This is a guest post by Bunker Bob from Bunker Basics.
One of the Most Important Preparations We Can Make
Many preppers have bug out bags, escape plans, and a week’s supply of food and water in storage. These are wise preparations to make, especially as the number of threats increases in parallel with the increasing dynamism of our world. I subscribe to the philosophy that we should prepare for the worst while hoping for the best. Preparation is insurance against the threat of disaster.
That said, not all disasters are equally likely. In fact, economic recessions have historically been shown to be inevitable.
In the past 50 years, there have been 7 recessions.
Given that a recession is guaranteed to happen in our lifetime, our finances are one of the most important preparations we can make.
Below are three ways we can prepare for economic recessions:
Pay Off Your Debt
Debt is one of the primary reasons why the next generation is not expected to be as prosperous as this generation. Tuition costs are rapidly outpacing inflation. Irresponsible mortgage loan terms forced many Americans to lose their homes during the last economic recession. Car loans are posing a greater and greater threat to the economy today. The list goes on. Debt is not always the cause of prosperity; rather, it can lead to bankruptcy. When the economy contracts, people can lose their primary sources of income. Without cash flow to pay off debts, assets are seized and bankruptcies are filed. Make paying off your debt a top priority during the good times, as it may be more difficult to do so when times get tough.
Build a Rainy Day Fund
401k’s, IRA’s, and other savings plans are great, but you cannot access the money within them until you’re ready for retirement (without sacrificing a percentage of your fund). If the job market contracts and you lose your job, you should have enough money to pay your financial obligations for a short period of time. This rainy day fund, like any other prep, is insurance. Insurance requires sacrifice, but the sacrifice will be provide you with financial security if another crisis emerges. If no crisis comes to pass, then you’ll simply enjoy a more comfortable retirement.
It’s incredibly important to live within your means, or even below them. Do you really need to keep up with the Joneses? Who will fare better in the event of a recession, you, a frugal spender with a rainy day fund, or the Joneses, who just redid their kitchen? Thrift, making more with less, and sacrifice enable you to be better prepared for financial downturns. By being frugal, you can contribute more to your rainy day fund. Moreover, you will be better adapted to economic contractions. This isn’t to say that you can never splurge, but make an effort to forgo luxury purchases and bank money for the future.
Prioritizing Financial Security
Currently, unemployment is low and the stock market is performing well. Conditions like these are the best times to prepare for economic tightening. Every financial situation is unique, so I haven’t stated appropriate debt levels or optimal rainy day fund sizes. You should take stock of how much you would need to support yourself and your family in the event of the next recession.
By preparing (and sacrificing) now, you can remain financially secure through the good times and bad.
Bunker Bob manages Bunker Basics, a website detailing the various ways in which we can prepare for SHTF events. Bob is particularly interested in the increased risks emerging from governments and the financial and technology sectors. You can read more of what he has to say at https://bunkerbasics.com/