Inside: Are you ready for a potential recession? Here’s why you should simplify now.
Are you prepared if there is an economic downturn? What will happen to your finances if a recession hits?
It is always smart to try and prepare in advance. While no one wants to think through potential worst-case scenarios, it is helpful to have savings and focus on the things you can control should circumstances change.
Here is why you should simplify now to get prepared and what simplifying looks like in uncertain economic times.
Why You Should Simplify Now
In case you were concerned that I was going to get into details with economic theory, don’t be. I’m not qualified or interested in trying to do that.
What we do know from history though is that recessions and economic downturns happen. I can’t predict when the next one will be, nor can most people.
Are you prepared for it? If not what can you do now that will help you to be better positioned in the future?
No one wants to look back with regrets and wish they’d thought about what-ifs and prepared just in case, which is why you should simplify now.
The norm in our culture is to keep going along assuming everything is going to continue on an upward trend. When things are good we don’t want to think about the potential of that changing.
However, that leaves people ill-prepared. The reality is that life happens. The economy shifts. People lose their jobs. Businesses go under. People get sick. This is why you should simplify now.
It’s easy to quickly forget the lessons we’ve learned. The housing crash of 2008 brought a lot of people down. While many of the details of how that happened versus where we are now are quite different, people are still being encouraged to overspend on housing and if their income takes a hit, they’ll be in over their heads quickly.
Why prepare now?
We’ve recently seen how a virus can take the world by storm. I will not try to guess all the outcomes it will continue to have on the world, but it’s safe to say there will definitely be an ongoing economic impact.
This isn’t meant to depress you. I don’t like thinking about these things either, but it is reality and the better you prepare in the present, the better off you’ll be when something happens in the future.
Burying your head in the sand has never done any good for anyone. Even if not for the current circumstances, you simply never know when something will change and impact your or the world’s economic situation.
We’ve lived through lean times. We had an extended period of time where there was no income and the uncertainty of when it would come again. And I can tell you from those experiences, I am so thankful that we’ve consistently chosen to live beneath our means and save.
We are surrounded by messages telling us to buy things that will improve our life or make us feel better because we ‘deserve it’.
You won’t see very many advertisements recommending that you save or choose to live more simply.
The stuff that you purchase and collect over time doesn’t bring peace though. It becomes a burden to later declutter. And you’re left without the money you spent on it.
How much better would you be prepared for a recession if you had chosen to live more simply and saved some of your money instead?
While saving may not be the most glamorous and fun choice, you’ll be glad later that you did the hard thing in resisting unnecessary items.
Don’t expect to see many billboards explaining how important and wise saving is. You’ll need to seek out your own resources for living more simply and saving more money.
What you can control
We often go through life with a false sense of control. It’s easy to maintain this facade of control until something happens that proves that we can’t control all the things.
We have seen glimpses over the past couple of years of what happens when people feel like they are losing control. Early on, the reaction was to begin stockpiling toilet paper.
I’ve heard various reasons for this phenomenon but regardless of why it’s clear that people get a bit less logical when trying to regain a sense of control.
So what is wise to do in this situation? Staying calm and being logical are your best bets. Overreacting or making decisions based out of fear usually doesn’t help things and often causes more problems.
Stress can bring out the worst in people. You can’t control everyone else, but you can decide not to join in on the craziness.
How you should simplify now
By simplifying I don’t mean you need to have less of everything. It’s wise to have adequate preparations, emergency supplies, and a savings account. It’s about simplifying your wants, stopping chasing excess, and focusing forward.
1. Focus on what’s essential
One of the reasons I don’t call myself a minimalist is that I do choose to have larger supplies of items I know we can use. Hand soap and paper goods in particular (that came in handy!).
At times you need to declutter in order to make space for the essentials.
When did you last declutter your pantry and check expiration dates?
Food and water are essential. So is housing, which means money is important too. In the midst of turmoil, what’s necessary and needed becomes more clear.
I’m not a prepper, although my husband would love it if I was. It’s about balancing practicality with preparation and knowing what is essential in your life.
2. Save, save, save
To be ready for a recession and simplify now, learn to be more intentional with how you shop. Create a plan for how you will save more money. Look for what you can simplify or cut from your budget.
Choose to live within or beneath your means. You’ll find so much more peace when you aren’t maxed out and living on thin margins.
Don’t buy into the instant gratification that comes from making purchases. Instead, opt for delayed gratification that comes from knowing you saved for a rainy day.
Review insurance policies and investments. The more proactive you can be with your finances the better off you’ll be.
What is something you can spend less money on starting today?
You can choose to live simply in a consumer culture and you’ll find yourself more ready for the future whatever it may hold.
3. Review your goals and reprioritize
When hard times hit, life is put into perspective and it causes you to re-evaluate your goals and priorities.
Do you have goals? Are they in line with what really matters most to you?
How you spend your time is how you spend your life. Time will keep passing you by and it shouldn’t take a crisis to wake up to what’s most important to you.
What do you need to reprioritize in your life?
Declutter the excess. Make room for the essentials. Focus on what’s important.
How can you simplify now?
So do you feel like you’re ready for the next recession? If not, this is why you should simplify now. You never know what the future holds, but you can do your best to be prepared.
Want to stay up to date with The Simplicity Habit? Fill out the form below and get weekly tips on simplifying and decluttering. You’ll also get the 8 Quick Wins for decluttering checklist so you can start to declutter your life today.