Tips on How to Make It In, Through, and Past a Recession

Hi Everyone!  Welcome to this guest post from MoneyWithJim.org!

While recessions can’t be avoided, they can be better prepared for if you start planning for them in advance. Here are some helpful tips on how to get right down to it.

Save up as much as you can

Saving up as much as you can as early as you can is an extremely valuable step in the right direction when a recession hits. This way, you’ll have access to your own funds and not borrowed funds, which can come at a higher cost than you’re willing to pay for it.

Spend as little as you can

On the flip side of the coin, you should be trying to spend as little as possible in your everyday life to adjust more easily if you had to cut your salary in half, for example. Getting into this practice now before tough times hit will give you the opportunity to spend less without the stress, as it’ll be your training ground before the storm hits.

Think outside the box

Few jobs are 100% secure, so you should think outside of the box to secure your income in other areas. From starting a side hustle to expanding your investment portfolio, there are numerous options you can consider to soften the blow of a recession. Speaking of softening the blow, what if you could avoid the blow altogether with recession-proof jobs that aren’t as affected as much by the state of the economy? Some examples of careers that you could pursue on the side to help boost your income include repair services, accounting, or even freelance services to keep you busy and your pocket fuller at a time when you could use the distraction. Furthermore, since each of these is a service-based business, you don’t require much start-up capital at all to get going in the first place.

Get organized

Being organized is often seen as an underrated skill until you have to find those all-important documents you’re looking for in a hurry. Add this to being in panic mode, and this might even cause you to overlook or gloss over the fine print, which may be to your detriment. If you’re dealing with large PDF files, you can use a tool if you want to extract just some of the pages, making them easier to handle.

Pay off your debts

If you have quite a bit of outstanding debt, then you can safeguard your finances better by settling your outstanding debt as fast as possible. Start with settling the largest amounts with high interest first so that the interest doesn’t snowball into something that is unmanageable. And then, before you know it, your balances and the relevant interest amounts will start to reduce over time until you eventually owe very little.

Pay attention to your mental health

If you’re feeling overly stressed, you can’t be expected to think clearly. Moreover, prolonged periods of stress can lead to serious health issues, which can end up costing quite a bit to remedy. Paying attention to your mental health and health, in general, can help you overcome and even prevent the negative consequences of stress so that you can make more financially sound decisions at critical times.

Getting through a recession favorably may sound like hard work. However, you can succeed when you are open to options such as taking on that side hustle you may not have been open to before to help you thrive in, through, and beyond a dreaded recession.

Pggy Bank 01 23 2023 - Tips on How to Make It In, Through, and Past a Recession

How to Save Money On Your Energy Bills

Inflation is eating a hole in everyone’s pockets, let’s make sure you’re not sending the utility company any extra money.  Here’s a few ideas:

  1. Switch to LED bulbs. This might be a no brainer.  You can’t even buy energy hogging incandescent bulbs anymore for most applications.  But beware the decorative lights in your apartment.  Those might be old school energy hogging bulbs.  So check the bath bar light and make sure those decorative bulbs are LEDs.  Likewise, you may have some vintage pendant lights, sometimes called Edison bulbs, that are still incandescent.  Finally, some of your bulbs are hiding behind ceiling fixtures.  Check everything.  Unless you live at a Decker Properties apartment, where we’ve already done this.
  2. Check your refrigerator setting. Don’t run it any colder than you need to.
  3. Consider advanced power strips (APS). Many electronic items continue to consume power even when they are off.  Advanced power strips will turn them completely off.    There are two different kinds of APSs:
    1. Tier One Strips cue off one device as the control. For example, if you designate your TV as the control, if you turn your TV off, all other appliances plugged into the APS are turned off too.
    2. Tier Two Strips have a motion sensing device that can additionally turn off electronics not in use.
  4. Manage your water consumption. You might be surprised to learn that the appliance consuming the greatest amount of water in the home is the commode.  If you hear your toilet running spontaneously, be sure to call for maintenance.  There’s probably a slow leak because of a bad gasket, but these seemingly innocuous leaks can cost a fortune.  If you live at a Decker Properties apartment, you probably have a two-stage flush toilet for flushing liquid waste with just a little water and solid waste with more water, helping you save.  Otherwise, it may be gross, but remember this rhyme:  If it’s brown flush it down, if it’s yellow be mellow.

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Holiday Fire Safety

Christmas can fill you with a warm feeling, but hopefully not from your Christmas tree being on fire!  So let’s review a few tips to keep you safe this year.

