6 Great Recession Money Lessons That Still Apply Today
BY MELISSA LAMBARENA
The Great Recession demolished jobs across the U.S., and it eventually came for mine, too. After graduating in 2009, I worked four months as an entry-level executive assistant at a nonprofit before being laid off. I had limited financial knowledge, a short work history and a lot to prove to break into the field of journalism, my ultimate goal. Along the way, I picked up valuable lessons that might help you manage your finances during the coronavirus-related recession.
Save what you can . My short work history disqualified me from receiving
unemployment benefits, so I relied on my savings account. Even a small emergency fund of $500 can prevent you from falling into debt, and I had socked away enough to cover a few months of expenses. If you’re still employed, “pay yourself first,” said Samuel Deane, a financial planner at Deane Financial in New York. “Even if it’s $20 every time you get paid, make sure you put that $20 away first and then live your lifestyle with the remainder.” Automate it with direct deposit if you can.
If you’re still employed, pay yourself first.
If you’ve lost your job, saving will obviously be tougher. Apply for unemployment if you qualify, and contact your landlord, creditors, area nonprofits and family members to seek relief. If you’re still employed but have had your salary cut, consider a side gig and work on trimming expenses. Think twice before rejecting job offers . After many interviews and dead ends, I applied for an administrative role at an accounting firm and got hired in December 2009. It paid about $7,000 less than my previous salary. I knew it wouldn’t put my career on track, but it would cover most of my bills, so I took it.
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