As families struggle through the current recession it is important to remember that this is not the first nor the last time that the economy will take a turn for the worse. In knowing this you should also know there are a few simple ways to prepare you finances to ensure you weather the current cycle and remain in a position to benefit when the economy takes it’s next turn; hopefully for the better.
- Have multiple streams of income- A few decades ago it was standard procedure to graduate from either high school or college and establish yourself with a company for the long haul. Those times have changes and if you wish to be financially secure it is important to understand the benefit of having multiple streams of income. Even if you have a great job with a great salary in times when the economy falters layoffs and downsizing become a reality many people are simply not prepared for. If you depend on just one source of income and you lose that income your finances can quickly take a turn for the worse. If you are fortunate enough to have a severance package you may be able to live off of that for a period of time, but you will eventually have to find another job and in the interim you may have to dip into your savings to survive.
- Diversity is the key- Similar to the first tip, having a diverse portfolio is the best way to protect yourself from losing everything in one fell swoop. The economy is simply not predictable enough at any time to have all of your eggs in one basket. Your age and the age at which you want to retire play a big factor in how risky you want to be in the market, but you should always spread your investments in a way that some money is safely tucked away slowly making more money.
- Manage your debt- An import lesson was brought to attention in the last year. Millions of people have learned that their spending and saving habits leave a lot to be desired. If you have debt now is the time to tackle it once and for all. If you can do it on your own by cutting costs and focusing serious energy and efforts toward debt reduction- then by all means go for it. Keep in mind that you will likely have to take a serious look at your lifestyle and make appropriate changes to ensure you do not dig yourself out of debt only to find yourself back in debt from using credit cards or overspending. If you are overwhelmed and your debt is making it impossible to move forward financially it is time to look into the various debt relief options available to you.