Before the recent recession, I put up a post that people told me they found helpful. I predict a new, and far deeper, recession. If I am right, the next little while could be very hard indeed for many people. Rather than panic, get prepared. The following helped me a great deal through the last recession - where my husband was made redundant and we often made do with a food budget of £20 a month - I hope it helps you through the next one.
- Don't be a wimp. If you need to cry about the economy taking a downturn, losing your job etc do it now and get it over with... finished? Good. Get counselling for it once the economy picks up again but for now, get over it; there's more important stuff to do. Remember something that is easy to forget in a capitalist society - you are more than the sum of your belongings - Get some lipstick and, on your bathroom mirror, write the following in 'large friendly letters': DON'T PANIC!
- Edit your friend wardrobe. If you have any friends who only judge people based on what they earn or possess, they need to go. You can pick them up again when the economy picks up - if you want to - but for now they will make you spend too much and cause you all manner of hell once they lose their own money and realise their lives are empty. Get out while you can. Friends cost money and, in a recession, you can only afford the good ones. Work out their 'cost per grin' value. If it fits into your happiness budget they can stay.
- Poverty doesn't kill you. Starvation kills you. Enjoy your food. Re-jig your attitude to your jiggly bits. Stop asking 'does my bum look big in this?' Start asking 'does my bum look small in this?' If it does, eat some biscuits. If this recession turns into a depression, some people will starve. Make sure you are not one of them. Carbs are your friends. Throw out the sugar substitutes. Shake that healthy butt. Camels have humps for a reason and so do you. Celebrate your body's ability to store calories for later use. Exercise them off again when the economy picks up. Until then, remember that rice and pasta keep for ages so if there is a supply problem later in the year or the price goes up due to requirements elsewhere on the planet, it won't hurt to have some in a cupboard.
- Spend some of it. Look around; think which businesses will affect the local community most if they disappear, and spend more cash there.
- Pay taxes. Stop it with the tax-haven malarkey. It's just wrong in the current climate. Pay some tax in your home country. Go on, you know you want to really.
- Give some away. Try giving money away to people who really need it. Who in your county or country needs some money and would do something great with it? Just give it to them. Do this with at least 10% of your worth every month. Wipe out your affluenza at a stroke.
- Buy organic. Many people have to adjust their organic and green principles in favour of annoying things like avoiding starvation and hypothermia. You don't have to do that so splurge on organic, environmentally and ethically sound produce and keep these people in business. Keep partying for the greater good.