How do U prep for an economic downturn??

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clemencia2us
Posts: 5827
Joined: Fri Aug 28, 2015 9:21 am

Re: How do U prep for an economic downturn??

Post by clemencia2us »

colonialgirl wrote:Hi frugals -
Since the economy is always cyclical we know we are going to have an economic downturn in the future, When and how bad, no one know - that I really believe. But since we are frugal folk I thought maybe we could discuss what folks can do to prepare for bad times whenever they come. Might help some newbies and inspire some of us old time frugalers to action.

Want to kick this around? What do you do to prepare and what could you be doing that you are not doing right now?
I wish people around here had a clue about cycles. We are in oil fracking territory and the whining going on makes you almost not care. You are considered a traitor/communist or worse - a liberal - if you don't get on the bandwagon. The state has gone through so many oil boom and bust cycles, what is there not to be prepared about?

There were some layoffs this week and one guy at least had some humor about it. I follow a local facebook page. So I looked at his page and he has been whining about bills for months.

Another one's husband had to move to another town and "thankfully" he is putting in 100 hours a week.

Do these people not realize that if you have to work 100 hours a week to feel comfortable, you are not being paid enough. You are being taken advantage of and are at risk for doing dangerous things if you are tired.

Heck even deployed to a war zone, we didn't "work" 100 hours a week. Its nuts.

frugalmom
Posts: 1371
Joined: Fri Aug 28, 2015 10:52 pm

Re: How do U prep for an economic downturn??

Post by frugalmom »

Good question-and I find that although I am still "frugaling" along, I am getting complacent I find. I do believe this year will be a rollercoaster ride and we are going on the downside-we have warning sides from all over and many economists and other well known people are saying this is the year where we will feel the pain. But since I have been waiting bc I know the economy cannot be in debt sooooo long that one day we have to pay the piper,but it has been a kick the can down the road kind of thing for so long,too. I just remember a few people I have read say that better to get a return of your money than worried about how much return your money is making at this point,basically saying all cash positions like in the depression when everything went down and then you swoop in to get the bargains and to make money. So that has been my long term planning.

My emergency fund and savings are together-I don't separate them really and my focus is to accumulate as much as you can now and be liquid. If the real estate bottoms out I can buy a house in a foreclosure auction(for rental-rental market is hot right now bc no one can afford houses around here) or if I see a bargain in something I can get it or just hold on to my money if I feel uncertainty.

Now some say what happens if our money is devalued-and that worries me or they take a haircut to your bank savings like in Greece where you could not take out your money for awhile and when the dust finally settled the banking/govt took a percentage of your money to help themselves and in essence was like a tax so the citizens lost money. I remember reading somewhere that keep it in checking which you can get your money back vs a savings account where they can take your money(there was some kind of protection in checking). I wish where I remember reading these bc I read so much from books to online,etc that I don't remember.

Anyway since I have been preparing in the past my long term goals that I had have been in the works so like I paid off my house mortgage so I have a place to live with some land and that cannot be taken from me (provided you pay the taxes which I have covered just in case). I do not have and will not incur any debts at all. I do have lots of children and manpower should I need it-so if all hell breaks loose-they can all come home even if no income,don't have to pay rent or mortgage,can live self sufficiently if needed to on land that we have,etc. and pool all our resources,manpower,etc. Over the years we have built the land up to have lots of fruit trees and area where we can plant vegetables(we do that on and off-we let it go last year-but can be planted again which we planned to do when dh retires early next year which was part of our planning-that was our main reason for our planning that we could retire early and be somewhat self sufficient and to make it easier on us-rather than economic collapse or something). Anyway we wanted to lean towards a more vegetarian diet as we got older. But we plan on having chickens,maybe goats.Also we have a network of friends that can provide and barter with-others who have chickens and eggs(selling both),farms,honey,their fruits and veg,and we also know where to get food (fishing,know those who hunt,trees in area that provide free fruits,quails,etc).

We have secured the house as well-we have 10 feet stone walls with trellis built on top and high fences as well surrounding the house to make it like its own fortress type so no one can scale it (which they often do on neighboring properties and break in),roses planted for past twenty years and new ones in between to provide a more difficult entry if they do get past it so layers of protection. Rottweilers to meet them if need be and alarms. Building an ornamental iron gated fence in the front entry as well. We believe in several layers of protection and we haven't had a break in(it is very common here and even next door it was broken into from the back-I see people jumping in on the other side all the time-they may have tried to scale ours but either the dogs or the nails along the top of the fence and carpet tacks may have deterred them-again many layers of protection to make it difficult. Even though in reality bc I believe in minimalism-I don't know if that really is what I am but I am simple and don't have that much in reality bc I like clean and airy looking and sparse so other than furniture not much of value-our few electronic items were given to us free so not really a loss to us and we can live without it-except maybe a old laptop. But it is just the thought of someone breaking in and in my house and loss of security and hell if I let anyone do that to me kind of thing more so than anything of value and often windows broken or doors broken are what costs more anyway!