  1. Think safe lights. Get rid of those energy hogging and hot burning incandescent lights and get some cool operating LED lights.
  2. Use products where they were intended. Packages are marked for indoor or outdoor use.  Use the products the way there were intended and you won’t burn your building down.
  3. Be careful with candles. Candles and kids don’t mix well but plenty of adults have had tragic accidents with candles.  Why are we hung up on this 19th century technology?  Thankfully, there are “flameless” electric candles that are very convincing and you don’t get the soot and wax mess.  Do any internet search and you’ll find dozens of alternatives.
  4. Bring any electric issues to your landlord’s attention immediately. This shouldn’t wait until Christmas but should apply year-round.  Sparking, bulbs blowing, switches that require multiple attempts before they work, none of this is normal.  When in doubt, contact your landlord.
  5. No cord pinching. Cords running through doors, windows or patio doors are subject to getting pinched causing the cords to fail and a fire to start.
  6. Don’t overload your circuits. Don’t plug too many items into the same outlets.  Don’t employ outlet adaptors designed to multiple the capacity of an outlet.

This would be a no!

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Have a Merry and safe Christmas!

The Pet Owner’s Guide to Becoming a Renter

 

Here’s a guest post from Marjorie at workingclasswow.com:

With the real estate market sizzling right now, there’s never been a better time to sell your home. If you’re looking for increased freedom and flexibility, you might want to cash in and become a renter. Renting allows you to try out new neighborhoods and avoid the unexpected costs that come along with homeownership. If you’re moving with a pet in tow, you might be worried about the process of relocating your furbaby. But with the right game plan, you could be settled into an amazing new location before you know it.

Today, Decker Properties has some tips and resources to get you started on the right track.

Get Ready to Sell

One of the perks of selling your home is the opportunity it provides to downsize and declutter your belongings. Donate items you no longer need or use. You could even consider selling some of your stuff to offset moving costs. Research the housing market in your area and depersonalize the space by removing family photos or other items with too much “character” to help your listing get maximum attention from buyers. You want to help buyers envision themselves and their possessions in your space.

As much as we love our pets, pet-related items can make your home seem more cluttered than it is. Gather up all of your furry friend’s toys, treats, and other accessories and stash them in a closet, storage area, or garage. You want them out of sight when you take real estate photos or anytime a potential buyer comes to tour your home.

Last but certainly not least, schedule movers as soon as possible. Trying to schedule a moving company at the last minute can cause a lot of problems, so take care of this step early in the process.

Relocate Your Pet First

If you can, try to line up a new home before closing the sale on your current place. If you can swing a month or two of rent without the proceeds from your current sale, it’ll definitely save you some stress. Plus, your cat or dog will have more time to acclimate to the new surroundings. Get them a larger crate or some new toys to give them an additional feeling of security, but you also want to make sure you’re getting a trustworthy product, so checking online reviews can be a big help.

If you can’t move into your permanent location right away, there are lots of short-term care options for cats and dogs. You could ask a friend to pet-sit or find a pet-friendly vacation rental. Or you can work with a business to place your beloved pet in a pre-screened, pre-approved private home where they’ll get undivided attention and superior care!

Keep this in mind when relocating with your pet: they’re going to be stressed. So, whenever possible, take steps to lessen your own stress levels. Animals are very sensitive to our emotions; when we’re upset, they can get upset. This can be doubly compounded if you bring work-related stress home with you at the end of the day. So, keep calm, take deep breaths, and focus on your pet and get them acclimated to their new home.

Finding Pet-Friendly Apartments

More and more landlords are realizing that tenants with pets are more reliable and responsible than non-pet owners. That’s why it’s easier than ever to find great apartments that allow a dog or cat with a small deposit.

To start your search, view online listings and select your ideal neighborhood. You can limit your results to apartments close to public transportation, shopping, medical care, or work. From there, be sure to filter by pet-friendliness and indicate how many bedrooms and bathrooms you’ll need. Always read the fine print on listings; some have a weight limit for dogs or have a limit of only one pet.

Before moving your pet into your home, make sure to pet-proof the space. Secure your furniture, keep chemicals and cleaning supplies locked away, and install outlet covers to prevent electrical shock.

Reap the Benefits of Downsizing

You may find that you love the renter’s lifestyle. Without the obligations of a home, you’ll be able to enjoy having more free time to explore the city – with your pet by your side.

Decker Properties traces its inception to 1986 with the acquisition of its first small apartment building. The company today owns and manages hundreds of apartments throughout southeastern Wisconsin. Call 262-785-0840.

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5 Ways to Shopping Savings This Holiday Season

If inflation has invaded your budget to the point where you’re going to look like Ebenezer Scrooge, consider these five tactics to stretch your savings to put you back in good standing with your old buddy Bob Cratchit.

