Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Surviving Rough Economic Waters

Is that a sound metaphor? I don't know, probably not, but I'm not really qualified to make finance analogies. Even if you're not in crisis mode yet (what's wrong with you?), you still want to cut back and prepare for the worst. I know I professed it previously on this blog and then disappeared to drink at the beach all summer or whatever, but I am willing to be your beacon of hope during these tough financial times. At least, the beacon of hope that isn't Barack Obama, because I've watched the news a couple times in the past year or so and I know how you people think. Here are some strategies I've been noodling with:

  • Have you been wanting to lose five pounds? Good. You're going to lose twenty. Food has become a luxury you can no longer afford. You better hope people are baking you Christmas pies and cookies this season because you've become accustomed to eating in your once-charmed life. This is your own fault for thinking food is a right and not an extravagance, but it's too late to change this. The previous tenants in my apartment left behind some canned goods and oatmeal. I don't know exactly how many months/years this food has been there, but if it doesn't have botulism I am eating it.
  • Prepare for the worst: homelessness. Now I'm really hoping this doesn't happen to you (unless maybe I don't like you? Then why are you reading my blog?) or anyone I know, but if falling asleep in history class while the teacher talked about the Great Depression taught me anything, it is that sometimes things become worse than we had ever imagined. I once shared a theory of mine with a friend that good-looking people cannot be homeless for very long. Eventually someone wealthy would pass the adorable homeless person pan-handling for loose change and either sweep them off the dirty street, feed them and put them up in their own apartment, or turn them into a fashion model (they probably have that strung-out, heroin-abusing waif look going for them already). Maybe you don't wake up looking like Giselle or whatever though. So maybe you need a little makeup to keep yourself looking your best while sitting outside the 7-11 smoking discarded cigarettes.
Can you prepare for this? Absolutely. Anticipate that you might not be able to afford the necessesities of being an attractive homeless person like: eyeliner, liquid foundation, maybe even a hairdryer that you plug in at the library when no one's looking. Stock up on these essential items before you find yourself out on the streets without so much as a hairbrush. (My guess is this tip may only work for women, but be my guest if you'd like to give it a try.)
  • Stop purchasing Splenda. Switch to sugar. Replacing sugar with artificial alternatives is a way people like me convince themselves that they are healthy even though they are probably giving themselves cancer. Sugar is way cheaper and you're going to need the calories anyway. Look into growing your own sugar cane.
  • Blankets! Blankets are probably the most important piece of advice I can offer. Naturally, the state of crisis will peak in the winter. Being unable to afford heating, residents in the chillier regions of the country will turn to blankets to ward off shivering, frostbite, and eventual death. Begin a collection of blankets. If you have grandmothers, or if you know any, urge them to knit you as many decorative blankets as possible. They have survived one or two depressions themselves and probably have gotten pretty good at knitting blankets.
That's all I've got for today, because I have a job to keep (I swear I'm not bragging), but stay tuned for more unsolicited advice because as I think we've learned I only write in this thing when things are going terribly for everyone.

Keep your chin up!

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