Many people who land a job as a FIFO worker are seeing dollar signs as soon as they accept the position. It sounds good, looks good, but many who work in this industry actually end up with less than they started off with. How could that be? They have a lucrative salary and many that don’t budget and have a financial plan, end up financially spent thinking that the job will last forever. In many cases, it does not. Not only does it depend on the job, location, length of work, but it also depends on the individual and if they are fully capable of taking on the hardworking task of being a FIFO worker.
Having a rough budget set up is crucial and a savings and/or spending plan runs parallel along with that. It is important to create and maintain a budget so that FIFO workers can make and achieve goals for the future. It is also important to have a budget set aside for emergency funds, when unforeseen circumstances may occur that are out of anyone’s control. These situations are ones that can actually and unfortunately put a real dent in a FIFO worker’s finances.
In many cases, insurance policies will cover such circumstances, but that being said, do you have insurance and do you know what it currently will cover? If not, it is highly suggested to review your insurance policies and make sure you are fully covered and that you understand what you are spending your money on to be covered.
Typically, a “rainy day fund” would be considered a spare pot of saved funds that you do not touch, being kept to dig you out of a tough situation if it were to arise. The good news is that as this pot continues to grow, you can slowly take small amounts out channeling it for being put towards exciting things such as holidays, vacations, etc.
A few key steps that can help gear a FIFO worker towards financial independence and stability are:
- Sit down with a financial planner to establish your goals and allows you to plan to spend your money wisely.
- Talking with your partner to understand your overall financial goals as well as what you feel would be appropriate to be allocated towards a “rainy day fund”.
- Put an estimated budget together, so you have a better idea of what money will be allocated to what fund.
- Allocate your “rainy day fund” to be separate (this is quite easy within most financial institutions to create another saving account for this purpose).
- Sign up for direct deposit each month so that the agreed upon amount is automatically withdrawn from your check and placed into the “rainy day fund” to be used at a later date if necessary.
- Monitor the balance of this account and utilize the money saved in other ways if you end up with the capacity to do so.
- Delay instant gratification over saving for the long-term or for emergencies (many FIFO workers have fallen into this trap and end up losing money in the long run).
Essentially, a word to the wise in the FIFO industry would be to seek financial advice and assistance once the job has been accepted. There are many options and tools to support and assist FIFO workers so that they are benefiting well beyond the years of work they provide, as long as the worker is educated and advised properly.
Gilbert, B. (2012). Financial Advice Every FIFO Worker Should Know From Someone Who Learned the Hard Way. Career and Industry Guide. http://www.miningoilgasjobs.com.au/our-blog/january-2012/financial-advice-every-fifo-worker-should-know-fro.aspx
“Financial Tips for FIFO Workers”. Mining People International.