— June 22, 2019
Forget the financial perils, the worst part about getting laid off is that it wasn’t even your fault. You were doing your part right and yet, one fine day, you’re unemployed.
First off, know that you’re not the only victim of this impromptu injustice. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly 19.9 million workers were laid off or discharged from duty in 2016. Secondly, if by any chance you’re doubting your own abilities even the slightest bit, don’t. It had nothing to do with your performance and wasn’t personal. End of story.
Believe it or not, in the not-so-distant future, you’ll look back at this adversity as a blessing in disguise. Now you’re aware of the gloomy fact that “job security” is nothing but an illusion. And this is your chance to introspect, learn necessary life skills, and put an end to wastage by adopting a minimalistic lifestyle.
Understandably, you may not want to do any of that and carry on with that comfortable cubicle life. But no one is immune from layoffs, and it is better to go through this “ordeal” sooner rather than later.
Read on to find out how you can flip this supposed setback into a reinvigorating experience that empowers you to become healthier, happier, and wiser. Do these five things to not just save yourself big bucks until you find your next calling, but also to lead a more fulfilled life, from here on out.
1. Cancel that Gym Membership
Apart from negotiating a severance package, one of the first things you must do is cancel unnecessary memberships and subscriptions. For instance, your gym membership.
Of course, this is not to say you compromise on your health and fitness, but do you really need an expensive gym membership to get/stay in shape? Go for a jog outside instead of on a treadmill. Get inexpensive weights and do your lifting at home. And you obviously don’t need the gym to do push-ups, squats, sit-ups, crunches, and what have you.
Let YouTube replace your personal trainer for a while. It is not as difficult or as weird as it sounds. And if you can stick to it, it’ll grow on you and you’ll never need that expensive gym membership again.
2. Cut Back on Fine Dining
By fine dining, we mean everything from snacktime cravings and fast food to actual fine dining in lavish restaurants.
The biggest and perhaps the only benefit of eating out is the time saved. But as you’re out of work, you now have time to cook at home. The benefits? It is considerably less expensive and healthier than eating out. Plus, you get to learn cooking as a skill that’ll save you money even after you return to the workplace.
3. Start Shopping Sensibly, Not Impulsively
We are all guilty of succumbing to impulsive shopping, be it offline in a mall or online on Amazon. What starts as harmless window shopping often turns into an expensive purchase. While it was fine when you had a regular paycheck, now you have to be extra careful you don’t whip out your credit card every time something strike’s your fancy.
The layoff is your opportunity to knock some sense into your shopping habits (or your spouse’s) and appreciate the importance of spending wisely. When it comes to your purchasing habits, try to buy what you need, not what you desire. “Draw a line through every purchase or event that, in hindsight, was associated with being HALT (hungry, angry, lonely, tired),” writes Ellen R. Siegel, a certified financial planner in Miami.
4. Say ‘Hi’ to DIY
Again, as you have an abundance of time now, you can choose to do many day-to-day tasks yourself instead of paying people to do them for you. In other words, you can mow the lawn, wash the car, fix the door, paint the walls, walk the dog, and so on, yourself. All such little savings when combined make a significant difference in slashing your overall expenses.
Moreover, learning to do all these activities yourself will make you a self-sufficient individual, something we all must strive to become. And you can always start using these services once you get busy with a new gig.
5. Clip the Cable
Finally, now is the perfect time to cut the cord and cancel your cable TV service. If you absolutely need it, consider subscribing to Netflix or Hulu for your TV and entertainment needs, as that would be substantially cheaper. Of course, we won’t advise you to subscribe to such services when you should be looking for work and doing productive activities instead of watching TV. But some leisure can help keep your spirits high, so there’s that. And there’s always YouTube.
Besides, no good happens from watching excessive television. Unless you’re watching something educational, informative, or instructional, you’re literally killing your precious time on earth.
These simple yet effective tactics will make the pain of layoff a little less financially and hence, less mentally taxing. Additionally, you should surely consider doing part-time work or freelancing while hunting for a full-time job. Ideally, your part-time work should be related to your field and allow flexibility to actively pursue your job search, but anything that pays the bills may do for now.
Ultimately, you don’t want to settle for a job you’re not interested in just because you ran out of money. So, you must put these tactics into practice as soon as you can.
Have you ever faced a layoff? What did you do? Let us know in the comments below!