Luke’s Unexpected Employment: Member Journeys (Credit Savvy)
Last year, I found out that my wife, Dala, was pregnant and I thought, “wow, a big journey is starting now.” Everything happened so fast after that. I had a bit of savings on the side, so took out a home loan, found a two-bedroom apartment and got on the mortgage. We moved to a bigger place for our daughter.
I could hear on the news about the economic uncertainty, but I still had a job that paid me well and my wife had a part-time job at childcare, so I tuned out from all the information. I just ignored everything I was hearing around me until Dala began asking for help with the shopping.
Honestly, I live near three grocery stores but I couldn’t decide what to buy. I just couldn’t. Whatever I grabbed – say capsicum, eggplant, bananas, fish – everything looked so expensive. Dala gave a laugh and said that we’re probably getting about 85% of the groceries that we were at the start of the year but spending the same amount.
That was very concerning to hear. I think this is when I began following the Reserve Bank (RBA) updates and the climb of interest rates. Each month, I made a habit of jumping on my laptop to see what’s the new decision by the RBA.
What does it mean for us? What else does this impact other than my grocery shop becoming more expensive? How long is this going to go like this? All of that, like, I didn’t have the answers at the time and some of it, I still don’t. The more you read, the more you learn. I personally think that Credit Savvy helped with a lot of it. Whoever is writing those articles on their site breaks the heavy jargon down for the usual people.
How did I get let go? Well, I was with 40 other people who got let go and I’ll tell you, it’s a huge shock to the system. It was a week after my wife gave birth to our daughter, Friday night, around 10.30 pm – I remember that because I was the first one in the team to find out, so while I really wanted to give others a call and tell them, I didn’t want to ruin their night, just before they go to bed.
My phone was buzzing; it was Slack. I thought, that’s an unusual time for this constant buzz, so I checked what was going on. I saw a message pop up saying, “we’ve made the hard but necessary decision to,” then there was a long list of names, most of the people I know. Then I saw my last name and got removed from the Slack channel immediately after.
I froze. I just froze for a minute. I clicked on my emails to see if anyone tried notifying me. No one. A pop-up said that my email was disabled, and I stared back at the screen for a while. It was unbelievable. I have never been made redundant in my life. I used to think that these kinds of things only happen to incompetent workers.
I remember walking up to my wife holding our daughter and I was shocked, embarrassed, angry, confused – I can’t describe it. Maybe it’s the way I grew up but when I looked at my wife and daughter, I felt that I failed in multiple areas of my life, not just at my job.
“I just got let go,” I said.
“What?” She looked so surprised first, then scared. “No, no – how?”
“I think I just got let go. I don’t know, Dala. I can’t access my Slack, can’t access my emails, I am logged out of everywhere and I saw this pop-up saying we’ve made a hard decision and saw a long list of people like 50 people or something.”
I spoke with friends and family. It was hard in the beginning, but I bounced right back up. I have two beautiful ladies at home as a source of motivation. Paying the mortgage and bills on time and checking my credit score became a very important part of my life, while on the job hunt.
You don’t really expect that after studying two degrees and having over five years of experience you would be falling into financial hardship – I won’t lie, it’s frustrating. I never knew that I would be the one shopping late at night to collect the half-price meat or keep a spreadsheet to know how much electricity and food are costing, but it taught me a lot.
My daughter is three months old now. I spent a great summer full of family time and a very special Christmas. I recently signed a new contract and will start my next job in three weeks.
I’ve been seeing more and more people being laid off due to the economic landscape and I tell them to take a bit of a break to think about where they want to head next in life and keep track of their finances.
Now is not the time to overspend, or to make bad decisions which could negatively impact your credit score. Now is the time to be even savvier about money. Thank you, Credit Savvy for helping my family in this journey.