Ever wondered what it would be like to be recession proof?
If you’ve been paying attention to the talking heads in the media you’re probably scared senseless about the possibility of a “double-dip” recession. While you may have valid reasons to be concerned, it’s not going to happen overnight.
Here’s a great piece of advice for you to remember though for future reference: Instead of making financial decisions based on fear, focus on simply doing the right thing. Just like good ol’ granny used to say, “You’ve got to prepare for the rainy days.” That is what it takes to become recession proof.
Emergencies can only cripple you if you’re not prepared for them
The good news is that there are lots of ways to prepare for any emergency life throws at you.
No secrets or special gimmicks, just you and your desire (plus a little hard work) to make a potentially bad situation a little bit easier. Do the work now and reap the rewards later, instead of the other way around. Being thrown into an emergency panic because you don’t have the funds when the rainy day eventually hits is probably the worst kind of stress to be under.
The biggest key to recession proofing is to avoid the following mindset
“Some people are making such thorough preparation for rainy days that they aren’t enjoying today’s sunshine.” -William Feather
Sure, Feather has a point. Sometimes you have to stop and smell the roses. But the problem is that there are too many people who think like this too much of the time. It’s a destructive way to forge a path to financial independence.
The Ant and the Grasshopper is a Better Lesson
Let’s look at a popular fable called The Ant and the Grasshopper to see what’s so wrong with this way of thinking.
The story follows the hard work of the ant (or ants) in preparation for winter, while a care-free grasshopper frolics and sings, living for the day. Soon winter comes and the ants are cozy and fed, but the grasshopper, who spent too much time enjoying the sunshine and not enough preparing for the rainy day, is dying from hunger but more importantly his own lack of effort.
Personal finance is JUST LIKE THAT!
The story teaches us that a little hard work and preparation can be worth sacrificing whatever fun that could be had in the moment. Prepare for the rainy days of tomorrow while you can, so you have a much better chance of enjoying the todays of your future.
If we should have learned anything at all from the economic collapse, it’s that debt was killing us and we should have made better financial decisions. We weren’t ready for 9% unemployment, massive layoffs, or rising gas and food prices. We should have prepared. We should have saved.
You can change tomorrow by changing today! Don’t be a grasshopper. Start your budget and prepare your little ant heart out for the winter — because if you don’t — it’s not the recession you should be afraid of. It’s you.
Make your financial decisions based on strength not fear. Be the ant, and who knows, you may even have the opportunity to help out someone who made the unwitting decision to be a grasshopper.
What tips do you have for insulating yourself from the recession? How are you preparing for the next rainy day? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.
Brad Chaffee is a PerkStreet Customer Columnist who also authors Enemy of Debt, a place where he passionately but candidly tackles the psychological issues related to our own habits and behaviors regarding money. Brad and his family crawled out from under $26,000 of debt and some major bad habits to become debt-free in 20 months, and he believes that if they can do it, you can too! Aside from his blog, you can connect with him on Twitter and Facebook.