The uncertainty that comes with losing a job or redundancy is a challenge, but leaving one role always opens up new opportunities for others. The best thing we can do is be prepared. By sticking to a budget and having savings set aside in an emergency fund, we’ll be better placed to cope with the initial shock and stress of losing a job.

Review the budget

Been made redundant? Step one after losing a job is to take a close look at the budget to see how the household can cope with reduced income. If you have an emergency fund or a redundancy payment, work out how long it will last.

Use this budgeting tool to make or review a budget.


Try it now


For personal help, find a local financial capability (budgeting) service.

Case study: Emma Williams

Emma Williams had a wonderful Bali honeymoon. Yet it was not as fun as it might have been, having just heard she would probably have no job when she returned.

Read more


Seek government help

There may be government help you can get after losing a job  – check the Work and Income website

There’s also information on dealing with redundancy on the Careers New Zealand website.

Talk to the bank

Talk to your bank right away if you might have trouble meeting debt or mortgage repayments as a result of redundancy. They will have options they can talk through with you. Try not to miss a payment before getting in touch.

Check your insurance

If you have repayment insurance as part of a personal loan or hire purchase agreement it may cover payments if you are made redundant. Check the policy document for details.

Redundancy insurance is also available on its own or as an add-on to life insurance – check your policies to see if they include this type of cover.

Guide to insurance

Know your rights

Your employment contract will state if you’re entitled to a redundancy payment and how much it would be. 

Find out more about employee rights in the event of losing a job on the New Zealand at Work website


Be prepared

The key to coping with redundancy is being prepared before it happens. Ideally, we should aim to have access to the equivalent of two to three months’ income as an emergency fund we can call on if we need it. But anything is a start.

Guide to saving

Carrying high-interest debt? It might be better to pay that off before starting with saving.

Guide to tackling debt

Where to go for help

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