Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Recession Blues

So it is official, South Africa’s economy is in a recession. While it’s nothing new on the international front, for many South Africans it has come as a shock after the government steadfastly assured us that our economy would weather the storm. And now our financial leaders have come out in admission that they have underestimated the ferocity of economic storm. (

The good news though is that SA has been faring better than its western counterparts. We haven’t been immune to drastic job cuts and industries facing slumps but our banks are still stable and our government is still spending on infrastructure development. We’re also optimistic about the Fifa 2010 World Cup preparation being on schedule.

More good news is that one can indeed survive the tight fistedness of the economy. I have come up with my own personal plan for survival.

· Having a positive outlook – the situation is definitely going to add more value to our lives as we discern what of great importance to us. We will definitely start spending more quality time doing what makes us feel good and being with those that make us feel good.

· Being thrifty in creative ways – I am looking forward to more home dinners and marathon movie nights with friends all at the cost of shared wine and food. I will also get to discover more about my beautiful city, Joburg, whilst shopping for bargains in the inner city at bargain and second hand haunts.

· Paying off debts – this will be an empowering feat for me. I’ve gotten into the nasty habit of living a lifestyle beyond my means and doing so on borrowed money. Nothing depresses me quicker than seeing text notices on my cellphone showing payments for the credit I have tied myself to. It makes working every day pretty useless because often I never get to keep the money that I have earned.

· Building an emergency fund – it is commonly advised that one needs to have 6 – 8 months of living expenses saved up. Well one thing that I have never really been is a saver. Unless old clothes that I hardly wear count. So, that fund is in dire need of being started. This will become a great habit because I intend on doing some substantial globetrotting in my thirties.

· Shopping around for the best deals – not only is this something guys have articulated well but it also has a high return on investment. Guys will shop around looking at different factors before they buy. They are not necessarily moved by the cheapest price, but consider quality and how long something will last. Not only will shopping around be educational but it will avoid me throwing out shoes that I have only worn a few times and shouldn’t have bought because they were in nice colour and cheap.

I’m definitely not letting this recession turn into depression for me…

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