Most economists agree we have not in fact suffered a recession, but for the rest of us the pinch is undeniable. There are plenty of tips out there for ways to save money in tough times. Since those are so well-covered, I decided to put together a short list of unique strategies to recession-proof your household–just in case.
- Stockpile non-perishables using coupons from eBay. I’m surprised at the number of mega coupon clippers who still don’t know that many clipping services make their “products” available on eBay. That’s right–you can buy coupons on eBay, often times in lots of 10 or more for just a dollar or two. If you frequently go through a product with a long shelf-life, look on eBay for a coupon for that product. Maximize savings by combining store sales with your stash of coupons and you can realize some significant savings. Remember to watch those expiration dates.
- Create your own home survival kit. Any prepared homeowner should have a basic first aid kid and emergency equipment including, flashlights, batteries, water-proof bags, matches, non-perishable food, water, and first aid supplies (tape, gauze, over-the-counter analgesics, etc.). Even if you are not preparing to live as a genuine survivalist, it still makes sense to have a cache of supplies on hand.
- Spread some cash around, at home. In times of disaster, natural or otherwise, it is possible that ATM networks and banks will be unavailable for cash withdrawals. For this reason, it makes sense to keep a small amount of cash at home. Put the money in a safe, lockbox, or keep it well-hidden. It’s also a good idea to keep it in separate areas so your whole stash isn’t discovered by a thief.
- Get a side hustle. I’ve mentioned in previous posts my affinity for side hustles–a part time opportunity that you maintain along with your full time job. A side hustle can provide money in a crunch if you get a pink slip from your regular job. It can also help supplement a debt snowball, or the beefing up of your emergency fund. For maximum diversity, it might make sense to try a side hustle in a separate industry from your full time gig.
- Learn to entertain yourselves. In addition to the economic benefits of things like frugal family fun nights, these events have a way of preparing you for the worst. Not long after we relocated to our current city, a strong hurricane made landfall a few hundred miles from us and maintained much of its strength as it passed over. We were without power for a few days, and practiced some of the frugal fun night activities such as “Power’s Out” and “Game Night”–both themes are filled with activities we could engage in without power.
Taking these types of steps does not make you an alarmist, it makes you prepared for the worst while you hope for the best. We continue to hope for the best for our country’s economy, but there is little doubt we will hit some speed bumps along the way. Be prepared by taking these steps to recession-proof your household.
What steps have you taken to better prepare your household for a slow economy?