7 Smart Tips for Surviving a Recession

7 Smart Tips for Surviving a Recession

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Today, it’s all about 7 smart tips that can help you for surviving a recession. We’ve been hearing a lot more about it on the news recently than ever before. The price of goods and foods has gone through the roof, while the value of the U.S. dollar seems to continue to deteriorate.

All the while this is taking place, the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, along with rumors of worldwide food shortages, certainly isn’t helping to set our minds at ease.

With a recession that seems inevitable, while some will say that it’s already here, is your family prepared for what may be coming?  Fortunately, we have history to fall back on and learn from.

During the 1920s, Americans came up with all sorts of clever ways to stay ahead of the economic turmoil. Some of them I’ll get to in just a bit. Please plant a garden to help you with your food supply during the tough times. This is where I buy my garden seeds: SeedsNow  

7 Smart Tips for Surviving a Recession

7 Smart Tips for Surviving a Recession

1. Eliminate Debt Now Before You Need to Survive a Recession

Having outstanding balances all over the place, particularly on high rate credit cards, is not the situation you want to be caught in when an economic crisis hits. The reason for this is that you’ll want to have as much cash flow as possible during that time.

You don’t want to be stuck paying high-interest loans and other debts while you’re already struggling to provide for your family. So work to get out of debt as quickly as your finances allow you to!   

You may want to consider consolidating your debts into one outstanding amount for not only a lower interest rate, but also a lower monthly payment. This method can actually work, but you have to be careful that you aren’t actually paying more in the long run due to higher interest rates or hidden fees. and that you don’t allow yourself to take on additional debt along the way.

If you’re unsure of where to even begin, speak to a financial advisor that can assist you and see if they have any other advice for you about surviving the next financial recession. If you have a relationship with your banker such that you trust their advice, that may be a reasonable approach for some worthwhile input.    

2. Start Building an Emergency Fund

When a recession hits, there’s no telling how long it’s going to last. Take The Great Depression for example. It affected nearly every country in the world and lasted for almost 10 years!

Read More of My Articles  What To Stock Up On In November

During that time, thousands of banks were closed, and millions of Americans were left unemployed, while many families became homeless. Would your family be able to survive a similar scenario if it were to play out today?   

That’s why now is such a crucial time for you to start setting some money aside in an emergency fund for you and your family. Because, even though we’d like to think otherwise, there’s no absolute guarantee that your job will be there tomorrow.

Start your emergency fund by working to set aside the equivalent of 3 to 6 months worth of all of your expenses in the emergency fund and then continue to grow the fund from there as your resources allow. This can be done a little at a time and is sure to take a huge weight off your shoulders because you have the finances to fall back on.   

3. Spend Within Your Means While Surviving a Recession

Most of us like to have nice things and may even feel like we deserve those little comforts and pleasures after years of working diligently to be able to afford them. But financial experts will tell you that no more than a third of your net income should be spent on non-essential things and entertainment each month in the good times, let alone when things are falling apart around us. 

So, while we’re still on the touchy subject, how well is your family living within their means? You might want to sit down and have a monthly budget overhaul on some of the things that you could afford to give up.

It may be time to part ways with the cable company that’s been ridiculously overcharging you, or get rid of unnecessary subscriptions for magazines, streaming software, and other non-essential items. There may be a car sitting out in your driveway that you’re making payments on that’s more than you can afford? That money could be going into your savings instead if you were willing to settle for a less fancy ride.      

4. Find a Side Hustle 

You may not like the thought of having to take on another job alongside your full-time job, but it’s not something that you have to do forever. But that part-time job may be the financial cushion your family needs in order to stay ahead when times get hard.

And if you were to lose your main source of income due to a job loss during a recession, you’d still have some money coming in to help offset those monthly obligations. Start today by looking for side hustles that align with your interests, skills, or hobbies so that it’s something you enjoy doing rather than it feeling like work. You don’t want to burn yourself out, but we have to be realistic about the income and expenses that still need to be covered.

Read More of My Articles  How to Save Money in a Recession

Who knows, you might find something that is more enjoyable, is more stable, and may even provide a brighter future than your current situation.

5. Search Out Support Systems

A recession can be hard on everyone, especially for those who own their own businesses. When money is going out faster than it’s coming in, your bank shouldn’t be the only resource that you can turn to with your cash flow situation.

By doing a little extra research, you may find a government agency, church, community program, and other organizations that can be of assistance to you during an economic downturn, even if it’s for only a brief period of time.    

