I had a long conversation with a good friend today about the place we are in as a country economically. Her being more aware of history and the news as of late, she did more of the talking and me more of the listening. I have spoken about it with my husband, who also has more of a broad awareness of what is going on and the impact on the future than I do. I admit there is great concern in my head and the urgency to change personal spending habits it there. Even though we are currently blessed to have a strong income in our household, we are also aware that could change at the blink of an eye. Things can change for any family for any reason at any time. Especially these days.
We had a painter here doing touch-ups the builder arranged for. I asked him about his painting business- how the economy has changed things for him in his life. They were a company of 25 trucks [I imagine 2 painters per truck]. Now the company has 2 trucks. They had to let everyone else go. Where are they working now?
I worked in financial services. I have seen the headcount of how many people comprise each department, dozens of departments, in big businesses. I have spent a lot of my former years preparing severance documents for grown men and women supporting families of several children. Some average salaried parents in addition to salaries well into the 6 digits with a year-end bonus to match that number. That level of income is hard to find again, it takes a long time to replace that kind of dough in a good job market. I can't imagine either kind of employee looking for work right now. I can't imagine the current and pending headcount of jobless both professional and trade work alike.
So what can I do in my little world of changing diapers and mopping the floor? I can plan my discretionary spending better, find cheaper ways of shopping and cooking, I can need less, plan better, and be frugal every possible way and save like the numbers are bleak.
I can research candidates and determine the skill set I think is needed to vote for the person I think will best help us through this recession.
I can offer my advice on interviewing to anyone who wants it (former HR recruiter here!!!). Ask any question in comments any day.
I can shift our focus off the things we think we need for the house and direct them to big-time food storage prep.
I can keep my networking up to date in the event we need for me to generate income at some point.
I can teach my children to appreciate always the luxuries we have living in America. And to be wise about choosing what those are in their own families.
There is a lot I cannot fix all over the place, but I better spend more energy on the things I can change. I am happy to hear more ideas on how to best prepare for this. It's going to be a bumpy ride.