Thursday, June 20, 2019

Recession - Blessing or Curse

I am sure most people would say curse!
Recession can be the beginning of the end for some folks.
It can be drama filled - jobs can be lost, small businesses can close, homes can be lost,  bankruptcies happen, careers can be derailed and more.

All these things can be devastating for sure.  I dare say that the biggest losses will happen to the folks that are not in any way shape or form prepared for hard times.  Hard times happen to each of us at some time and odds are we will all go through a recession (again for many).
If we take a little time to prepare each and every day - we CAN SURVIVE and learn to thrive.

This is a sad fact and I am sure it is this way in many countries.  If people are that close to destruction by missing a pay or two - just think what it will be like if it all goes south for everyone for an extended amount of time.

How can it be a blessing?
Well,, there are many things that happen when families have less money and opportunities and it isn't all bad!

*Parents will HAVE to learn to say no to their children and in some ways reinstate the proper order of authority in the family structure.  They will cut the cord on 'entitlement'.

*Families will spend more time together as a unit - instead of running to restaurants, cinemas, malls, etc.  I mean isn't family time what FAMILY is supposed to be about?

*People will have to learn to live within their means (or even below).  I don't see this as bad - it will be a great learning curve!  They will have to get used to not having that ever expanding line of credit!

*People will have to learn to do without - that could be painful for many after years of having anything and everything. Hopefully it will be a great lesson on basic living and being grateful for WHAT they do have.  They will have to get back to basics (the sad part is many don't have a clue what the basics are!)

*People will have to stop competing with their extravagance - and learn to work together and share.

* I think it can make people healthier.  Cooking from home vs. going out for junk, doing things that require physical labor (exercise) vs. paying someone else, getting creative and reusing vs. depleting the world of more resources, gardening vs. store bought junk, etc.
                                             Do this daily and life will be so much better!!!!

I know not everyone will agree with me on this way of thinking and that is OK.  In my eyes  the heroes will be those who can make it through the worst of times with grace and goodness instead of anger and spite.  Gaining wisdom is such a gift - and some of the best gifts we get come from heartache and loss.  We all need to make something good happen from something bad - then it makes a little more sense.  If we strive for the good we will have less anxiety and stress and more happiness.  Even in recession folks can be happy - you have to realize things and money are NOT happiness!

Now is the time to take action.
Save what you can
Pay off every bill you can possibly pay off
Don't make new debt
Start reading and learning simpler ways of doing things
Learn to cook from scratch
Start reconnecting with the family - one on one (not electronically)
Keep some extra funds at home for emergencies
Work on storing food and supplies for the time you may have no money to buy them
Have a no spend month once in a while to prepare (spending on nothing but bills)
Be prepared for anything (it can happen at anytime)
Breathe and don't panic - you will survive - things will eventually get better

I believe many of us here practice living a lean and sufficient lifestyle daily - that will surely help us in the worst of times.  We have dedicated ourselves to having a better more simple life.
How about you?
Will you survive and survive well?


  1. We had so many years of Hubs being unemployed and a whole life time of underpayed employment, that I now feel rich just being able to pay my bills. It is weird. I have this mindset of saving, saving, and paying the lowest price, that to over pay for something just grates me.

    1. Well, you know that all that makes you more capable of being able to handle anything. It is funny how various moments in our lives make us so much stronger. It gives us such a different perspective on things.
      You have done wonderfully and should be so proud.

  2. Many say hard times are coming. I hope not, but prepare anyway just like you do, Cheryl. We do our best to do without those extravagances and just stick with the basics. So many are talking about it. I don't know if you read Len Penzo's blog or not, but he is certain the American economy will collapse at some point in the near future. It's kind of scary to read.

    1. It has been scary for a long time. I don't know if I agree with a collapse - but I sure see a downswing coming.
      Yep, I keep doing what I have always done and I think I will be fine.
      You will as well. Frugal living will get us prepared and through it.

  3. We adopted a Dave Ramsey lifestyle long ago and continue to do so even as we are comfortable in retirement. Also, Marie Kondo's book "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up" has become number one with me also. It teaches you to live with less and enjoy it. If people would learn to live the debt-free lifestyle they would learn they will be prepared for any economical boom or bust life throws at them.

    1. You are so correct. If we all adjust our lifestyles while things are good then we can survive anything. I am glad those 2 ideologies have helped you.
      I have never done either of those per se - but live the frugal lifestyle.
      I am so glad we have so many following the fugal way of life - as they will be fine.

  4. We're still adjusting from a job loss and 30% pay cut from a couple of years ago. Saving money is HARD. We've never been big spenders so that has helped. But I don't think we'd survive a job loss now without significant loss and pain. I doubt we'd recover. When I hear some people whining about money and see all their extravagant extras, I feel so frustrated!

    I'll carry on with my cheapskate lifestyle and prayers for the best!

    1. You have the frugal mindset and that is huge. No it isn't easy at all and no you may never recover - but it is making you learn new ways, try new things, and makes you a better person.
      Not recovering to where you were may be a blessing as well. Sometimes we all have to take steps back to reach our 'richest' life (and I don't mean money by rich).
      You got this.
      You are here and moving forward as you can. Be proud!!!!

  5. Like Debby's post above DH & I are in the same position. It is always a worry for when it happens again. I am proactive but dang there is so much you can only do. The rest is in the air.

