The Next Recession is Overdue. Here Are 4 Ways You Can Prepare for It

BY: - 13 Jul '17 | Money

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In the words of the popular Game of Thrones television series, “Winter is Coming.” But with the threat of a recession in the future, are you financially prepared?

That’s one of the questions raised by a new GoBankingRates survey which found that not only are many of us still reeling from the last recession which occurred nearly a decade ago, but we’re also ill-prepared for the next recession.

A report by the ACLU finds that black families continue to suffer the repercussions from the 2007-2009 Great Recession and will suffer for decades to come. According to the report:

“By 2031, white wealth is forecast to be 31 percent below what it would have been without the Great Recession, while black wealth is down almost 40 percent. For a typical black family, median wealth in 2031 will be almost $98,000 lower than it would have been without the Great Recession.”

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Since World War II, we’ve endured eleven recessions, with a recession occurring on average every six years. The longest period between recessions has been ten years.

All of which means we’re long overdue for another one.

Americans, especially African-Americans, can ill-afford to be unprepared for the next recession. Yet, according to the GoBankingRates survey:

  • 49% of Americans are currently living paycheck to paycheck.
  • 61% do not have enough money saved to cover six months of living expenses.
  • 78% are not ready to search for a new job with an updated resume.
  • 64% do not have multiple streams of income.

Clearly, we have not fortified our financial ships in the face of impending storm waters. Here are 4 ways we can change that.

Create an emergency fund

An African proverb warns, “Save your money for one day your money will save you.” Create an emergency fund that can cover at least six months of living expenses. This must be your first financial priority. Many African-Americans had their wealth wiped out in the last recession because they could not meet their mortgage payments. Don’t let this happen to you. Sell excess junk, get a second job, start eating at home, cut unnecessary spending, and use cash windfalls to fund your emergency stash. Work on building your emergency fund as if your life depended on it.

Create a budget

You’ll never weather a financial storm if you constantly have more month than money. That’s why you need a budget. Creating a budget helps you understand exactly where your money is going and allows you make adjustments so that you start coming out ahead each month, instead of falling further into debt.

Become an indispensable worker

Job security is never a given, especially in a recession. That’s why it’s crucial to become indispensable on your job. Become the worker your company would be hard pressed to do without. At the same time, develop the skills that would make you an attractive candidate in case you are laid off. Update and keep your resume current. Just as important, build and nurture your network now, before you need to call on it in the future.

Consider additional revenue streams

Additional sources of income can help you weather an economic downturn. Take inventory of your talents and put those talents to use creating additional revenue for you and your family. It’s time to brush off that idea for your side hustle and put it into motion. Perhaps you can start tutoring, help a local business with its social media presence, start a freelance writing career, or do hair on the side. Whatever skills you possess. Put them to use.

Economic storms are inevitable. A recession will occur, and many experts are predicting it will occur in the next few years. Are your finances ready?

BMWK, what are you doing to prepare for the next inevitable recession?

About the author

Alonzo Peters wrote 296 articles on this blog.

Alonzo Peters is founder of MochaMoney.com, a personal finance website dedicated to helping Black America achieve financial independence.

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Overworked and Underpaid? These 6 Techniques Just Might Help You Get the Raise You Deserve

BY: - 19 Jul '17 | Money

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A close friend of mine is the heart and soul of her medical office. Taking on more tasks than humanly possible, she is the “go to” person for everyone. And while she is constantly training people who go on to gain advancement and pay raises in other parts of the company, she continues to toil away, earning a salary that is not in line with her contributions.

 

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Her situation proves that, often in life, “You don’t get what you deserve. You get what you negotiate.” Working hard isn’t enough. You have to ask for what you’re worth.

Present yourself with confidence and your boss will take you more seriously.

The financial ramifications of obtaining raises are significant. Consider a person making a $50,000 annual salary. If she effectively presents her case and garners a yearly 4% raise over the next 10 years, she’ll find herself making $74,000 annually by the end of the ten year period. More importantly, she’ll have earned a total of $124,000 more than someone who never received a raise over that same ten year period.

Unfortunately, many of us fumble unsuccessfully negotiating the raises we deserve. Raises are won or lost based on preparation. Here are a few simple tips to help you win the raises you merit.

Have a Specific Figure in Mind

Know what you want. Typical raises range from 2% to 5%, but if you feel that your job responsibilities are excessive or that you’re doing the work of several people, don’t be afraid to ask for more. Research what others in your position are receiving in compensation. Talk to recruiters, research online or seek information from colleagues at other companies if you must.

Don’t Make it Personal

Never bring your personal finances into the discussion. Your boss could care less about your rent problems, student loans, or past due car payment. Explain to your boss why you deserve a raise rather than why you need one.

Arm Yourself With Proof

Your company is in business to make a profit. The best way to garner a raise is to explain how your efforts contribute to the bottom line. Show your worth. Explain how you landed important clients, made the company more efficient, trained valued employees, or completed projects that expanded the company’s business.

Keep a Work Journal

It’s crucial that you keep a work journal. Throughout the year record your accomplishments and contributions to the company. Keep tally of your responsibilities and the people you trained. In addition, save any testimonials from customers and note any praise you receive from colleagues. Your work journal will place the pertinent information at your fingertips when it’s time to prove you deserve a raise.

Practice, Practice, Practice

Present yourself with confidence and your boss will take you more seriously. The key is to practice until you can pitch your case flawlessly. Rehearse in front of family and trusted colleagues. Allow them to critique you. Let them help you anticipate any objections or questions your boss might raise, and then prepare to address these potential objections with crisp clear responses.

Take “No” Gracefully

Despite even the most persuasive presentation, your boss may deny your request. Don’t take it personally or threaten to quit. That will only sour your reputation and make future salary negotiations almost impossible.

Perhaps your company simply doesn’t have the funds for raises. In such a case ask for alternative forms of compensation like extra days of paid vacation or Friday afternoons off. Maybe your performance does not honestly merit a raise. Ask your boss what you specifically need to do to obtain a raise in the future. This provides you with an actionable game plan to work with.

Obtaining raises is the key to earning tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars, over the course of your career. But the process has other benefits as well. The very same preparation you use to secure a raise will help you land a new job if you decide to seek employment elsewhere. Your attempts to obtain a raise can also gauge your worth to the company. If you’re performing the job of several people, for instance, but your company refuses to compensate you appropriately, it may be time to move on.

BMWK, when is the last time you asked for a raise?

About the author

Alonzo Peters wrote 296 articles on this blog.

Alonzo Peters is founder of MochaMoney.com, a personal finance website dedicated to helping Black America achieve financial independence.

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