In March 2017, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) announced various targeted measures to help unemployed professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMETs) switch careers. This included a monthly allowance of up to $4,000 for those going on a training attachment as well as wage subsidies for employers who hire PMETs aged 40 and above through the Career Support Programme.
If you are older than 40 and closing in on that next job, you might still have familial responsibilities and financial obligations to consider during your job search. But fret not; these smart budgeting tips can help you through the lean period before your next job comes along.
Plan ahead to stretch your budget
Your first point of support should be your severance package. Instead of spending it on a long vacation, work out how much money you need each week, and assess how long your severance package will cover your living expenses.
No severance package? Calculate how long your savings will last given your monthly expenses. Ensure that you set aside sufficient money to cover the monthly household budget and personal expenses, such as your mortgage, car loan and children’s education. Financial experts recommend a conservative estimate of nine to 12 months of savings for an emergency fund. So if you find yourself struggling to make your savings last for this period, it’s time to start tracking your daily expenses and seeing where you can make small compromises every day.
Track your daily expenses
Most of us worry about heavy financial obligations, but few of us come up with a plan to cut back on our spending. Create a budget spreadsheet to track every single cent that goes out of your pocket. Or you could use free personal finance apps like Toshl Finance or Singapore’s very own Seedly for this.
Cut out unnecessary expenses such as lavish dinners and luxury items. Then, take control of your everyday expenses, such as your mobile phone and utility bills. For example, be careful not to bust the data limit on your mobile phone — this can add as much as S$50 to your monthly bill.
Consider training attachments while you search
Why not use your spare time to look for training attachments that helps you secure mid-level jobs to stay employed while you continue your job search? The Career Support Programme lets you do just this, with jobs that pay upwards of $3,600. With a variety of jobs ranging from designer, preschool teacher and IT technician to financial services consultant, hybrid cloud consultant, digital marketer and dental assistant covered under the programme, these stints offer you a way to prove your value to the company and maximise your chances of being offered a full-time job.
*With the announcement of the Jobs Growth Incentive (JGI), which took effect from Sep 2020, CSP has ceased with effect from 1 Sep 2020.