6. Barter Goods and Services 

When times are tough, resourceful people will seek out all sorts of creative avenues in order to avoid spending money. Do you have any services or goods that you could trade in exchange for items that your family may need?

Now is the time to start creating that network of friends and family that you could fall back on long before a recession hits your household hard. 

Community platforms like Craigslist and Bunz are other places that you could turn to to find cheap, or even free, gently used items when you’re doing your best to pinch pennies.   

7. Grow Your Own Food

Victory Gardens not too long ago were a thing of the past, but they’re starting to make a small comeback once again. During World War II, these “war gardens” were planted in order to help with the public food supply and for Americans like you and me to do their small part in the war effort. This is where I buy my garden seeds: SeedsNow

I’ve been telling my readers for years that you need to have food and water stored for emergency purposes. Some readers may assume those emergencies are floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, wildfires, etc. In actuality, emergencies can be the loss of a job, accidents, sickness, and more. If you’ve prepared in advance, the blow from a recession will be much milder to deal with. 

7 Smart Tips for Surviving a Recession

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Final Word

The longer a recession drags on, the more expensive and harder it will become for you to get your hands on certain foods. During this period, grocery store shelves won’t be comfortably stocked like you and I have grown accustomed to. This is why planting food crops in your own garden would be a great way to ensure that your family is continuing to eat healthy while you’re trying to stretch every food dollar.

These are a handful of tips on how to survive the next recession. And don’t think that it’s ever too early to get started. What are some other ways for families to prepare and stay ahead of what may be coming? May God Bless this world, Linda.   

Copyright Images: Desperate Woman Depositphotos_379597994_S by grinvalds

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43 Comments

  1. Great ideas, as usual, Linda! On a different note- a friend of mine works in a big box drug store which sells food, cosmetics, etc. They are getting HUGE shipments right now. Sadly, they have to throw it all away as the expiration dates have passed and they aren’t allowed to sell any of it. Buyer beware!! Check those dates!!

      1. What a waste is right! Food pantries around here are allowed to give expired foods, within reason. Sadly, this corporation doesn’t allow that – straight to the dumpster – which happens to be behind a locked gate.

        1. Gardening is no longer within my physical realm, but we did “gift” 8 fruit trees to my son and his family for their new orchard. We carry no debt other than our leased car, which I have the funds set aside to pay off. We have been retired 16 years and are still able to live within our means. It comes down to priorities.

          1. Chris, you may not be physically able to have a garden right now, but the knowledge you have accumulated is priceless. I am sure someone would trade vegetables for that knowledge. I miss asking my father questions on so many different topics. Luckily, I picked my mom’s brain while she was still here.

          2. I do NOT dwell on regrets, but this is a biggy!!!Oh, how I wish I had planted fruit trees….not peach, been there, done that////too much hassle. The trees provide so much shade but still….
            You are a good mother!!
            My car has 50,000 miles on it and I bought it 18 years ago–it’s gonna stay here for a long time.
            As Gene proved to not be around as long as me, I did begin to save what I could from my little SS check–thank God because it made me not dependent on anyone…good, since I don’t have anyone!! I have one CC and of course pay each month—and I do not like them sending me the balance–they don’t like it if I have a balance but it saves me envelopes and stamps and bother!!!

            My jam is delicious…first time.

            Have a great day everyone….rain clearing out of here now.

          1. I thank you Janet for your kind words. I try to do my best, for my family and friends. Often when I fail, I remember, we do the best we can, when we know better, we do better. Stay safe and healthy.

  2. Money in the bank is great until the bank closes. You should keep some cash on hand just in case your bank closes. You should get your money from them but the time frame for that happening could be longer than you can deal with.

    1. Hi Debra, you are so right, if we have a power grid down (major) we will have zero access to anything. I always recommend keeping money in your home in a safe place for emergencies. Linda

    2. I’ve been reading up on that. I read that a months worth of funds is a good start. What do you think? Not sure where to hide it though! Lol

      1. I have found that hiding it in pockets of clothes, hanging or folded, is safer than a safe or lock box. Somewhere unusual is better than where a robber would automatically look.

