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"Jobless for almost a year and losing my mind."

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

I stumbled on your blog last month when searching for ways to make my savings last longer. 

There are many other blogs on money but your blog just feels more real to me. 

We are about the same age and also single but, unlike your frugal ways, I have always had the good life.

To be honest, I used to laugh at people like you. 

As I have been jobless for almost a year, I don't laugh now.

I really regret now. 

Looking back, I really did not need to spend so much money on my flat, my car and on looking good.

Still servicing loans, my savings is running low and I have been avoiding meeting friends recently. 

I have been telling everyone I have been travelling for work a lot.

I think I am losing my mind.

Your situation seems pretty bad but it is not the end of the world.


I am not a doctor but it sounds to me that you might be suffering from depression or on the verge of going into a depression. 

Go to a government polyclinic or IMH for consultation. 

Inexpensive but effective. 

I am quite serious about this because depression is very dangerous (hyperlinked to IMH website) and could lead to death.

This is from IMH:
A person who experiences five or more of these symptoms for more than two weeks may have a depressive illness:

Persistent sadness; or feeling down or gloomy

A loss of interest in activities previously enjoyed

Weight loss or weight gain; or decrease or increase in appetite

Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep; or sleeping excessively

Feeling agitated or restless

Feeling tired and lacking the energy

Feelings of worthlessness or excessive guilt

Difficulty concentrating or having trouble thinking

Frequent thoughts of death or suicide


While you continue searching for a new job, please remember that with all the disruption that is going on, it is possible that we might have to accept lower pay and a job very different from what we used to have especially if we are structurally unemployed.

The world has been changing rapidly and it makes financial security a much higher priority than ever before especially when job security has become more elusive.


Sell your car. 

It is a luxury you can no longer afford. 

Take public transport instead.

Since you are single, you might want to consider renting out spare bedrooms if you have any. 

If you do not have spare bedrooms or if you do not like the idea of sharing your home, I don't know how big your mortgage is but if it is draining your resources rapidly, you might want to consider selling your home too. 

Getting a housing option that will cost only a small fraction of your current home will help a lot. 

Remember, unless our home is fully paid for, it is a liability. 

Even if it is fully paid for, if it does not generate income, it is an asset with attached expenses (i.e. operational expenses).

We want to keep our expenses low (especially when our income is compromised). 

So, downsizing (especially if it leads to right sizing) is a sensible option.

People often feel invincible during good times and only truly appreciate their financial fragility during hard times.

You are suffering now but your situation is not hopeless. 

Do the right things and right your life.

Related posts:

1. Do 3 things to Recession proof your life.
2. Do 3 things to be Mentally and financially prepared for retrenchment.


laurence said...

I think Fatty Kim fits the bill. Call the IMH:

This is from IMH:
A person who experiences five or more of these symptoms for more than two weeks may have a depressive illness:

Persistent sadness; or feeling down or gloomy (Fatty Kim persistently warns of doom and gloom tot he world)

A loss of interest in activities previously enjoyed

Weight loss or weight gain; or decrease or increase in appetite (Fatty Kim is getting fatter by the day)

Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep; or sleeping excessively (Fatty Kim spends all his time awake to build more missiles)

Feeling agitated or restless (Fatty Kim constantly feel agitated and restless with the US)

Feeling tired and lacking the energy

Feelings of worthlessness or excessive guilt

Difficulty concentrating or having trouble thinking

Frequent thoughts of death or suicide (Fatty Kim wants death for those who oppose him)

AK71 said...

Hi Laurence,

It took a while for this to register. LOL.

Thanks for this. :)

DennisRoger said...

Perhaps your reader can try being a uber or grab private hire driver if he doesn't mind earning out of his free time. At least for the time being to tide over this period of uncertainty. Just a suggestion.

AK71 said...

Hi TP,

That might make enough money to pay for the car and a bit more.

I don't like the idea of people becoming private hire drivers just so that they can afford to pay for a depreciating asset and that is the message UBER and GRAB has been sending through their ads.

Although it is not something I would do, the decision is not mine to make.

NMHRGY said...


Fatty kim from North Korea

Mr Chua said...

Coincidentally, I was on the phone with my brother in law and he said my sister (perhaps too emotionally shaken to talk to me) was taking a pay that resembles 20 years ago. She is near 50 years old , had an ITE cert and escaped restructuring, retrenchment 3x. The last time was hard and she didn't manage to escape. I agree totally with AK's way of cutting down on expenses and keeping the "boat afloat" to maintain our sanity.

