When a recession hits, businesses often cope with the changes by making budget cuts which can result in employees being laid off
Baltimore, MD (PRWEB) August 26, 2008
Recessions are inevitable in the natural fluctuations of the economy. A recession can start in a matter of weeks, months, or even several years. Despite their somewhat unpredictable nature to the average consumer, there are things individuals and families can do right now to cushion the blow of any sudden economic changes that may come. CareOne Service providers are releasing a series of tips designed to help consumers better manage their personal finances to avoid recession-related problems in the future.
"When a recession hits, businesses often cope with the changes by making budget cuts which can result in employees being laid off," says CareOne Credit Counseling Services Spokesperson Clarky Davis. "Those laid off employees are often some of the most affected consumers during a recession. Unlike their former employers, cutting their budgets may not be enough to get through the tough times. Not preparing for these economic 'surprises' in advance is a common problem, because no one wants to think it will happen to them. Fortunately it's a problem that can be alleviated starting today with a few changes."
Agencies that offer CareOne Credit Counseling Services have compiled the following set of tips to help consumers make better financial decisions that will find them more prepared should a recession later affect them:
1. Pay off high interest debts. Even if it isn't possible to pay off all loans or credit card debts completely, try to increase monthly payments, or at least pay more than the minimum payment due each month. Eliminating even one or two debts means fewer bills to pay when the economy starts on a down-turn. Keep in mind that credit card interest rates can be higher than interest rates someone will earn on savings, making paying off more debt "worth more" to the consumer in the end.
2. Start an emergency fund. On top of working to pay off debts as quickly as possible, start setting money aside. Ideally, try to keep an emergency fund equal to several months' expenses on the chance that one or more members of a household are downsized unexpectedly during a recession.
3. Diversify your investments. Keeping money in one high-risk place, or just a few, increases the investor's chance of being hit with losses during a slowing economy. Keep money in a combination of high-risk and low-risk investment options to minimize risks while still maximizing earnings in the long-term.
4. Be cautious when making decisions about large purchases. If there's any reason to believe a recession may be coming, avoid buying big ticket items that aren't absolutely necessary. For example, it might be necessary to replace a broken kitchen appliance. On the contrary, trading in a three year old car for a newer model is not a necessary expense for someone looking to ensure financial stability in a pending slowing economy.
5. Plan an emergency budget. Always try to have a backup plan in place on the chance that someone loses a job during a recession (or for any reason). Know what expenses have to stay, and where the family can cut costs while minimizing the inconvenience. Make sure everyone involved understands the changes to the budget, and what situations would lead to these kinds of budget cuts going into effect. A related good idea for two-income households is to plan budgets around one income source, with the second contributing solely to savings, investments, and fringe items or large purchases. That income then serves as a "backup" when those more discretionary items need to be cut, with finances being re-allocated to cover the primary expenses.
About CareOne Credit Counseling Services
CareOne Credit Counseling Services is a service mark of 3C Incorporated. CareOne agencies are industry leaders committed to providing consumers with education and debt management services related to improving and maintaining their financial health. CareOne agencies have helped over 4.5 million people pay down debts through their solid relationships with over 220,000 creditors.
For more information about CareOne Credit Counseling Services, please visit http://www.CareOneCredit.com, or contact Clarky Davis at (410) 925-9769.
CareOne Credit Counseling Services
8930 Stanford Blvd.
Columbia, MD 21045
Phone: (410) 925-9769