  1. Compare pricing. That smart phone isn’t just for selfies with Santa.  And you can be more sophisticated than just doing an internet search on an item.  No surprise, there’s an app for that, like ShopSavvy, Camelizer and PayPay Honey.
  2. Shop Early and Often. Starting earlier may help score the best deals.  Look for coupons.
  3. Tag team offers and deals. There can be coupons with cash back offers on the same item.  Explore Rakuten, CouponCabin and Ibotta.
  4. Get to know local small business owners and managers. Maybe they’ll cut you a break or help you find a deal.
  5. Talk to those on gift list about scaling back. This is where Jacob Marley meets Ebenezer Scrooge in a mutual decision to just make do with less.

Merry Christmas!

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It’s the Worst Time to Buy a Home in a Generation

According to the Seattle Times from November 11, 2022, it’s the worst time in a generation to buy a home.  You can view the entire article here.

This can’t come as a surprise since we now have the highest interest rates in a generation.  Don’t look to the government for a solution – we’ve just come through the mid term elections and after all the commotion and expenditure of billions of dollars of campaign funds, things are pretty much the same.

It’s a good time to embrace patience as a virtue.  This too shall pass.  In the meantime, we have great accommodations at Catalina Crossing and Bluff Ridge Apartments!

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Should You Rent or Buy a House at the Start of Your Career?

Looking for a solution to the question of whether you should rent or purchase a property at the start of your career? It’s a major decision, especially for young professionals just starting out in their professions and developing their long-term financial strategy. Or, if you’ve graduated from college or will be soon, one of the most crucial questions you’ll need to answer is, “Where will I live?”

Everyone’s dream is to own a home. Many people invest a lifetime to buy their first home, while others do it early in their careers. Most young professionals do not consider purchasing a property. However, if people begin taking small steps toward purchasing a home early in their careers, they may own property relatively quickly.

Overall, renting and purchasing offer advantages and disadvantages for young professionals.

Pros and Cons of Renting vs. Buying

Clearly, there are a number of important considerations that require the advice of a real estate attorney while determining whether to rent or buy a house. Here are the primary items to consider if you’re having trouble assessing the exact idea.

Pros of Buying a Property

  • The value of your home/property may increase by time
  • Your payments contribute to equity
  • There are certain tax advantages to buying
  • It is a more permanent annual planning
  • You may modify your living area whatever you like

Cons of Buying a Home

  • If your financial situation changes, you may lose your home
  • There are additional costs of ownership, such as home insurance, maintenance, property taxes, and so on; and
  • Economic fluctuations may cause your home to lose value
  • You are responsible for all maintenance
  • You are locked in one spot for an extended period of time unless you are willing to risk losing money.

Pros of Renting

  • Fixed and predictable monthly housing costs
  • You can move whenever you want
  • You don’t have to spend money on the expenditures connected with owning
  • You don’t have to save up hundreds of dollars for a second mortgage or interest charges
  • Savings may use for some other purposes like paying off debt or investing

Cons of Renting

  • Your rent money is not utilized to purchase the property.
  • You have limited influence over how the property operates
  • Rent may increase in the future
  • The landlord may sell the property or decide to cease renting to you

 So, should you rent or buy?

When it involves purchasing vs. renting, there isn’t a clear winner. The decision is highly personal and is influenced by a variety of circumstances.

Finally, you must consider your goals—not only for where you reside but for your complete financial picture. Homeownership may provide a fantastic sense of security and stability, but it requires a significant financial investment that may not be the best option for you in the long term.

Renting may appear to be “throwing money away,” but if you value versatility, low-maintenance living, and the freedom to invest your money on other things such as investment or vacation, it may be the best option for you. Again, it is your responsibility to crunch the figures and assess your preferred lifestyle.

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Thanks to John Adams for this guest post!

A Guide to Relocating to a New State

Moving to a new state can benefit you and your family. Whether you’re moving to a new state for a job opportunity, better schools, or to be closer to nature, it’s essential to do your homework and explore the area early on.

Research the Cost of Living

It’s beneficial to research the cost of living before you move. This allows you to decide if it’s an affordable option. It further helps to look at the price of living in numerous towns since certain areas are less expensive than others. Things to consider are the costs of housing, groceries, entertainment, transportation, and health care. Knowing these kinds of costs ahead of time can help you plan.

Consider Starting a Business

Whether you need to supplement your income or feel your new state is a great location for starting a business, consider establishing a company. If you decide to go this route, think about creating a business plan. It allows you to stay on track, identify who your target audience is, and find financial backing. In general, it heightens your chances of success, and it gives you an opportunity to determine important details of your business, such as its structure, where funding will come from, and the course of action for selling your products or services.

