9 Steps to Prepare Yourself Now for the Next Recession

It's been eight years since the end of the Great Recession. The current economic expansion can't last. So be ready to survive -- and thrive -- when it ends.

What’s going on with the economy? Even a crystal ball may not have the answer.

While the economy has ticked upward since the Great Recession ended in 2009, expansion can’t go on forever.

“That’s the way our economy works,” says Money Talks News founder Stacy Johnson. “The question isn’t if we’re going to have another recession, it’s when.”

Are you ready today to withstand the fallout from a crashing economy tomorrow? Or in the next downturn will you wander into a McDonald’s and have to think twice about ordering fries with your burger?

Here are nine capital ideas to help you survive the next recession:

1. Beef up your bank account

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While you’re feeling a little flush is a great time to start socking away some cash. Check your savings balances. Could you live off your savings for six months, if not a year?

If not, use these tips to get started:

2. Lower your dependency rate

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How much of your regular income goes out as fast as it comes in?

Financial adviser Peter Dunn, known as Pete the Planner, urges you to become less dependent on your regular income — what he calls your dependency rate.

If you spend 95 percent of your income on a regular basis, Dunn says, then your dependency rate is 95 percent: 95 cents of every dollar coming into your house is vitally important to your solvency, or so you think.

Writing for his column in the Indianapolis Star, Dunn says, “Your goal is to decrease your rate over time, even in the face of pay increases. Your diligence toward this issue will not only recession-proof your household, but it will also make retirement much easier. … Do the hard work now, and the stress that comes with a recession might never show up.”

3. Update your resume

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No job is recession-proof. Always be ready to seek a new job.

Keep your resume up to date even if you’re not job-hunting now. You never know when you’ll need to send one out quickly. If you keep it current, you’ll be able to customize it quickly for whatever position you seek.

Be sure to highlight concisely your achievements, job titles and a summary of your skills. Be truthful, don’t ramble and make sure you proofread it so it’s error-free.

For more pointers, check out “12 Tips to Building a Resume That Gets You Hired.”

4. Network now

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Don’t wait until you’re desperate to network. Businesspeople might sense that you only come around when you want something.

“Networking right will constantly reward you with ideas, information and opportunities,” success strategist Carlota Zimmerman tells Money Talks News.

Look for groups or events that align with your goals. Check alumni gatherings, industry meetings or even your house of worship, she said.

“You want to put yourself in front of members of your industry who are (at least theoretically) several rungs above you on the corporate ladder, since these are the people who, if impressed, can help you advance your own career goals,” Zimmerman says.

Know what you’re going to say when you’re networking. Prepare and rehearse your “elevator pitch.” You want to deliver such a concise and vivid account of who you are, your experience, what you’re looking for and how you could help your next employer that your talk could be delivered during a 15- to 30-second elevator ride.

Having trouble getting started? Read “9 Simple Tips for Successful Networking.”

5. Get a side job

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The so-called gig economy makes it easier than ever to make money on the side. Whether it’s setting yourself up as an Uber driver, starting a dog sitting service or selling goods online, you can find ways to generate extra income.

You can sock away the money you earn, invest it or pay down debt.

Money Talks News has done numerous stories on this topic. Just to name a few:

Just be wary of job scams.

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