As a father of 2, I can't help but think that it is extremely important to start savings and investing early. Would AK be coming out to teach something basic for all parents? I think our MOE curriculum sorely lacks that and judging from the commercial markets of "gurus' touting their financial freedom software and what's not, those who are caught in the undesirable position of $ not enough are rushing and queuing up to attend previews after previews.

AK - greater ability comes with greater responsibility - maybe is time to put on the suit again, huh?

Sillyinvestor said...

Hi AK,

Reading that list, I think I was at that edge before, hitting 6 of the criteria and defintely more than 2 weeks. See sufferings everywhere, lost interest in stocks, investment and shares research, can't sleep, anxiety attacks etc.

As someone who walked there and also as a companion who accompanied at relative suspected of depression to see doctor. I have just 2 cents worth.

Right now, he might not be interested in spending more. Obey to see a doctor no matter how cheap or "affordable" even if someone might be willing to pay it for him/her it could only add on to that sense of worthlessness

My sense there is 2 medicines, except those given by doctors.

1) Acceptance. Accept life is already kena sai and live by the day. Look forward to just sleep at night or perhaps whatever solace one can find.

The above medicine MUST be accompanied by the medicine ACTION. Just set what one need to do for the day, and do it. Regardless of results. Find job, take a filler job, talk to people. Borrow money. Whatever, get it done and move.

Sillyinvestor said...


I need to give a disclaimer. My tough "period" last only months. So I am not pretending I am a expert. Just sharing.

I remember I feel like eating "shit" and driving my car to the car in front before.

I remember "how bad can it be" is not a consolidation, but one day by grace of god or karma I accept that things are going to get worse daily. I think that day, with Acceptance , my mind become free

AK71 said...


Laurence has a great sense of humor. :)

AK71 said...

Hi Mike,

I was on the verge of depression once upon a time too or that was what the doctor at IMH told me. I was only sleeping an hour or so each night. It was terrible.

My own experience is probably why I responded the way I did to the reader. I suspect not many would have responded in the same manner.

Thanks for sharing your experience and what worked for you. We are survivors. :)

AK71 said...

Hi Mr. Chua,

My aunt also escaped restructuring a few times and finally was retrenched last year. She is in her 50s.

It is important to be financially savvy in our world today and I think this is sinking in for more and more people, one way or another. Hopefully, more will realize this through less painful ways.

I am quite happy to share my own story here but I don't want to join the pool of gurus out there. Those who read my blog will, hopefully, find it useful in attaining financial security and, eventually, financial freedom. :)

Roaming fighter said...

Many Singaporean cannot live without a car because of status.
Car is very expensive and is a liability.
I am still earning a good income but I scrap my car 3 years back when i don't need it any more.The 2k per month saving can put into investment for income.

Roaming Fighter

AK71 said...

Hi Serejouir,

Your comment will be published as a blog today because I feel that many readers will be able to benefit from your experience. A blog will reach more readers as not many read the comments section. Thank you for sharing. :)

AK71 said...

Hi RF,

Good on you. :)

Cars here are the most expensive in the world and there are very few reasons I find good enough to own a car in Singapore: 3 good reasons to buy a car in Singapore.

AK71 said...

Read the blog on Serejouir's experience:

"Retrenched with almost zero compensation in my late 40s but..."
Friday, September 8, 2017

Roaming fighter said...

Hi Ak
I am in manufacturing sector, relocated oversea 12 years ago when company shifted out.
Company is in the progress of shutting down within 6 months, I am mid 50 now and might choose to return back to sg to spend time with family.
I am lucky to found this blog after financial crisis and learn something from you in investment for income.
Apart from some stock bought before financial crisis may need to write off in future, my investment for income has increase over the years.
I have no liability after scrapped my car 3 years back and hopefully can retire with passive income.
Your talk to yourself sessions has influence and benefit many people's mindset about investment including myself.

AK71 said...

Hi RF,

Thanks for sharing again and welcome back to Singapore. :)

redponza said...

Hi AK and other fellows,
I am in HK, maybe the situation is different but is retrenchment for middle aged really that common nowadays in Singapore?

Maybe I am just young (early 30s), sometimes naive and do not understand :)

By the way, I think as an employee, there are 2 ways to prevent retrenchment:
1. do so good of work and build so good of a reputation that you are the one who can pick employers etc because they need you more than you need them

2. consistently stay underpaid so that you are doing more work than pay


AK71 said...

Hi redponza,

Always good to have a plan. Sounds like you have one.

However, we should be prepared for the day our plan fails. ;)

AK71 said...

Reader says...
I was retrench before and suffer a 33% pay cut. I know how it feels.

Company not stable plus job mkt not good.

I have a friend 40 years old jobless for 1 year 4 months liao.

So lucky I got emergency funds to use during that period.

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