Q.ai - Powering a Personal Wealth Movement, Contributor
Sept. 19, 2022
Many experts fear that an official recession is right around the corner. With inflation still rising, the Federal Reserve will likely raise interest rates to slow down the economy even further. If the economy slows down enough, we could easily enter a proper recession. A recession can cause a lot of pain for many folks, from the labor market to the stock market.
- We aren’t officially in a recession yet, but we’re likely heading towards one, many economists are predicting a 2023 recession.
- With a little preparation, you can be financially ready if the economy officially enters a recession. Build up your emergency fund, work on your resume, and start diversifying your income.
- Many industries are recession-proof, and there are new opportunities that will open up as a result of the economic slowdown despite the short-term pain.
As stressful as the thought of a recession is, it’s important that you don’t panic. This is just part of the economic cycle. While the discomfort of a recession will be felt by most of us, there are ways to prepare. In this article, we’ll look at how you can survive a recession, so you can feel more confident about your finances as the economy continues to send us all mixed messages.
How does a recession impact you?
Many people are wondering how a potential recession could impact them personally. A recession is an extreme economic slowdown.
A recession could lead to a job loss or issues with employment (no bonus, reduced compensation, and so on) since companies have to adjust to a decrease in consumer spending. With less money in the economy, there’s less demand for luxury items, and people think twice before spending any money beyond the necessities.
The worst-case scenario for a recession is that unemployment could drastically increase. The Fed slows down spending, hiring, and wage gains by raising the cost of borrowing money. This means you could completely lose your income or have financial incentives taken away at work. This isn’t encouraging news, but we can’t ignore the reality of the situation.
The good news is that this economic cycle has not been officially called a recession just yet. Some would argue that it’s a stagnant economy and that a recession is approaching. That just means that you have to be prepared for the worst-case scenario, as there’s no telling how the battle against inflation is going to turn out.
How do you survive a Recession?
There’s no sense in sugarcoating the impact of a recession because we’re all feeling the effects of rising costs already, from everyday purchases like food to mortgage rates.
Here’s how you can survive a recession financially.
Start preparing for a potential job loss.
It has been made clear by representatives from the Central Bank that rate hikes could lead to economic despair in the form of job loss . We don’t want to fear-monger, but even though the labor market has been resilient, it’s important to consider the possibility that you could lose your job if you’re not in a recession-proof field. Companies will have no choice but to make layoffs if they’re not generating enough revenue.
What this means is that you should start doing the following:
- Work on your resume. If you haven’t polished up your resume in a while, this could be the time to update it.
- Reach out to your network. This would be the ideal time to start updating your LinkedIn profile and connecting with friends in your network.
- Build up your emergency fund. You must have money saved for a rainy day. If you’re still working, you’ll want to save as much as you can just in case. An emergency fund is one of the main tools in your financial toolbox.
- Look for new opportunities. If you feel that your company may go through layoffs during this economic downturn, you’re going to want to keep your eyes open for other jobs that you could apply for.
Learn a new skill
This could be the perfect opportunity to work on learning a new skill or trying to switch careers. They say that the more you learn, the more you earn. You could use this economic downtime to focus on a new skill that could help you increase your income earning potential.
If you don’t have the resources or time to return to school, you could always consider working on an in-demand skill like writing or graphic design. Many skills bring in money even when the economy slows down.
Look for ways to cut costs
It has been said that necessity is the mother of all inventions. While there’s nothing glamorous about going through financial struggles, there are still many creative ways that you can save money to prepare yourself financially. During a recession, it’s imperative that you find ways to cut costs so that you can be prepared for a loss of income. You can start cutting costs by delaying a major purchase or getting into bargain shopping. You may want to think about chopping one fixed cost from your budget (a streaming service or any other service that you rarely use).
Try to diversify your income
One of the riskiest things that you can do during a recession is to rely on one source of income if your job isn’t in a recession-proof industry. This is your opportunity to try to apply for a side hustle or to look into diversifying your income so that you have a few sources to rely on. I personally tapped into the gig economy this summer by using apps like Rover and Airbnb to bring in some extra money to beef up my savings account. You can apply for part-time work or try something in the gig economy so that you have a few income streams to protect yourself and your family.
Don’t panic with your investments
While many investors are going to liquidate to have cash, you should think twice before selling off your investments. When you see your investment portfolio going down in value by the day, it’s going to be tempting to consider selling everything to liquidate. The problem with this is that you're likely selling at a loss. It’s also not recommended that you dump your stocks due to fear or temporary uncertainty. If you believe in the companies or funds you’ve invested in, you don’t want to make rash decisions that will hurt you in the future.
During times of high inflation, stock market dumps occur, and people start panic-selling. The volatility leads to wild swings when there’s fear in the market. Any bit of good news or bad news could lead to immediate reactions. It’s going to be difficult to resist, but if you don’t need the money for short-term expenses, you need to do your best not to panic. Think back to the stock market fluctuations that happened when the pandemic first began. Many investors panicked and ended up losing out on astronomical gains just a few months later.
Should you still invest during a Recession?
A recession is a normal part of the economic cycle, and it’s not a valid excuse for not investing your money. Many industries are recession-proof (consumer staples, utilities, and health care, for example), and every industry isn’t impacted equally.
A recession usually features high inflation and stock market sell-offs. This means that you’re going to want to have a balanced portfolio to protect yourself.
Some economists believe that we’re due for an official recession announcement by 2023, while others feel that the economy could narrowly avoid one. Either way, you must do whatever you can to prepare your finances (and your career) for more dire straits. If we narrowly avoid a recession, you’ll be comfortable knowing that you set your finances up and you were ready to go through this challenging time.
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