HOUSTON — A recession next year is debatable. We know. We’re going to keep politics out of it and focus on what matters, and that’s your money!
So here are seven things you can do to prep for a recession, or an emergency or your next chapter of life.
1) PAY DOWN YOUR DEBT: It's the number one thing money experts across the country are saying we should all focus on, always. Student loan and credit card debt are what most Americans are juggling. Dropping the amount of debt you owe means more money in your pocket.
2) SAVE! SAVE! SAVE! Right now, financial planners are saying if you can put enough money away to last you for six months, that's great. But, with the possibility of a recession in 2020, we should strive to put away enough money to cover expenses for 12 months.
3) IDENTIFY WAYS YOU CAN CUT BACK ON YOUR MONTHLY EXPENSES: This is when it pays to look at all of our discretionary expenses like cable, dining out and vacations. The experts over at Nerd Wallet say you should spend no more than 30% of your net income (earnings after taxes) on discretionary items.
4) FOCUS ON BEING THE BEST EMPLOYEE: Now is the time to learn new skills at work, continue your education and update your resume. A number of Americans lost their job during the last recession, so network and find ways to shine while your boss is watching.
5) GET A SIDE GIG: Whether it's working as a driver for a ride share company like Uber or Lyft, or starting a dog walking business, now is the time to consider a part-time job you can easily transition too in case the going gets tough.
6) FOCUS ON THE LONG GAME: When it comes to all of your investments, don't focus on what's happening in the market now. Instead, take into consideration how long it will be before you retire and the amount of risk you can carry on your investments over that period of time. You may need to sit down with a financial planner to sort this one out.
7) ADJUST YOUR 401k, ONLY IF YOU NEED TO: Take a look at how much of your retirement plan is invested in stocks and bonds. Again, you want to consider how much longer you will have to build up that fund before you need to pull it during your retirement.