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Wednesday, November 30, 2022

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Preparing Your Wallet for Possible Harsh Economic Times

Are you like me and wonder if a recession is coming in 2022? Now is the time take a look at your finances and prepare yourself and your family to weather the next economic storm and prepare your wallet for more challenging times.

While I try not to stress over finances, it’s hard not to with the stock market on a roller coaster, gas prices at an all-time high and food costs through the roof. Money is one of the most universal sources of stress. Families’ financial stress and well-being are strained even more when the economy is in a downturn and families struggle to meet their basic needs.

In tough economic times, many families lose jobs, homes, cars, savings, health insurance and retirement funds. Financial hardships have many people living paycheck to paycheck and scared that they are only one paycheck away from being homeless. They have to choose between gas in their car to get to work or groceries to feed their children before the next payday.

As the U.S. economy continues to be in a noticeable financial trouble spot, recession may be inevitable. But don’t despair; use this time to take the necessary steps to stay in control of your money.

These tips may help to make harsh economic times seem not as dire:

  • Financial Planning. Revisit your budget, savings and earnings goals
  • Live Frugally. Track your expenses and figure out where you can cut unnecessary spending if you end up needing to
  • Emergency Fund. Save an extra cushion of money for life’s little (or big) curve balls
  • Unused Stuff Can Be Worth Money. Look around your space for stuff not being used. Sell unused items to clear clutter and put extra cash in your wallet
  • Side Hustle. It may provide additional income that can help pay down debt in good financial times or it may be a saving grace if you lose your day job during lean times
  • Pay Down Debt. Consider consolidating your balances into a 0% balance transfer credit card or obtaining a low-interest personal loan to pay them down
  • Avoid or Delay Major Purchases. Don’t accumulate new debt that you may not be able to pay off

Get to a place where you feel good about your finances. My mantra is live within your means or below it. Don’t put so much emphasis on what you don’t have or can’t afford and focus on what you have and can afford. You’ll feel more satisfied and in control of your money.

Whether we are in a recession tomorrow or at another point in the future, these financial practices are good to follow no matter how robust or fragile our economy may be. A good rule of thumb is to spend less, save, and earn more. Your wallet will thank you.

Nikki Ducas
Nikki Ducas
Nikki Ducas is a freelance writer and for the past 8+ years writes the money column for Fredericksburg Parent & Family Magazine. She has lived in Fredericksburg for 16 years with her husband and is a homeschooling mom to their two boys. Nikki enjoys hiking, knitting and her other side hustles of pet sitting and event management.

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