Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Can You Survive a "Recession?"

There has been a lot of talk about rather we are or are not in an economic recession. I've seen "recession" defined a hundred times and I'm still simply wondering what matter does it really make.

If our country is in a recession and you have planned for lean times. Are you debt free or close to it? Have you planned for lean times with a fully stocked pantry, a little extra cash "just in case," etc.? Do you work your occupation to the best of your ability and make yourself indispensable to your company? Do you know how to live a frugal lifestyle and actually enjoy it? Well, I believe you will be all right rather a recession hits or not.

After all, what can any of us really do about our national economy? Sure, we can buy "American" or "Made in USA" but other than that, we can only pray we choose wise leaders.

Another thing that will help our national economy is to take care of our personal economy. We can take lessons from those who lived during the depression and apply many of those lessons to our daily lives. I do not believe we should wait until the wolf is at the door to decide to prepare...we must expect him and prepare before he comes huffing and puffing. Those who successfully survived the depression and some who even prospered did so by preparing. Let us take lessons from them. Here are some first steps to take:

1. Establish an emergency fund of at least $1000 (for most)
2. Pay off debt...start with the smallest ones first and roll those payments over to the next one. This is consumer debt such as credit cards, gas cards, car loans, etc.....not the house.
3. Save 3-6 months living expenses - this will be easy once the debt is gone.
4. Invest 15% for retirement
5. Set up college funds.
6. Pay off house early.
7. Build wealth and have fun giving some away.

Do these steps sound familiar? These are the tips lined out by Dave Ramsey of Financial Peace University but most importantly, they work!

So don't loose your head and panic because Chicken Little said the sky is falling....simply get an umbrella and wait for the rain....after all, after the rain is the rainbow.

Have a great day!

Mavis D.

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