I have been eating down my pantry saving on our groceries which I usually do in January anyway to offset Christmas time where I tend to buy more groceries or have more bills coming in January. Oh and I pay my bills in full every month bc I have always hated to pay any interest so I don't-I rather keep that money to myself-so not owing anyone or any entity is a mindset I always had which helped greatly in preparing all of these years. And the pantry/emergency supply cabinets are probably only good for 3 months to 6 months if I am careful and stretch it but that has helped me so much over the years and now when I was sick,the weather is so rainy(lately-lol I don't like to go out in the rain and I can just imagine if it snowed-I would be hibernating all winter!) I don't want to get the groceries or my back goes out like it did for two weeks and I could not move an inch-so the overall emergency cabinet even though not for an economic downturn necessarily,is a Godsend when you need it due to something else! But I probably could pay more attention to it if this year will be particularly bad-my project for the year maybe to restock and rethink this.

Other than tournaments for the kids (which I think is a waste of money-bc it is never ending it seems-and may have to rethink this next year but we are in it for this year),and the associated traveling expenses(like they wanted us to stay at the Marriot our assigned hotel for like almost 700.00 for the weekend and uh no I am sorry I cannot afford that so found something nearby more reasonable and not as posh but will do at 65.00/night more than half off like 1/3 of the other place-sheesh! I don't care what others think it is my money!). I am bringing our breakfasts,snacks,etc like cup o noodles,banana bread and oatmeal,fruits,etc.Note that in reality I can afford the hotel,etc if I really wanted too even though I am not a CEO of a company or own a million dollar company like some of these folks(last year we had one and they were down to earth and very frugal too which I loved them-so nice and gave me a good chuckle and the best foccaccia breads!)-BUT I still am living on one income and I spend according to that monthly income and base it on that so not to overspend or go into my savings-in other words I still live frugally and spend like that even though I could probably afford it-but my mindset hasn't changed! Does that make sense?

Anyway,is there anything I missed?
Last edited by frugalmom on Wed Jan 27, 2016 12:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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MackerelCat
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Re: How do U prep for an economic downturn??

Post by MackerelCat »

We went through our own personal economic downturn earlier this year, when I left my job (very stressful and it did not pay well) and then DH left his (way more stressful but it paid well) for one that doesn't pay quite as well but has very little stress. It's in an industry that weathers downturns well, so he should not be subjected to the constant threat of layoffs like he was in his old job.

We have one-quarter less income coming in and employer benefits are not generous at his new job (insurance is high-deductible and expensive, and we have to entirely self-fund retirement until October), so we have kicked the frugal practices WAY up.

I think the first place to start preparing for a downturn is to do what we did and examine everything you're spending money on. Cut ruthlessly and apply the savings to debt.

Set a budget for everything, stick to it, and each month shave more money off the total. Apply the savings to an emergency fund.

Do things yourself. It costs nothing to string up a clothesline across the back porch and use it to dry large items that would take several runs in the dryer. Homemade bread costs about 70 cents a loaf to make.

Maybe the most important thing is to identify the difference between a want and a need. I hear so many people say, "I can't cut cable because we need it for watching football." It makes me roll my eyes hard. Nobody has a need to watch football, for Pete's sake! A need is a roof over your head, clothes on your back, food in your tummy, reliable transportation, and medical care. Everything else is a want, but our consumption-driven society blurs the line between a want and need very efficiently. It takes a lot of asking yourself the difference to re-establish it.
Mackie

frugalmom
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Joined: Fri Aug 28, 2015 10:52 pm

Re: How do U prep for an economic downturn??

Post by frugalmom »

Oh I thought of two more things. I have an RV always filled-it is a small one but paid for and self sufficient on its own except of course for gas eventually but if I need to get out for some reason right away that is always there behind our gated yard. Good to have stored as too maybe I am thinking esp since cheap now and we do have storage houses in the back where we can put fuel and have some on hand but maybe need more?

Secondly,we always have a budget(regular one) and at the same time we make up a bare bones budget-at first i did it kind of for fun to see how low I can go and if things were uncertain I could immediately slash what I needed to. Now i just do it just in case,so if we ever do go down to bare bones budget,we know where to slash immediately or I can see what I need to renegotiate. It kind of gives me comfort what the least we can live off of,if we ever had to I know we could do it too. And really all along I try to live as minimally as possible(except for these tournaments and kid's bb and vb the past two years!) and every few months I do try to renegotiate my bills on the ones I can-note that the ones you can renegotiate are the ones you really can get rid of when it gets bad or you go bare bones!

clemencia2us
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Joined: Fri Aug 28, 2015 9:21 am

Re: How do U prep for an economic downturn??

Post by clemencia2us »

We went through ours in 2000. They closed our military base. The COD was laid off - well really, had to take early retirement. At least he was lucky enough to be able to do that.

My brother was not. I had to move to another state. I was losing 1300 in pay and had to support two households. Still had my house here and had to get a place over there and the housing allowance was really sad.

That is when I joined this group - one good thing that came out of it!

San Antonio lost 3 military bases - thousands of jobs.

dlrcpa
Posts: 1546
Joined: Fri Aug 28, 2015 8:45 am

Re: How do U prep for an economic downturn??

Post by dlrcpa »

I echo a lot of what Mackie says. Make a budget, challenge yourself to stick to it. Figure out what really makes you happy. What do you lay awake at night worrying about. If you are worrying about your bank balance or unpaid bills then focus on fixing that. I am guessing not that many people lie awake at night missing their favorite cable TV show or Pizza Hut. But if you do, find a way to pay for that and eliminate something else that doesn't matter to you.

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