What is a recession and why is it so damaging?
Surviving a recession! 750,000 people have already lost their jobs thus far; businesses are at breaking point and the government is draining the national budget in attempt to keep everything ‘stable’. What does 2021 hold for us all? Experts suggest a far more punishing recession than in 2008! So, how can we not only survive this recession, but come out of the other end better off?
With everything going on in our world: the dreaded Coronavirus; Brexit; BLM and the 5G conspiracy, the last thing we want to think about is our finances. I know I’d much rather be snuggled on the sofa with a good book and a cup of hot chocolate!
But, amidst a global pandemic, we must be prepared! The question now is not if we will have to survive another recession, but rather, how long will it last and are we prepared to survive it?
Are you prepared to survive a recession?
Top Survival Tips:
Decide on your SMART financial goals
When planning for surviving a recession, one of the first things to do is be very clear about your financial goals. Discuss these with your partner / important people in your life and make sure that you are on the same page. Having clear financial goals will help you to not only track what you’re spending and where, but also have a vision of where you want to be by specific points in the future.
When deciding on your goals, think SMART!
Specific – What is it that you want to accomplish and how do you plan on getting there?
Measurable – How much money do you wish to save / invest and where do you intend to put it?
Achievable – Are these goals actually achievable? Do you have the provisions in place to make them happen? If not – how can you make this happen?
Relevant – Do these goals align with your long-term plans?
Time-Bound – When do you intend to achieve these goals by? What can you do every day, week, month to make them happen?
Once you have your goals in place, make them a mantra that you go through daily as affirmations and a reminder of what you will achieve. You could even get creative with a vision board and some inspirational quotes to keep you on the straight and narrow until you reach your goals!
Create a recession-proof budget
After deciding on clear and SMART goals, it’s vital to create a budget that you stick to! Click here for our FREE End-Rich Finance Tracker to get you started!
Why is this so important? Well, when you’re surviving a recession, every penny counts! Heck, even when not it a recession, it is a number 1 tip for holding onto your money!
You need to know where all your hard-earned money is going and actively decide whether you are happy with this, or whether you need to make some adjustments given the fact that we’re going through hard times.
Having a budget will ensure that you have enough money for the things you need to survive (bills, food etc) but also allocate money for the things that are important to you (exercise or education perhaps).
For more budgeting advice check out this post –‘Top 6 Budgeting Tips That Will Boost Your Money’
Create an emergency fund of 3-6 months worth of expenses
With anything in life, it is always good to have a backup plan – this is especially important when surviving a recession. What is the plan if you or your partner are out of work? Do you have a back up fund of savings? Will you be able to afford your bills?
Hopefully, if you are employed, frugal and start saving and investing now rather than later, a plan B won’t be needed as you will have a nice buffer in case the worst happens.
Put your money to work
Once you’ve taken the time to see where your money is going (no matter how big or small), the next place to focus on is how can you make your money work for you…
Although I am by no means an expert (and please do your own research), I would focus on stocks and shares – index funds to be specific. This may sound daunting at first, but with the right education, it becomes less overwhelming and you realise that the possibilities are endless!
Remove subscriptions and get rid of direct debits
We often don’t check our direct debits! Every year, companies put their direct debits up without us even noticing. Be vigilant and make sure you’re checking your bank statements regularly. You need to know how much is going in and out of your account.
Often, the best deals go to new customers! So, make sure you are using comparison sites to get the best deals! They often give freebies for shopping with them i.e. 2-4-1 on meals and cinema! Get on this and you’ll survive this recession easy!
Do you really need that phone? Does your current one not work? Are the upgrades really worth the additional money every month? More often than not, they’re not! Why not keep your old handset and move to a cheaper ‘sim-only’ plan? The upgrades that we are sold are usually only slightly better than our older handsets but for a much higher price tag! If we take care good care of our devices they will last much longer than they currently do.
There are numerous ways you can cut costs by eliminating direct debits and subscriptions and make surviving a recession all the more bearable! Remember, sometimes delaying gratification for a longer-term goal will make you far happier in the long run!
Make frugal choices
When surviving a recession, we must think frugal living! With the current climate, it’s not like we can really go anywhere anyway!
Use this to your advantage – make your own coffee, rather than buying out. Pack your own lunch rather than spending money on overpriced food outside. When purchasing outside, you are paying for convenience and making someone else that little bit richer. Often though, the food is not actually worth more, it doesn’t actually taste better and it is money that could have been put to work for you instead of someone else!
Think about the supermarkets you shop at too. Often you will find EXACTLY the same products in a different and cheaper store for a fraction of the price. Don’t be afraid to compare prices and shop around. Every penny counts!
Sell unwanted things and start your own side hustle
‘The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying’ what a book! This encouraged me to get rid of a bunch of clothes and items that didn’t bring me happiness. Selling doesn’t have to be hard, this could be on eBay, Amazon or even a car boot sale. You don’t have to make a ton of money, but to clear up a lot of space and make some money is fantastic!
Why not consider a side hustle to increase that income? Then make sure you put all of that additional money aside! I mean we are looking at how to save; not to make more money to spend.
Ignore the neigh-sayers
We are often so caught up with what others think of us, how we may be judged for being frugal or for not owning the newest car or technologies!
My advice? Who cares!? Don’t waste your time on the perception of wealth. Do you really want to spend a fortune on making everyone think you are wealthy when you could be putting in your time and effort into actually building wealth?
Surviving a recession is not easy! Ask anyone who struggled though the last one in 2008! It can be brutal, especially if you’re not prepared.
We know the next year is going to be tough. Make changes now to make it as bearable as possible. Who knows… you may come out the other side with a lucrative side hustle under your belt too!