Imagining life without ups and downs, in my opinion, is silly. I will not say that I never faced hardships, but the one I have encountered lately was a nightmare. A mysterious virus spread across the country through air, flights, and in an out of people and brought a storm in the lives of many of us. Life was good until the COVID19 cases spread like wildfire, and the government ordered for lockdown. UNEMPLOYMENT DURING COVID19 is going to be harsh problem.
An invisible virus showed up out of the blue and forced us to stay confined to our houses with no hope of improvement in the situation. The rising cases dreaded people forced the economy to sink, and raised alarm bells about physical contacts. I had been working as a travel agent, and one day my employer mailed me to inform me that it would no longer be possible for the company to hold up. I understood the stance of my boss, and I had to accept his decision of laying me off.
Thankfully, I had some savings, so I could manage to stay afloat for the first two months. In the meantime, I kept looking for jobs. Since it was crucial to follow the protocol of physical distancing, I had no way to find a job that I could do from home. Getting a job in the travel industry was beyond my reach because the COVID19 pandemic severely hit the industry.
I needed money, so I thought to apply for a job in any field. Content writing seemed to be the best job for me because when I was in the travel company, I used to write and edit blogs submitted by other authors. I should leverage my writing skills to make some money. My savings were not very little, so I managed to make ends meet until I got a job.
I tried on freelance sites like UpWork, Fiverr and dived into LinkedIn to find out even a single writing project. Thankfully, a few companies were seeking freelance writers. My savings were worth four-month of my living expenses, but I drained half of it in a month. I never gave priority to budgeting, and perhaps that was the reason I did not give a toss to it, but I regretted at the end.
Since I had already lost my job and I had almost dipped into my savings, I had to apply for loans in Ireland for unemployed. Based on my freelance work status, the lender could sign off on €300 though I applied for €500. Since freelance projects were not in abundance, so I had to be careful with my savings. Further, I had taken on a debt, which means I had to pay back more than €300 because of interest.
I did not receive enough projects, so it was harder to keep the wolf from the door. This was not the first time I had faced unemployment, but this time it was not that easy to grab jobs. The unemployment phase came in the entire economy. I had a word with my uncle, who had worked as a financial advisor. He suggested the following tips:
Prepare a lean budget
I prepared a lean budget. It aimed to meet essential expenses only. I had to stay confined to the house, so it was not hard to stick to critical costs like utilities, repayments of debts, groceries, and the like.
Set aside money for loan repayments
He suggested to me that I should keep aside money that I had to pay off even though the lender had put me under the moratorium period. This is because this period did not aim at releasing me from financial obligations.
Further, it was adding up the interest for an extended period. Putting aside the money I needed for the loan repayment will not make me struggle at the time of settling the dues.
Brace yourself for unforeseen expenses
Whether you have created a lean budget or not, unexpected expenses can come up at any time. He suggested to me that I should have some savings exclusively for unforeseen expenses to make sure that I would not dip into funds for essential expenses and loan repayments. In case of a shortage of funds, I had an opportunity to take out quick loans.
Now I have got a full-time job and efficiently managing to make ends meet, but during the lockdown, it was hard to keep head above water, and that is why I strictly followed the instructions mentioned above.
It is not so easy to face the unemployment phase even though it is fleeting, especially when the economy is undergoing the recession period. Of course, it was not very easy for me to hold up. I felt as if it was all up with me, but I kept me motivated and got over it.