The thing about the recession is most people haven’t adapted to it, you can’t sit and listen to governments telling you they have fixed the problem or that their measures are going to make it all go away the West has simply fallen into decay over half a century. The UK for example has lived a high standard of living based on its industrial revolution and empire that are both long dead and buried. The only thing grasping onto it was trying to maintain some parts of the old empire as trade partners as well as lending countries money aswell as selling lots of arms. The U.S. being in a similar setup currently as it replaced the British empire when it began to retract mainly after WWII as it dropped into many of the British Empires old routes and partners. An introduction of things like the IMF to control prices on exports from countries also assisted in keeping many of the developing nations from developing to maintain low costs in the U.S. Problem is now the U.S. left itself open to get riddled with debt with the current oil crisis from Iraq to Afghanistan to Pakistan and now everyone’s in Libya when will it stop?
The problem is not the oil but peoples inability to adapt to a lifestyle we shouldn’t be able to afford and the fact that assuming the government is responsible disconnects the average person from any responsibility or positive action to prevent things getting worse. The irritance being the false sense of nationalism that is rising in places yet sitting waiting for someone else to sort things out. People talking about Conservatives, Labour, Republicans, Democrats as if they have the mystery pill that heals all.. they don’t they have self interest at heart which means they also will not do any severe changes that will affect their political careers (because the thing with politics it shouldn’t be a career in the way people are today as most don’t believe in the stuff they say and simply want to just ride the gravy train without action or change that would rock the boat).
So the answer to surviving the recession is taking steps on your own the first one is getting rid of debt where possible, if your struggling and as I see today adverts on the internet telling people how they “managed” to get a credit card. Guess what if your struggling to get one your the last person who needs one its slavery to the financial system. The too big to fail idea on the banks is only based on the fact banks need us if people let them collapse then what? hyper inflation for how long until things go stable again and debts go to zero as the banks got wiped out? repossessing houses maybe? cars? etc. but what happens when no-one buys the repossessed stock it becomes worthless. But getting back to how to get round the recession is the first steps is to look at what your spending and where. List all your outgoings and incomes dividing into essentials and none essentials, filtering out as you go from the big bills then into grocery items to see what you can do without. Another thing about groceries is can you downgrade from branded to none branded as many items are a lot cheaper, can you change supermarkets to a cheaper one.
After the groceries start looking at your suppliers for your satellite tv, telephone, internet, mobile phone, electric, gas etc and start re-evaluating and in some cases cutting them off completely. I remember when I split with my ex phoning up Sky television telling them I no longer needed them. Response? They offered a new satellite system for my new home free of charge as well as give my ex a new system and both setups to have a free 3 months while I relocated. I still didn’t take the offer for the reason being I didn’t need satellite and my ex shouldn’t be wasting her income on it either. Mobile phone companies and others will try to give you better deals to keep you in contract as they know once your gone its unlikely you come back. Using a pay as you go phone often means you can receive incoming calls even without loading the phone for external calls meaning you can top it up when needed or at least limit your budget. Owning the phone as well also gives lower tariffs as you find the companies trying to get you to buy the most expensive phones to lock you into a contract for a few years don’t get into it. The money you save having a cheap phone instead of having some tacky applications you will find adding up the interest plus the amount you save monthly that you could buy at least one laptop in the future without even breaking into extra money just purely by keeping a cheap phone. A phone is a phone not a computer!
Holidays or vacations always come around and it doesn’t mean doing without but one thing I do know is trading a hotel for a camping holiday especially as a family works out a lot cheaper and healthier for the entire family. It also means you can often get away more or the money you save put it aside for the kids birthdays and Christmas.
One of the biggest issues right now though is staying in a job, one thing I have always done is manouver to secure my job as someone who is difficult to replace. The union mentality of one man one job is long dead and buried and those with that selfish pride have seen their industries die with it. Your main motivation is to be keen on everything and secure your job not always pleasant but it does give you a better chance of being in work when others get the push as well as the fact there is nothing as demoralising as the unemployment queue or the stress of trying to make ends meet on a severely strained budget. I always found over the years the main thing is to be in work even if its not the job you want and its always put me ahead which is why I always say I have respect for someone in McDonalds doing a job I would hate a lot more than people hanging around on the dole queue. The reason being if your in McDonalds at least in the UK you will find many of the benefits will be topped up because you are working but also your still moving forward. Doing a crappy job may seem to be nothing you wanted but at least your working and also opportunties within the company come up and a lot more than most other places.
Finding things to sell especially to cancel out debt are important right now. Most people are cluttered with stuff they never use or have outgrown get on ebay or up to a carboot at the weekend and offload the items. Removing yourself from debt should always be the priority so you can break free. Everyone I know who operate in a debt free environment are a lot happier as well as wealthier.
If you do find yourself out of work get writing, get on the internet apply for jobs you wouldn’t normally go for as things are going to be tough out there for some time. We often end up doing things we don’t want to but our goal is to keep going. For me its always been about family and the kids getting ahead means I can help the next generation stay clear of debt. If they are never in debt they are never behind. Tuition fees are hammering the universities right now which means for me finding a fair chunk of coinage for the future to allow my kids a solid foundation in todays world. One thing is for sure I don’t want them being tied to banks for the money leaving university already in the habit of being broke and struggling.
If you have the space or can rent an allotment growing much of your own food can become a lifeline and if your not green fingered the allotments give you access to a lot of local knowledge and help in getting started. It also gives the kids something do that puts worth into food they eat as well as a bit of responsibility. More allotments are being taken up all the time due to the recession and this community spirit is seeing a revival you should be able to save 30% on your food per week but its initially not going to be easy. Getting the family involved will be a goo
d start or maybe neighbours all working together towards a common goal of at least making sure there is at least some food on the table.
The thing for me though is that I find the UK has lost its soul and pride in itself, I often hear people go on about a standard of living and people have a right to this or that but I ask why?? because someone’s grandparents fought in WW2? These were their rights and they earned them. Problem is we have allowed governments to come and go use and abuse and riddle us with debt. We have gone from a nation of savers and planning for pensions to live today and borrow tomorrow. I don’t ask anyone to carry me and I ask that nobody expects it from me. The reason being the UK so called poor in the majority have sat there doing nothing for years, unemployment maybe built into the system at the same time wandering around meeting people who are long-term unemployed have no interest in working. The UK had so many job vacancies we took in at least 1 million Polish workers during the boom before the bust. Don’t tell me there was no jobs, too many people are lazy and used to living on benefits people like me are sick of paying too much in tax to keep. They are a burden to everyone including themselves as they drag the country down with negative mentality and encouraging others not to work. Minimum wage was hiked this week yet I look and think for what reason? We don’t need higher salaries we need cheaper standards of living and stabilizing the cost of housing and food. The import generation needs to go and a rise of careful spenders and savers.
The world is changing and for me real nationalism is a sense of belonging, being part of change for the better, understanding that your part of something and need to function as a human being in whatever capacity you can for the greater good. Without it the UK is finished and the government sits there scratching its head with the NHS and mounting debts yet it never questions the people or call the people to change their way of life completely.