This year already feels like the boogie man is waiting in the corner.
Soon he’ll pounce to seek his revenge for all our reckless spending. That makes many of us live in fear, as if a serial killer has our home address and guarantees they’ll pay us a visit in the middle of the night.
This year will be tough. We know because when interest rates rise at the fastest pace in history it’s almost certain, according to history, that something in the economy will break.
Just like 2008, we don’t know what will break.
The central banks, such as the US Federal Reserve, are open about this. They are raising interest rates, not to crash the market, but to lower inflation. The challenge is they’ll probably overcorrect like they always do.
The fact a bunch of rich dudes in suits has this power is still laughable to me. But here were are … can’t change it now.
So with all the major financial players saying a recession is on our doorstep (again), we should have strategies to deploy.
Here’s how to recession-proof yourself.
Plan for a layoff (and hope it doesn’t happen to you)
Layoffs are only bad because people think job security is real.
It’s not. If you have a job you can be fired at any time with zero care given. The tech layoffs of 2022 showed us. The March 2020 bat virus layoffs showed us. Don’t be fooled.
Instead, get prepared. Expect to get laid off. Have a plan so you end up better than the job you had before.
- Who do you call for new career opportunities?
- What customers love your work?
- What old bosses love your sexy face?
- What recruiters do you know?
The time to reach out and create new opportunities is before you get laid off. Because afterward you sound desperate no matter how hard you cover it up. The tool to use is LinkedIn.
Send some DMs to people you’ve worked with. Look up a few recruiters.
By being proactive you get the luxury of multiple opportunities in case your dumb-dumb employer sees you as a worthless, faceless human in a spreadsheet and fires your ass.
It happened to me in 2019. The difference was I saw it coming and began interviews three months before. When the executioner booted me out and wouldn’t even let me keep my favorite black pen, I didn’t give a fudge.
(Well I did a tiny bit, but let’s pretend I didn’t.)
Proactivity in a recession relieves stress.
You should “have fun staying poor”
This is the catchphrase of the crypto world.
It’s designed to give you FOMO that feels worse than three vaccines in one day and a fresh dose of the 2020 bat virus you caught at a sports game.
I love crypto, don’t get me wrong. But a recession is not the time to make wild bets in this area. I’m sticking with Bitcoin and Ethereum. I will only invest modest amounts of money in the space that I can afford to lose.
Crypto could go lower in a recession. And there are still several big crypto company collapses to happen.
One of the best strategies in a recession is to dollar-cost average money you won’t need urgently into your favorite assets to take advantage of the discounts.
Watch debt like a hawk
Especially credit card debt.
Don’t go piling up on the stuff like you’re Elon Musk with a billion dollars in the bank and a private jet full of swimsuit models.
Debt limits freedom. It forces you to maintain a certain income.
If debt gets too high then the downward gravity force of a recession can sink your finances to rock bottom. Whatever you’re trying to get a loan for probs isn’t that important anyway.
Sleep on debt-fuelled purchases. Strength-test them. Then sleep on them again until the desire disappears to after the recession.
Experiment with digital leverage
Every man and his dog tells ya to build an audience.
But many of you don’t want to be social media influencers and join some d*ck-measuring contest. Digital leverage is different.
The point is to build a community online of people with the same goals or hobby. The intent at the start is to do nothing with it. Over time you can use the power of this community to create leverage.
All leverage means is you can increase output beyond your own effort.
A community of people lets you do that. They can help you build a business. They can assist with tasks you don’t want to do.
They can give you ideas and strategies you’d normally have to pay for. A community can even help you practice being a leader. And we all know leaders get paid substantially more in their fields.
Play around with an online community.
Discord and Mastodon are apps that can help you do it.
Embrace the cash is trash lifestyle
Cash is trash, yes.
Money printing by governments and central banks decreases the value of any country’s currency over time. But there’s another side to the story…
Cash equals optionality.
When a recession gets bad cash buys you time to chill out and think. Or to ride out the financial storm in your board shorts until it’s passed and it’s time to go surfing again in the stock market.
It’s okay to have some cash.
What causes people to go bankrupt is when they have no cash in a recession and have to sell assets at a massive discount to cover obligations. That’s what’ll wreck ya.
The hard part is always the balance.
How much cash does one need? No idea. That’s up to you to figure out.
Multiple dirty income sources
A single income is like walking into your local casino in nothing but your underwear and going “I’ll chuck all my life savings on red, thanks mate.”
Don’t do it, it’s a trap.
If you have access to the internet you have access to second, third, and fourth incomes. For the unpaid critics reading this, yes, probably none of them will make you a millionaire. That’s not the point.
Another income source is an experiment. It’s like planting a seed.
Sure, it could pay two-tenths of stuff-all today. But in a year or 5 years the seed you planted could become a Japanese bamboo forest. That’s what happened to me as a writer.
I got peanuts for years. Then the library of work turned into more income sources than I could ever count — and a book deal with a major publisher.
Salaries are like wearing 80’s fluro spandex with headbands and playing Whitney Houston’s “I want to dance with somebody” on repeat. You’re not that dorky or tragic.
Get another income source.
Read any blog on side hustles if you’re stuck for ideas.
Final Thought: This isn’t a time to be sad
Recessions are ugly mofos. I’m not a fan of what they do to everyday people. Some families still haven’t got the shirts back on their backs from the last one. But death, taxes, and recessions are guaranteed.
No point crying poor me.
Recessions are actually one of the greatest times in history. During the good times (like 2021) people get comfortable and, therefore, lazy.
There’s zero stress. Just a whole lot of beers and high-fives.
When a recession hits stress increases. It creates a build-up of energy. All that energy explodes and forces people to solve problems again. Those new solutions make life better for humans and produce new levels of fulfillment.
It’s no secret some of the best companies have come from recessions.
We got all the apps we now use on our phones from the 2008 recession. And in times before I was born, recessions gave us humans on the moon, nuclear energy, Tom Cruise in Top Gun-style fighter jets & even penicillin.
The next level of happiness, optimism, and innovation are coming. But first we must bleed in this recession caused by higher interest rates.
Use these strategies above to recession-proof yourself. See you on the other side for a few cheeky drinks and an avocado and mayo sandwich.
This article is for informational purposes only, it should not be considered financial, tax or legal advice. Consult a financial professional before making any major financial decisions.