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Small Business Digest


Getting a Leg Up on the Possibilities of Personal Recession

There are some proactive steps consumers can take to avoid being hit hard by the possible waves of a recession and that companies can share with employees who may be concerned.

“One of the first things people should do is look at their career or job choice,” explains Michael Mack, also known as “The Credit Man,” who is the author of the book “How to Instantly Eliminate Credit Card Debt: Without Bankruptcy or Credit Counseling” (Microdebt, 2006), and is also a credit expert.

“There are careers and job positions that are more prone to feeling the pain of a recession. It’s a wise move to make sure you are working for a company that won’t be hit so hard that they may have to scale back on employees or what they pay.”

Those working for vulnerable companies, such as positions in the financial sector or the sale of luxury goods, need to be prepared and plan accordingly. The first thing that Mack suggests consumers do is “cut the fat.” By that, he means that frivolous spending needs to come to a stop. To do this, he suggests that individuals:

* Get a notebook and, for one entire month, write down where every single penny is spent, and keep every receipt. This includes buying a coffee or paying for parking. Most people don’t realize where they are spending money that could be saved.
* Do things at home that you are paying to do elsewhere, such as exercising at a gym.
* Downsize your home or car, if it’s possible, and avoid buying a brand-new car, because you can save a lot of money by choosing a used version.
* Avoid playing the lottery, because the money is better off in your pocket than battling such stiff odds.

Many people are going into this economic state already in debt. If that is the case, it’s best to get it under control as soon as possible. Mack suggests that people rank each debt that they have by importance, after deducting for food, medical and clothing.

For example, at the top would be housing, because people must have a place to live. Second would be car expenses, unless alternative transportation measures will work. Credit cards should be at the bottom, and people should no longer use them, instead opting for a debit card or cash.

“Consider the fact that most credit card companies are reluctant to sue for the debt, even if you stop making payments for six months,” adds Mack. “Most will never sue at all. If you get calls from creditors, write them a certified letter and tell them to stop calling you until such time as you are willing to call them. Know your rights, because you do have power!”

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