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3 Areas You Must Invest in During an Economic Recession

3 Areas You Must Invest in During an Economic Recession

20090428-invest3 Areas You Must Invest in During an Economic Recession

    The global economy is plummeting and people are starting to lose hope, faith in our government practices and in their

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      ability to be successful during these challenging times.  With millions of job losses and the media poisoning our minds with information that may be only half accurate, we need to start taking the time to invest in three main areas: our financial education, our personal brands and building strong relationships that will last through the recession.  It’s really easy to lose hope now, but you must remain calm, cool and collected or else you’ll lose focus, money and you won’t get a job anytime soon if you’re currently unemployed.   Many people who are getting laid off are taking a risk to start their own businesses because  they feel like they have nothing to lose.  One in four workers who have not found jobs is considering launching a business, according to a CareerBuilder.com survey.  For the rest of workers, who feel like they could be unemployed today, tomorrow or in two weeks, please read this post so that they can at least start protecting yourself against a future tragedy.

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      1.  Having a financial education

        We don’t really learn how to manage money in College, so we have to figure out how to on our own.  Of course, school teaches us the basics, such as balancing our check books, but we aren’t prepared for a financial crisis and we don’t have enough of an understanding of “cash flow.”  I recently started reading Robert Kiyosaki’s new book, which is being published free online for the time being, called “Conspiracy of the Rich.”  So far, I’ve read to Chapter 6, patiently waiting for the next few chapters to be complete and uploaded to the site.   Robert, who also wrote the bestseller Rich Dad Poor Dad, is convinced that we’re headed into a depression (worse than a recession) because of bad debt, a corrupt banking system and the reality that the our paper money isn’t backed by anything anymore (our money will be worth nothing at some point).  Understanding our history, as well as new trends (the internet), and how money is changing, will benefit you greatly during this time period.  I recommend reading this book, finding someone whose rich (that has money coming in even if they stop working) and getting advice.

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        2.  Your personal brand

          Investing in your personal brand is going to be critical to surviving in the future because of the popularity of the internet, the fact that more business is being taken place each day on the internet and because, competitive, you have to.  There are two main things you need to know.  First, protecting your personal brand is something that you can’t neglect now because other people may share your own name and claim your digital real estate first and then charge you later (possibly).  Second, promoting your brand is how you’re going to find work during these tough times because visibility creates opportunities and because you need endorsements from other people in order to secure a job without much effort.  Obtaining digital assets in your name, such as your domain name and profiles on social networks, is what’s going to get your name out there, at the cost of your time.   During this recession, you’ll need to spend more of your time on building your brand because you’ll need to invest your money to be financial stable.

          3.  Building strong relationships

          It’s not just about forming any type of relationship.  During this economic crisis, strong ties are going to count and weak ties are going to break.  The key is figuring out who you want to be extra close with and being honest with yourself as to who you think will actually take care of you and become your “safe haven.”  Your family and closest friends will hopefully be there for you, but, depending on their own interests and financial situation, things may change a bit.  Relationships are more valuable than money because they can help you become more productive, allow you to scale your personal brand so you can service more people (clients/management), and because they can help you stay employed or find a new job.  Aside from investing in your financial education and your personal brand, spend at least 10 hours a week forging stronger relationships with other people.

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          Last Updated on March 4, 2019

          How to Use Credit Cards While Staying Out of Debt

          How to Use Credit Cards While Staying Out of Debt

          Many people will suggest that the best thing to do with your credit cards during these tough economic times is to cut them up with a pair of scissors. Indeed, if you are already in huge debt, you probably should stop using them and begin a payback strategy immediately. However, if you are not currently in trouble with your credit cards, there are wise ways to use them.

          I happen to really love my credit cards so I will share with you my approach to how I use mine without getting into deep financial trouble.

          Ever since about 1983 when I got my first Visa card, I continue to charge as many of my purchases as possible on credit. Everything from gas, groceries and monthly payments for services like my cable and home security monitoring are charged on credit. Despite my heavy usage, I have maintained the joy of never paying any interest fees at all on any of my credit cards.

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          Here are some tips on how best to use your credit cards without falling into the trap of paying those nasty double-digit interest fees.

          Do Not Treat Credit Cards as Your Funding Sources

          Too many people treat their credit cards as funding sources for major purchases. Do not do this if you want to stay out of trouble. I use my credit cards as convenient financial instruments so I do not have to carry around much cash. In fact, I hate carrying cash, especially coins. When you buy things on credit, the purchases are clean and you will not get annoying coins back as change.

          I do not rely on my Visa, MasterCard or American Express to fund any of my purchases, large or small. This brings me to my golden rule when it comes to whether I will pull out any of my credit cards either at a retail or online store.

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          I never purchase anything with my credit cards if I do not have the actual cash on hand in my bank account.

          If I really cannot pay for the item or service with cash that I already have at the bank, then I simply will not make the purchase. Remember, my credit cards are not used as funding sources. They are just convenient alternatives to actual cash in my pocket.

          Make Sure to Always Pay Off Balances in Full Each Month

          The next very important part of my overall strategy is to make absolutely sure that I pay the balances in full each and every month no matter how large they are. This should never be a problem if the cash has been budgeted for my purchases and secured in the bank. I have always paid my full balances each month ever since my very first credit card and this is why I never pay interest charges.

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          Using Credit Cards with Rewards

          Most of my credit cards are of the “no annual fees” type, including one MasterCard on a separate account I keep at home as a spare in case I lose my wallet or incur any fraudulent charges. However, I do use a main Visa card which does have an annual fee because all purchases on that card reward me with airline frequent flyer points. For me, the annual fee is worth it since I do travel and I get enough points to redeem many free flights.

          You have to decide for yourself if you will charge enough purchases on credit each year without paying interest charges to warrant a credit card that rewards you with airline points (or other rewards). In my case, the answer is “yes” but that might not be the case for you.

          I occasionally use a MasterCard or American Express card on small purchases just to keep those accounts active. Also, I have been to the odd retailer that accepted only a certain type of credit card, so I find that having one from each major company is quite handy. Aside from my main Visa card which earns the airline points, the rest of my cards are of the “no annual fees” variety.

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          So this is how I use my credit cards without getting into any financial trouble with them. This strategy is recommended only if you are not in debt, of course. In fact, it is worth keeping in mind once you’re out of debt so that you can keep your credit cards active and treat them responsibly.

          What are your credit card usage strategies? Let me know in the comments — I’d love to hear what methods you use.

          Featured photo credit: Artem Bali via unsplash.com

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