Does talk of a recession have you worried? If so, it's time to recession-proof your finances. Here are nine things that you can do to plan for and survive a recession:
Do you have three to six month's wages (or more) set aside for the unexpected? If not, now is the time to get serious about saving. Challenge yourself to save whatever you can—even if it's just a quarter here and a dollar there. In a weakened economy every bit counts.
Delay or eliminate unnecessary purchases. Then, add the savings to your emergency fund.
A smart shopper never spends more than she has to, recession or not. Look for ways to save on all of your necessary purchases, and hang on to more of what you make.
Pay Down Your Debt
A recession isn't all bad news. Since interest rates tend to go down during recessionary periods, your debts will cost you less; and your debt repayment dollars will go further. Translation: it's a great time to pay down credit card debt. Look over your budget, and determine if you can afford to divert more money to your debt repayment efforts.
Also keep an eye on the mortgage rates. Now could be the time to refinance to a lower interest rate and a shorter mortgage term.
Prices can be a bit unpredictable during a recession. The solution? Establish a stockpile of sale-priced foods and goods, and you'll only have to buy when it's a good deal for you.
Make the Most of What You Have
No need to buy new when you can make do. Use up leftovers; find substitutes for items that you've run out of; discover new uses for the things that you already have; and you'll keep that shopping list shrinking month after month.
Make It Last
Squeeze more life out of everything that you own, and you won't have to squeeze as much money out of your budget for replacement items.
Do More for Yourself
A recession is a great time to learn new skills and to brush up on old ones. Adopt a "can-do" attitude, and you won't have to pay others to do things that you can do for yourself.
Increase Your Income
The unemployment rate tends to go up during a recession. Protect yourself by finding ways to boost your income. Have a yard sale; sell items on Ebay; answer surveys for money; become a mystery shopper. A recession is a time to think creatively, to earn creatively and to live creatively.