November 27, 2017

Worried about Finances?

As I write this, the stock market was taking another beating, with many factors contributing to the sell-off:  high unemployment, European debt crisis, inflation fears, bad housing market…  The list goes on.  The experts indicate “we are dangerously close to a recession.”  I don’t think it ever left.  But if the “big players” are worried, should we worry as well?  Instead of fretting, why not take some simple steps now to “recession-proof” your finances?

  • Cut down on expenses.   Even if you think you’ve already cut down, check again.  I thought I all my subscriptions, I was mistaken.  I discovered I had a subscription to a magazine that had not delivered in months, so I called and asked for a refund for the remaining issues.  Every dollar counts.
  • Stop getting into more debt, and pay down your balances.
  • If you are employed, make an extra effort to be noticed as a valuable worker.
  • Learn some new skills that would make you more marketable.  OR, learn some new skills you can use to have a mini side business.
  • Save money and build up your emergency fund.
  • Start your stockpile of food, water and essential supplies.  Don’t neglect comfort foods like chocolate, wine or beer (if you like these); they are good for morale.
  • Start a garden and grow vegetables, herbs that your family will use.
  • Brainstorm on ways you can raise funds to build savings or increase your income:  get together hold a neighborhood garage sale, sell stuff on E-bay or Craigslist, use your skills or hobbies to make extra cash.
  • Take care of your health; get your health and dental check ups, fill your prescriptions.

Check out this article”Personal Financial SHTF Experience” on FerFAL’s blog  It’s a great personal account that shows if you plan well, you will weather any storm that comes your way.

For easy ways to become more prepared, read my book:

12 Comments on Worried about Finances?

  1. My biggest concern is inflation. For all practical purposes, my wife and I are now on a fixed income. Our reserves are not all they might be, both as a result of the 2008 derivatives disaster and the aftermath coupled with two adult “twenty something” kids who need a little assistance from time to time. I think we’ve done about all the cautionary preparing we can do financially and now , for our family, we will just have to ride things out as they develop.

    • Inflation would make a big dent on all our finances esp if you are on a fixed income. But like Dan said, your run a very popular blog, and could potentially grow the blog to become profitable. Every little bit helps, so it may be something to consider.

    • I’m with you there, Matt, as long as the minimums are paid, the rest can be used to stock up on emergency supplies.

  2. Great suggestions AP. Didn’t know you were a FerFal reader-he’s got some interesting stuff on his site.

    The garage sale idea is one of those things that is WAY easier to talk about then actually make yourself do, largely because garage sales live and die on Saturdays and Sundays when you want to be lounging instead of hawking your old junk. But they pay offf!

    My wife and I did one a couple years ago and made $300. We did one about a year later and made $100. We did one a few months ago and made $40.

    Obviously it’s a law of diminishing returns, but that’s as it should be. Once you’ve had a couple, you don’t have as much junk laying around. We’re considering making it a bi-annual installment.

    After the garage sale, round up the remaining crap and take it to goodwill, or your local equivalent. Get a receipt and save it for your taxes at the end of the year. You would be surprised how much can be written off for old shoes.

    @ATH-maybe you’re retired, but your writing is great. Your blog is informative and entertaining. More and more people are finding out about you all the time, and as the saying goes, “where the people go, the money goes.” I’m not saying your blog will make you a millionaire tomorrow, but I bet you could have some monetization opportunities through that in time. Many books and websites all about it, but one of my personal favs is Gary Vaynerchuk’s CRUSH IT. Check it out if interested…

    • Hey Dan, Garage sales can be tough to do, but if there is a lot of unused stuff can indeed be profitable. If I were to have one, I’d have to join up with a homeowner, as my apt building does not allow garage sales. But joining up with some people can be beneficial as well as more stuff=more foot traffic to your garage sale.

      I had not heard of the CRUSH IT book, I may have to order it as well. Thanks for the tip!

  3. As much as I wasn’t a big fan of long term investment in precious metals, I’m beginning to feel like gold and silver are a “must do” financial investment given our current predicament.

    • Hey millenniumfly I wasn’t wild about PM either (before) but these days they seem safer than many investments out there, if only for the fact you can actually hold on to them instead of a piece of paper. Of course tangible assets like food and emergency stockpiles are a great hedge as well.

  4. Great post. I am concerned with our country’s economy. We don’t seem to get out of a recession before another one starts. I wasn’t aware that we had gotten out of the first one, ha ha. I haven’t gotten a raise in 4 years and last year we actually had a pay decrease. With the price of goods rising over the past couple years and my pay check decreasing, it is only common sense for us to shop sales, use coupons, grow a garden and prepare for leaner times. Your suggestions are right on.

    • A Prepared Mom, I see that as well, jobs have not given any raises, but the cost of living keeps going up. At the same time, with so many other people are unemployed, employers know this and just keep piling on more work. Shopping wisely, having a good stockpile and being prepared for anything are things can all do to cope this time of uncertainty. Thanks for the comment!!

  5. I didn’t really see any recovery from the last recession either, although there was some limited evidence that a few companies near me are recovering. I do wish the rest of us would feel some relief too. But with the price of groceries rising, both Canadian and American governments persisting in screwing over their citizenry while allowing big business to do the same (Monsanto and Friends gobbling up more and more of the seed market), and the economy going to Hell in a hand-basket … I think taking matters into our own hands is the only way to go. Preppers are sometimes viewed as wing-nuts, but I still believe that we’ll be the ones who will float through hard times with as little suffering as possible. It’s a little harder to stockpile on a shoe string budget, but it can still be done. The key is to take back control. Teach ourselves what we need to know, do our homework (Buy apartmentprepper’s book!) and buckle down and do what needs doing. The fluctuating financial world only makes it harder.
    Great post, thanks for the encouragement!

    • Hey Carolyn, I agree, big business gets away with a lot, and most of this is really out of our hands. The workings of the economy, what government is doing to deal with it, to a large degree is not within our control other than who we support or vote for. I try to mostly deal with or discuss things we have control over, such as our own habits, activities etc. That’s all we can do to cope at this point. Thanks for the comment!

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