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.”
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?