What Can Furloughed Workers Do to Prepare for an Uncertain Future?

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COVID19 caused quite a shock for workers around the world when suddenly nobody was sure what was going to be happening with their job in the future. The furlough scheme added some more certainty back into the situation and allowed employees who were unable to work due to lockdowns to enjoy continued financial stability with 80% of their regular wage still coming in as they waited for the workplace to reopen.

While many workplaces have reopened or are slowly planning to reopen in the near future, many employees are still on furlough. If your workplace has reopened but with reduced hours, you may have found yourself in a part-time furlough situation where you are working less than usual, but still earning your regular wage.

For many people, the situation has been a bit of a shake-up about money and it’s natural if you feel like making sure you have a safety net for any future potential similar scenarios. If you’re still on furlough, and not sure whether or not you have a job waiting for you at the end of it, it’s even more important to make sure that you are prepared. Here are some things that you might like to do.

Consolidate Debt:

Debt can be a massive worry if you are faced with the possibility of losing your job. If you’re repaying loans and credit cards and suddenly find yourself in a situation where you are no longer earning enough money to cover the repayments, this not only gives you financial stress but can also ruin your credit rating and make it harder for you to obtain credit in the future.

A payday loan can be an ideal option for consolidating debt in furlough and depending on the amount of debt you need to repay, you may even be able to use a payday loan to become debt-free by using the loan to clear your existing debts, and then repaying the payday loan in a short series of instalments using your furlough pay. This will mean less stress for you if you do eventually lose your job due to COVID. Even if you are unable to find payday loans UK that you can repay in such a short space of time, it’s likely that having one repayment rather than several will be both cheaper and less stressful for you. You can find help by searching a panel of direct lenders to find the most suitable one for you, find the details here: payday.co.uk.

Find Remote Work:

You might find it useful to find something that you can do remotely on a self-employed or freelance basis in order to bring in some extra income, and provide you with something that you can fall back on to earn money in the event that you are laid off due to the coronavirus. There are several options that you can try such as delivery driving or online tasks.

Now could be a great time to consider whether you have a hobby or skill that you can turn into a way of making money. For example, if you enjoy writing, why not finally write that book you’ve always wanted to, and self-publish it on Amazon? Maybe you enjoy art - start an Etsy shop and sell your creations. Having a side hustle that you can use to make some extra money will not only relieve some of the financial pressure, but also give you something productive and positive to focus on in these uncertain times, which can be a great anxiety reliever.

Check Out Your Benefit Options:

The UK’s benefits system means that if you are laid off from your job and left without an income, you don’t have to go without money. It’s a good idea to check out which benefits you would be eligible for now so that you have an idea of how much you would be getting paid in benefits if you found yourself without a job for a period of time, which will make it easier for you to budget and figure out if any expenses need to be cut beforehand in order to prepare.

By doing this, you will take the pressure off yourself to adjust to your new financial situation if you find yourself claiming benefits suddenly rather than working, and it will be easier to make the benefit amount stretch further for you. And, if you end up keeping your current job anyway or finding a new job straight away and don’t have to claim benefits, you’ll still have cut unnecessary expenses and will be able to continue saving extra money.

Build an Emergency Fund:

Your emergency fund doesn’t need to be thousands and thousands of pounds, but it’s good to have a little bit of money in a separate account that you can turn to if you find yourself in a financial emergency. If you already have savings you can fall back on if you find yourself jobless, add whatever you can afford to them now while you are on furlough.

If you don’t have any savings, don’t worry - there are plenty of things that you can do to start a savings fund. Sell unwanted things and save the money, or cut any expenses that you haven’t needed to pay during the lockdown and on furlough and put them in a savings account instead. If you normally drive to work and aren’t doing this at the moment, you could put the amount you would normally spend on fuel into a savings account instead.

Find Some Certainty:

The prospect of losing your job and being left with less money than you are used to, or not enough money to cover your expenses, can be a very stressful and anxious experience. It’s a good idea to prepare as much as you can for the possibility so that the impact of it on your wellbeing can be minimised. For example, if you rent your home, let your landlord know that you’re not sure whether or not you are going to have a job in the next few months. This then gives you an opportunity to discuss the options - and leaves you with some certainty about what would happen if you were jobless, taking away some of the guesswork and anxiety that comes with not knowing. Your landlord might tell you that they would waive the rent for the first month while you found a job, or allow you to pay reduced rent for a while to help you get back on your feet - and that’s one less thing to be uncertain about.

Self-Care:

Finally, don’t neglect yourself during this process. Being in a state of uncertainly can be very taxing on your body and mind so continue to put yourself first and give yourself a lot of opportunities to relax. You’re on furlough, so you have time on your hands that you wouldn’t normally have - don’t spend that time worrying about the future. Spend some time in nature, read a good book, binge-watch TV with your family, or catch up with old friends.

Being on furlough and unsure about what the future holds can be very stressful. Take some time to prepare yourself financially and mentally for all possibilities, and get back in control.