A business plan is usually required if you want to apply for grants or loans or entice investors. It shows you’re serious about your business, and it can help someone gauge whether your company has the potential for success. Need help writing a business plan? This great how to guide on starting a business offers some guidance.

Find a New Physician

When it comes to quality medical care, carefully consider your options in your new area. In recent years, the number of people using online doctor services has exploded. There are a number of reasons for this trend, but the most important ones are the convenience of online doctor appointments and cost. Unlike traditional doctor visits, which can be time-consuming and expensive, online doctor consultations can be done from the comfort of your own home and are typically much cheaper. In addition, online doctor services offer a level of anonymity that many people appreciate. With online doctor services, you can get the medical advice you need without having to worry about being judged by your doctor or anyone else.

Explore the Area

Once situated, start exploring the area immediately. That’ll provide you with a chance to meet new people. If you have children, it can be a chance for them to get acclimated as well. For example, take your dog to a local park. Pets are wonderful icebreakers, and you might find you have a lot in common with someone who loves animals as much as you.

You could also find a local gym. You’ll not only benefit from getting physical exercise, which can improve your cardiovascular health, but you’ll get to meet people. Another idea is to start going for walks around the neighborhood so you can meet your new neighbors. If you have kids, go to a local park or children’s play center. Check for activities, such as karate or gymnastics, that will give your child an opportunity to play with other kids who may be at their school. You can keep your child physically fit while getting them to mingle.

Reduce Relocation Stress and Enjoy the Move

Take steps, such as researching your new area, learning about starting a business, and finding a new doctor, to reduce your relocation stress so you can get right to enjoying the area.

Moving to southeastern Wisconsin?  Decker Properties has apartments to rent! Call 262-785-0840 to learn more.

Thanks to Marjorie Jones at workingclasswow.com for this post!

 

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Amp Up Your Optimism

Inflation is high.  Covid is still around.  Trouble abounds.  Sometimes it’s hard to stay optimistic amongst all the bad news.  But you can change that, here’s how:

  1. Turn off the bad news. This could be the news feed on your phone, the nightly television broadcast or the daily newspaper.  But if there’s a regular source of bad new that’s causing you anxiety, shut it off.
  2. Turn off the bad friends. Dump the Debbie Downers.  If you have a friend that’s inclined to pessimism, put some distance between you and them.  If that’s not possible, try changing the subject when they start down bad memory lane.  At the very least, prep yourself before you’re around them – you know what to expect.
  3. Savor the good. Create a mental inventory of the times you knocked it out of the park or even just had a good time to be the thing you reflect on.  You can’t merely stop thinking bad thoughts – you have to substitute better thoughts.
  4. Rethink the negative. Just miss your flight?  Maybe it gives you another day in town to connect with an old friend.  Seek to change lemons into lemonade.
  5. Reframe expectations. Certain relatives, friends or bosses are how they are.  They’re not going to change.  Stop getting upset about it.
  6. Write it down. Still anxious?  Get out a piece of paper and write down the things provoking your anxiety.  This is a world beater.  Sometimes you can feel anxious and not even know why.  Writing down the cause(s) of your trouble(s) makes the next step obvious and easy.
  7. Write down what has to happen in number six for that problem to go away. Then get busy.
  8. Learn to accept what cannot be changed. Stop beating your head against walls that are bigger than you.  This goes right along with reframing expectations.
  9. Stop comparing yourself to others. There will always be someone seemingly richer, skinnier, more charming and better looking than you.  Stop looking for/at these folks.  This is where social media can be such a disaster.  Someone snaps a pic of themselves on their best moment ever and then uploads that like it’s just another day.  And the operative word here is seemingly.  You don’t know what you don’t know about how these people’s lives might be completely screwed up in ways that you can’t see.  Turn this junk off.
  10. Be grateful. Born in the USA?  Congratulations!  Despite all our troubles, this is the best place and time to live in all recorded history.  If you woke up on the right side of the grass, it’s another day the sun can shine on you.  Make your own list of stuff to be grateful for – your health, spouse, kids, house, friends, job.  90% of the world’s population would do just about anything to trade places with you.

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Rent is More Affordable than a Starter Home

According to Bloomberg and thanks to higher interest rates, home ownership has become less affordable than apartment living.  In addition to the higher costs of home ownership, single family homes remain in historically short supply in terms of listings available for sale.  Single family new construction is likewise extraordinarily expensive, taking away this solution to alleviating the affordability spiral.

You can read the entire Bloomberg article here.

Costs like this:

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But all you get is this:

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