This week’s blog post in our “Financial Planter” series is written by Chonce Maddox, a Financial Services Professional.*
According to the American Psychological Association, money, the workplace and family responsibilities are the three main sources of stress among U.S. adults.
Studies show that high stress levels can weaken the immune system and cause exhaustion in the body. When you’re stressed out about your job and working a lot of hours, it’s common to lose steam and feel defeated from time to time.
Career burnout can be one of the worst feelings because it’s difficult to power through, although you need to work in order to pay your bills and make ends meet. If you’ve been experiencing workplace burnout, here are a few ways to protect your finances until you can bounce back and get more comfortable with your work-life balance.
Lean on Your Emergency Fund
Emergency savings will really come in handy when you’re experiencing a career burnout. It’s ideal to keep at least 3 to 6 months’ worth of savings in an emergency fund for unexpected expenses. While there’s no set rule on how much you should be saving, it’s important to focus on saving an amount that makes you feel comfortable and secure.
With a solid savings cushion, you can take a vacation or a much-needed personal day to rest and regroup without having to worry about missing out on the day’s earnings. If you’re thinking about switching careers to a job that will make you feel more fulfilled, you can also lean on your emergency fund to help you meet your financial obligations during the transition.
If you don’t have a substantial amount saved in your emergency fund, you should start saving by setting up regular automatic transfers from your checking account to your savings account. It’s good to get into the practice of paying yourself first by transferring money to your savings as soon as you get paid so you won’t have to worry about it. You can also request a few vacation days, clear your schedule on your off day or take a sick day to focus on your mental health and de-stressing from work if you can’t rely on your emergency fund.
Ask For a Raise
If you like your job but feel pretty overworked, you may want to consider asking for a raise. Working extra hours or taking on more responsibilities may be the reason why you’re burning out at work.
If you feel like you’ve been unofficially promoted, it’s probably time to negotiate a raise with your employer. Asking for a raise can help you feel that you’re paid more fairly for all the work you’re putting in. You can discuss a pay raise during your annual or six-month review with your employer, or you can ask for a private meeting to discuss the matter.
Bring documents, reviews, etc. to demonstrate the progress you’ve made since your last review, along with any achievements you’ve accomplished on the job. Also, research the average salary for your position in your area on sites like Glassdoor and PayScale. Using these sites as a reference can help you gauge the salary range for your role and narrow down a competitive rate, so you have an idea on how much of an increase to ask for.
Lower Your Expenses
Another thing you might want to do if you’re experiencing career burnout is to lower your expenses. This will free up more money so you can save or meet other financial goals in case you need to take personal time off from work, or switch jobs.
You can create a bare bones budget to live on, which is a budget consisting only of basic expenses. For example, if you’re regularly spend about $3,000 per month, your bare bones budget might only be around $2,200 per month once you cut out unnecessary expenses and create spending allowances.
Living on a bare bones budget isn’t super exciting or fun, but it’s a temporary fix that will help reduce the amount of financial pressure you put on yourself to pay for various expenses above the basics.
Consider a Side Hustle or Switch Departments
When you’re experiencing career burnout, assess what may be causing it. If it’s the type of work you’re doing, see if you can switch departments and take on new responsibilities that will be more enjoyable for you.
You can also consider getting a side hustle that you enjoy and are passionate about so you can earn extra money away from work. Yes, with a side hustle you’re still doing work, but you get to choose what type of work you do and your availability.
Plus, if you’re doing work on the side that you really enjoy, it may actually help you relieve stress. Let’s say you work a desk job that is stressing you out and sucking up all your energy. Instead of picking up overtime to earn extra money, you could freelance by becoming an Uber driver or a yoga instructor.
The change of pace and scenery may do you good and you’ll be able to earn extra money.
Explore Alternative Working Arrangements
Another option to consider would be to seek out alternative working arrangements even at your current employer, or with another employer. See if there are certain days out of the week that you can work from home to help ease your stress levels and improve your work-life balance. You could also see if your employer would allow you to have a more flexible schedule throughout the day in terms of when you can arrive and when you can leave.
If you still like your job, talk to your boss and see if any of these options are possible. If not, you might want to consider looking for another employer that offers some alternative working arrangements you’ll like.
While experiencing career burnout is common, it can still have a negative effect on your finances if you aren’t prepared or are simply unable to work.
Consider these alternatives that will help you protect your finances by either relying on savings, or by being able to earn an income without all the added stress.
*All content provided in this blog is supplied by Chonce Maddox and is for informational purposes only. Barclaycard makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information contained in the blog or found by following any link within this blog.