  3. Luckily, we’re in pretty good shape here. My husband is wanting to retire soon and he can at least do some side jobs here and there to supplement our income. We’ve done an awful lot to prepare for retirement, economic downturns, disasters, etc. We can’t do it all, however, and as OCD as I am, I have to let go of that., just do the best we can. To feed my sewing/quilting habit, I have enough fabric to keep me busy for years and years; enough books to read, etc. I HAVE to stay off the internet, tho, if we’re ever to survive. It’s so incredibly easy to hit that “buy” button on Amazon…then the credit card bill (which is paid in full each month, no fees/interest) comes and I’m in shock! I wish we had decent soil here in Northern Nevada where we live. We’re also on a water meter. I have some elevated planters that are self watering but I was noticing how much water I use for the little I’m growing-it doesn’t seem worth it. Oh, and a hard freeze hit and not a single bloom on my cherry, apricot or peach trees this year. No canning for me! Everyone has to realize their limitations, whether they be monetary or physical and just do the best they can. Another reason I’m thankful for this site, Linda! I love reading everyone’s comments and getting new/better/interesting ideas. The people here are a true blessing!

    1. Hi Robbie, we really do have a great group here, we are blessed with good people willing to share ideas. I’m OCD as well, Robbie! I realized years ago what the word meant and had to read how to sit back and enjoy the rose so to speak. We can’t do everything but we can do something. And we have! Linda

    2. Robbie, what are your plans for retirement? We live in Western New York, so for the first 10 years, we would go south for a couple of months each winter. I’m glad we did that before health issues slowed us down.
      Our first trip, we were headed to Florida to see some old friends. Since we drive, our grandchildren always voted (on election day of course) which stuffed animals would travel with Grandpa and Grandma. We would take pictures and tell them stories about what the animals did each day. Our friends didn’t know the stories we sent them along with everyone else, were stuffed animals, so by the time we got to their home they had crayons, coloring books and drink boxes for what they thought were our grandsons. It’s fun to have good memories.

        1. Actually Linda, I made a mistake and I don’t know if you can edit my post. The last two sentences I typed never showed up. It was supposed to read……Linda is right, prepare for a recession, although some people say we are already in one, but don’t be so frightened that you don’t make good memories within the parameters of your finances and healthy. Retirement is a special time.

          1. Hi Chris, this comment works! Thank you again for sharing your thoughts. Memories and retirement is a special time. We must make the most of what we have. Life is so good!! Linda

      1. Chris, our plans for retirement this month went out the window when my husband took on four new projects this week! This is what I think is going to keep him from retiring-he just can’t say no to people. There is such an incredible demand for engineers and he excels at home remodels, red-tags, all the weird or little jobs no one else wants to do. We do, however, have a cruise to Alaska next month-finally! It was postponed two years in a row due to the pandemic but it’s a go now, as long as we test negative for covid 2 days before. We’re taking our grandson who lives with us to Gettysburg in September and on a Disney Halloween cruise in October. That’s as far as our retirement is planned! Hoping for some slow-down time soon.

        1. I love your plans, Robbie. Please share the details when you get back. We have only done one cruise, and it was when Disney had the Big Red Boat, with 4 adults and seven children. I just realized that was 32 years ago!!!! Yikes!!!!! Stay safe and make wonderful memories

          1. Yes! We were on The Big Red Boat, too…it was called Premier at that time. Oh my, my age is showing.

  4. Remember that you can’t eat silver,etc. Make sure you put some away at home, but make sure you have the food you need. It doesn’t mean it has to be what you would normally eat, but what would sustain you and your family. I taught a class on Victory Gardens and what to do with the extra. Yes we see many are going back to that concept. I grow all my produce on large pots on my deck so they are easy to water and have no weeds. The potatoes and garlic are in grow bags near my lawn so they are easy to water. There are always ways to stock up and provide for our families. Just one step at a time and the desire to do it!!!!

  5. We’re unable to have a big garden like we used to, but we do have a few containers that have vegetables in them. Not a lot, but every little bit helps.

    1. Fortunately we live where we can grow almost year round. Every year that we harvest and can I realize our ancestors were better at surviving depression than we are now. It’s hard work, can’t imagine a whole farm that only family works on!

      1. It is hard work. We’ve done it. Just can’t manage it now that we’re older and not in good health anymore. I loved canning and putting things up. So satisfying.

    2. Hi Deborah, I hear you on the smaller gardens! You are so right every little bit helps! We still haven’t started building so our garden is on hold. This might be the first year in my life I have not had a garden. I will be helping my friend who lives a couple of miles away. I will look for some Farmer’s Markets as well. Yes, indeed every little bit helps. Linda

  6. JayJay, I am glad you have enough financial resources to take care of yourself. That is critical. What type of jelly did you make?

      1. Congratulations. I do remember you mentioned strawberry jam. I wish my strawberry jam had worked. It was too watery. We used it as a topping on ice cream, but otherwise it was a failure.

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