Monday, October 27, 2008

Surviving the recession we are not supposed to have next year


The only positive thing about next year’s recession, that Harper and Flaherty keep telling us we are not going to have, is that this time around there is enough time to plan for it.

This will be the my third recession and I’m actually getting used to them. My first one, in the early eighties was tough (young family and all), but in the end I got to start over in a new emerging industry.

The last one in 1990 worked out great. I was used to the pressure and ended up starting a new business and having fun for the last 18 years,

Recessions might be man made but they are a recurring natural phenomena in the business cycle, so you might as well get used to them.

If this is your second one, you know what I getting at and you will probably do better than you did last time.

However if you are under forty years of age, this will most likely be your first one.

So here’s what I wish someone would of told me back in the eighties.

Realize that there is going to be one
  • Don’t wait for the government to tell you
  • The Federal government (whichever party) will never admit that there is going to be a recession, or that we are in the middle of one, it’s bad politics.
  • The earlier that you believe there is is going to be one, the earlier you can plan for it.
    Reduce your expenses now
      • It takes a a long time to change spending habits, start now.
      • Reduce your use of cell phones, cable, and other extraneous services like gym memberships and redo the monthly plans to lower service rates.
      • Reducing your costs might not produce a surplus, but at least eliminate the deficit
        Stop buying stuff
          • Ignore the sales and clearance prices, they are only moving their problem on to your shoulders
          • Make this the least commercial Xmas you have ever had, go traditional, with home made gifts and the like
          • A small economic foot print is as important as a small carbon foot print
            Cash might be king, but having an open credit line let’s you sleep at night
              • As part of their recovery plan, the banks are pushing credit cards with high credit limits right now. Get the largest credit line you can, just don’t use the card.
              • In the worse case scenario you can buy food with a credit card
                You can loose your job, so remember
                  • Often the first group to get laid off, gets the best compensation packages
                  • Register for unemployment early, the lines get longer the more you wait
                  • And don’t be afraid to cheat for a while by taking cash jobs, no one can live on unemployment and the underground economy is huge.
                    Recessions don’t last forever and after you get over the initial shock of loosing a job, (if you don’t own the company, that is all that it is), it is a great opportunity to start fresh.

                    Especially in your late thirties and forties, you are at your prime (I just threw that in for you first timers).

                    Hey, in the end we are all just hitchhikers here, and like Douglas Adams said, Don’t Panic.

                    No comments: