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Finance Dee’s recession-ready tips: Crush debt ASAP, build an emergency fund, plan monthly finances, and think ahead for big bills.
You may have heard musings that 2024 isn’t expected to be a good year economically for the UK.
There are talks of a potential recession due to the bank of England’s persistently high base rate and its knock-on effect on mortgages.
Although only time will tell what will really happen, better safe than sorry rings very true in regards to personal finances for the coming year.
P.S. All of these tips would be beneficial even if a recession doesn’t happen!
- Get aggressive with repaying debt – If you’ve got debt such as personal loans or credit cards, there is no time like the present to set a plan on how you can get rid of it as quickly as possible. And if you’re considering taking on new debt / additional debt, maybe it’s worth reconsidering.
During a recession, money can be harder to come by. Therefore, keeping your essential bills as low as possible without the added stress of debt repayments is the best thing you can do to try weather a potential storm.
- Build that emergency fund – Those unexpected costs that arise due to unforeseen circumstances are annoying at the best of times, but can be catastrophic at the worst of times. It is recommended to have 3-6 months of your fixed costs saved in an easy to access bank account.
However, saving isn’t easy especially if things are already quite tight financially. Now may be the time to consider what sacrifices can be made to free up a few extra pounds each month to stash away for a rainy day. If you need a little help, there are great money-saving apps such as Plum which use clever algorithms to assess how much you can actually afford to save week-by-week.
- Plan your monthly finances – Create a clear plan of your monthly incomings and outgoings to make sure everything is covered. A zero-based budget is my personal favourite as it is helpful to make sure every pound is accounted for to avoid wondering where chunks of money went.
If everything cannot be covered, i.e. your outgoings are higher than what you have coming in, there may need to be some tough decisions on what will need to be reduced or cut out of the budget entirely. As mentioned earlier, debt can be catastrophic so it is best to avoid at all costs.
- Take time to think ahead – There are certain bills you can get a discount on if you pay annually, such as home or car insurance. If you’re able to, aim to save a little each month towards the annual bill so you can afford to make a one-off cheaper payment when it is time to renew.
Thinking ahead also means not getting caught out on expenses that you knew were coming later down the line, such as birthdays or weddings. Plan into your budget ahead of time how much you need to save per month to achieve that goal.
For instance, if you have a wedding that is going to cost you around £200, square away £20 per month if the wedding is 10 months away, or £40 per month if the wedding is five months away.
- Aim to become debt-free (excluding mortgages and student loans)
- Have sufficient savings to cover rainy days
- Know your finances well enough to know how much money is coming and where it’s going
- Plan your finances in bitesize pieces to make it easier to manage
Photo credits: Pexels
Finance Dee is a British-Jamaican living in the SE of England. By day she's a research consultant and by night a finance YouTuber and FIRE blogger