Lately when Hubby has the news on which I don’t watch, I am hearing people scaring Americans about a recession coming.
Is there one coming? Probably, but when is another question. There has been a recession about every 10-12 years in the 52 years that we have been married. So this is nothing new and we are due. Things aren’t always good. What is surprising to me is that they are talking recession when the economy is so good. Flooding in the midwest this year could contribute to one along with other factors. Time will tell.
But I don’t worry too much about a recession because they don’t usually affect us much. There were recessions in the early years of our marriage that I didn’t even realize were happening.
Sure the stock market will be affected but what goes down will eventually go back up. I doubt we will have a depression like the 1929 one. But of course all of this is just my opinion. Everyone should form their own opinion.
One of the reasons that we are pretty much recession proof is that we are always prepared. We have no debt, not even a mortgage. Even when we had a mortgage in the early years of our marriage, we always had an emergency fund.
I read an article a few years ago that said that 69% of Americans could not cover an unexpected expense of $1,000. To me that is very scary! What do they do if the car breaks down, they lose a job, or the furnace needs an expensive repair? I don’t think things have changed that much since 2017. If they had, the average American wouldn’t have $8189. in outstanding credit card debt which includes bank and store credit cards. And remember, this is an average. Many Americans owe a whole lot more than this and some less and some none like us. This tells me that most Americans rely on credit cards and borrowing if they have an unexpected expense. At an almost average 17% interest rate on unpaid balances, they just get themselves into more and more debt.
If you do not have an emergency fund, it should be your first priority over the next couple of months. $1,000. will help. But to really protect yourselves, you should build it up to at least 6 months of expenses. You say you don’t know what your expenses are monthly? Well then, now is the time to track a month’s worth and include those expenses that you only pay once or twice a year. Then multiply that by 6 months and you will have an idea of what you should have in your emergency fund to fully protect you and your family. But if you have no fund, building up to $1,000. will help when you have a small emergency.
The other thing that we do to help during a recession is to build up our stockpile of food. When a recession is coming, you should put at least 6 month’s worth of food away. We try to have a year’s worth. Right now we don’t have that much in our freezer because we have been eating out of it. However, I believe that we could make meals out of our pantries, if need be, for up to a year.
Yes, we have some gaps that need to be filled but I am working on that with a list I worked up of what they are. You saw that this past week, I purchased 2 cases of canned whole potatoes. Fresh potato prices are going up here and I pay attention to things like that. These potatoes will also help me not to shop over the winter. You all know that I hate driving in the snow. If I could stay home all winter, I would.
I also stock on food when I believe that food prices will be rising which could happen with all of the flooding. We are already seeing beef and pork prices rising here. By stocking, I insulate our family from these rising prices. Yes, the prices are getting higher but I believe they will go even higher.
The other choice that we have is to not eat those products that are rising. With beef and pork prices rising, buy poultry. If they rise, buy whatever hasn’t risen or go meatless.
If you don’t have an emergency fund start working on it by figuring out what you truly need. Then start funding it. Next, stock some food in your pantry. If you only have an extra $10. a week, then just buy $10. worth of food. Next week buy another $10. worth. Keep doing that and eventually you will have a stockpile that you can rely on.
By doing this the next time you have an emergency, hopefully you can handle it without pulling out your credit card and going deeper into debt. If you build up your pantry, you know that you and your family will be able to eat.