The recent global financial meltdown was so severe that no one was spared including the expatriate community. Many never expected the devastating outcomes that forced global corporations to lay off millions of workers which left countless expats stranded abroad. The lack of prior preparations sent them frantically looking for an extra hand (income) to stay afloat but this was challenging. As a consequence, many were forced to return home deeply frustrated. The violent shifts in the global economic system were not envisioned, so everybody was left hanging on a tight grip for survival.
For expats, the situation was even worse because the majority of them were working for multinational corporations which were seriously hurt and are still enduring the low financial turnovers. This coupled with working far away from their home heaped more uncertainty about the survivability of expats and their families in foreign lands. Nevertheless, inventive expats clung onto the financial edge without returning back home and they’ve used their creativity in an extra talent to earn supplementary bucks while waiting for their monthly salary which is seldom delayed. Such financial crises are wake-up calls for expats to be financially judicious while maintaining a high-level of monetary discipline.
Expats shouldn’t take the temporary economic recovery for granted but instead, start thinking deeply not once or twice but thrice or more. Economic recessions are warning signs that you should tighten your belts and explore extra income generating avenues to supplement your main income. If you keenly observe the current economic trends, you will discern that your main job shouldn’t solely sustain you and your household because more and more companies will keep laying off more workers than ever before. No one is certain of their turn to face the ax but taking the initiatives to double or triple your financial inflows is always a great strategy that you’ll forever be grateful for. Remember that the early bird catches the worm, so you would never want to be late and gain nothing in the end.
With some inventiveness, you won’t necessarily need to meet the immigration for work permit reviews about your extra income but this varies from one country to another and it’s better to check for the right information at disposal. If you’ve got enough spare time, it’s prudential that you consider it as a valuable resource from which you can profit. There’s no natural guarantee about the security of your main job even if it is by contract because working abroad is pretty distinct from working at home implying that you should always think of how to sustain yourself in the event of a job loss.
One business magazine The Entrepreneur says “On average, people can expect to have two and three careers during their work life”. Can this be true of you? How many skills do you possess, and how can you turn them into money-generating ventures? Do you have a personal hobby that you can take up to the expert level? At times you may ignore your inborn talents because you lack the motivation. Ignoring to turn your personal hobby into a profession is akin to living in a territory with plenty of gold while doing nothing to excavate the treasure. The Entrepreneur details at least fifty-five business ideas for setting up a home-based business. You’ll even discover that you’re familiar with most of the ideas which you can easily turn into serious work and happily maintain your contingency reserves.
Are you good at baking, art and design, knitting, mechanical servicing, electrical wiring, plumbing, landscaping, creative/literary writing, home cleaning, software engineering, or pet walking? Maybe you have expert skills in copy-editing, project planning, financial management/consultancy, home and party decoration, or property management? Whatever expertise that you possess try your best and transform it into an extra profits-generator.
After realizing what you’re expertly skilled at, you should then market yourself to potential clients. Start with your workmates or anybody within your social circles, find out if they may at any time need your skills and if not, at least implore them to spread out the word for you elsewhere. The special helpful part about such connections is that they’re a lot flexible depending on your available time and the client’s needs if you bargain. By creating a wholesome rapport with your clients, they’ll understand your circumstances and therefore won’t constrain you into performing tasks in a way that will conflict with your main job but instead, will delegate them to an agreeable date like the weekend.
So with this information, you have at least been made aware of the urgency to supplement your principal income and the fact that you’re in a foreign country makes it even more critical. My concise advice is that even if you earn enough income to sustain you and your whole family, the current job market is volatile and sooner or later your extra source of funds will be the last bullet in your rifle. Start planning forthwith on how to execute your fresh business ideas and also brace yourself to take on additional tasks outside of your official working schedule to eke out a living.
Here are a few extra tips for you to successfully manage the contingency reserve; avoid overspending on optional items which you can forego for some time. This diverts the money you’d have spent on unnecessary stuff like vacations to your emergency reserves. Maintain a local bank account to avoid incurring additional costs of operating an international bank account, have a reliable insurance coverage for timely protection in the event of abrupt tragedies like an accidents, illness or job loss. You should also prioritize the ‘buy local live local’ policy to minimize the overall costs of living. Desperate times call for desperate measures, so be mindful of that principle and never take anything for granted especially if you’re an expat.