While recession may not be an ideal economic experience for any nation or the citizens, it is sometimes unavoidable, because it is a part of normal economic cycle. Experts warn that once in every five years or, at best, every eight years, the economy melts down and recession sets in. It is no longer news that the Federal Government has declared that Nigeria is officially in recession. But while the government works to re-position the economy and return the nation to the path of prosperity, what can you do as an individual to better your lot under this harsh economy? Read on…
- Enhance your skills: During a recession, jobs are hardly secured; yet, should job loss happen, it could be hard to get a new one. Therefore, enhance your skills, even on the job; work extra hours and work a little harder.
- Prepare for layoffs: On the average, the normal worker does everything to keep his job; but even then, layoffs still happen. Whether or not you’re going to experience this, please update your CV, and be on the lookout for possible job openings.
- Create an emergency fund: In general, most people don’t have emergency funds anywhere. But if you are still lucky to be employed, start one today by setting aside certain sum of money every month. Decide how much money you want to add to it every month. Keep the money in a savings account and let it stay there.
- Pay off your debt: If you are gainfully employed, you must learn to live on your income and avoid going into debts as much as possible, especially during a recession such as this. If you are in debt, focus on paying off your debts as soon as you can, as this will also help in lowering your spending and enable you to have more money to save.
- Identify and streamline your monthly expenses: How much do you spend on your phone lines? Must you sustain that pay-per-view TV? What about the money spent on electricity — such as diesel/petrol for your generator, even when you still pay electricity bills? Is it cheaper to cook or eat out? Which is cheaper: putting your car on the road daily, or taking public transport? The overall goal is to reduce expenses with minimal impact on lifestyle. Be wise about it.
- Boost your income: If there are opportunities to make extra cash, once it is legitimate, go ahead and do it. Can you baby-sit? Do you know how to make hair or apply make-up? Events decoration? Do you know how to bake, knit, or do repair works? Cash in on it and earn some extra naira by so doing.
- Establish a budget: When you get paid, don’t pay all your expenses without something left to save. Rather, discuss with your creditors and agree on realistic payment plans. Also, involve your family members because the impact will affect them.
- Cut down on expenses: There are many ways to cut expenses during a recession. In many cases, you can maintain your same quality of life while focusing on living lean and cutting out extravagant and unnecessary expenses. For instance, buy nothing if you don’t need it to live. Resist sales pitches. Don’t accept offers of ‘soft loan’ from your bank or any lending agency, etc.
- Transportation: If you live in the same geographical area with some fellow workers, you can agree to carpool to work, such that each of you will only have your car on the road less than thrice a week, thus saving money on fuel and maintenance.
- Housing: If your rental fee is high, you may consider changing accommodation and moving into smaller, cheaper accommodation that will still be reasonably comfortable.
- Keep saving. If you can, fit saving into your budget, even during a recession. If you don’t have the money to contribute, consider cutting out other expenses to make it work. When you come out of the recession, you’ll be glad you kept up with saving and your bank account will reflect the interest you’ve earned during that time.
- Enjoy life: In order to avoid recession depression, don’t let fear control you. An intense feeling of paranoia can make you an inflexible employee and also strain your relationships. Be thankful for what you have, and make sure to have fun. Accept difficult times as a challenge for your fortitude and adaptability.
Sources: From The Net