How do we best ride out the “brewing storm” of a recession? When we hear the word recession,” we’re not inclined to go out and spend money. Tax rebates? Not a huge help—or not enough of a help to make a difference. We hoard. We panic. We start cutting back on groceries, eating out, clipping coupons, and stashing cash under the mattress. And, in my house, we also stockpile bottled water. I think this is a throwback to the Y2K scare. If the sky falls tomorrow, I want cash and water!
With all of the recent media attention on markets dropping, credit crunches, and housing busts, it’s more than a little unnerving to speculate on the future, especially with an election on the horizon. I’ve tried to consider ways to “recession-proof” my life. For me, security does not lie in one job or a modest 401k, or even in owning a house. Security is at best, a fleeting term that makes us feel like we’ve got a little more control over our financial (and professional) house.
That said, I’ve decided what makes me feel most comfortable is to explore a variety of professional pursuits—a full-time day job provides me with a steady paycheck and benefits, but with a looming merger, that’s not a given either. Finding ways to generate streams of income, large or small, is essential and a common fact of life for many of the people I know.
As a professional freelance writer, I can fulfill a personal passion and draw some additional income, so I created a website using the Microsoft beta, with the goal of generating some income through my business.
Blogging has become the hottest thing since sliced bread and another way to generate a small, steady income—if you’re up for the challenge of writing often and marketing your site to generate readership and incorporate ads into your blog, through programs such as Google’s Adsense or Adster.
I’ve also discovered that eBay fits the bill (like thousands of others) when I need to raise some extra cash here and there—I generated an extra $2500 last year just cleaning out closets! I know a handful of people who do this full time and earn a significant living at it. It’s easy to set up an account and begin selling in a very short timeframe.
Knowing that I can do a variety of things that interest me and earn money doing them gives me a sense of security about my ability to continue to enjoy the lifestyle I want, regardless of what the market does today or who wins the election.