Covid-19 took the world by storm. After 128 months of record economic expansion, it has been announced that the U.S. is officially in a recession. In its simplest explanation, a recession is a stall in economic growth for two or more consecutive quarters. With the country in a dreaded doom and gloom, it’s hard to remain calm in such volatile times. It’s easy to focus on the day to day calamities that are surrounding the news, but your strategic approach today is one step closer to lightening the burdens of tomorrow.
When not sheltering in place, some people are on the road to minimize any current health risks associated with air travel. While other people are home, adjusting to the new world of communication through Zoom and Skype. So many balls are in the air and two more to still juggle, where does your vehicle fall on the list of major priorities? Below are few tips to recession-proof your life and your car during a time of uncertainty.
The best first step is always to collect your thoughts, take a deep breath, and stay calm. There’s a significant change happening in the world, and it’s completely normal to have a bit of anxiety. Change isn’t easy to deal with and should be managed with a degree of emotional stability and logic. If you’re thrown off balance, first take a moment to recenter your energy and focus.
Reexamine your budget and pad your emergency savings.
If you don’t have a budget, this would be a great time to create one. If you already have a budget, it’s time to reexamine it and how your financial priorities have changed with the recent change in times. If possible, start to put a little extra money aside for emergencies or the unexpected that comes with life. Take a moment to consider how your new lifestyle has increased or decreased your vehicle usage.
If possible, stay on top of vehicle maintenance.
Maybe you’re an essential worker, and your vehicle is a part of your daily commute. Or perhaps, you’ve been sheltering in place and have the itch for a road trip. No matter the case, proper vehicle maintenance is essential to keeping you safe and saving you money in the long run. Add a line in your budget for crucial car maintenance to support vehicle performance. For hot summer days, park in the shade and away from direct sunlight. Stay on top of your vehicles regularly scheduled oil change, check tire pressure, rotate tires, and top off your fluids.
If you aren’t on the road, educate yourself during your free time.
When there’s no place to go, an educated mind can take you farther than any other car. While you’re brushing up on your professional skillset and expanding on a beloved hobby, learn about your vehicle’s essential functions. You’re not expected to become an overnight ASE trained mechanic, but there are plenty of resources to enlighten you on the maintenance of your vehicle. DIY doesn’t just stop at the arts and crafts store; you can fill your tires at the gas station and top off your coolant. Don’t hesitate to learn what you can do to cut costs by performing simple items yourself.
Try to practice random acts of kindness.
With a world in a place of uncertainty, kindness gives the bitterness a tinge of something sweet. Take a mental health day, give your car that deluxe wash, and do that grocery run for your neighbor who may be at risk. The economy may be down, but that doesn’t mean that your spirits have to be too. Connect with the moment and offer this time a piece of something special – your heart.