Dear Money Engineer,
I have been working for a big hotel in Fort Portal. We used to have a lot of tourists staying at our hotel. However because of the Corona Virus people have stopped coming. Most of the rooms are now empty. The Manager called us for a meeting and told some of us to first stay at home until the situation improves. I am afraid I have lost my job. I am a single mother with two young children. I have been renting and I have no savings. I am so scared. Please advise me.
Glad to hear from. Thank you for reaching out. I am so sorry for what you are going through. I can imagine that you feel scared and worried. The economic times are indeed tough and many people have lost their livelihoods. I urge you to remain hopeful. This is not the end of the world. Indeed it could be the beginning of something remarkable.
Don’t allow yourself to be overcome by fear and anxiety. Check out some of my earlier articles on how to handle fear and hardship ( https://themoneyengineers.com/2020/03/04/why-we-are-so-afraid/; https://themoneyengineers.com/2020/03/01/when-i-have-a-problem/; https://themoneyengineers.com/2020/03/01/solve-your-financial-problems/)
It is now critical to develop a MINDSET of BELIEF and FAITH to overcome the current hardship you are facing. I have explored the denominators of success in any endeavor here – https://themoneyengineers.com/2020/03/01/the-laws-of-financial-success/
It is time to take a hard look at your financial situation. Being a single mother with two young children must be difficult. The fact that you have been able to raise them thus far is an indication that you are stronger than you think. It is time to evaluate whether you have been in the right employment. You also need to reconsider your savings and spending habits. It is probably time to start learning about investing. Maybe you need to consider changing careers. Losing your job could be the best thing to happen to you.
Your largest expense is likely to be rent. Consider having a candid discussion with your landlord to give you a month or two while you adjust to the new situation. If this is not possible consider moving to a cheaper place. Also consider moving in with a friend or relative for a short while. Try and also find a friend or relative who can bail you out for some time.
It is also a good time to re-look at your expenses. Now is the time to seriously cut back on your spending levels. I have written about several ways to save money – https://themoneyengineers.com/2020/02/29/31-fun-ways-to-save-money/
Try and look for another job. Depending on your experience you maybe able to get another job easily. If this is not possible explore other ways of earning some income. I have written about several ways to make money here – https://themoneyengineers.com/2020/03/02/113-small-business-ideas/
If you can’t find another job, consider working from home.There are several opportunities to make money online. Check out my earlier article on opportunities for work online – https://themoneyengineers.com/2020/03/03/how-to-make-money-online/
In case you manage to get another job, try and maximize the amount of money you earn at your new job. Here are some ideas I have shared before – https://themoneyengineers.com/2020/02/29/19-ways-to-make-more-money-at-your-job/
The loss of your job seems to have caught you unprepared. You don’t want to be a similar situation 10 years from now. You need to educate yourself about personal finances. Here are some articles I have written before. ( https://themoneyengineers.com/2020/03/16/financial-literacy-basics/; https://themoneyengineers.com/2020/03/03/how-to-build-a-money-machine/😉
You also need to start learning about investing. Here are some ideas – https://themoneyengineers.com/2020/03/03/invest-your-money-safely/
If you are currently in debt, try and explore ways to defer your your loan repayments. Ultimately you want to reduce your loan obligations. Read my previous articles on managing debt here – https://themoneyengineers.com/2020/02/29/how-to-pay-down-debt/
I hope this experience has taught you that relying on a single source of income is not a very good idea. We need to build multiple source of income to weather such storms. I have shared some ideas on this before – https://themoneyengineers.com/2020/03/05/multiple-sources-of-income/
It is important that you transition from a state of worry and start taking relentless action on some of these ideas to get you out of this situation. Here is some guidance – https://themoneyengineers.com/2020/03/07/take-action/
Of course all these things are easier said than done and it is difficult to fully appreciate what you are going through. I urge you to remain hopeful and have faith that you will pull through. Remember it is not what happens to us, but rather how we respond that determines our success in life.
All the best and hope to hear from you soon.
The Money Engineer.