A recession is on the horizon. Tight times are ahead. The warning signs are all over: the stock market is up to a record-setting level, a war is still on, and housing prices are still high. In times like this, playing 카지노 사이트 online to earn extra cash doesn’t sound like a bad idea. An election is coming up, the war will be scaling back (hopefully) and we are seeing signs of a housing bubble that is ready to bust.
Fantasy mortgages are getting people into financial bankruptcy and overvalued home equity loans are finding mortgage companies holding paper with bad loans behind it. Foreclosures are doing a double-digit climb. Do you remember when Congress recently tightened the terms for declaring bankruptcy? Did they have a crystal ball favoring the financial institutions?
Savings are at the lowest point in our history. People are spending way more than anticipated income. Very few people live within their means. Paycheck-to-paycheck is the standard, with nothing to back it up. And credit card companies are tightening their credit standards and raising their rates, for no better reason than you paid a gas bill late. And gas bills climbing? Let’s not even start that discussion.
So how do you prepare for the upcoming recession? Can you insulate yourself against the financial backlash? Here are some tips that might help you out:
RECESSION-PROOF YOUR JOB
There are two ways to do this. One is to take some classes to build up your skills, and be sure to let management know that you are taking these, and doing well. And while you are at it, do a self-check: come in on time, no long lunches, and don’t ask for too much personal time off.
The other way is to keep your other option open. You should have been doing this one all along. Keep your resume updated. Network for what’s going on in the current market, but don’t jump to a different company. You have to know where you might be needed; you need to keep in contact with friends at other companies. But if you jump now, you will be the last hired when the recession hits, and that oftentimes means the first fired.
PAY DOWN YOUR DEBTS
Keep up with your current payments, and increase them if you can. It’s easy to cut here and there now while the income is still available. Contact your credit card companies and try to get the interest rates lowered. Use that extra cash to pay more each month, and hopefully turn them into a zero balance.
If you have a balloon mortgage or ARM, and have not converted it yet, you should go immediately to the nearest psychiatrist, because you are crazy. You can always refinance to a lower rate on a fixed mortgage, but balloon payments and ARMs are other words for financial ruin. Do it as soon as possible.
DON’T ACCUMULATE NEW DEBT
Don’t reach for that credit card. You don’t need any new clothes or shoes now. Stop at McD’s or Burger King for coffee, not the expensive coffee specialist shops. Better yet, make it at home and thermos your coffee. You can get it exactly how you want. And those energy drinks that are nothing but caffeine and sugar, sugar, sugar? Stop them now. They are so bad for you.
You can still eat out with friends, but have an appetizer and dessert instead, or just an appetizer. Tell them you are watching your weight, they’ll be impressed – and jealous.
Read about these new groups popping up about spending a whole year committing themselves to buying necessities only. You can try it yourself, or get a friend to join you. It’s very eye-opening to see how little you really can live on if you try, and much, much easier when you have the money in the bank in case you need it. The library has great magazine selections and the newest books. Spending a night at the library every week or two is very relaxing, gets you away from the TV, and makes your neighbors anxious to know who the new love interest is. It also saves lots of money and makes you more conversation-worthy. How can you lose???
REPLACE YOUR CAR AND FURNACE
Now is the time to trade in that SUV or older, inefficient car for a new little car. Buy a Toyota or Honda that will last forever, in a small size. They are much more sturdy and reliable than the “American” brands, and they really are fun to drive. Plus, if you don’t have a huge car, you can’t be the motorcoach for outings or the “moving van” for all your friends. The money you save on a smaller, cheaper car can be used elsewhere, like going for a drive on the weekends.
Replace your furnace if it is more than 8 years old, and you will save money in the long run. A new furnace is not that much money, but you will save money every month on your gas bill. Replacing it while you have the money is much easier than calling a furnace man on a Sunday in 22 degree weather, and you can work around the installation.
CLEAR OUT YOUR WARDROBE
This may not seem like an economic move, or the next one, but it really is. Take out the clothes and remove the ones that don’t match, don’t fit or don’t get worn. Fix what needs fixing, and get some room in that closet. A smart looking “uniform” – white and pastel blouses with a few skirts and a couple of well-fitting pants – make it so easy to get dressed in the morning, and easy to accessorize. Want a cheap lift? Get the cheap version of the “in” purse, and throw it away three months from now when no one with any good fashion sense would be seen with it. Remember that you really only wear 20 percent of what you own, and you will see that cleaning out your wardrobe will have you spending less money down the line. Really, you’ll see.
DECLUTTER THE HOUSE
OK, I can hear the skepticism from here. But trust me, clean off those horizontal surfaces and give away those books and knick-knacks. You will be healthier without the accompanying dust, you won’t need to move them around again, and you will have more room.
A decluttered house is easier to function in, and like an efficient closet, you will find out that you really don’t need all that stuff and didn’t use it anyways. Here’s a tip, though – bring those items to work and give them away to people who can use them, or put them in a box and mark it FREE in bold letters. Drop it off in the lobby of an apartment building or in front, and let others enjoy them.
I drop off beds, tables, bicycles, coffeemakers, etc., anything I don’t need, in the parking lots of the few apartment complexes near me where I know there are people living on very small incomes. I mark it FREE and they get used, and they don’t have to buy them at the thrift shop. Skip the middleman and give it straight to those who can use it. Now if everyone does this, it won’t work out, but believe me, there aren’t that many people who do.
And don’t drop things off when there is rain in the forecast. Give them a couple days to check it out. Now see, isn’t that better than a garage sale, with all the work, the sitting around and wasting time, only to get rid of it anyways or hauling it back inside? Declutter the smart way!
There are lots of other ways to cut down and economize, so look around and do some thinking. The money shortage is coming, so think before you spend, and put that money away for a poorer day. It’s coming, whether we want it or not.