10 Easy Ways to Recession-Proof Your Life

Personally, I’ve decided to wage war on this so-called “almost-but-not-quite recession.” And I choose to use the word ‘war’ for two reasons. First, it makes what I’m saying sound much more serious. And secondly, I have always heard that war is like Nyquil for an economy with the sniffles.

I’m tired of getting depressed about the economy. I’m sick of sitting up nights worried about gas prices, foreclosures and the languishing stock market. It feels like there is nothing I can do, at least not until the new Democratic President/Superhero takes office in January and fixes this godforsaken mess once and for all.

But what do we do until then? Hold our ankles and pray? I don’t think so.

Personally, I’ve decided to wage war on this so-called “almost-but-not-quite recession.” And I choose to use the word ‘war’ for two reasons. First, it makes what I’m saying sound much more serious. And secondly, I have always heard that war is like Nyquil for an economy with the sniffles.

How do you wage war on something that doesn’t even officially exist yet? That’s an excellent question and I’m glad that I asked it. The answer is simple. You just do it. Forget about what the experts say. They know nothing. They know less than nothing.

The only reason people pay attention to them is because they went to college and now they wear suits.

If you want to survive in troubled financial times, you have to get creative. You have to be willing to push yourself harder than you’ve ever been pushed. You must be willing to sacrifice. You must be willing to suffer.

There may even come a time when you will have to eat bugs, birds and yes, even babies. But let us all hope that such desperate times never come. Because once normal Americans get a taste for babies, things will get really weird.

In the meantime, we can conserve our personal cash resources. We can become masters of thrifty living and through our cleverness, we can make ourselves immune to high prices and turbulent markets.

  1. Save on Fuel

    Your gas-guzzling SUV seemed like a great idea three years ago, but now high prices are sucking your bank account dry. A week’s worth of errands is costing you triple digits at the pump. The solution may be a scooter. The tiny motorized bikes are hip, trendy and most importantly, fuel efficient (many get close to 70 miles per gallon). So find a friend with a Vespa and ask politely if they’ll tow you and your Hummer to the dry cleaners, the post office and little Sammy’s soccer practice.

  2. Save at Restaurants

    Dining out is more costly than ever… especially when you pay for your own meals. You can save hundreds by using the simple phrase: “Are you going to eat that?” Trust me, after a few half-sandwiches and fistfuls of French fries later, you’ll wonder why you ever ordered on your own.

  3. Save on Groceries

    Hit your foreign reserves. Everyone has a secret stash of exotic, ethnic foods we bought just for their “interesting” labels. Now that times are tough, we can no longer afford to let those goodies loiter around like museum pieces. That’s right kids… it’s lychee, spiced mackerel and sweetened condensed milk for dinner!

  4. Save on Entertainment

    Forget about dropping forty bucks on a night at the movies. The books that you already own are free and much more exciting than special effects blockbusters about cavemen. Crack them open and explore the neverending magical worlds of imagination that are hiding inside.

  5. Save on Heating Costs

    You know what… you’re never going to read those books. Go ahead and burn them to keep warm.

  6. Save on Donuts

    You just know that at some point during the day, Krispy Kreme throws out boxes of perfectly good donuts. The trick is to be hiding behind the dumpster when that time comes.

  7. Save on Federal Tax Payments

    Fetch some meat scraps and pigs blood from your local butcher. Call the IRS and wait until you are on the line with a real person before reciting the following lines: “That’s funny. I could have sworn I just saw a mountain lion in my living room. I’d better check this out. Can you hold on for a minute?” While away from the phone, loudly say “Hello? Is anybody there?” and then scream in horrible agony and shout, “Oh my god! This mountain lion is tearing me to pieces! Help me!” Then hang up the phone, dump the scraps and blood on the floor and worry no more about your silly tax obligation. How can you be held liable for tax payments when you were so clearly (and audibly) mangled to death by a wild animal? You can’t!

  8. Save on Socks

    Cut the sleeves off of all of your long sleeve shirts and wrap them around your ankles. Not only will these new ankle wraps look stylish, they will cut your monthly sock budget by 75%! If your arms get cold, simply wrap them with several layers of Saran Wrap.

  9. Save on Saran Wrap

    Instead of wrapping your arms in Saran Wrap, cut all of your pants off at the knee for a comfortable (and roomy) sleeve substitute.

  10. Save on Everything

    Have you ever watched “Man vs Wild” or “Survivorman”? Those guys eat sea slugs and scorpions to survive. They make fire from nothing and build shelter out of coconut husks. Certainly they can inspire you to cut back on your own daily expenses. I dare you to sit through the entire Canadian Boreal Forest episode without thinking once that you really don’t need a panini maker AND a quesadilla press.

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Pete Humes

Pete Humes is a husband, father and writer who lives in Richmond’s North Side. He enjoys coffee and owns way too many records.

Notice: Comments that are not conducive to an interesting and thoughtful conversation may be removed at the editor’s discretion.

  1. Pete Humes, you are and always have been one of my favorite wordsmiths . . . since the day I discovered ‘Punchline’ and invaded the Border’s on Broad Street on a weekly basis, shouting profanities at patrons, spewing just-shaken mountain dew on her windows and shaking my fist at her huge red sign if the issue didn’t make the shelves on my day off.

    That was then . . . this is now.

    So glad I found your Archives. I hope you read the comments here and know how much your wordsmithery has lightened the heart of this former Richmonder and continues to humor me across the miles.

    ~Seth Talmadge

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