If you've recently graduated from college or are otherwise starting out in the working world, you probably already know that it may be necessary to watch your expenses while you're in the process of becoming established in your adult life. Even though you weren't yet in the working world, you undoubtedly remember the Great Recession of a decade ago, and you may have had parents, older siblings, or other family members and friends who were deeply affected by the sudden economic downturn the country experienced in the latter part of 2008. Many people lost jobs, homes, and savings, finding themselves in positions where they had to start all over again from scratch.
Although there are no guarantees that you won't struggle with tough economic times at some point in your life, there are nonetheless strategies available that can help you hedge your bets against another recession. Following are five of them.
Get a Side Hustle or Two
Developing and nurturing one or two side hustles is an excellent way to provide you with more income as well as provide a buffer in the event that you somehow lose your job. A side hustle could be something like picking up a shift or two at a local coffee shop, restaurant, winery, or pub on nights and weekends, doing online tutoring, pet sitting for people on vacation or business trips, or picking up some freelance work at whatever you're trained in and are good at. For instance, there are plenty of opportunities for those who are skilled at writing and graphic design to make extra money on the side.
Pay Off Debt as Quickly as Possible
Whether it's a credit card, student loan, or personal debt, getting it paid down as much as possible as quickly as possible is an excellent way to guard against hitting the financial skids in the future should your economic situation change. For instance, periods of unemployment are much easier to weather if you don't have a stack of bills staring you in the face each month, especially those that come with high rates of interest.
Learn to Cook and Make Coffee
Young, single people just out of college who are beginning their professional careers often spend way more than they should on coffee and meals. Investing in a good coffee maker and learning how to use it, as well as mastering the art of preparing at least simple meals, will save you substantial sums of money, and it might even cause you to be healthier. Naturally, as someone who's young and single, you'll want to go out for coffee and food on some occasions, but you'll actually enjoy those more if they aren't just a part of your normal routine.
Keep Current in Your Industry
One of the best ways to help ensure job security is to keep current in your industry. Because technology is advancing at such a rapid pace, your skills could become outdated over time if you don't take advantage of continuing education opportunities. Your company may have a tuition assistance program that could take the edge off of having to pay for applicable classes. Another way to keep current is to join industry organizations -- you'll be sure to hear about the newest trends in your field, and these also provide a great way to network.
Buy a Good Used Car
Although it's probably tempting to go out and buy the new car you've been dreaming of for years, it may be wiser to purchase something like a used Kia for sale instead. You'll save not only on car payments, but on insurance. Unfortunately, when hard times hit, vehicles are frequently the first place where people make cuts, and that new car may be difficult to unload in an economy that's gone south. Do your homework on buying a used car, and you'll be one step ahead of the game if an unexpected recession arrives on the scene.