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Six Things I Learned About Money During My Retrenchment

retrenchment money melissajavan

I thought since I’ve shared my money mistakes journey with you guys, you probably would like to know how I coped with retrenchment. I was retrenched in March this year and started my freelance writing journey in June. It’s been a hectic couple of months, especially since I’m the main breadwinner of the household.

I’ve been working from home¬†and it’s still a huge learning curve for me. You can read more about that here. Anyway, let me tell you about the money lessons I’ve learned during my retrenchment period.

RELATED STORIES: My Friend Died And I Got Retrenched + Thoughts Crossing My Mind As I Do My Job Hunting

The difference between “want” and “need”
Learning this I also realised when I should ask for help. I would ask only when I’m really in need for things like paying my rent (which is non-negotiable, meaning I can’t skip a payment or short-pay here).

Ask for help and be specific
If you want people to help, you need to budget and plan. That way you’ll be specific when you ask for help. If someone can help you, they’ll give the amount you’ve asked. If they can’t give the full amount, they’ll tell you how much they can.

retrenchment lessons melissajavan

Make arrangements with debt collectors
I made an arrangement to short pay my car finance for three months. After the third month, a debt collector called me to tell me they can take away my car if I don’t start paying off the arrears. Hectic ne!

Having multiple income streams help
I don’t have multiple income streams yet but my husband sometimes does. This is a huge relief for us.

Apply early for Unemployment Insurance Fund money
I used to be proud (have a bit of an ego) but I had to let this go after a month of my retrenchment. I had done job searching but haven’t found a job by end of April. Even though I was let go middle of March, I only applied for UIF by 30 April. I thought I’d have a new job by then.
When I applied the process seemed time-consuming and the lines felt long but once my application forms were sorted, the process went well. It would take me an hour or a little more on the times I had to “collect” the money. (You don’t collect the money at the Labour Department but you fill in a form before you get your money paid in every several weeks. They basically do this until you get a job and then on the form you let them know you’ve found an employer and therefore no longer need UIF.)

You’ll be grateful for little things
I found it so sweet when a blogger friend offered to pay for a ticket for me to attend an event.
Some of my husband’s friends would cook food and once in a while bring us dinner or lunch. It was like God was talking to them (they’re non-believers though) at the times when I would think “what are we going to eat tomorrow?”
I’d be grateful for having little because no matter how little, we could still choose what we’ll be having to eat. We’ve never gone with nothing to eat.

Lastly, (this could be the seventh lesson) you go through so much emotion during the time you’ve lost your job and during the time you are job hunting. One day you’re up and the next you’re down. I’ve learned that I have to read (or listen) and fill my mind with positive things.

Have you ever gone through retrenchment or anything life-changing like this? Let me know in the comments how you’ve handled it.

5 thoughts on “Six Things I Learned About Money During My Retrenchment

  1. Life happens hey… and then you have to adjust and make plans. I admire your positive attitude. I have had so much help (and so much food!) I really do appreciate it. Good luck with your freelancing. I guess I am joining you being a breadwinner….

  2. The want versus need is a conversation I find myself having with my son far too often. Times are tough, and when you are unemployed things may seem unmanageable. I am glad that you have a good support network and that UIF comes in very handy.

    Good luck with generation more income streams.

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