by Vicky Monroe
This week there was a mass layoff at my dad’s company, which he narrowly avoided. His department lost several good employees, so he’s probably going to have a lot more work on his plate for the foreseeable future. But he’s just glad to have a job, because it likely would’ve been hard to find a new position in tech at 66 due to age discrimination.
I encouraged him to think about what he would do if a layoff forced him into retirement. Although he would try to get a new full-time role in his industry first, he said he’d probably switch to freelancing rather than take social security early.
During our conversation, I was pleasantly surprised to find out my parents have been able to build up a nice emergency fund after moving to a cheaper apartment last year. If he ever loses his job, my dad would have about a year to figure out another plan. Although my sister and I would be glad to help my parents through a financial rough patch, it’s nice to know that they have their own substantial safety net.
Making a Layoff Plan
In addition to the layoffs at my dad’s company, several people in my network have gotten let go recently. It seems like we’re heading toward a recession, especially since the Fed keeps hiking interest rates. I read a study that said over half of CEOs are considering layoffs, and remote workers may be the first ones out.
Updating Our Resumes
Even though my partner’s in-person sales job feels pretty secure, we still thought it was a good idea to start making a layoff plan. My dad has gotten laid off several times throughout his career, and he’s always been caught off-guard by it. Although it seems pessimistic, I think it’s best to start preparing for the possibility of job loss to make things easier if it happens.
Because getting laid off (or losing anchor clients in my case) can be stressful and upsetting, it’s difficult to jump right into searching for a new job. So I suggested that my partner and I start updating our resumes and LinkedIn profiles now to take that extra step off our plates. I’m also going to ramp up my marketing for my freelance writing business, and my partner is going to put more effort into networking and making professional connections.
Diversifying Our Income Streams
Another preparation we’re trying to make is diversifying our income streams so we have side hustles to fall back on if we lose our main jobs. My partner is going to pick up some video editing work, and I’m going to try to put more effort into my food photography side hustle.
Padding Our Savings By Being Frugal
The holiday season is approaching, which causes many people to increase their spending on gifts, travel, and food. However, we’re going to stick to our frugal budget so we can keep contributing to our savings. After all, we don’t need to do anything extravagant for the holidays in order to have a good time and make memories.
Holiday Dinner Is Taken Care Of
I have pretty much everything I need for our Thanksgiving dinner because I scored some post-holiday deals last year. I’m vegetarian, so we usually eat Tofurky roasts for Thanksgiving and Christmas. I got several of them for $3 each last January and stuck them in the freezer for this year. We just defrosted one and cooked it in the oven to test it, and it tasted great. No freezer burn whatsoever!
I also have cans of pumpkin I got on clearance at Walmart a few months ago, plus plenty of flour, stuffing mix, and canned green beans. I doubt I’ll need to do much shopping for our holiday dinner. But if you haven’t purchased your Thanksgiving staples yet, I highly recommend using Ibotta to get them for free. All you have to do is redeem a certain number of cash back grocery offers through the Ibotta app, and then you’ll be eligible to receive a free turkey plus some sides.
Frugal Holiday Fun
Besides our holiday dinners, we have a few fun, frugal activities planned, like going to an affordable Christmas concert (we only paid $30 for tickets) and a free lights display. My parents are still concerned about COVID, so we won’t be traveling to see them this year. But I’m sure my partner and I will be able to enjoy the holiday season even though it’s just the two of us.
It’s a bit stressful that we’re still dealing with so much economic instability as a country heading into Thanksgiving and Christmas! But hopefully the joy of the holiday season will uplift us all and carry us through this uncertain time.
Are you doing anything different with your finances or career to prepare for potential layoffs? I’ve never experienced one as an adult, so it would be great if you could share your experiences in the comments below so I can learn from them. Is there anything else we should be doing to prepare? We have a pretty big emergency fund that could float us for around 9 months, but we’re still trying to beef it up to get it to the one year mark.
I’d also love to know how others are handling Christmas this year. Are you cutting back because of inflation and the potential recession, or are you going all out since we missed a lot of holidays during the pandemic? Share your plans in the comments below!
Vicky Monroe is a freelance personal finance and lifestyle writer. When she’s not busy writing about her favorite money saving hacks or tinkering with her budget spreadsheets, she likes to travel, garden, and cook healthy vegetarian meals.