30 Dec

Focus on What You Can Control During a Recession

calculating costs of recession and cutting down budget

Discussions about an upcoming recession are extremely frightening. Focusing on what you can control is a good way to be prepared and maintain your sanity.

The most important thing is to focus on what you can influence in your own life. While things may seem scary and the unknown is looming, it’s going to be all right! Look hard at your job security, debt, and investments.

Secure Your Job

The first step is to look at the money you earn, which means you should consider the safety of your work. Make yourself indispensable in your job in order to create job security. To complement your role, learn new skills and begin to acquire more responsibilities. Pursuing an education is one of the best investments you can make.

You should also get your resume together and start networking in order to be prepared for a Plan B. If a recession hits, you don’t want to start a job search with a bunch of other people already laid off. By networking ahead of time, you’ll have a head start.

Pay Down Debt

If you have high-interest debt, now is the best time to begin aggressively attacking it. Prioritize debt starting from credit cards and switch to other types of loans, such as mortgages or auto loans. Student loans have more favorable terms, making it less important to pay them off.

One technique that is often advised by experts in the form of a debt avalanche. The plan is to continue to pay the minimum on each balance, on time, but put any extra money on balance with the highest APR.

To order to create some breathing room in your budget, it is important that you pay down any outstanding debt, more precisely high-cost debt, such as your credit card balance.

Start Saving

If a recession truly scares you, take your budget out and start cutting expenses now. The money you save can go straight into your emergency fund, which can be kept in a high-yield savings account with zero market risk and even growth opportunities.

Regardless of the condition of the economy, maintaining an emergency fund is key. After all, an enormous medical bill or temporary income loss may occur at any time. The first line of defense against debt is to support yourself with a cash safety net.

Recessions can be worrisome, but if you follow these tips and help prepare yourself for a recession, you may come out of it smoothly! Follow our blog for more recession tips. If you have any questions, call RMLEFCU at 303-458-6660.

13 Dec

How to Prepare for a Recession

preparing for a recession with paperwork and financial documents

Recessions are a natural part of the economy. They are hard to predict with accuracy and usually start before anyone even knows they’re happening. And before economists have enough data, they’re over. In fact, they are usually very short. There have been 13 recessions in the U.S. since the end of the Great Depression, and nine of them have lasted less than a year.

A recession’s impacts on individuals can be much larger and longer-lasting, causing permanent financial damage to those who are unprepared to ride out the short-term implications and get back on their feet quickly. It is not only important but crucial to take steps to protect yourself and your family from the potential consequences of a recession.

Let’s take a closer look at what a recession is and what you can do to ensure you are as prepared as possible for the next recession.

What is a Recession?

A recession is generally considered to be a slowdown in economic activity as calculated by GDP (gross domestic product) which lasts two or more consecutive quarters. The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) defines a recession as “a significant decline in economic activity spread across the economy, lasting more than a few months, normally visible in real GDP, real income, employment, industrial production, and wholesale-retail sales”.

Looking beyond the dry textbook definition, this is what it entails for average people.

Jobs

With rising unemployment rates during a recession, individuals and families struggle to find work to pay the bills every month. The inability to find a job can be stressful, scary, and upsetting, and can lead to even more problems. Here’s what you can do to mitigate these negative circumstances.

Short-term solutions could include making a claim for unemployment, borrowing money from friends or relatives, and taking a job with lower pay. Long-term solutions can include working closely with headhunters and recruiters to find a higher-paying job, returning to school while on unemployment, and relocating.

Moving to a new city for work can also open up new career opportunities. However, there are a lot of costs associated with a move. It should also not be seen as a last resort. In reality, being open to job opportunities in different areas can expand a job search significantly.

Real Estate Values

Recessions can lead to a decrease in borrowing money, and after an economic downturn, families might become more fiscally responsible. Less debt and greater responsibility will lead to better management of money and financial life that is stress-free.

A lot of families depend on the value of their homes as part of their retirement plan. Nevertheless, during a recession, real estate values drop dramatically, and foreclosures rise, driving many families out of their homes. During an economic downturn, real estate can no longer be seen as a safe investment. To keep your investments safe, here is what you can do.

Over time, the prices of real estate can shift, so families should try to maintain ownership of their homes, if at all possible. Through refinancing loans, homeowners may be able to avoid foreclosure. Homeowners may also benefit by renting out a room in their homes to third parties to cover some mortgage costs.

We will be updating our blog for more tips and tricks on how to prepare for a recession. Stay tuned on social media to get the first look into each blog post when they come up!

If you have any questions on how to prepare yourself for a recession, please call RMLEFCU at (303) 458-6660.