Tough times await in Biden’s economy. Here is your checklist for recession | Fox Business

If you have not paid much attention to the small army of economists who are raving about the threat of a recession, that’s OK. It is summer. It is hot. No one, not even I, one of these economists, wants to dig through the mountain of boring financial data that describes things like consumer confidence and inventory. But the warning signs are there. No one can know for sure, but it seems very likely that the economy will deteriorate sometime before the end of the year. Maybe much worse.

And of course, there is nothing you can do to prevent a recession. Why worry about things you can not change?

But remember that you have more control than you might think. You can not stop it from coming, but you can prepare. What that preparation will look like for you depends on where you are in life, there is no single to-do list that makes sense for everyone. Still, as you prepare for what is likely to happen here, there are three types of things that matter. Let̵[ads1]7;s consider.


1. Start with your job.

If you do not have one, get one. If you have a job, make sure you do it well.

Despite all the signs that the economy is slipping towards a recession, the labor market is still strong. We added 372,000 new jobs in June. You have more control than ever. Employers are desperate to hire the right people. It will not last. If – or should I say when? Companies see that the business is missing out, they will announce a layoff. If – or should I say when? – it is not enough, there will be layoffs.

Things have been so good for so long that you may have forgotten two iron rules for work: (1) It’s easier to get a job if you have a job, and (2) your boss plays favorites.

When the recession comes, make sure you are inside and looking out. And once inside, make sure your boss wants to keep you around.

2. The other thing on the checklist is your money.

When it comes to money, more is better. No matter how well you do your job, a recession can create problems. Bad things happen to good people. And even if you do not find yourself looking for work in a bad economy, you can lose overtime, bonuses and commissions. Unless you are paying in cash for a second private jet, you will need an emergency reserve. When, as now, the threat of an emergency grows, so should cash.


I know it’s easy for me to say. Even in a strong economy, not everyone can save. But most people have options, and the little things mean something. Stop ordering six dollars worth of coffee, work a little overtime, anyway. Just do it. There may come a time when even a few hundred extra dollars for a car repair or an electric bill will make all the difference.

3. The last and most important thing on your recession checklist is your attitude

The pandemic taught us all important lessons about what is and is not important. This is a good time to reflect on what gives your life real purpose and satisfaction.

When the recession comes, make sure you are inside and looking out. And once inside, make sure your boss wants to keep you around.

Do not let anyone tell you that money can not buy happiness. You need to pay attention to the first two things on the checklist. We all like nice things. And if you constantly worry about keeping your food on the table and the lights on, your life is a misery.


At the same time, however, do not let anyone tell you what kind of happiness money buys – cars, vacations and everything else – is all that matters. You need more than a job and money to give your life meaning and true satisfaction.

If you do it right, you are constantly trying to discover and strengthen the other things. These do not have to be life-changing and profound. If you want to join a religious community or reconcile with a difficult relative, fine. But starting a low-stakes poker night with your friends can also work. We are social animals. It’s a cliché, but it’s true: we get more meaning from the people around us than the things we own.

And the best of these things are recession-proof.

Michael Davis is a Clinical Professor of Economics at the Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University.

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