Facing a recession may involve uncertainty and stress, but there are ways to prepare without living in fear. Whether you need to make up some income now or are planning just in case, it’s worth exploring your options.
Start and Manage a Budget
Even if your budget is already trimmed down, a recession could mean more adjustments are necessary. Reflecting on your monthly ingoing versus outgoing amounts is a great place to start. Bank of America suggests six steps to get started with a basic budget.
From there, make adjustments to save. For example, if you eat out (or order in) often, meal planning could offer significant savings. Similarly, budgeting to buy staples in bulk could save money over time, something you may not see until you do the math for your budget. Whatever and however you buy, look at per-unit costs to find the best deals.
Another smart budgeting tip is to plan for big expenses like appliance failures. A home warranty goes beyond your homeowner’s insurance policy and covers home systems and appliances. To get started, look for the best home warranty company to fit your needs.
Trim Household Expenses
Reducing costs is another aspect of budgeting that isn’t always easy but may be crucial for thriving through a recession. Beyond the conventional methods of cutting expenses—like making coffee at home and canceling gym subscriptions—there are ways to minimize spending without making your family suffer.
For example, if streaming entertainment or cable TV is costing you a chunk of change each month, there are alternatives. Well-known names like Peacock and The Roku Channel offer free programming (albeit with commercials). Plus, your local library may offer Hoopla and OverDrive downloads of audiobooks, eBooks, TV shows, and movies.
Other ways to cut costs include using coupons and cash-back programs. You won’t need to clip coupons in most cases, either; coupon apps let you scan receipts for discounts, cash-back, and special offers. Many stores offer club cards for additional rewards, too, and browser extensions provide discounts on online purchases at checkout.
Bulk Up Your Earnings
Finding creative ways to bring in cash could be a lifesaver when finances are tight. Whether you already work or are a stay-at-home parent, picking up odd jobs could alleviate financial strain and stress.
Whether it’s spring or not, cleaning up and getting your kids to declutter could be worth the effort. Selling off their unloved toys (and household items you no longer use) puts a few dollars back in your pocket and helps your home feel less cluttered.
Another simple way to earn money at home is to offer childcare for friends or family. Especially in a recession, many families will likely struggle to find affordable childcare. While babysitting is no easy job, it may help both you and your clients to make ends meet. Plus, if you only care for one family’s children, you may not need a home daycare license.
Fortunately, there are various ways to earn a side income online, too. You could create and sell handmade products, develop digital items to sell for passive income, or begin freelancing. Social media management, personal assisting, and even data entry are online jobs that you can do with little to no experience.
Whether it’s shopping around to find the best home warranty or picking up a side gig for extra cash, the strategies for thriving during a recession are endless. Using some (or all) of these ideas can help you prepare for living through a recession without sacrificing the things you love and enjoy.