Earlier last summer the TD Economics Report stated that the “Alberta Recession is one of the most severe ever…”, where our GDP has lost 6.5% since the start of the downturn in 2014. This is a serious issue for most Albertans. Couple this with low oil prices and it is the reason that tens of thousands of jobs have been lost in our province. The good news now is that things are looking up. The Alberta government is projecting that the GDP growth in 2018 will be +2.5%, driven by the Energy Industry. That being said, when it comes to you and your neighbours, those numbers don’t necessarily mean much. For us, it is about having a job, a reasonable wage and the ability to provide for our families. The biggest issue for anyone, in good times or bad is DEBT. This ‘four-letter-word’ can drive you to the end of your resources in a hurry, especially during an economic downturn.
Despite this, most experts will tell us that we should ‘Pay yourself first’. Our family believes in ‘Give away your first-fruits’, which means give something away to a worthy cause. Give it ‘right off the top’, before anything else. It is good for your soul to help make the world a better place.
After you give some away, keep some for your savings and ‘Pay yourself’. It doesn’t have to be much, but if you take it out of your income before you spend, you will always have money for a ‘rainy day’ and it does feel good to have a positive balance when you check your bank account.
The next thing is to ‘Pay down debt’. Start with the highest interest rate balance and work from there. The most important thing is to communicate with your creditors. They need to know that you are acknowledging your responsibilities and not hiding from them. If you can muster 10% of your income, that is great, but anything you can do will typically keep the bankruptcy trustees and foreclosure lawyers at bay.
The next thing is probably a no-brainer; ‘Downsize your standard of living’. If you can ‘cost-reduce’ your lifestyle by even $100.00/ mth, it will amount to tens of thousands of dollars in your lifetime. Two ideas are;
a) Cost reduce your groceries by shopping only the perimeter of the store. This will get you to the Produce, Meat, Bakery and Dairy. It is all those middle aisle items that cost a lot and aren’t that good for you.
b) Cut back on entertainment and eating out. This is a big expense for most people and even cutting back 50% is a significant dollar amount.
The next thing is to ‘Make more money’. This may not be possible, but it is the easiest way to get ahead.
The main way to survive the downturn is to look at it as an opportunity to get ahead. This may not seem logical, but it is. There are opportunities in good and bad markets. As Albertans, we are survivors, and we test our mettle when things get tough. As a business person, companies are looking for greater efficiencies and automation when things are tight. By finding those solutions, you can make a lot of money. People pay you to Solve Their Problems. This is the basis of IIoT and our focus at SYNERGI-FX at optimizing processes, streamlining data and information flow and getting relevant information “FROM THE CONTROL ROOM TO THE BOARDROOM™“. Even if you aren’t in a position to solve problems for others, maybe you can improve your own situation by trying some of the ideas above.