I grew up with hyperinflation during the 80's at levels never imagined in the U.S. One of my strangest memories is going to the grocery store with my mom, and noticing that there were no prices on any of the articles because the prices were changed every hour at the cash registers.
I hope never to see anything like that again, but having lived through it I can assure you, the world didn't end.
In the meantime, these market crises can be seen as the opportunity to allow for some creative destruction. This happens in nature when forests burn on their own to allow for stronger and younger trees to grow. These economic times force us to cut unnecessary expenses and align our savings into growth opportunities.
Key things we can do while the markets adjust:
- Continue to work on your job, the same way you were doing before the talk about crisis began.
- Look at your expenses, figure out what you really shouldn't be spending a lot of money right now, and put it on a back burner. Dining out tends to be the easiest one to cut back on, but when looking at a credit card statement, there's many things that become visible.
- If there's something you want to buy that isn't a necessity, sleep on it. I've found two things happening usually, either the price of it goes down, or I realize I didn't care that much for it.
- Work out. Running is a great stress reliever, but there's many other options around to get some exercise. And from experience I can tell you that working out is one of the fastest ways to feel better about the day to day grind.
- Help out. Sooner or later someone you know may be impacted by the economic downturn, by being in a position to help them, you've done a great thing. Also, volunteering is a way to give back to the community and have something to feel good about with all the market news.
- Laugh. Since the bad news began I force myself to watch the Daily Show every night, if my sense of humor goes away, then I'm lost...
7. Whatever you do, DON'T PANIC!
Oh, yeah, and you may want to make sure you have a Towel around