    Now, my DH does make good money. His job is still recovering, we are still recovering. We were all in a good place when the recession hit. Construction is always hit first. A series of tragedies- car accident, my child becoming ill and then losing him, etc plus being in the construction field. DH & I would take a significant hit if another recession does hit. We are frugal, savers, & smart with money. You can be all those things and still life smacks you hard.

    What I seen during the recession that people were more meaner. Parents now realize they have little ones they really have to pay attention too so instead of doing that they yelled at them in stores or slapped them in stores for being normal kids and asking for things.

    We have a society and economy that if you live below your means you are looked down upon. Now, that the recession has technically ended I see a lot of people encouraged to go back to their way of living. The good news the Generationals remember how badly their parents acted and are trying to live differently and below their means. Now, bless their hearts they don't have a choice.

    Sharing- No more. I saw people become more miserly. There was an article the other day how charities are not receiving large donations any more because the new tax breaks do not give any incentives for people to donate. Not being political.

    I am not a downer. I am actually a really positive girl. I did see a lot of ugliness with the recession.

    Recession sucked for DH & I. We were really not affected. We were, don't get me wrong. Lifestyle wise nothing changed just more stress about bills and a lot of mourning from loss. We still did the same things we did in the past. We are still doing those same things because we love simple things.

    Some of us don't have family. :( It is nice to think of family. That is a foreign concept for a lot of people.

    1. Sounds like you had a lot more than recession going on at the time and that HAD to make things so much worse. I am sorry you went through so much.
      You may not have blood family around - but you have like minded people in your life (us) and they can be a type of family as well. Family is not always blood.

      I did not see that nasty side of life as you described. At least not any more than I see today - I do see people acting like A holes today - it just makes me sad. They will be so lonely some day.

      As I told Debby - you survived then - you are here today! That says so much!!!!

      I am sorry you had such trauma in life. You are definitely a survivor. You should be proud that you and your husband are still standing strong! I am proud of you!

  6. Another great message, Cheryl! I was planning to comment because I have learned so much from you and I've been working diligently to become more and more frugal - and succeeding Latest huge save is on my phone bill. Being "old school" I wanted to keep my landline. I mentioned it to just the right friends and they told me about I signed up, bought the device for $88 and after installation my monthly phone bill including long distance is under $6.00/month. My internet is on a 12 month promotion for $25/month (original carrier I had) and my cellphone (different carrier) is $18/month. After all that I have a savings of $75/month. All that being said a very dear friend just called me on her new cellphone and it was a super deal. If she bought a gold color one they would "give" her a $300 gift card to Target!!! I didn't ask her how much she paid - probably what I pay for rent. Go figure. I love her dearly - but her materialism is outrageous and I don't always know what to say.

    Keep up the good work, Cheryl - the World needs you. I need you! Shirley from PNW

    1. Shirley what sweet comments. I am glad you have been learning new things - we all contribute. That is some fantastic savings!!! I too, still have a land line - it is how anyone can find me!
      I need to revamp internet, cable, phone stuff myself.

      You are very wise to cut back, get used to that, and save! So glad we have all been of help.
      I know many people who just have to have the newest and spiffiest thing out there, and I just cant understand it.

      Like you I have a widowed friend (who is 67 & still working), who is always strapped. She shops like a Motley fool! We went to lunch one day, and she had food left - I was surprised she took it home. BUT, her comment was, I'll probably just throw it in the trash.
      She refuses to eat leftovers!!! There have been many a time that leftovers was what we had! I can't stand waste.

      I just don't understand! Thank you so much for your sweet comments - they helped make my day!
      Have a good one!

  7. Great points. We have only our mortgage as debt. We have a 6 month emergency fund that would cover our bills. I would immediately cut expenses such as take out, cable, Netflix, and vacations. That would make our emergency fund last even longer. We have several income sources so even if Hubby lost his job(our main income) we would still have other money coming in. Hubby used to do lots of side work and he could go back to that. I work part time and could always get another part time job or look for full time. Both kids have jobs. We also sell on eBay and Craigslist. Our food storage is also well stocked. I always keep a 12 month supply of rice and beans. We also have 4-6 months of everything else except fresh fruits, veggies and dairy. I do keep a lot of canned fruits and veggies so we could live on them for several months. I would cut our meat and dairy consumption. I would cut all extras. We would not starve we just would not be having cookies and chips regularly. We would be fine because we would have no other choice.

    1. You are doing fantastic. Great planning.
      There are so many things we could all cut if it became necessary.
      Food supplies sound great. I would be fine for a long time. Don't need meat all the time and have canned and frozen fruit and veggies as well.

      Being able to have alternative sources of income is great. Don't forget about barter as well!
      Suds like you have a good plan.

  8. I guess there are some pros and cons to a recession. You brought up some very good points. I remember back in the early 80s and we lived in KY because it was cheaper while he was laid off. The girls just talk and talk how they loved the woods and would love to raise their kids like that. We had to come back north though when he returned to work. Money is very important! Have a wonderful Saturday!

    1. Oh yes definitely pros and cons. I just don't think most people realize that there can be pros. Things we can grown and learn from. I bet the girls did have fun - a real pro!!!

      It find it extremely sad that money IS so important.
      Have a lovely weekend.

    2. Yes it was very sad to leave there and they remember every detail. Then again we got insurance and retirement so we are good. Wish we could have had it both ways.

    3. Wouldn't that have been wonderful? Memories last forever thank goodness!