Recession – Meet the New Boss – Same as the Old Boss
Continuing our Baby Boomer Songs as titles theme….
Depending on the headline you click through, we are already in, or are at 40 year high risk of recession in the US economy. Scary headlines abound, highlighting tech layoffs, the danger of AI eliminating jobs, national debt exceeding GDP, danger of US debt default, bank failures and on and on ad nauseum. It’s enough to make one want to Turn on, Tune in, and Drop out, or at least stop watching the news (if you’re under 40 – google it). But all of that is just running away, and when we run away we will inevitably find that wherever you go, there you are, the problem(s) remain and you’ve just wasted time running.
So, what should one do, when clicking through the headlines can easily scare one silly? Here’s a few tips.
Remember the adage, if it bleeds it leads? Today, almost all (99%) “News” today is designed as clickbait, whether it is CNN, MSNBC, FOX News or any if the five hundred other sources, everyone is vying for eyeballs, and everybody has an agenda. Sad but unfortunately true, the atomization of sources and the explosion of information available makes it more difficult to get to the root of issues now. My two cents? read broadly, take little at face value initially, and remember that ancient wisdom still exists. We don’t have to be cynical, but we shouldn’t be naïve either.
Unless AI takes over, humans still run things ultimately, and when it comes to humans, there is literally “nothing new under the sun” which means there are historical guides and values we can revert to that make a difference in scary times, and if maintained, benefit us greatly in good times as well.
The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step accredited to Lao-Tzu 2,000 years ago has always said to me it’s never too late to stop being foolish and start being wise, and life is a journey best enjoyed while moving.
A few ways to begin recession proofing your life include;
Live within your means.
If you have two incomes, begin to work on living on one of them and saving the other.
Avoid adjustable rate debt if you can, especially on large or long term debt unless you know what rates are going to do, in which case book your flight to Vegas and spin the wheel 😊
Avoid co-signing debt, unless you can afford to carry it. Obviously family is often in play in these situations but you add insult to injury if you co-sign and can’t cover the nut in a default.
Have an emergency fund. If you don’t, start working on saving one.
Delay gratification if you do not have the money now, cheap debt has been destructive policy pursuit that is now whiplashing us. Interest rates historically fall going into recession rise coming out, we are seeing them increase to fight inflation in the teeth of entering a recession, strange days indeed.
Get serious, be ruthless with the “extras” in your day. Here’s a challenge. Keep track of every penny you spend for a month, then list it and look at what you “have to have” vs what you “want to have”, it may change your perspective, it may not, but at least you will have exact knowledge which is potential power to change.
Thrift instead of insisting on retail. One has to be bold to abandon what “Other” people think.
Happy Saving – see you next week!
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