How I'm Preparing for the Looming Recession and the Coronavirus Pandemic



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Life today is very different than life only a month ago. I don’t think I need to tell anyone that. This novel coronavirus - this COVID-19 - has put the world into a new sense of isolation and social distancing.

So everyone must prepare. I must prepare. I need to look where I am at, what I can do, and act accordingly.

Coronaviri with the DOW Chart Overlaid

How I’m Preparing for the Looming Recession

I say “looming” because despite everyone saying we are in a recession, we can’t truly know we’re in a recession until we’re six months into this recession. That’s because a recession is defined as two quarters - that’s six months - of economic decline - although some say the time period is the more ambiguous more than a few months.

I’m thankful that both my job and my wife’s job are (as far as we can tell) safe in this recession. My job supports a program that has been around for decades. My wife works in the healthcare industry - not on the frontlines, but behind the scenes in the insurance industry.

That said, nothing is 100% guaranteed, so I’m still taking a step back, looking at my situation, and seeing what I can do to prepare for a drop in income.

The first thing I’m doing is looking through my budget and spending to see what can be cut.

There are some easy things - Netflix, CBS All Access, and Amazon Prime.

I took a peek at my [Verizon Wireless] (https://www.joehxblog.com/verizon-wireless/) plan to see what could be cut there - perhaps I could choose a lower data plan? - but my options aren’t that great:

My Verizon Wireless Data Options My Verizon Wireless Data Options

I’m currently on the 5GB/$51.60 plan. The only cheaper plan is the 2GB/$47.65 plan - about four bucks cheaper. Heck - the 4GB plan is more expensive than my current plan. (Even the 8GB/$75.30 plan doesn’t make sense since unlimited starts at $70.)

If I really need to cut my cell phone costs, I’d have to try another carrier - such as Boost Mobile, Cricket Wireless, or Total Wireless.

Another option we have is to begin paying less on our debts. Currently, we’re trying to pay off our remaining debt as quickly as possible. This means if we needed to we could start paying just the minimums - which would free up some cash in our monthly budget.

I’ve also double-checked the balance in our emergency fund. It has sufficient balance, but I’m going to reevaluate our monthly spending after we see how much our spending has changed with working at home.

How I’m Preparing for the Coronavirus Pandemic

Both my wife and I are now working from home. Again, we’re grateful that our jobs allow this. And our dogs are absolutely loving us being home all day.

Our dogs in our (messy) office. Our dogs in our (messy) office.

I’m trying to balance stocking up on necessities without hoarding those necessities. As far as toilet paper goes - my wife had bought a bulk package at Sam’s Club a month or so before this panic had set in.

Empty shelves at my local Kroger. Empty shelves at my local Kroger.

Daycare has been shut down, but thankfully her parents live close by and can watch our two little ones.

I’m being more diligent about washing my hands. Yes, I always washed my hands after going to the bathroom, but now I’m washing my hands more often.

Finally, I’m keeping an eye on how the world is reacting. It’s fascinating to see how companies are reacting - companies such as Anheuser-Busch, Ford, GM, Walmart, Amazon… I could keep listing more and more companies. I try to listen to what the current restrictions are (regardless if I agree with them or not), what are the current dangers and symptoms.

I want to help, too, but I’m too damn paranoid that I’m carrying the virus. I’m asymptomatic - but, as we all know, asymptomatic people are those that transmit this virus the most.

How are you coping with the world right now? Are you preparing?

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