Budgeting 101: Financially Recovering from Unemployment
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused many local companies to close down or downsize, leaving over 7 million Filipinos without a job. If you are one of them, you may still be at a loss as to what to do after receiving the news.
While we don’t have all the answers, this article will help guide you through the process of regrouping, reassessing, and ultimately recovering through this difficult time.
1. Find out what benefits you will get from your employer
Employees who were laid off due to authorized causes (redundancy, retrenchment, etc) are entitled to severance benefits from their companies. These packages vary from company to company but the basic benefits under the Philippine Labor Code should have these:
- Separation pay: Amounting to half month or one month pay per year of service, depending on the cause of termination
- Pro-rated 13th-month pay: Amounting to 1/12 of your total basic salary earned, multiplied by the months worked throughout the fiscal year.
Your company may have also paid your health insurance or HMO for the year so ask if you can continue to use your HMO and until when. You may also be paid any unused sick or vacation leaves that are convertible to cash. Be sure to ask your HR or check with your employee handbook prior to turnover.
2. Take advantage of government unemployment benefits
Whether you are a white-collar worker, blue-collar worker, house help, or OFW, every Filipino who has been displaced from their jobs (due to authorized reasons) are entitled to unemployment benefits from SSS.
3. Update your resume
If you’re ready to get jump back in the employment pool, start by updating your resume. There are plenty of guides online to create stunning resumes that can give you the best chances possible at getting that job.
Related: 7 Ways to Earn an Income Online
4. Reassess your living situation
Part of recovery is accepting the situation for what it is. In terms of lifestyle, this means you may not be able to afford the luxuries you had prior to the crisis.
Whether that’s frequent airconditioning, high-end skincare, or eating out, you’re going to have to get to the core of what is truly essential for you and your family. Put those essentials at the top of your priority and survive until you can recover from any financial losses.
Related: How to Cut Your Monthly Expenses
5. Bundle your household income into one
Sudden unemployment is especially difficult and heartbreaking for breadwinners. But if you have multiple income-earners in the family or in your household, you’re going to have to come into a consensus of bundling together the household income for essential expenses. This eases the burden for everyone while the breadwinner is still looking for new work or is starting a new business.
Quick tip: Pool the funds for your household bills into one account for easy tracking. You can use your Coins.ph Wallet to pay for utility, credit card, and entertainment bills, pay government contributions, deposit to your insurance, buy load, and do so much more all in one app.
6. Restructure your debt
Whatever type of loan you have, you may reach out to your lender to request for temporary relief, extension, or complete restructuring, depending on your current situation. Just explain to them your situation and ask for what options are available for you.
Also, be sure to ask for a pre-termination clause in your new contract. In the event that you acquire a sizeable sum of money before your term ends, this clause will let you pay out a smaller fee (principal + set%) compared to paying the interests in full term.
7. Be open to change
Considering how grave your situation is, you may not have time to wait for that perfect job. If survival is the highest priority, be open to the possibility of working in a position or industry that you may not excel at. This opens you up to more possibilities or at least provide relief until a better opportunity comes along.
8. Consider being an entrepreneur
If you have the skills, grit, and passion for it, you may want to consider starting your own business. You can either start a small business with your current resources or try to find capital for a larger business, depending on your situation, connections, capabilities, and product/service offering.
9. Avoid “get rich quick” scams at all costs
Anything that a) uses your emotions instead of reasoning to reel you into a “business opportunity”, b)asks you to give up your personal information, c)tries to convince you that money-making is as easy as a downpayment, or d)tells you that you will get rich in X amount of time — you should avoid at all costs.
Here are a few guides to help you spot investment scams:
- How to Tell if a Website is Real or a Scam
- How to Spot Phishing Sites
- How to Identify and Avoid Investment Scams
- 3 Get-Rich-Quick Scams Pinoys Should Avoid
Stay safe at home and use your Coins.ph Wallet to send money, buy load, pay bills, and more.
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