Back in 1992, we were in the middle of another presidential campaign. In fact, there was a Clinton running that year too. In that Clinton campaign, they had a slogan that was pasted everywhere for the team, and the candidate, to see. That slogan was simple – “It’s the economy …stupid”. This message was there for one reason and that was to keep everyone, top to bottom, on message telling the American people that the economy is so bad that they should vote for their candidate.
Now it is 2008 and, yes, we are in the middle of another presidential campaign. This time it is not just the candidates, but the news media, corporate leaders and pundits all telling us “we are in a recession”. As I hear each one speak, I beg the question “how do you know”. A recession, by definition, is two consecutive quarters of negative economic growth. The truth is that we have yet to have even one quarter to start the clock ticking.
The simple answer is they do not know. Zig Ziglar once said that the media has predicted 2 of the last 36 recessions. Quite simply, they do not know if we are in a recession or not. However, the more they say that we are and the consumers hear and become convinced of the same, we will have a recession. Scared consumers will stop buying and that will lead to a recession.
We have had it rough in the last several months. If you working in construction, real estate, etc. – it is tough, very tough. For all of us, rising fuel prices affect us when we buy gas and all the way through to the grocery store. It is tough, but are we in a recession?
Did you know that regardless of whether we are in a recession now or whether we head that way in the future you can protect yourself and become recession proof? There are several things that you can begin now to position yourself and family from the impact of negative economic conditions.
First, begin an emergency fund. Set aside at least three months of living expenses to be used in an emergency. Only use this money for emergencies!!
The next biggie is just that, a biggie. Pay off your debt! From credit cards to home equity lines, to “a zillion years same as cash” – begin a plan to pay off debt and build for the future.
Ask someone who is debt free today if they are significantly impacted by the thoughts of a recession or higher fuel prices. Most will tell you that they have positioned themselves to lessen the pain of such problems. Are you like them?