help people to understand which debts are priorities, to develop budgets, access grants or concessions, negotiate with creditors, understand their rights, access legal help and more. All Australians can speak with a financial counsellor through the National Debt Helpline on 1800 007 007, or visit the NDH's Live Chat.
This guide contains general information to support you as you build your financial fitness. It doesn’t consider your personal circumstances and isn't financial advice. The information is true at the time of publishing.